My brother & sister assembled my mom's Fairfield, and then much later, I helped her complete it. He soaked the four pieces in water for a few hours to get it pliable. Then he assembled it to the support base and kept pushing on it with this fingers to make the curvature,so they matched on the corners as best as they could, while my sister wrapped it snug with string. The first loop, at the bottom, they tied the string to itself, then wrapped it up several times to keep the position of the wood until it dried. I think it dried for days before he took the string off. Anyway, it has kept the shape with no problems.