5212 Pulaski Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19144
Philadelphia Furniture Workshop

Bending Wood and Working with Curves

Bending Wood and Working with Curves

Instructor:  Craig Vandall Stevens

Two days, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Class Size:  Approximately 12

Straight boards and 90 degree joinery are so square! Take a more meandering path and explore bent laminations, steam bending, and making curved panels in this 2-day bending and curves workshop. Through demonstrations and hands-on work, participants practice a variety of bending techniques and methods for working with curved components.

The class will cover resawing solid wood into laminations, constructing curved forms, adhesive choices, and using the vacuum press and 2-part forms to make regular and tapered bent laminations.

Hands-on steam bending begins with unravelling the technique itself; how it works, steam-box construction and methods for generating steam as well as appropriate wood selection, bending techniques and making proper forms are carefully examined. Students practice several steam-bent sample projects.

Next, curved veneered panels offer nearly unlimited design opportunities for woodworkers. This portion of the course explains how curved panels are incorporated into furniture projects and the techniques for getting the best results. Demonstrations and discussions cover working with veneers, choices for core material, edge-banding, form making and glue up strategies.

Finally we demonstrate sawing curved components directly from solid wood planks. Suggestions for wood grain selection, methods of creating identical pieces and working with the resulting curved furniture parts help students get the most from this very accessible technique.

As time permits, we’ll discuss joinery options for curved work and dealing with non-straight furniture components as well as a coopering demonstration.

Modern materials and adhesives make bent work approachable; kerfed MDF (Neatform) and bendable plywood (Wigglewood) as well as adhesives such as Unibond 800 (2-part urea resin glue) and are affordable and available.


Students complete the course with sample curves, a new set of advanced skills and full of ideas for creating expressive designs.


Tuition: $395.

There are three ways to register for this class. 
• One can click on the sign up button below.
• Give us a call at 215-849-5174.
• Send PFW a check, (and send us an email that you have done so so we may hold your spot) and print, fill out, sign and send to PFW the Registration Form and the Waiver and Release of Liability forms. 


  • Weekend of Feb. 24, 2018 - days 





Craig's Narra Rocker uses bent laminations for the back splats as well as the rockers.

Another method of achieving a smooth curve:  a shop sawn veneer over bendable plywood.

The doors on this cabinet are achieved by coopering.

The class covers many ways to bend or curve wood

Here is a bent lamination, under clamp in a vacuum bag.  It requires only a male form.

This air dried wood has been steamed and is now drying in a simple form.  The large dowels are the clamps.

A different method of steam bending; using a steel strap to compress the fibers.  This method is often used in making Windsor chairs.