methods of work #14: Steam bending furniture parts

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Blog entry by Loren posted 09-04-2013 10:34 PM 1774 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Edgebanding with a hot press Part 14 of methods of work series Part 15: Steam bent horseshoe chair back rail »


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.

2 comments so far

View schuft's profile


123 posts in 2607 days

#1 posted 09-04-2013 11:23 PM

That looks like the Veritas strap. I assume you like it? Have you used any other types of strap, and if so how does this one compare?

View Loren's profile


10401 posts in 3648 days

#2 posted 09-04-2013 11:44 PM

It works well. I’ll admit the strap itself is pricey for what it is.
The base unit is way solid though. I’m not aware of anything
else on the market that does the same thing.

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