WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Complete Manual of Wood Bending

The Complete Manual of Wood Bending
by Lon Schleining

Linden Publishing: 2002
Paperback, 208 pp., $29.95
ISBN 0-941936-54-6

     Sooner or later, most woodworkers decide it is time to take the next step and learn to bend wood into curves. With carefully guided experimentation, Lon Schleining will introduce you to proven techniques for milling from solid stock, lamination bending, and steam bending. "There is really no mystery to bending wood," the author states in his introduction. "With the right set up, milling a perfect circle is not that involved. Lamination bending is nothing more than cutting some strips and sticking them together with adhesive. Steam bending isn't black magic..."
     As books on woodworking techniques go, this one is well above average. It covers the advantages and disadvantages of each method presented, the preparatory work from drawings and project designs to jig building, and tips and tricks on clamping and adhesives. Shop safety and use of machines is emphasized, as well as controlling variables in each method. The final chapter discusses how to combine various techniques for best results on any given project.
     The book includes a step by step lesson in making a curved, raised-panel cabinet door, and ends with safety notes and tips worth reading. With black and white photography and clear, concise text, Schleining opens a new world to woodworkers who have never before attempted bending wood.

. . . Barb Siddiqui