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FastenMaster Pro Tips: Deck Board Bending

Deck-board bend­ing takes time, patience, and plan­ning. Most con­trac­tors and build­ing pro­fes­sion­als will also need to invest in the prop­er equip­ment, such as heat­ing blan­kets and a con­trol box. 

So why go to the effort? 

Because when you add deck-board bend­ing to your busi­ness, you cre­ate a new offer­ing that can attract cus­tomers far beyond a typ­i­cal fram­ing, remod­el­ing, or land­scap­ing company. 

With deck-board bend­ing, you can offer new and exist­ing cus­tomers a unique option for their out­door space. Instead of the typ­i­cal square-shaped decks made entire­ly with straight boards and 90-degree angles, you can offer, quite lit­er­al­ly, decks that are a work of art. 

You can pro­vide curved bench­es, round­ed designs, and rails that ele­gant­ly wrap around nat­ur­al ele­ments like trees or boulders.

Adding board bend­ing to your skillset will make you more mem­o­rable to cus­tomers, poten­tial­ly increas­ing word-of-mouth” rec­om­men­da­tions. You could win more jobs, includ­ing high-end home­own­ers who want one-of-a-kind cus­tomiza­tion for their prop­er­ty. You may even charge more per job, increas­ing over­all profitability. 

If you are going to add deck-board bend­ing, it needs to be done right. In the end, prac­tice and expe­ri­ence are essen­tial, but these tips will help you start mas­ter­ing the art and sci­ence of deck-board bending.

Deck-Board Bending: A Quick Review of the Process

  • Cre­ate the Form: Depend­ing on the final prod­uct you are cre­at­ing, you’ll need to build a mold or form to which you will shape the board. We won’t dive into the molds and forms here, just remem­ber to have it ready before you start heat­ing the board.

  • Drill a Hole in the Board: The con­trol box, which heats the board, has a sen­sor for the exte­ri­or and inte­ri­or of the mate­r­i­al being shaped. The inte­ri­or sen­sor, which resem­bles a meat ther­mome­ter, needs to be placed inside the board. To start, drill a thin hole in the side of the board.

  • Cre­ate Your Sand­wich”: The board will be wrapped in the heat­ing blan­kets, which will then be wrapped in insu­la­tion. On the floor or work­bench, lay a piece of insu­la­tion, the bot­tom blan­ket, the board, the top blan­ket, and a final lay­er of insu­la­tion to com­plete your sand­wich.”

  • Set the Con­trol Box: Each con­trol box is dif­fer­ent, but your mod­el prob­a­bly has a set­ting for deck­ing. Set for deck­ing and select a tem­per­a­ture around 205 to 210. (If you need it hot­ter, you can always increase, but it’s best to start low and get hotter.)

  • Let the Board Heat: The heat­ing process will take time, espe­cial­ly for thick­er mate­r­i­al. Con­tin­u­al­ly check the board to make sure it is becom­ing pli­able. (Remem­ber to use gloves, such as weld­ing gloves.)

  • Move the Board to the Form: The board cools fast, so you need to act quick­ly but care­ful­ly. Remove the inte­ri­or sen­sor and, with gloves, move the board onto the form. Use clamps to gen­tly secure the board. Let it cool and you’ll have a sol­id piece that has been per­fect­ly bent to your exact needs.

Note: This is a short, all-too-brief descrip­tion of the process. For a more detailed, step-by-step descrip­tion, see our video fea­tur­ing expert Jason Rus­sell.

The Solutions You Need for Decking, Framing, and More!

When you add deck bend­ing to your skillset, make sure you have the right fas­ten­ers for the job. Fas­ten­Mas­ter offers fas­ten­ing solu­tions that improve safe­ty while increas­ing productivity. 

Find the inno­v­a­tive deck­ing and trim solu­tions you deserve today!