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Ignoring time & space issues, focusing only on the strength & durability of the wood after the bend has set, what is going to give better results? We know from the answers at Other than speed does kiln drying have any advantage over natural aging? that natural aging has advantage in the quality of the end product. In this case though we are intentionally altering the curvature of the wood.

  1. Bending and storing green wood (frames, canes, keels, etc) in its final form
  2. Steaming naturally or kiln dried wood as above, for the short time it takes to dry.
  • I am looking forward to the results here. I'm hoping someone has some direct experience with this. Great Question! – BrownRedHawk Mar 19 '15 at 18:38
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    I suspect you need to be more specific in your question. There are downsides to using green wood that may not be offset by the ease of bending (shrinkage, further bending while drying, etc.). And kiln dried wood rarely bends well, even after steaming. I suspect in most cases, steam bending naturally dried wood with a specific moisture profile is probably the best. – Zach Mar 30 '15 at 18:17
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It is a well known solution in the wooden chair production. They are mostly using kiln dried wood at ~15% humidity. The steaming procedure recommendation is: 1hour for 1cm thickness under pressure of 1atm of 100% saturated steam. After bending the workpiece has to be dried and clamped in jigs in a drying chamber or in a high-frequency press.

  • Can you expand on why this choice is better than using green wood? Is the choice you describe only because it is faster, or does it increase the quality of the product? – James Jenkins Mar 31 '15 at 12:23
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    Bending of workpieces from air dried wood has the advantage that the workpieces are more dimensionally stable and there will be substantially less errors, damages and deformations in the drying process. When drying bended green wood can lead to a lot of errors during the drying process, especially cracks or .unexpected shape deformations. – Marjan Mar 31 '15 at 21:12

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