I am building an irregular shaped desk, kind of peanut shaped. I'm
thinking of a laminate top over MDF with some kind of edge on the face
of it. I have always used oak stripping for straight edges but of
course it cant be bent like that.
I was wondering if there is something that I can use to do this. I
don't really care what it is made of as long as it is somewhat
I do not want to use veneer because it is too flat. Do they make
thicker veneers with a slight profile?
Thanks for any help
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They do make an iron-on laminate edging. It's not as nice as wood
edging, but given the profile you are trying to shape, this may be a good
You could also cut thin strips of your oak stripping and laminate it,
then trim it.
The November 2003 issue ( #152 ) of wood Magazine showed just how to do
exactly what your asking. They made a large oak oval dining table using
oak. And made a beautiful bendable side for the undersupport of the table
using an oak skirt.
The article you would want would be on page 22 "Kerf Bending ... Bend solid
wood with your bare hands and a little help from your saw."
Basically it involved sawing kerfs at preset spacing until you are within
1/8" of the outside and doing this all the way around. Then taking it and
using a "tied down" you pull it around a form. The spacing of the kerf and
the wood in between varies depending on the radius of your kerf. It is
possible to get radi of 6" using this method.
It looks very simple.
I would copy the article but I don't want to get in trouble for copyright
I hope you can get the article.
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Some stores like Rona carry bendable plywood. IIRC it is about 1/4"
thick. Another idea is to get a cabinet making shop to order some thicker
veneer (3 mm) from a wholesaler like that shown in the following. Good
Since you don't care about the material, how about plastic t-molding:
I have never used the stuff but I understand it is typically used by
people making arcade-style game cabinets. You'll need a router to
Patrick Fitzgerald -- http://www.barelyfitz.com/wood
Some woods bend easier than others. Oak, Ash & Maple bend rather well
when either steamed and bent or wet and subjected to heat. Think 1/8"
thick -- maybe as thick as 1/4". It's going to depend on the radius of
your form. A really tight radius will require thinner strips of wood.
Of course you can then add additional thin strips of wood to get the
thickness you need. Prepare a form (you can use the table top with
tape or wax paper between to protect from moisture)-- have a lot of
clamps available. Get the wood wet & use a heat gun to make the wood
pliable-- 1/8" Maple will be wet enough in warm water in about 20
minutes. Clamp quickly, as wood looses it's elasticity as it cools.
If the table is not too large, you can use strips cut from an inner
tube to bind the edge wood to the form as you go ( you might need a
helper).-- Then after at least 24 hours you can glue/clamp as usual.
If this sounds like more than you want to do, then use the 'T' molding
(plastic) available at your local borg in various thickness/widths --
you have to rout a slot all around the edge of the table. Used in
lots of commercial office furniture-- cubicles & the like.
I do not recall what it is called or who makes it -- it has been a few
years -- but I have gotten bendable plastic moulding at the lumber yard,
special order. IOW, it does exist. Ogee, 1/2 round, and some others were
available. Worked fine for painting. Used as cap moulding for baseboard
on a curved wall and front edge on a curved built-in shelf unit. They also
apparently sell versions that can be stained. Try the special order dept
at a local yard.
Why not steam bend the edging you really want & apply it. See Gregg
Germain's steambending FAQ:
There's also a lot of other stuff around on steam bending.
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