In my furniture projects, I tend to use woods such as oak, maple, walnut, cherry, etc. How do these woods perform in bent lamination projects? Are there certain woods better suited than others for bent lamination?—Bob Wyatt

Owain Harris replies: I would definitely encourage you to experiment with bent laminations. It’s pretty easy, lots of fun and opens up a whole world of new possibilities. All those domestic species that you are using would be fine for bending as long as they are fairly straight grained. As with most things in woodworking, some extra time picking out your stock will prevent headaches down the road! Cherry and walnut both laminate very well. I think that you would have to be careful to use a lighter colored glue with maple to help hide the glue lines. The only one that I have not personally used is oak but I’m sure it would be fine as long as the grain were straight and the laminations were thin enough.

Michael Fortune has a really good article on bent laminating in the most recent issue of Fine Woodworking that has some great info in it too.

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