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I am selling billiard sticks, they are made from wood. But most of them is a bit bent, is there a way to make them straight ? And how to keep straight ones so they will not bent?

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    This sounds as though it ought to be one for Sports.SE. – Chenmunka Jul 26 '17 at 9:14
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    Is there a Woodworking.SE? That would be even better. There are woodworking techniques for straightening warped wood. They're used in arrow making, among other places. – Zeiss Ikon Jul 26 '17 at 11:04
  • @ZeissIkon yes, there is: woodworking.stackexchange.com . I tried to give a hack below, with some references to topics that belong to woodworking. I'm not sure if woodworking methods are feasible in this case though. – Flint Sep 1 '17 at 10:23
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The simplest and most hacky one: Hang them off a string, so gravity can pull them straight over time (one to a couple of weeks depending on wood and bend). This should also be the best way to prevent your queues from bending while you store them. (I have not tried this myself though)

The article linked to above, also proposes bending them back by hand.

From own experience I know that wood will bend easier when you heat it up.

Having said that, wood is a grown material where you have rarely a consistent quality of wood in a piece. This means on change of humidity and temperature the queue could just bend and straighten. This is especially true for mass manufactured wares. An experienced queue turner probably selects pieces based on his experience where he would expect little to no bend; these would be a lot more expensive than their mass manufactured counter parts.

The bottom line is, some queues just will be more difficult than others.

If your queues are from mass manufacturing, you may want to do what the big boys do these days and just select the better queues out and charge more money for them.

There are different kinds of wood, like marple and ash, different ways to prepare the wood and even deactivate it. Knowing about these things will definitely help you, but this discussion would be out of scope for Lifehacks.

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  • Steam bending is not just heat, it's also steam. I have to admit, it made a lot more sense in the industrial revolution when pretty much any shop of some capacity had a steam boiler in-house. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 27 '17 at 0:06
  • @Harper It is easy to improvise a steam set-up at home, with little space. All you need is a kettle and a plastic bag and some tape or string to connect it up. Maybe the billiard sticks are already in a plastic bag of the right shape and you could steam them in a hanging position. Do I think it will work? Possibly for a few of them but not for all. Also using steam will change the moisture content in the wood what will cause the wood to expand and later contract again, introducing new warping. So using steam is not what I would recommend here, but leave as a possibility for experimentation. – Flint Sep 1 '17 at 10:06
  • Also it's a common misconception that it's the steam that makes the wood bendable. It is the heat. Steam is merely a convenient way to heat up even large pieces of wood to a consistent temperature. I've worked with a shipwright that would just use a blow torch to heat up wood, with some non-volatile mineral oil slapped on to the wood to prevent scorching. In this case it was to bend a sprung plank back into position. The rest of the plank was still in place, so using steam was not an option. – Flint Sep 1 '17 at 10:14

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