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Building a quick cheap and easy steam box

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Blog entry by BenhamDesign posted 08-11-2016 03:37 PM 1041 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed a steam box to steam bend a walnut handle. The last time I, steam bent a handle I just threw it in a contractor bag and pumped it full of steam. This worked OK but by the end of the steaming process the bag had started to melt and it turned into a bit of a mess.

This time I decided to build a proper steam box, but lost interest because I hate shop projects, I’d rather be building furniture. Instead, I built a down and dirty steam box.

If you would like the deep down details of this build please check out my personal blog building a steam box or watch my Youtube Video below.

Thanks for watching, here is a brief overview of the build.

I didn’t have any dowel stock to build the rack inside of the steam chamber. Instead, I used some of the scrap from the ends and cut them into 3/8” square stock. I then used a hollow mortise chisel to cut mortises for the square pegs to sit in.


When I cut the mortises, I clamped the two boards together to ensure they would line up perfectly.

To keep a steady flow of steam in the box re-purposed one of those fabric steamers to steam out wrinkles.

all and all it worked out pretty well for a quick design.

For more info on my furniture, please check out my Custom Furniture Website.

Here is a link to the Hall table with the steam bent handle It was green and green inspired with ebony plugs, made from white oak.

I did a video of this build as well if you are interested.

Watch on YouTube

-- What I do in and out of the shop at http://www.BriansBenham.com



4 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

1134 posts in 173 days


#1 posted 08-11-2016 03:47 PM

I simply love the handle on your table …......GREAT JOB

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View DS's profile

DS

2151 posts in 1881 days


#2 posted 08-11-2016 08:48 PM

On something this small you wouldn’t need a steam box.
Just use a Luther’s bending iron and a strap.

After all, it’s the heat, not the moisture that allows the wood to flex and stay put.
There’s el-cheapo versions out there that don’t cost much.

I’ve bent up to 1/2” thick material (to a 30” Radius) with mine.
I use it for violin bouts mostly. The one in the picture is made for guitar bouts.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View BenhamDesign's profile

BenhamDesign

102 posts in 881 days


#3 posted 08-12-2016 03:08 AM



On something this small you wouldn t need a steam box.
Just use a Luther s bending iron and a strap.

After all, it s the heat, not the moisture that allows the wood to flex and stay put.
There s el-cheapo versions out there that don t cost much.

I ve bent up to 1/2” thick material (to a 30” Radius) with mine.
I use it for violin bouts mostly. The one in the picture is made for guitar bouts.

- DS


Thanks for the tip, I have seen them before but have never used one. I may have to give it a try.

-- What I do in and out of the shop at http://www.BriansBenham.com

View CharlieK's profile

CharlieK

467 posts in 3254 days


#4 posted 08-12-2016 04:35 PM

Nice job on the steam box, Brian.

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans http://www.Jack-Bench.com

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