wood bending.

I just picked up my48" X 15" slabs of "green" elm, 1/2" thick on Wednesday. I'll be milling them down to 3/8", then I need to bend them into about a 10" radius. Any real good suggestions from someone with wood-bending experience? I have 10 pieces, and need to get (at least) 4 good parts out of the lot
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On Fri, 23 May 2008 23:37:27 -0400, clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada wrote:

Wood bending is an art. I found that a steam box makes turns wood into "rubber" for a very short time. You have about 20 seconds (!!!) from steam box to jig/press, plan carefully. You will have to deal with 5% (give or take) springback. Knots are bad. Obviously, the thinner the pieces the easier to bend--1/2" thick might be tough to bend at 10" radius, but it can be done. Laminated glued-up curves are extremely strong. Steam burns are painful, wear leather gloves and use tongs.
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I have milled lumber for bending for white oak boat ribs, maple banjo hoops oak, basswood and poplar barrel staves. it is VERY important to have peices that do not have excessive outcropping of grain. when i cut the logs i shim them as to follow the growth rings as close as i can. selecting the flatest sawn boards is the first step. what type of elm are you using? most elm will bend well. from there on as mentioned steam heat, bend and maybe more dry heat once it's jigged to brake down the natural glue that holds the wood together. if my memory serves correct, it should be heated to 160 degrees F.then alllowed to cool. good luck Ross
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On May 23, 10:37 pm, clare at snyder dot ontario dot canada wrote:

You will need a steam box and a bending form and several clamps. The wood will need to be steamed in a box bent around a form and clamped in place to dry. It will take you a while to do ten pieces..
Randy http://nokeswoodworks.com
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