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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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jbshan   

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

 

post-675-0-93081800-1479519877.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

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BANYAN   

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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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
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dgbot   

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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dafi   

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 ...

 

XXXDAn

 

Epilogue: Still today the Admiralty looks cautious if I enter the kitchen ...

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