Bending Lumber


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Old 04-20-10, 06:10 AM
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Bending Lumber

I plan to build a radiussed set of steps. The following will be true for this design:
-24" high, attached to existing deck and the rest free standing.
-6" total rise for steps, 3 treads on stringers
-5/4 x 6 treads, curt in a radius pattern to fit radius of stairs.
-bottom step to be 6' radius

Main questions are twofold, but the latter is mostly figured out.
1. Is it feasible (or possible) to bend a 1 x 6 to a 36" radius? This will be the facia for the top step. The others will be a larger radius.
2. Framing wise, for the stringers, I intend to use a regular stringer design, but install them on a radius header them off at the top, along with a post dropped at the apex. The two side stringers will be bolted to posts. Still looking for more insight into framing though.
 
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Old 04-20-10, 06:42 AM
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I'm a picture type guy and I can't really make out what you are doing, my fault not yours, but to address the bending of a 1x6 to a 3' radius, no engineering, but you are at the limit. The old trick of soaking in water would help, but I would be concerned about how it would react as it dries. Since it is not structural, some relief cuts would make it easier, but might be a problem later.

What type of wood are you using?
If you have a shetch it might help: http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html

I'm sure there will be some real carpenters along to help.

Bud
 
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Old 04-20-10, 07:01 AM
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I would first build my step frame/stringers as if I were building 1/2 of an dodecagon. 12 sided, up to you. You would like to keep the outer tips of the stringers around 16" apart. 24 at max but closer is better. Install the two stringers at the deck then one at a 90. Now fill in with two more between those. You could use a 6x6 post for the center and cut the angles on it for attachment of the stringers. It's going to be tight fitting all that wood in there. The outer tread will need to be able to have a radius cut on it to reach from tread to tread and make the circle. It would be a little easier if you used 2x material since you could use a 2x8, 10 or 12 which would make cutting the radius and still having enough board to nail to the stringer easier. @ around a 16" length tread, on a 6' radius, the width of the tread will be about 1 inch less at the ends than the middle due to the curve.
Lots of math or lay out the design and treads using real pieces to figure the number of stringers and tread board width.
As for bending that 1x6. Wood. Not too likely. Azek board. Heated, yes.
 
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Old 04-20-10, 09:38 AM
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An image, hopefully

 
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Old 04-20-10, 09:47 AM
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As for wood,

Planning on just Pressure Treated at this time. Considering either Weathershield or Severe Weather (Home Depot or Lowes). Deck step pattern is more or less set. Still a tad uncertain about the top step being as shown, or radiussed to match the steps.
 
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Old 04-20-10, 02:43 PM
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I've looked into this deeply. The two most often used methods for bending wood beyond a boards capacity in deck building are:

Kerf cutting
http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_bas...or_bending.jpg


& laminating 1 by's ripped into 5/16" (using "Gorilla" glue)

Sometimes the two are combined, multiple kerfed boards laminated together. Usually 2 kerfed 1-bys' to make up bent 2-by's. Always use outdoor wood glue, such as "Gorilla".

-have fun
 
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Old 04-20-10, 03:10 PM
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A thought

One thought I had was to use PT plywood instead of 1x material.
 
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Old 04-20-10, 04:25 PM
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Old 04-20-10, 04:52 PM
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You could also find a company that does custom forming of vinyl trim. In this case it would be something like 1X8X5/8 Vynil boards. Seen it on home shows but never went looking for a source.
 
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Old 04-21-10, 04:04 AM
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Thanks HC the pictures help.
One option, if I'm thinking correctly, is to build separate platforms for each level and then stack them in place. One, it would eliminate the jungle of stringers, and two, it would be much easier to add support to hold the radius in place.

Although the radius looks neat, it might be better to segment the curve with straight sections. That would not only eliminate the bending the facia board, but also cutting the radius on the treads. The radius cut on the treads can also create a problem where the grain is more open and the outer edge of the radius is less supported.

Good Luck
Bud
 
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Old 04-21-10, 05:12 AM
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boDeMan posted it right. If you have a band saw go the 5/16" method if not kerf the wood. Either way would work for you.
 
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Old 04-21-10, 06:32 AM
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'A Kerfing I will go!"

Yes, I agree with the Kerfing method. I have friend in the business who also said the same thing.

below are pic (images) of what my framing should look like.

The first is the framing of the deck (brown is existing). Headers will be 2 x 10's, joists are 2 x 6's. Greatest joist span is only about 6.5'. The location and layout of piers may change depending what I find for support under the existing deck.

Deckmframe.jpg picture by Hercontractor - Photobucket

The second shows the framing of the stair. Not shown in this is the post I will add where the top of the stringers come together.

deckstairframe.jpg picture by Hercontractor - Photobucket

Note: If the image does not show up, right click on it and select "Open Image in New Tab or window" and it should show up.
 

Last edited by HerContractor; 04-21-10 at 08:28 AM. Reason: more
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Old 04-21-10, 05:13 PM
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Thumbs up

Your on to it...

By the way, best to rip boards on tablesaw. Most use stack 2x4's, but stacked 2x3's might make better risers.

I have 2 books on curved decks, & that pic is pretty much how it's done. Block-in, & curve attatches to blocking. If my wife will stop farmvilling on the big computer, I'll scan & post pics.

Untill then, here's the book info:
(got @ Lowes or Home Depot, $19.95 each)
http://www.creativehomeowner.com/ind...&bookid=277168
http://www.creativehomeowner.com/ind...&bookid=277382

"Deck Designs-great ides from top deck designers"
by Steve Cory ...Creative Homeowner Books

I have the 2nd & 3rd additions. There are gorgeous freaking decks in these books guys. Tons of curves, elegant steps, ect... Not your typical stuff, these guys are top notch craftsmen. Great idea books.

c-ya's
 
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Old 04-22-10, 07:17 AM
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hmmmm

Perhaps I will have to look at some books!
 
 

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