Plywood bending question

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,491
440
Cabin Fever Central
Is there a woodworker or model maker in the house?
In preparation for an upcoming build project I need to find out what the minimum bend radius is for thin plywood sheet between 2~4mm thick. Anybody know?
 
  • Like
Reactions: zornt

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,435
2,623
Mid Wales
Is there a woodworker or model maker in the house?
In preparation for an upcoming build project I need to find out what the minimum bend radius is for thin plywood sheet between 2~4mm thick. Anybody know?
I'm afraid it depends entirely on the plywood you're using. I recommend getting as small a quantity as you can of the type you intend to use and then try. In my experience the best quality ply doesn't take on moisture very well and is harder to bend after steaming.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zornt

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,260
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
It will not answer your question (sorry!) but if you need a small radius bent ply, smaler radius that the plywood can make, you can bend individual veneer blades, layer by layer after steam softening, then when dry, glue them together into ply.

I found it was easiest if the fibers ran at a 45 degree angle to the long axis of the ‘bend’, the next layer at the same angle but opposite way.

I hope my writing makes sense?
 
  • Like
Reactions: zornt

Dave Budd

Gold Trader
Staff member
Jan 8, 2006
2,781
201
41
Dartmoor (Devon)
www.davebudd.com
Model making ply is very flexible, deliberately so. You should be able to do it with moisture rather than full steaming. I've done some by wrapping it in a hot wet towel for a while and then bending.

Also, ply that thin is 3 layers. So it will bend much tighter one direction than the other. That means the minimum bend radius could be 4 times larger in one direction than at 90degrees. Can't say how tight but i would think 25mm circumference is easily done. 4mm will be much less tight than 2mm i would think
 
  • Like
Reactions: zornt and Broch