Steam bending rig for bending hardwoods. I’ve invested a lot of time in the last few months setting this up. Wood can be compressed, a lot, but it fractures easily in stretching. The purpose of a tool like this is to back the bend up with a steel strap to shift the breakage of the lignin fibers in the wood to the inside of the bend. Today the wood is in the steamer. Though I have my hopes up, I fully expect the shit to hit the fan as I’ve never done this form of heavy bending of furniture components – in this case a horseshoe curve with an 8” radius.
Well, that went well. Took me about 90 seconds. The wood doesn’t tolerate dawdling in this sort of high-temperature bending since it rapidly loses plasticity as it drops from steam-box temperature towards room temperature.