The most common use of bentwood is in light chairs and some rocking chairs. To make these, long wooden rods an inch or more in diameter are bent into continuous curves. One piece of wood may be formed into the back legs and curved back of a straight chair, or into the rockers and arms of a rocking chair. This kind of bending, while it makes very strong furniture, puts great stress along the outside of sharply curved parts. When trouble occurs, it usu-
Bend the splil in place and, remembering to protect the wood, clamp clown. You can use either C clamps or automotive hose clamps
A deep slit needs %-inch dowels to remain in position. The angle of the holes should nol be on the same plane Shape ihe tops to fit
Bend the splil in place and, remembering to protect the wood, clamp clown. You can use either C clamps or automotive hose clamps ally does so at one of these sharp curves, where the stretchcd outside wood fibers split away from the main body.
To repair a split like this, it is necessary to soften the wood which is standing away from the main body, then bend it down into its original position. Sometimes just gluing the softened strip down is enough, but if the tension is very high, glue may not be enough to hold it. Then insert a dowel through the strip into the main body of the wood.
Step 1: Softening the Split Wood Begin the repair by painting water on the split wood over and over again, until it is well soaked. Or wrap a cloth soaked in water around the part for 15 to 30 minutes. You can increase the softening action by applying heat — a hot iron or a heat lamp will do it — to the wet cloth until it steams. After the wood has bccome pliable, bend the split wood down into its original position and clamp it until it dries. The idea is to reform the broken wood to its original shape before applying glue.
Clamping Devices Clamping this type of fracture requires some ingenuity. You can use several C-clamps, padded carefully to prevent marks on the wood, or a couple of large spring clamps. Use enough clamps to force the wood to curve properly. A 4-inch split, for example, probably should have at least three clamps to obtain the proper curve.
Step 2: Gluing the Split Remove the clamps after the wood has dried thoroughly. Use a small brush to paint glue into the crack. Reclamp the fracture until the glue dries. As always, give the glue more than enough time to dry.
Step 3: Inserting Dowels If you believe that the glue alone won't hold the repair together, insert a small dowel near
A deep slit needs %-inch dowels to remain in position. The angle of the holes should nol be on the same plane Shape ihe tops to fit the outer end of the repair as additional holding help. If the repair is fairly long, you should consider a dowel every two inches.
While the clamps are in place, drill through the glued-down tab into the wood under it. Use 3/s-inch dowels for the work, and don't drill all the way through the wood piece. Make each hole at a different angle to increase the holding power of the repair. Cut the dowels an inch or so longer than needed, coat them with glue, and tap them into the holes. Later, when you take the clamps off, trim the dowels flush with the surface. In this way the dowels will follow the angle of the curved surface.
Step 4: Finishing Edges Reglued bentwood often doesn't fit smoothly back in place, so once the repair has dried, you may have to use a wood putty to fill in the edges of the repair. When the putty has dried, sand it smooth and Then refinish the area.
Was this article helpful?
Wood finishing can be tricky and after spending hours on building your project you want to be sure that you get the best outcome possible. In The Complete Guide To Wood Finishing you will learn how to get beautiful, professional results no matter what your project is, even if you have never tried your hand at wood finishing before. You will learn about every step in the wood finishing process from a professional wood finisher with years of experience.