As woodworkers, we spend a lot of effort making wood flat and straight. But flat and straight doesn't always make for the best designs. A curved element can make a design much more dynamic. In this intensive, hands-on workshop you will learn the skills and techniques necessary to create curves using the three most common wood-bending techniques: lamination, steaming, and kerf. We'll start by designing with curves that can be readily accomplished and decide on the best way to produce them. We'll prepare the stock for bending and make the necessary forms. Once we have the bent pieces in hand, we'll cut the necessary joinery in a safe and accurate manner. By week's end you'll leave ready to incorporate bent pieces into all of your designs.

Course start time: Sunday, 5pm
Course end time: Friday, 5pm


  • Competency Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Course Objectives:

By the week's end, students will have designed and built something that involves bent wood.  They will have experienced the three basic methods of bending wood—lamination, steaming, and kerfing—either in their own designs, or through demonstrations and/or helping with other students work. They will be knowledgeable about form construction, and about selecting materials for bending. They will also have some experience in dealing with curved pieces when it comes to joinery and other operations.


Suggested Reading

Cutting Edge Table Saw Tips and Tricks 
Cutting Edge Band Saw Tips and Tricks
Table Saw Projects

Kenneth S. Burton, Jr. Maximize Your Router Skills with Ken Burton (I'll have copies of these with me if folks are interested $25.00/ea) 
Bob Moran. Woodworking, the Right Technique


Class Schedule

Classes run in the shop from 9:00AM until about 5:30PM with a lunch break about noon. The time will be spent in a combination of demonstrations, discussions, and actual hands-on work (with some poor jokes thrown in for good measure). There will be a few evening sessions with some slide presentations and design discussion. The following topics will be covered

  • ·Making forms
  • ·Bentwood Lamination
  • ·Kerf Bending
  • ·Steam Bending
  • ·Making a Steam Box
  • ·Dealing with Bent Pieces
  • ·Enthusiasm (and lots of it)
  • ·Work Ethic
  • ·Sense of Humor (or at least the ability to laugh in the face of adversity)\
  • ·Tape Measure
  • ·Safety Glasses
  • ·Hearing Protection
  • ·Pencils
  • ·Notebook

Materials/Tools to Bring

Items students should bring if they have them (there is no need to run out and purchase these items if you don't have them):

  • ·Sliding T-Bevel
  • ·Combination Square
  • ·Electric Hand Drill (or Screw Gun)
  • ·Scraper (approximately 2 x 6) Lee Valley # 97K50.02 $6
  • ·Utility Knife
  • ·Dial Caliper
  • ·Block Plane
  • ·Random Orbit Sander
  • ·Chisels (1 /4" 1 /2" 3 /4" 1")


Course Outline

Sunday Evening

  • ·5:00 PM Welcome Dinner and Yestermorrow Orientation
  • ·Introductions and Q & A session
  • ·Design Discussion
  • ·Methods of Bending


  • ·Design
  • ·Material Selection and Acquisition
  • ·Stock preparation
  • ·Making Forms


  • ·Making forms (cont.)
  • ·Steam Bending


  • ·Cleaning Up Curves
  • ·Joinery


  • ·Joinery Continued

Friday Hardware

  • ·Finishing
  • ·Class Evaluations
  • ·Graduation Dinner


I conduct all my classes in an informal, but structured manner. Please feel free to ask plenty of questions as we go—I tend to do better when there is a dialog going on, rather than me just standing up front yakking away. Expect some really bad jokes, a lot of laughter, and a plenty of time to work. Don’t be hesitant about taking your turn when it comes time to cut something. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to ask for help when there is something you don’t understand or if there is a procedure you’re nervous about.