4

How does one bend plywood as shown in this photo?

Bent plywood

Image from grovemade.com

  • See past answers re laminating. Basically, start with single plies and glue the layers together bent over a form so the shape is locked in once the glue has set. – keshlam Dec 12 '15 at 6:32
  • Where do you get or how do you make the individual plies for your raw material? – Charlie Kilian Dec 12 '15 at 7:47
  • As plies, you either buy inexpensive veneer (eg the stuff used on the back of a fancy-veneered panel), or slice your own using a bandsaw, or purchase "bending plywood" which just has a few thin plies so it's still pretty floppy. Alternatively, you can make most of the object by starting with normal plywood and cutfing kerfs most of the way through it so it can bend on those lines, and find a way to hold it in that position by veneering that side or mounting it to solid support -- more useful for decorative curves than structural ones. – keshlam Dec 12 '15 at 16:52
  • Related: woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/1792/… – rob Dec 12 '15 at 17:07
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The bending method pictured is called bent lamination. You take multiple thin sheets of wood and glue them together in a bending form, as illustrated in https://woodworking.stackexchange.com/a/1795/49.

  1. Use single veneers. These are thin sheets of wood, often around 1/40"-1/8", though they can be thicker or thinner. Obviously the thinner the veneers, the more you'll need to glue together to get to your final thickness. You can buy veneer or resaw your own veneers on a bandsaw. If you're fortunate enough to have access to a drum sander, it will guarantee that each veneer is of uniform thickness throughout, though it is not necessarily important for all veneers to be the same thickness as each other.
  2. Use bending plywood. This plywood is not only thin, but it has the grain of all the plies oriented in the same direction rather than criss-crossing the grain of alternating layers.
  3. If the bend is not very severe, you can also use thin ordinary sheets of plywood (even if they are not technically "bending plywood").
  • Good summary. I'd add (4) kerfing plywood to make it bendable, though that doesn't apply in the case we've been shown – keshlam Dec 12 '15 at 21:11

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