Chris Schwarz's Blog

Two Men & Their Wiggly Wood

I’ve been working with some slabs of
CompWood I purchased late last year to make some arm bows for some Welsh
stick chairs (and an article in the April 2011 issue).

Don’t know about CompWood? It’s a freaky cool way of bending wood. Read all about it here.

I
was attracted to this material because I should be able to use it to bend arm
bows without steam or a bending strap, if I can make the calculations
for the jump to light speed </hansolo>.

It’s a lot like
steam bending, without the steam. The wood comes wrapped in plastic like
a piece of meat. After unwrapping my wood I ripped off the blank for my
first arm bow that measured 1″ thick by 1-3/8″. Then I tried to bend it
around my form, which has a 9″ radius at its most extreme point.

Fail.

So
I went and fetched Glen. We muscled the bow around the form and clamped
it down. The wood is at 20 percent moisture content today. We’ll see
how it dries out tomorrow.

By the way, I fully expect to fail
with these first arm bows. I just hope I don’t sproing an arm bow
through a window. A serious concern.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. The scraps of this stuff are more fun than usual.

3 thoughts on “Two Men & Their Wiggly Wood

  1. Lee Laird

    Chris,

    That stuff looks a lot more tuff than what we saw up in Jeff Miller’s shop during the show. Is that the same product?? Is there any possibility this stuff is out of date? If I remember correctly, the piece Jeff showed was some that had been around for a while, and Jeff mentioned it had lost a fair amount of it’s pliability. It is some really freaky stuff!

    Best,

  2. Glenn Madsen

    That stuff looks pretty interesting. I’ll be watching, because there are a couple of compound bend arm high chairs in the shop, waiting on me to complete figuring out how to do the arms. Breaking 7 arm sets rather got me down, back in 2008, when I put them aside…

    Something I can milk paint and varnish will be appreciated, even if it’s a bit pricey. You will have sources, I assume.

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