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Old 10-06-2013, 04:37 PM   #1
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Bending interior fiberboard panelling

I am redoing old water damaged plywood paneling in my Streamline. I am using 1/8" fiberboard made by Murphy Company of Oregon. The first corner piece I cut for the curved corner snapped. Any suggestions on getting a piece 24X 36 to bend?

Right now have a little experiment going. I am putting a piece of the fiberboard between damp towels to see if that will soften it up enough to bend without busting.

It looks like I can do it using smaller pieces, but would like to just use one.

The paneling connects the side wall paneling to the front wall paneling. This piece is about 24" wide at the base and wider at the top which is at the level of the bottom of the windows, about 36" high, roughly trapezoid shaped when flat.

By the way I have the floor rot fixed.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:22 PM   #2
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Depending on the radius of the curve there are a number of options:

If it is a fairly tight curve, make a number of parallel cuts to the backside almost all the way through. With convex curves, 7 cuts is the magic number for setting the curve, play with the spacing between the cuts to determine the radius. I have done this with 1/2" birch plywood with good results.

Steam and water bending.
Place the board to be bent over something of similar radius to what you are looking for as a finished product (5 gallon buckets might do the trick). Clamp weights on either free hanging end.
Cover the top surface with towels and pour boiling water over the whole assembly. Don't try and push things too fast. Patience is key.

Same with a steamer if you have access to one. Same setup, let the steamer sit under the assembly.

OR....
I am not sure what specific product of fiberboard you are using, but I would give Masonite a try. This is a darker type of sheeting with a good smooth side and a rough back side. It is really quite flexible and inexpensive, and would be great for creating curves, as long as you have some support behind it.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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Well, my experiment is promising. After about 3 hours between wet, but not drenched, towels the fiberboard was easier to bend into a curve and didn't crack when bent.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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Steam them now that it is damp... Use a clothing iron or a "steam cleaner" like they use in clothing stores
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:21 PM   #5
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I bent mine to a curve over several days. I used three ratcheting straps at top, middle and bottom of full sheet. Bend as far as it will safelt go and tighten straps. Tighten the straps a little more each day.

After three days I actually had to bend the opposite way to fit. Much easier to bend back toward original shape when attaching than viceversa.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:19 AM   #6
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The 2 above suggestions sound like good ideas. Thanks.

Contacted the manufacturer who did not have any suggestions. But no big surprise there.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:45 PM   #7
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I did not need to bend the fiberboard over several days, just a couple of hours. Didn't need the steam. Did use the strap idea with some damp towels.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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Excellent. Looks like it worked great. Good job.
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