simple finial bending jig

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by Mark Hepburn, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    A couple of guys have asked me about the bent finial on some of my work and it's very easy to do. Easier to post photos than to explain so here are a few shots of the jig I made from scrap wood.

    Scrap pine cut into a rough arc defining the curve you want. The hole at bottom is to accept the finial base.

    The runners at the end of the jig base are to prevent the top piece from moving around and making it much easier to clamp.



    IMG_4660.JPG

    Hard to see but the piece at left has a slight dado let into the curved face. This helps to register the work piece and prevent it from flopping out of the jig when pressure is applied..

    IMG_4662.JPG


    So, after the turned piece is placed in the jig, just clamp it together. In this case I'm using green hackberry, which is an excellent bending wood I've learned.



    IMG_4665.JPG


    After a day or so, remove the clamp and that's it. This hackberry piece was finish-turned but the steaming opens up the grain considerably. I finish sand by hand working through the grits. 150, 151, 152, 153... :D

    IMG_4666.JPG
     
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  2. Douglas Ladendorf

    Douglas Ladendorf

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    This is great Mark. Probably should be in the tips and how to forum.

    Doug
     
  3. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thanks Doug.

    That's what I thought, but I read the rules in the sticky post first and it looks like maybe it belongs here. Not really sure though, but I am guessing it will be moved if that is the case.
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with Doug, so I am moving it to the How To forum.
     
  5. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thanks Bill.
     
  6. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Excuse my density, but I feel like I walked in at the middle of the movie--- what do you do with the finished "bent finial"?

    Excellent jig BTW.
     
  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Several members asked Mark how his bent finials were created. This thread is in response to that.

    This finial design, as would be true with any finial design is not a one-size-fits-all solution. A finial has to work with the particular piece and not look like an afterthought. For me, this tutorial is not as much about how to make a curved finial as it is an inspiring example of a creative approach to problem solving. I might not make a curved finial, but there are other curved elements that I have made in the past where a green wood bending jig like this would have been an ideal way to go.
     
  8. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Thanks Bill, I can understand why the thread was created.
    I also understand what finials are, I've been making various architectural finials for many years.
    What I still would like to know, is how he ends up using his bent finials?
     
  9. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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  10. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thanks Bill. I've been toying with the idea of bent parts as part of an overall piece but not as a finial.
     
  11. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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  12. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thanks Tom. :)
     
  13. Ronald D. Black

    Ronald D. Black

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    Neat idea. Mark, do you find any specific wood works better than others?
    Ron
     
  14. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn

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    Thanks Ron,

    I find that for the small arc I am bending most woods will work. I'd say that the green woods are far easier to bend, but they don't hold detail like dried wood does.

    Hackberry is great, but I've actually turned a bunch of pine and poplar dowels with no problem. Green maple does nicely also. I think that the finer, more uniform grain wood will likely all work pretty well. Kiln-drying makes it a bit harder but with a longer steam time I haven't had any issues.

    My darker finials have been either dyed with CSUSA's version of transtint, painted with oil pigments, or india ink. All work pretty well but the india ink needs a good bit of time to stabilize / dry, and it will tranfer until it has been sealed. Poly and Shellac have worked well for me so far.

    Michigan? I had several friends back in the mid 70s that went to Michigan. It's a shame about Mike Sadler (and Sam Foltz). I lived in Oconomowoc a long time ago, not too far from where those kids were killed.
     
  15. Ronald D. Black

    Ronald D. Black

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    Thanks for the info. I live in Macomb Twp., about 30 or so miles North of Detroit.
    Ron
     

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