Curved Wood

soccerkid812
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Curved Wood

Post by soccerkid812 » January 29th, 2011, 10:03 pm

just wondering the most effective ways on how to bend/curve wood?
would u guys recommend doing this for a tower?

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Re: Curved Wood

Post by yousef213 » January 30th, 2011, 11:44 am

put bass (bends better than balsa) over boiling water for 10-15min.

Theoretically, an arc/ bent piece is stronger as it is under tension but it would have to be close to perfect or your structure may fall apary (neven distribution). From doing bridges I find that most of the time arches aren't worth it but since its a curved piece, not an arch, it may work. MY suggestion : If you have some time before regions, try it, if not its a gamble.
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Re: Curved Wood

Post by deezee » February 2nd, 2011, 10:00 am

It's definitely stronger, but making it precise is a huge pain.
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Re: Curved Wood

Post by waawamellon » February 8th, 2011, 1:58 pm

most towers look like this:
-| |
/-- \
we put the two pieces together with curved wood, we soaked it in water, formed the shape, and then let them dry into shape
then we found how heavy it was and thought 'ohh maybe its just heavy because there is water in it' so we put it in rice (because that should suck out the
moisture) and waited but nothing happened... whatever. = ) ohh btw we made a bunch of circular towers and i will post how they do :3
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Re: Curved Wood

Post by A Person » February 12th, 2011, 6:57 am

I keep my wood under tension instead of curving it, but without diagonal bracing, the wood will twist into a screw-like shape.
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Re: Curved Wood

Post by StaticBridge » February 17th, 2011, 4:58 pm

What exactly is the benefit of curving the wood in your tower?

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Re: Curved Wood

Post by aubrey048 » February 17th, 2011, 6:28 pm

I don't think there would be any benefit to this. In fact, it might be detrimental to your success. From building with balsa I know that bent wood does not do well under strain. It is best to leave the fibers as they are; let them retain their natural strength and structure.

Hey, but I'm not a tower builder; this is merely an opinion. There could be a benefit to this if you are not putting strain on the wood in the direction the wood is already curving. A circular tower could work in this manner.
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Re: Curved Wood

Post by yousef213 » February 21st, 2011, 5:29 am

aubrey048 wrote:I don't think there would be any benefit to this. In fact, it might be detrimental to your success. From building with balsa I know that bent wood does not do well under strain. It is best to leave the fibers as they are; let them retain their natural strength and structure.

Hey, but I'm not a tower builder; this is merely an opinion. There could be a benefit to this if you are not putting strain on the wood in the direction the wood is already curving. A circular tower could work in this manner.
Although I have never built an "arched" tower, I have built several arched bridges, so here I to data a collected (note some of it may not apply)

Pros of arched
- Gerally Stronger
- Less pieces of wood ( less weigght, less $$)
- you can have a 1-pice tower instead of a piece tower
- in theory, they only need straight, verticle pieces and it will still be strong if the arch goes like this
_ _
/ \

Cons of aches:
- If the 2 arches (or 4 rather, for the 4 legs) are not symetricale (sp?) then too much wieth will be forced on one side. However, I am sure this has a greater effect on bridges as there is less room to brace

- Harder to build (you need to steam the wood, also some wood bends beter others)

- Bass bends better than balsa so it will be slightly heavier

- While trying to get a piece to bend you may break a few pieces of wood

Now, to build anarched tower, you make a 2-d template and you use pins to hold the wood into shape. DO NOT REALEASE THE JOINTS UNTIL ALL JOINTS HAVE FULLY CURED!!!!(24hrs in general) At this point you connect with bracings.
nOte: I suggest having a rectangle base for arched towers
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Re: Curved Wood

Post by 12thomasal » February 21st, 2011, 12:31 pm

First off. A lot of you clearly don't know what you are talking about ("in my opinion you should use levitating wood" NOT ACTUAL QUOTE) . The amount of curve you need to put in the wood is much less than most think. The minimum amount of curve based On the rules is 30dgr. If you boil, not steam, the balsa you use then you will do just fine. BTw, if you are going to build a curved bridge, give yourself for a complete 24 hours of work (12 for two people). I found that the day before competition is not the best time to wring out the super glue bottle on the tower. It takes MUCH longer than a straighttower

(post above, I was talking to the person above you. Good advice thought you finished while I was editing my post

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Re: Curved Wood

Post by TYG » March 22nd, 2011, 6:55 pm

Is it important for the balsa wood to be steamed or boiled in order to bend it? If the balsa wood is flexible enough, could you avoid steaming/boiling it? Like, does steaming/boiling the balsa wood make it stronger, or is it only to enable bending?

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