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I've been working on creating a wooden hockey stick. The blade of the hockey stick needs a slight curve and bend to it.

I have a small steam box set up and have created a vice with different-length teeth in it. After steaming the wood, I place it in the vice, close the teeth, and let it sit for a day or two. The curve created by the teeth in the vice is much more exaggerated than I need, and when I remove it from the vice, the blade springs back a bit. However, over time, the blade continues to straighten. After a week or so, it's almost to it's original straightness.

Most steam-bending applications that I've seen have both ends of the bent wood fixed so even though the wood wants to spring back, it can't.

Is it possible to steam-bend a piece of wood to have it remain bent without fixing both ends of the piece? Will all wood eventually straighten over time if left alone?

  • Make a 2-handled hockey stick? :) – FreeMan Mar 19 '15 at 17:53
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One way to combat this is to glue multiple layers that have been steamed over a form. Essentially, you'll be making a custom piece of curved plywood. The internal stresses will keep the workpiece from deforming back to its original shape.

Tage Frid has an excellent book on shaping, veneering, and finishing that covers this topic in depth.

(I have no association with Tage Frid and his literature, other than owning several of his books.)

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