When people need to finish a woodworking project involving curves that require the wood to be bent, they will choose the balsa wood. To bend balsa wood when the curve is a gentle one and the radius is large is very easy without any special methods. But, if we are going to bend balsa wood when the curve is more complex or tighter, we will have to use some specific practices to avoid breaking or splitting the balsa wood. Before starting the job, prepare some tools first: A-grain balsa wood, warm water, ammonia, masking tape, PVA (white glue) or aliphatic resin (yellow glue) and glue brush. Here are the steps to bend balsa wood.
In order to make the job more easier to be done, we choose the A-grain balsa wood instead of B or C-grain. B or C-grain pieces are less flexible than A-grain wood are more likely to split when bent. On the contrary, A-grain wood is used for more difficult curves and bends. In order to make the grain of the wood run with the longest side of the piece, we need to bend the wood when it is possible.
Fill the container with warm water and ammonia and the keep the balsa wood under the liquid. In order to make the balsa wood more flexible, we should submerge the balsa wood in the container for at least one hour. If the pieces are thicker, it will takes more time to soke them up.
Shape the balsa wood by placing it on the curved form or template. Use masking tape to tape the wood down to hold it in place and allow it to dry thoroughly. The time it takes to dry the wood is relied on weather and temperature. Use the brush to spread the glue on the wood and press the wood back to fit the form or template.