Soak the wood with hot water in a glass tray. We used 1/4 inch poplar and soaked it for about one hour.
How to Easily Bend Wood for crafts and small projects.
Then just place the entire tray into your microwave. For our project we set it on high for 10 minutes. The time needed will vary with size and type of wood.
First step is to create a form which the wood will be clamped into. We cut a curve into a 4x4.
We did all of the finishing cutting after the wood was bent. The sample above is a fish shaped wine bottle stand.
Bend small pieces of wood easily and without having to build a steam box.
Carefully take the hot steaming wood out of the tray. Wear gloves and be careful not to get burned. The wood has to be placed into the form quickly. Then using a series of clamps clamp the wood into the form until the desired shape is obtained. Then set the project aside and let it cool and dry completely. This could take 24-48 hours. Once dry the wood will hold its curved shape.
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Cover the glass tray with plastic wrap. Be sure to leave a small opening for the steam to vent.
Bending wood for curved crafts has never been easy. Usually wood workers have to build an elaborate steam box and steam the wood for hours before clamping it into a form. Now crafters can bend small pieces of wood quickly and easily without the need to build a steam box. Check out the short video below which details just how quick and easy the entire process is.