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Making canes /bending wood HELP!!

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  • Making canes /bending wood HELP!!

    Hows it going guys , been about a year since ive been on the forums glad to see some of the old farts are still around.I want to try my hand at making canes, and i know VERY little about bending wood. The only woods i use are cocobolo, ipe, jatoba, purpleheart, and honduras rosewood.Would i be able to make a 1" dia staff out of cocobolo and be able to steam bend it enough for a cane?
    \"practice is like farting; only you can do it yourself\' and no one can do it for you\"-sawaki kodo (zen master)

  • #2
    Re: Making canes /bending wood HELP!!

    One method would be to take the stock and cut it to very thin strips. While gluing it together, put it in a bending jig. The strips will have enough flex to bend, as long as they're thin enough. Once the glue sets, the bend will be permanent. You'll have to add a good amount of length, as there will be waste at the end where the pieces on the inner part of the bend will be (kind of) longer. You can simply cut that excess off after it's all done, though. Also, remember to mark the piece with a triangle before you cut the strips so you can match the grain easier after cutting. Easiest to cut on a band saw, but can be done with other tools. David Marks also says you'll need to sand the strips before gluing them. Not absolutely certain about that step.

    The other method involves a steam pipe, a steaming box, and a lot of patience. I have no idea how the more exotic woods would take to that process. The thin-piece process should work on just about any wood as long as the pieces are thin enough.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.


    • #3
      Re: Making canes /bending wood HELP!!

      Try this site for a short over view
      VASandy is right you would have to laminate to make a cane. The March 2007 issue of Wood Magazine (on stands now) has a exhaustive article on steam bending. It explains in great detail why you are NOT going to bend a 1" diameter piece of cocobolo. In fact from what I remember most exotics don't bend well at all, where as oak, maple etc... do. Something to do with the cellular stucture of the wood. If you look at even your run of the mill (no pun intended) drug store cane, it's laminated.

      Regards, Daryl