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 detai...
After I posted a video a few months back, a lot of questions came to me about one of the home made tool I was using. This Video is to answer those questions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgcCPaUq5us
!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6DQve471co I had some breakage steam bending the backs of my windsor chairs, so I finally got serious about it.
My heaviest steam bend yet… an oak board about 7” wide and 1.25” thickand tapered to 7/8” at the other. It took several days of setup before I hit on attaching the form to a 1000lb boat anchor of a vintage case clamp. I tried doing it on the work bench with the form on its back but thatwas hopeless due to the awkwardness and weight of the bendingapparatus that has to be loaded with a steamed part and quickly clampedto the form. I’ll need to improve this and m...
This is a wrap-up posting to talk about some of the lessons I learned in making the chair. I like to retrospect a little at the finish of a project to understand what worked, what didn’t work, and how to apply those lessons to my craft. This was the first time I’d done a project with steam-bending. For the most part that worked out fine. The actual process of steam-bending is not as daunting as it first seems. There were some challenges in building the forms—they need...
Redryder asked about the steam-bending process. I’ve covered that a little bit earlier in the series, but I bent the arms (well, one so far) today, so I took some photos along the way. Here’s the basic set-up. The box is made out of plywood, dado-ed, glued together and caulked on the seams. It has held up fairly well but is starting to come apart in some places and I’ve had to reinforce it. The steamer is the standard Rockler kit. The kit comes with the brass fit...
I got less time in the workshop than I would have liked today—trivial life things like putting up the Christmas tree and watching Kansas City annihilate the Redskins (sob!) kept interfering. Still I got time in to work on a few things. I got the second set of slats steamed and bent. The first set came out of the steamer with some mysterious stains. I’m not sure why, but I read somewhere on the Internets that the minerals in tap water can sometimes stain. So for this set I use...
It’s been a busy week, but I managed to find the time to bend the chair arms for the mock-up chair and see about attaching them. I also trimmed the back slats to a gentle arc. Here are a couple of views: and As you can see from the line of holes up near the top of the back, I had the top back brace too high and had to move it down. While I had the brace off, I also shaped it to the curve of the back. I did this with a drawknife and spokeshave. The drawknife is certain...
My father-in-law has been a long-time builder of Adirondack chairs. He’s retiring this year, so I decided to build him a custom Adirondack chair for his retirement. I looked around a bit for inspiration, and really liked this chair by Michael Brown: The lines are nice, and I like the idea of the bentwood slats for the back and seat, to be more comfortable than the traditional Adirondack design. I posted a question about it on one of the forums, and Andrew Kopac of 24HourDesign...
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