Shaker Berry Box

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
From FWW #278, 2019

P1010001.png


I'm trying to make one for my granddaughters in Virginia Beach.

Made a red oak box with finger joints (1/8") but making the handle quickly went south. The neat and clean handle (1/8" t) in pic 1 was bent by the author at a 1" radius. My steam bending attempts with freshly rived pieces of white oak (3/16"t) to a 4" radius was a big failure. The handle split and cracked along the radius-not a smooth, seamless bend by any means.
P1010002.png
P1010006.png
P1010007.png
P1010001.png
P1010002.png
P1010006.png
P1010007.png
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
How long did you steam it? Was the wood rived or saw cut? If saw cut the grain usually runs diagonally and will never make a smooth bend.

I've had better success cutting the sawn pieces very thin and laminating on a form. Try 1/32 inch thick and see if it bends easily without any heat.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Laminating the handle would be the best solution. Steam bending can be tricky. Wood must be straight grained and best if rived - it sounds like you had that covered. Next the wood should not be kiln dried and best if not too dry at all, best if 20% or above. Lastly try using a compression strap. Wood fibers compress much better than stretch and a compression strap forces all of the fibers to compress
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
Would laminating strips of oak veneer work? (Keep adding veneer strips until you reach a handle thickness you like.)

Wayne
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
How long did you steam it? Was the wood rived or saw cut? If saw cut the grain usually runs diagonally and will never make a smooth bend.

I've had better success cutting the sawn pieces very thin and laminating on a form. Try 1/32 inch thick and see if it bends easily without any heat.
The wood was steamed for 30 minutes which should be plenty for 3/16" thick and it was rived from a piece of a freshly cut white oak trunk and shaped with a drawknife to 3/16"t. I'm surprised that it didn't bend any better than it did.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
The wood was steamed for 30 minutes which should be plenty for 3/16" thick and it was rived from a piece of a freshly cut white oak trunk and shaped with a drawknife to 3/16"t. I'm surprised that it didn't bend any better than it did.
If you have more wood, try again using a 15 minute max steam time.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
If you have more wood, try again using a 15 minute max steam time.
I have plenty of wood to make new pieces for handles, but why do you suggest a 15 min maximum steam time? Could I have oversteamed the wood?

I have some leather straps that I may use for a handle to simplify things but a bend wood handle is a challenge.

Thanks to everyone.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I have plenty of wood to make new pieces for handles, but why do you suggest a 15 min maximum steam time? Could I have oversteamed the wood?

I have some leather straps that I may use for a handle to simplify things but a bend wood handle is a challenge.

Thanks to everyone.
I have been told that 1" of wood needs 1 hour of steaming, so 15 min seems about right for your thickness. Plus 15 minutes is what I was using for 1/4 thick white oak boat ribs. Too much time can have a negative effect
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I haven't gotten froggey enough to try steam bending, but every time I hear stories like this one I'm inclined to forget the idea.

Pop :(
 

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
20200221_230320.jpg


Maybe a heat pipe? Simple to make and use. I've bent bubinga, maple, walnut, oak, spanish cedar, pine and others with much success.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
When I was younger we used to steam stair rails and then bend on a peg board.

That always works takes longer and you end up steaming the wood 3-4 times but its finish is flawless
 

gritz

Robert
Senior User
Looking at the example you are attempting to copy, their handle appears to be thinner, plus it has two distinct bends...not a continuous bend as your effort is.
If I was doing this, I would make a two-part wood jig to uniformly force and hold the piece until dry. This can't be achieved with your clamping jig which creates point pressure.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Looking at the example you are attempting to copy, their handle appears to be thinner, plus it has two distinct bends...not a continuous bend as your effort is.
If I was doing this, I would make a two-part wood jig to uniformly force and hold the piece until dry. This can't be achieved with your clamping jig which creates point pressure.
The handle in the article that I cited is 1/8" t and mine is 3/16" t. Here is the bending form that Mr. Becksvoort used. It looks like 2 separate bends which were both done at one time. That's where I started and failed twice. He did not steam bend his wood but soaked it in warm/hot water for awhile and then bent it.

Screen Shot 2020-02-22 at 10.34.55 AM.png


Maybe a bending strap would help to make the bend and avoid the point pressure that you mentioned. ?????
 
Last edited:

gritz

Robert
Senior User
It may help to use a strap.
I do like how the 1" flat in his form supports the bend.
Another thought...looking again at the picture of your handle, it appears that the piece may not have been of uniform thickness. It looks thicker at the most prominent fracture. Uniform thickness is important and can be done with something as simple as a slot gauge...being sure the piece slides through a slot without humps or gaps.
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top