Bent Plywood Night Stands Bent Ply is beautiful, strong, and flexible in ways that make its appeal to designers obvious, but making bent ply furniture can be a real challenge.
While many pieces simply cannot be made without gigantic industrial molds (which apply heat and steam to make the wood flex during bending), and pandora jewelry online order use special glues that can only be cured in the machines, smaller Bent Ply furniture can be made in a regular wood shop without much more than a band saw, table saw, and a bunch of good clamps. I made the single curve nightstands in the photos above, but the same steps I've used here, including many rules of thumb and limitations I discovered along the way, could easily be applied to a wide range of bent ply pieces and parts. Once you've made the molds the nightstands are easy, so this is a great project for designs with lots of self similar parts, too. Show All ItemsIn addition to some everyday items, such as a paint roller tray, quart size mixing container, sandpaper, etc, a few special items are needed:Glue:I recommend DAP Weldwood Plastic Resin Glue. It comes in a powder form and mixes easily with water; it cures chemically to an ultra hard brittle glue with absolutely no give. This is important, as the layers must not be allowed to flex next to each other to maintain the curves. Ihighly recommendassuming that the two halves of the mold will come out of a rectangular area, as the parallel outside edges will need to be clamped to each other. Chances are very slim you'll have veneers the right size shape for buy pandora online your project, so you'll need this to make large enough continuous sheets. You'll need at least 3 dowels per side of your mold, and it helps if they're all in once piece. So if your piece is 2' wide and you can pandora jewelry order online only get 3' dowels, I'd recommend buying real pandora charms cheap at least six. Get a good beefy one, but make sure it fits your router. I found a bottom bearing bit to be easiest for the setup, but you should be able to make it work with a top bearing bit also if that's all you can find.2x4's (qty 2 or 3)for clamping cauls (if you make these curved cauls they can save you some clamps, but they're not totally necessary)TOOLS: Stop and reconsider if you don't have, or don't want to buy, the following tools which can be found in most well equipped shops: Table saw. A nice heavy one is always best, but even a contractor's saw should do for this Band Saw. For rough cutting mold slices Router. For flush trimming mold slices Heavy clamps (you'll always need more than you think. Make sure you have some long enough to go around the longest end of your mold. Drill press (it's critical that the holes you drill for registration of mold slices be drilled straight! Explore possible designs for your bent plywood piece. Keep in mind that, except in exceptional circumstances, bent ply is only curved in one direction. That is, the shape will be a simple extrusion of one profile curve you draw. As you explore the design, try to come up with ways to employ the special properties of bent ply. In this design, the uniform strength in all directions throughout the curve prevents the design from having weak "break points" which would require much thicker wood if separate pieces or solid wood were used. Step 3: Iterate Select Final Design It can be helpful to explore the 3 dimensional implications of the design, and refine its scale and details. Consider issues such as the tightest corner that your veneer can bend, the difference between inside and outside edges of the profile, and ergonomics of the finished piece. For my nightstands, I had to make sure it was possible for a human hand to comfortably fit in between the top and bottom layers; otherwise, the "private" space inside the nightstand would be useless! It's helpful to do simple studies in CAD software. I use Rhino, but almost any software package would help to explore these sorts of implications. Step 4: Build the Molds Once you've selected your profile, carefully trace its shape onto a piece of particle board you've cut to fit it. It's very helpful at this stage to print the profile if you have a large enough printer or plotter available. You can spray mount the profile to the first piece of particle board to make sure your cuts are precise.
The two halves of the mold must have exactly the right tolerance between them, or the molds will not apply even pressure to your bent ply piece! Once you've cut one carefully on the bandsaw, sand down using a (1" belt sander if available) to the exact edge of your profile curve. Step 5: Cutting Mold Parts / Mold Assembly Using the drill press, drill 3 or 4 holes for the registration dowels. Make sure they're located well to hold the parts together.
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