DIY Network

How to Bend Wood

Kerfs are grooves in a piece of wood cut by a saw. Kerfing involves bending a piece of wood by making equally spaced cuts.

More in Home Improvement

kerfing involves bending piece of wood
  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Set the Saw Blade

Set the depth of the saw blade to the desired depth of the cuts. Don't cut all the way through the board: leave at least 1/16" at the bottom of the work piece.

Step 2: Mark Lines and Make the Cuts

Mark evenly spaced lines for the cuts (Image 1). Use a ruler, or eyeball the spacing, using a mark on the back of the fence to align the cuts. The deeper and more numerous the cuts, the more flexible the wood will be. Make the cuts with the power saw (Image 2).

Step 3: Cut a U Shape

Cut a U shape from the scrap piece of wood. This will act as a jig for bending the work piece, so the U must be as deep as you want the curve in the work piece to be. Save the piece that is cut out. To cover the cut side of the work piece, glue a piece of veneer over it.

cut U shape from scrap piece of wood

Step 4: Clamp the Pieces Together

Position the cutout piece from the U-shaped jig on top of the cutout side of the work piece. Place the U-shaped jig underneath the work piece (Image 1). Clamp all three pieces together so the work piece bends inside U-shape curve (Image 2). Allow the wood to sit overnight.