How to Create Curves with Bent Lamination
Brian Boggs, a virtuoso of bending wood, explains the basics and far beyond
Synopsis: Bent lamination makes strong curved parts that wouldn’t be possible with steam-bending or sawing. Because it is achieved through gluing up thin laminates, it works with most wood species, and the multiple face-grain glue joints give a bent-laminated curve great strength. The keys to success are accurately machined laminates, careful attention to glue, and uniform clamping pressure throughout the bend.
Bent lamination—gluing up thin layers of wood to create a curve—allows you to generate curved parts that wouldn’t be possible by sawing or steaming. It lets you make sharp curves and reverse curves, enables you to make wide parts, and delivers uniform results for multiple parts. Lamination produces a workpiece whose grain follows the curve completely, which, combined with all the face-grain glue joints, gives a bent-laminated part great strength. Achieving a successful bend requires accurately machined laminates, careful attention to glue, and uniform clamping pressure throughout the…