Bending Composite Decking

 
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:58 AM   #1
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Bending Composite Decking


We're designing a deck platform for an above ground pool.
The customer wants the decking to follow the curve of the pool.
It's an 18' diameter (9' radius).
The platform deck will be 12' along the pool so 18' - 20' decking boards would be bent & contoured in one piece.
Has anyone here bent composite boards that much?
Got some tricks to share?

Thanks. Will post pics.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:34 AM   #2
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Re: Bending Composite Decking


Never used one...but I saw this advertised... http://hc.heatcon.com/downloads/Heat...00-300_Web.pdf

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Old 06-28-2008, 09:44 AM   #3
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Re: Bending Composite Decking


Just multiply the price by about 5 times to deal with the extra time you will need to bend the material. Then show her the difference in price between straight with angled cuts and true curves. That should change her mind pretty quick on which one she will choose. If she still wants the curved you at least have some extra money to buy the specialized equipment to heat it up.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:10 AM   #4
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Re: Bending Composite Decking


Ditto what Leo said.

~Matt
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:53 PM   #5
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Re: Bending Composite Decking


Quote:
Originally Posted by tcleve4911 View Post
The customer wants the decking to follow the curve of the pool.
It's an 18' diameter (9' radius).
The only real success I've had w/ bending on that tight of a radius was to rip the deck boards into thirds, bend and screw the rips together from the side. I haven't purchased one of those $1000 heating blankets though. The ripped edges weren't very noticeable at all once they were screwed back together.

Edit to add: I wouldn't give her two prices and try to talk her out of curves. If that's what she wants, maybe she wants it enough to pay for it. Give her the price for curved and judge her reaction at that point. Maybe it will be out of her price range, maybe not...

Mac
Attached Thumbnails
Bending composite decking-curved_caprail-01.jpg   Bending composite decking-pict1534-01.jpg  

Last edited by BuiltByMAC; 06-28-2008 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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Re: Bending Composite Decking


I've asked some dealers in the past and they told me to use sonotubes. You have to create a tunnel whatever the lenght of your board. Then use a kerosene turbine style heater. They said it softens them after about 1/2 hour.
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Old 07-03-2008, 12:20 AM   #7
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Re: Bending Composite Decking


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Originally Posted by Paul Nee View Post
I've asked some dealers in the past and they told me to use sonotubes. You have to create a tunnel whatever the lenght of your board. Then use a kerosene turbine style heater. They said it softens them after about 1/2 hour.
That's the stock answer - unfortunately, it doesn't work. The end next to the heater get burned, the other end is stone cold, board still snaps when you bend it. I don't think any composite manufacturer has actually tried that method, they just think it'll work so that's what they suggest!

You can get a more even heat just laying the board on asphalt or concrete on a hot day. For gentle curves (+/- 20' radius) that method works. It's the tight curves that everybody wants and those are the toughest to create...

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Old 07-03-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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Re: Bending Composite Decking


Mac's correct, skip the sono tube, use a culvert, rotate the board every 15 minutes... it might take up to 2 hours to get it cooked to the center.

~Matt

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