I have been doing a lot of thinking about how my pavilion will be put together. I called Honeysuckle Bottom Sawmill and they said you cannot bend thick pieces of wood and that they don’t provide curved braces (despite their website saying otherwise).
After this news I was thinking of other ways of creating wooden circles for my structure. I found a local furniture restoration company and I spoke to the owner who has wealth of experience in steam bending wood.
He advised me that it is not possible to bend thick pieces of timber. For my thickness of 200mm x 200mm he would slice them lengthways into 1mm slices and then steam bend and then laminate them together. I asked about drilling and attaching things to the laminated side (top being plane of wood, side where you see slices). I found out it should not be a problem.
He also said that oak is not the best choice for bending and that ash is much more suitable for this purpose. I decided to change my wood choice to ash following his advice.
I am a little worried about the context. I selected oak for reasons specified in my Materiality sheet and gave all the reasons why… Ash is a local tree, I have one (according to a tree surgeon) at the bottom of my garden…
Handsome & Co: School of Fine Woodworking & Design (2021) Timber bending services. At: Handsome & Co. | Timber bending services. (handsomeandco.com) (Accessed 12/04/2021)
Biggs, T (2021) Steam Bending Wood. At: Tobias Biggs Furniture Restoration – Home (Accessed 12/04/2021).