Making Bentwood Handles General Woodworking
If you’ve looking for something a bit different for your next furniture project, you might want to consider these bentwood pulls. They are reasonably easy to make and can be made from any hardwood.
The first step is to decide on the shape and size, then cut out the two halves of the bending form:
I used 3/4″ plywood for mine, but solid wood will work just as well. You can make a few of these forms, which is a good idea if you need several handles for a project.
Next a strip of the wood you want to make the handle from is cut to length and width. The thickness depends on how tight the bends are, here I using 1/8″ thick black walnut:
The wood has to be boiled (or steamed, if you have a steam bending setup). Bring the water to a boil, put the strip in and cover the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.
Next, quickly clamp the strip into the form.
It will have to stay in the form until the wood dried completely, and usually this would be about two days. Warmer ambient temperatures (like hot summer days) will speed drying time, but I would still leave it for at least two days.
After it has dried, sand it smooth and decorate it any way you like. On these, I did some simple shaping and carving:
These can be completely finished before attaching them to the project, or glued on before finishing:
You’ll want to make sure that they are well glued in place, using strong adhesive.
A nice touch, and a feature that can elevate your next project above the ordinary. It can also be a relatively easy to do introduction to two new techniques that you might want to investigate further: bending and carving.