Got a bunch of sheets of 10 mm birch plywood laying around in my garage. The problem with steam bending plywood is getting your entire piece into a steam tube so you can heat it up. While many pieces simply cannot be made without gigantic industrial molds (which apply heat and steam to make the wood flex during bending), and use special glues that can only be cured in the machines, smaller Bent Ply furniture can be made in a regular wood shop without much more than a band saw, table saw, and a bunch of good clamps. Woodworkers use kerf lines to bend plywood without steaming it. Kerf lines are shallow, parallel cuts on plywood that allow it to flex and bend around curved stairs, furniture, cabinets or special.
A Better Way to Steam Wood for Bending: Use a Plastic Bag! It’s more of a manufacturing exercise than a practical way to recycle, but what’s interesting is the way they’ve done it: They started out by essentially reversing the process used to create veneer for plywood, whereby. As far as what you are tryng with exisiting plywood, steam seams like it may work. I’ll second the recommendation for bent acrylic. weatherproof, bends easily enough, and not much more expensive than all that plywood. Learn how to bend plywood. Information on bendable types of plywood, tools needed and drying times included.
I have a design of a small boat that will require me to bend plywood around a 5 inch radius along the length of the bilge, about 14 feet. Have about 100 metres of strong cord or rope in handy lengths (10 metres) laid along side it, then steam or soak the ply as mentioned before, lay it over the pipe and then have your ‘crew’ lash it as tightly as possible making sure there is no slippage from the true line. Steam bending is not something I would recommend for plywood.
A Better Way To Steam Wood For Bending: Use A Plastic Bag!