Adventures in Steambending

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As woodworkers, we go to great lengths to create curvilinear forms with our mercurial medium.

We stack hundreds of small pieces like bricks, and then shape them into one sweeping form with a grinder, only to end up covered in dust; or we spend hours at the bandsaw, resawing lamintaions one after the other, and getting covered in dust. One of the more sustainable - and probably the most fun - ways of creating curves is done with the power of steam. Steam, and many, many clamps.

 

Although this epic steambend ended up failing, understanding the limits of one's material is an invaluable lesson for a maker. Plus, it was pretty fun to watch instructor Reed Hansuld doing a jig on top of the form in a futile attempt to coax the wood to bend to his will.

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