Making ‘Curves’ in Timber

There are several methods of ‘bending’ timber for use in Landscape projects. This particular technique is used when working with thicker timber – that which will not bend due to its dimensions.

This project called for a whole new kitchen garden to be formed in timber edging, and I used 50mm x 200mm for the main raised beds, and 50mm x 150mm wood for the more dwarf ‘walling’. The timber was ready  planed and prepared, good quality cedar in 4.2m lengths. Non- ferrous screws were used throughout to avoid splitting the timber and provide a good quality job. 50mm x 50mm x 600 pre-pointed softwood stakes were used (internally) to secure the timbers, at 1.2m centres.

The existing layout of the garden was followed to produce the new scheme, which incorporated certain curved sections. In order to maintain the strength, quality and visual appearance of the project, the timber had to be ‘bent’ to follow some tight lines and curves.

To achieve that, a length of 50mm x 150mm timber was carefully sawn into 150mm lengths, each one carefully placed against its original neighbour to maintain the grain and keep the ‘one piece of wood’ appearance. These segments of timber were laid out in a straight line, using another length of 4.2m 50mm x 150mm wood as a guide/straight edge. Once in place, using a heavy duty staple gun, two rows of wire – not too stiff, nor too thin – each segment was ‘stitched’ together, in much the same way as the ‘log roll’ features available from garden centres, using two staples per piece of wire per segment.

Once stitched together, the whole length may be lifted (you may require assistance with this task, although if you are careful, carrying the length with the wires uppermost, it is possible on your own) and placed in position. It may then be fixed using wooden pegs and screws in the same way as the other timbers used in the scheme. Obviously, you only need to make sufficient segmented sections to suit the length of run required.

This system may be used for both internal and external curves i.e. keeping the wires on the inside of the work, the curve may be bent to suit even quite tight internal curves.

Curved Timber