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Bending wood


Quintillius
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I am making rail track curves for my model locomotive.The sleepers are 9x9mm and the rails are 4x9mm. All pinewood.

The diameter of the curve is 2m. I am able to make the curve, however there is some tension present.

Is it possible to spray the wood with water and then dry it using a hair dryer in order to preserve the curve? Or do I need other techniques. Can you guys give me advice.

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41 minutes ago, Quintillius said:

Please remember that the whole rail track set is a curve and has a diameter of 2m.

There is no way to steam it or... putting it into a microwave.

Getting even more vague.

Perhaps a pic will help to see what is going on as it is far from clear what you are asking.

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The best way to bend the wooden tracks is to steam it and then bend it around a form/jig until it sets. 

To do this, you can make a wood steamer using a length of PVC pipe long enough for the tracks to fit inside. Put the tracks inside the pipe. Place one end over a kettle spout and cap the other end. Slowly boil water in the kettle so that the fills the pipe with steam. 

Carefully remove the track and clamp it into place around your jig/form and leave it there until it cools and sets. 

This is commonly used for bending wooden strips used in canoe building so there should be some reference videos available on YouTube etc.

Hope that helps. 

Carl

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I bend wood when building wooden ship models.  There are a variety of ways I do it, but it depends on the wood, size, shape, etc.  You can:

  • soak in water and pin to a forming jig and let it dry
  • soak and microwave (or soak in hot water) and shape it
  • soak and use a hair dryer
  • use a rolling tool to put a bend into it

image.thumb.png.7f362c68ed8669831b743ef817c1afe6.png

  • soak the wood and use a heating element to form the curve

 

image.thumb.png.7ebf61b7ba0543c620948a85242138c8.png

 

 

Given the size, I'd consider soaking the wood, then clamping it around a forming jig.  Let it dry and hopefully it's in the shape you want.  When I am trying to shape hull planks, I will soak the plank, then pin it to the hull.  The next day it should be dry and in the shape I want.  I can't necessary do this with certain dense woods like ebony, but instead found I need to use that heating element tool in the last picture to get a fixed curve in the wood.  I'm assuming the pine you're using a wood will be much easier to bend.  Just make sure to soak and then bend slowly.  Sometimes it might take multiple tries to get it into the shape you want.  Sometimes the wood will spring back a bit, so you might need to soak and clamp to a jig with a touch more curve than you want so that when it springs back, it's in the shape you need.

 

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1 hour ago, krow113 said:

I NEED  this roller...

 

You can do that to thin metal, and damp wood veneer, pretty easily with a smooth piece of pipe and a very flat, hard surface. You just lay the sheet goods on the surface and roll the pipe or rod over it while pressing down hard. the more times you do it, the more it curls. I'm cheap, so I make do with what I can find in the garage!

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20 hours ago, krow113 said:

I NEED  this roller...

 

It works really well.  I use it a lot to pre-form bends for planking wooden hulls, particularly at the bow.  Wet the end of the wood, run it through the roller a few times, and you have a nice curve that makes pinning and clamping the plank to the hull a lot easier.  

It's a bit pricey on the Micromark site, but you can get it for a better deal when they offer sales and discounts.  

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