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Thread: bending wood for a shaker oval box using water

  1. #1

    bending wood for a shaker oval box using water

    I plan to use water to soak wood so I can bend the strip to make a shaker oval box.I will soak the strip in a rectangular galvanized container 36" long. My question is how long should the wood strip stay in the bath before it is pliable to bend around a shaping form? Another question -- Should I soak the wood band overnight before I add boiling water to make the wood band more pliable? Thanks.

  2. #2
    I have never made shaker boxes, but I bend a lot of oak for Windsor chairs. That process uses steam of course, but I think it is as much about the heat as the moisture. The thin oak spindles that are not steam bent often warp quite a bit. I can usually straighten them by heating with a heat gun and over bending the opposite way and holding it for a minute or so. One can noticeably feel the lignin give when the spindle gets warm.

    I have also seen instrument makers bend thin dry body parts over a heated form with fairly tight curves.
    Last edited by John Keeton; 09-15-2023 at 8:54 PM.

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  3. #3
    Is the wood quarter sawn ? It needs to be .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peoria, IL
    I made a copper pan to make shaker boxes per Jon Wilson's instructions. I heat the water in the pan by placing it on an old electric kitchen griddle. No presoaking. I heat up the water and drop the bands in. Just a few minutes and they are ready to go. I don't use quarter sawn for the bands, but like to use it for the lids and bottoms on the larger sizes. Here's a picture of a larger box and it even has a little cat's paw burl in the band. Of course the tiny boxes are the hardest to make, and least profitable by far.

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