Beta Project: Hardwood experiments

A while ago @dan stated that hardwood was not going to work for “living” hinges.

This sounded like a challenge, but I decided that I would just mess around with making flat wood springs.
I do have some uses in mind for them but for now they are just experiments in how the hardwood reacts to being cut into very thin delicate forms.

Here are most of what I have tried.

This is one of the ways I see using them. The rings just fit over the slats, and the little disk in the bottom is a press fit, and the whole thing is a lot stronger then I expected. I can squeeze it really hard and it has not broken. Yet.

I am thinking about lamp shades and pencil holders and other desk accessory kinds of things.

Here is the most successful form so far. The cuts are slightly oval as opposed to being straight up and down, and the result is very elegant looking when it is stretched out (if I do say so myself).
It stretches amazingly far without breaking. Yet.

If you turn the cuts 90 degrees across the grain it is even more flexible, but also much more fragile. I also noticed that when cut this way the wood reacts very strongly to being cut, and the stresses end up curving the pieces (these started as straight line cuts.

Here is what happens if you stretch just a little too far.


Awesome. Feel free to upload that design, I’d like to mess with it!

Nice stuff. Looks fun to play with.

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Josh, I love the work with the wood… and your storytelling skill, too. I start to think of making acrylic elements that will hold the ends of the springy bits in place to create different shapes… and then putting lights in them, so there will be pretty shadows…


thanks all and @Rita, and yup, all that.

I have made lots of lamps and lamp shades. One key requirement is to make sure they won’t melt/burn from the heat of the lamps. LEDs help a lot with this, but even LED bulbs get warm enough to cause problems in the long run, and I like to make things that will last for the long run.

In other words, I am thinking about making additional wood pieces, or metal frames to hold these, instead of acrylic.

I will happily share these files when I get a chance to clean them up a bit early next week.


Very cool expanded!

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I’m wondering how this post is 6 days old and this is the first time I’ve seen it…

Push the envelope! Thanks for the enlightenment Josh!


Maybe because there’s a secret beta-only area that we non-beta folk can’t see where they share tips & techniques and thoughts and pie. Then if it looks like it’s got wider interest they move it over here for the rest of us to see (but we don’t get any pie).

(or cookies)


Might have to take offense at the lack of pie. :no_mouth:
Not fair.

(I’d do apple, but I’d probably cut myself again.)


Love these experiments and the lessons learned. Thanks for sharing. I’m planning to experiment with living hinges early on with my glowforge.

There’s a category where beta customers post their projects and I repost or copy stuff over so everyone can enjoy it! So yes, what @jamesdhatch said. :wink:


That’s what it is! I thought I was loosing it.


You just never know, for sure, what will happen until you try, try, try, try, and try again. :sweat_smile: Cutting a partial depth kerf in the center of elements may help with the bending in certain situations.


this is great! thanks for sharing your experiments! :slight_smile:

Instead you just get emoji cake :cake::cake::cake::cake: and a fish cake :fish_cake:

Teach the rest of us for not living in Seattle.


True that! :confused:

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Can confirm, there is no pie.


I knew the cake is a lie, but now the pie is too?


Thank goodness for the cookies.

(You’re not going to tell me there are no cookies either, are you?)


It’s always a pleasure to watch your mental processes in action!