How to Bend Wood with a Heat Gun in 3 Steps

Working on a project that requires a little wooded finesse? Perhaps you are an avid kayaker and you are finally getting around to designing and building your first watercraft. Or maybe you have had a life-long dream of manufacturing your very own ukulele. You’re drawing up plans, thinking critically, and you hit a wall. “How do they bend wood without it breaking?” Excellent question.

Here’s How to Bend Wood with a Heat Gun:

What you’ll need:

Note: The process of bending wood isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but to do it effectively you will need patience and the right wood (ash, white oak, osage, hickory, and some walnuts). A lot of hard woods won’t bend, so it’s critical that you do a little research into the wood’s permeability before attempting this.

Step 1. Set up your heat gun. We’d recommend having a heat gun with a base so you can manipulate the wood with both hands.

Step 2. Turn on your heat gun to medium-high and hold it about 4-inches from the wood.

Setp 3: Keep the wood moving constantly as it can scorch the wood. Test the wood periodically for give. After a few minutes, the wood will become malleable, and you’ll be able to gradually alter its shape as you desire.

The practice of bending wood has been around for thousands of years. Ancient peoples used fire pits to achieve crucial curves in their structures while building boats and bending bows. While this method may not be as primitive in design, it is still pretty cool.

For more information on heat guns, visit Master Appliance.

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