Watch author and celebrated furniture maker Michael Fortune demonstrate his free-form steam-bending technique in this video extra to his article in the October 2007 issue of Fine Woodworking.

Birds in Flight Coffee TableHis unique process involves bending wood to a form in two directions to compress the wood fibers and break the lignum bonds in the wood. With each bend, a backup strap keeps the wood from splintering or tearing out. Once a piece of wood has gone through this double-bending process, it can be shaped or twisted in wild directions.