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Microwaving the wood?


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13 replies to this topic

#1
Sunsanvil

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I'm approaching the point in my build where I'm going to be doing my first bending of wood.  I'm in Canada, the house is sealed up tight for the coming winter, and as such a kettle or pot of perpetually boiling water is a big no-no (mold and mildew).

 

I read that the microwave might be a vaible option for me.  Does anyone have any experience they can share? Soak the wood first?  Wrap it in wet paper towel?  Roughly how many seconds/minutes to start with?

 

Thanks.


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#2
jbshan

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Wrap it in a wet paper towel and nuke for 30 seconds if your nuker is fairly good.  More if it's an old low power one like mine.  Test for timing and if needed refresh the water on the towel if it dries out.


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#3
SpyGlass

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Concur with above  - towel doesnt have to be dripping wet - time depends upon the wood and the strip thickness.

BUT the moisture from the towel will still go into the air - steal the Admirals hair drier !


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#4
CaptainSteve

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In the past, I have had great success with a hair-curling iron*. Just soak the strips in warm tap water. It may take a bit longer. Depending on the size and thickness of the wood, leave them for an hour or so. Then clamp the strips in the curling iron where you want the bend to form. You may require a tea-towel (or similar) to prevent burning your fingers.

 

(*Note: The part where I didn't have a lot of success was walking into a store frequented mostly by female members of the population and asking to buy aforementioned hair-curling iron. Something about a short-haired male (with tattoos) requesting said item seemed to result in stares of incredulity and wonderment amongst the staff.)


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#5
piratepete007

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When I looked up images for 'hair curling iron', I saw so many different forms - any advice as to what iron works well when bending wood ?

 

Pete


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#6
CaptainSteve

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Pete. This is similar to the one that I have ...

 

download.jpg

 

... it has a thumb-operated clip to hold the hair/wood. You'll need to apply pressure to the clip once the piece of wood is placed inside, in order to form the bend. Hence, the tea towel to avoid burning your fingers. 


Edited by CaptainSteve, 19 November 2016 - 01:48 AM.

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CaptainSteve

 

Current Build:   USS Constitution (Model Shipways)

 

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#7
piratepete007

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Thanks for taking the time to post that photo Captain Steve. I'm just busy writing up a few pages of text (for MSW) explaining ALL the different methods of bending wood that I can find. Probably buy into a few arguments !!!!

Pete


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#8
BANYAN

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I have used the nuking technique successfully for bending thin and thicker planks (up to 4mm square stock) and it doesn't seem to leech the colour out of wood (such as walnut) as you experience with boiling.

 

cheers

 

Pat


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#9
allanyed

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Susan

There is a thread on dry bending that is currently active in this particular forum that you may find interesting.

Allan


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#10
S.Coleman

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There is so many varied ways to do this process.
For me 20 minutes submerged in warm water (not hot steaming water) and I use a cheap and nasty AL plank bender. It's done me alot of good work. Best of luck.
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Regards, Scott

Current build: 1:75 Friesland, Mamoli

Completed builds:
1:64 Rattlesnake, Mamoli
1:64 HMS Bounty, Mamoli
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1:80 King of the Mississippi, AL
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#11
Sunsanvil

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Pete. This is similar to the one that I have ...

attachicon.gifdownload.jpg

... it has a thumb-operated clip to hold the hair/wood. You'll need to apply pressure to the clip once the piece of wood is placed inside, in order to form the bend. Hence, the tea towel to avoid burning your fingers.

Thanks for this! I just did my first bend on my wife's iron and it worked remarkably well. I didn't even use the clamp but rather ran the piece back and forth against the barrel of the iron and worked it into shape. I did soak the part for about 20 minutes first as well for good measure.

We'll see tomorrow when I pop it off the frame how well it holds shape.

Edited by Sunsanvil, 19 November 2016 - 09:34 PM.

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#12
dgbot

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I rarely went to the trouble. I would wet the strip and take a bending iron to it and once it dried I would repeat the process until I got what I needed.  The iron I use is one I got from Amati.  I hop my sister brought with her since it was stashed in one of my parts drawers.

David B


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#13
dafi

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Careful with the microwave!!!

 

I once tried it out and after some few seconds the wood was charcoal, the alarm ringing, the house smelly, the wave had to be replaced as no way of getting rid of the smell inside and the worst: the piece of wood was lost ...

 

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#14
Glenn

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Soaking the wood works for me, doesn't have to be hot boiling water or microwave - just soak in a glass of water.


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Regards,

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