Tool used to make the main bend of a steam bent stacking chair, 1996.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Made by David Colwell. Wood is a very versatile material, some wood can even be bent. First the wood must be softened with steam and bent whilst it is still hot. A mould and strap were used to make the loop that forms the front legs of the chair. The mould determines the inside shape of the bend whilst the strap with the block at each end stops the wood from stretching and the wood fibres from parting. The strap will produce two bends every twenty minutes.