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 Bending Straps

QUESTION: Has anyone used the metal straps method to bend for a bow-back chair? I purchase the Verttias boiling kettle and clamping system using metal straps, but on a test dry run if all I have is 30 seconds to bend, this could be a problem. What is the easier way of doing this? Or is clamps and just wooden pegs around the form the better way? Second part of the question... After you rive a piece of lumber and before bending, does anyone past it through a planer to square it off or should this be done by hand planing? Your thoughts please... JA 5/13/03

REPLY:  I don't use straps very often, just haven't taken the time to make some. The hoop back chair I make needs straps the least, it typically has the lowest failure rate of any of my bent chair backs. I've never tried the Veritas system but if you can't get the strap on in 5-10 seconds I'd use something else. The metal I use was gotten out of the lumberyard scrap bin. There is no reason you can't run stuff through the planer. I imagine most will need some work initially with a hand plane or drawknife to flatten or remove a little twist or something. JT 5/14/03

REPLY:  When I use a back strap to bend a bow, I tie the strap on to the bow with string and put the whole thing in the steam box. When I take it out it ready to be wedged on the center block of the form. If you do this, use a galvanized strap to minimize black deposits on the wood. BG2 5/14/03

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