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I'm looking for a way to build this table. I'm having trouble figuring out how I would achieve this type of curve as seen in this picture with wood. Any suggestions, guides, methods would be greatly appreshiated!

  • I answered part of this in response to your question about the polished finish. This is probably either bent lamination or bending plywood or plywood kerfed for bending, over a framework that supports it and gives it strength. – keshlam Jun 18 '15 at 1:31
  • Thank you for all the great explanations! I'm pretty confident I can accomplish this project, however I'm having a tough time with the measurements of the curvature. How would I go about measuring the length of wood needed for the and overall pitch of the curve? This is a Dining Table with the dimensions of L60" x W36" x H34" – Seth Calkins Jun 20 '15 at 0:56
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Steaming and laminations. You make a jig for the shape and then glue layer after layer down. Rockler has an article on bent lamination, including a picture of someone in action.

Some might not need to steam if the laminations are thin enough to bend to the desired shape, but steaming them, bending them and then after they cool glue them up, is how many awesome wooden curves are made.

bent lamination clamped in a bending form

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  • That is pretty cool! – Matt Jun 18 '15 at 2:32
  • @Matt it really is, isn't it! – bowlturner Jun 18 '15 at 2:43
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Bowlturner's answer is a very standard way to make curved wood. However, to bend wood wide enough to make the desktop and legs for this would take a massive steam box and bending jig. Just image your entire desk, standing on its back edge, in that bending fixture he showed!

I'd suggest that the top and legs are made flat, then there is a curved corner piece running from the front to back of the desk cut to the profile of the bend needed (see hand-drawn arc inside the hand-drawn red circle!):

Hand drawn red circle!

This is then used to connect the top to the leg. This assembly would then be covered a thin lamination piece of melamine (for a pre-finished look), or a wood lamination layer that would be thin enough to make the bend without steaming that you would use the techniques recommended for your previous question to achieve the desired finish.

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I did some curves as part of a kitchen island. I have a series of pictures of the process here: http://gallery3.asap.armadillo.nu/index.php/Bending-Wood

The technique I use was a laminate process that did not involve steaming. I just cut the wood down to about 1/8 of an inch in thickness.

As FreeMan said the width of this piece would mean doing it in several sections. My widest curve was about 8 1/2 inches.

The glue you use is important, I normally use Titebond II, but even with just a small test piece it would not hold its shape after about 48 hours. I ended up using some two part formaldehyde glue that listed the application on the can. It takes a lot of force in the clamps to form the curve.

I can't tell from the picture the radius of the inside curve, but without steaming the radius that you can bend 1/8 laminates into is limited (about 7 inches in radiata pine).

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