There are different kinds of wood that can be bent in different ways. Any wood, like oak, ash, or beech, can be bent correctly.
If you use just any wood, you won’t get the best results. Some woods are better to use than others. Kiln-dried wood is great for building and making joints, but it isn’t as easy to bend as green wood.
Pine, fir, and spruce are great choices because they are soft and easy to bend. Wood with visible rings or C-shaped patterns in the end grain is much harder to bend than wood with straight, vertical grain.
Avoid knots because they don’t bend well and are where wood is most likely to break when bent.
But depending on your method, you may be able to choose the perfect type of wood for what you want to make. c
For steam bending, the moisture level in wood should be between 15% and 20%. If you don’t have a moisture meter, get one. Knowing how much water is in the wood you’re utilizing is crucial.
What types of wood are best for bentwood furniture
Bentwood furniture is mostly made of chairs made from maple, beech, and pine wood. Any hardwood that grows in temperate climates can be bent, but oak is one of the hardest to bend.
Below is a list of wood that is best for wood bending.
Maple is a very valuable type of hardwood. The heartwood and the sapwood are both white or slightly yellow.
Maple wood is tough, hard, and medium-weight. It doesn’t shrink much and can be bent easily. When kept inside, maple wood lasts for a long time.
It is a very strong type of wood, but constant work can cause it to crack, so it must be carefully protected. It can’t be used outside because it doesn’t stand up well to the weather.
Beech wood is heavy and hard but still flexible, making it useful for many things. It is used a lot, especially in the furniture business. Beechwood is another wood that bends well and makes bentwood furniture.
Hackberry wood is not very hard, but it is very dense. It can handle shocks well and bends without breaking.
Hackberry is one of the greatest woods for steam bending but has no resistance to rot. Its most notable trait is its ability to bend easily when exposed to steam.
Ashwood is a hardwood that is very hard, strong, flexible, elastic, and can’t be broken. It can also hold a lot of weight.
Pecan has a high bending strength, a high crushing strength, a high stiffness, a very high resistance to shock, and excellent steam bending properties.
Depending on how fast something grows, its density and strength change. It works well for things that need to be strong and flexible.
Birchwood doesn’t stand up well to the weather, so it’s easy for fungi and insects to take over. It’s also hard to treat, so you can’t use it outside.
Birch trees have wood that is not very strong or durable but is light and easy to bend. The birch sapwood is white, and the heartwood is a light reddish brown.
Birch wood is used in a lot of businesses all over the world. Birch bends well with steam, can take a lot of shocks, and is strong enough to crush.
The good thing about poplar is that its grain is straight and has no knots.
It is a more flexible and easy-to-bend wood, which makes it a better choice for bentwood projects.
Walnut is a good choice if you need a strong wood that can also be shaped differently. Walnut bends well when heated with steam. Walnuts can be bent without breaking when steam is used.
Walnut is the species whose elasticity, weight, and strength vary the most. Depending on the tree, steam-bending walnut can be very easy or difficult.
Other wood for wood bending
Most wood that can be bent comes from trees that lose their leaves yearly, such as birch, hornbeam, maple, alder, oak, ash, and poplar.
Less often, coniferous woods like pine, cedar, and larch are used to bend wood. Birch veneer is best for making bent blanks that are glued together.
Based on their properties, the following woods may also be good for wood bending:
The flexible pine wood is used to make furniture, as a veneer, cabinets, and tables, and as building material inside and outside.
Southern pine wood can be bent with steam as long as the bending jig has a flexible metal strap.
There isn’t much better wood to use to start steaming. It’s not hard to find stock with a straight grain and no flaws. Red oak is often mistreated in the kiln, so if you use the kiln-dried stock for steaming, check it carefully.
Most of the time, great for steam-bending. Some people say they have problems with cracking, but I think that’s because they didn’t dry it right.
This dream wood came from the gods who could bend steam, but a beetle ate it. A great alternative to oak for parts that will be stained.
Using gumwood is so flexible that it looks like rubber. But it changes shape, so be careful. American gum is categorized as having a low steam-bending strength and is somewhat hard, stiff, and heavy.
If you use a compression strap, it’s good for steam-bending. It can be squashed easily, so it bends well even though it isn’t very elastic.
Cherry is a reddish-yellow-brown wood that is rare, valuable, hard, flexible, dense, fine-grained, elastic, heavy, and tough.
In the second tier of woods that bend well, it is usually more flexible than cherry but a little bit weaker. Maple is hard to bend if you clamp it to a shape.
Most guitar builders bend the wood around a hot iron pipe (heated with a torch or electrically).
After being long-term boiled or submerged in water, the wood is curved around a hot iron and clamped to a shape.
When it comes to steam-bending, this species is similarly inconsistent. It’s hard to tell because more than a dozen sub-species are sold interchangeably.
Some hickory is very flexible and easy to bend, while others can’t be bent at all. It is very stiff and must be bent with a lot of force.
Because wood fibers are strong and flexible, it makes a great building material and can be used to bend wood. Because of how it looks and feels, Douglas fir wood is one of the most popular woods used by builders and artists.
The form is easy to work with power tools but hard to work with by hand. Its porous surface makes it harder to stain.
Spruce cones have thin, flexible scales that are straight-grained and range from fine to medium in texture. The wood is very strong, which makes it great for projects that need to be bent.
Spruce can handle stress from the outside, so your projects will last for years.
Elmwood has an open crown with branches that grow upward and a lot of thin, flexible, brittle branchlets that break easily.
When young, the twigs are thin, flexible, greenish-brown, and hairy. They turn brown to gray and smooth as they age and bend down.