Scotty Lewis describes bending wood as "one of the most exciting and magical things a woodworker will ever experience," and the lure is easy to see: The ability to shape Mother Nature's product to our design indicates a mastery of material and allows for unusual shapes.
We've looked at plenty of ways to bend wood before, from the Curvomatic to a grand-piano-sized jig, from steaming it within a plastic bag to using a laser. Now we'll look at a fifth method, this one ideal for smaller-sized pieces. Lewis has a step-by-step tutorial on how he makes his bentwood salad tongs using a propane torch, a piece of metal pipe and some simple jigs.
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While Lewis' tutorial is the best and most detailed we've seen, going in depth on getting the correct temperature (and measuring it accurately with a stovepipe thermometer), wood thicknesses and what types of wood will and won't bend best, we realize some of you will want to see the process in video. For that we turn to Garret Glaser demonstrating how he uses the hot pipe method to make wooden strapping: