the steam bender

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Project by Timbers posted 06-26-2007 12:55 AM 6553 views 4 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
the steam bender
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Here is my steam bender made of a pressure cooker, radiator hose and some abs pipe. I use this for my paddle shafts. I steamed 1 3/8” square pieces for about 1 hour 15minutes. Next I hastily took out the wood and pushed it on my form using my body wieght to get the initial crease. Then added the clamps and left clamped on the form for about 24 hours.

-- Tim Nuanes

10 comments so far

View Karson's profile


34930 posts in 3223 days

#1 posted 06-26-2007 03:26 AM

Is there a drain hole for the condenced water and what do you have for ends on the pipe?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2908 days

#2 posted 06-26-2007 04:31 AM

I’m making a box this week. How much water do you go through in an hour?

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View oscorner's profile


4564 posts in 3133 days

#3 posted 06-26-2007 04:33 AM

Did you find that the hour and 15 minutes were enough and if so, was this accomplished by trial and error or do you have a formula that you use according to the thickness and type of wood? By your setup, I see that you can bar-B-que and steam bend at the same time. LOL. ;^)

-- Jesus is Lord!

View TreeBones's profile


1826 posts in 2846 days

#4 posted 06-26-2007 04:56 AM

This is very cool. I thought you were supposed to put the wood in a box and pipe steam in?

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View BlueStingrayBoots's profile


757 posts in 2824 days

#5 posted 06-26-2007 06:07 AM

Can you use it as a still for making booze?lol

Seriously though, I’ve seen boat builders use that method. I look forward to trying something simuler.

View Timbers's profile


25 posts in 2814 days

#6 posted 06-26-2007 08:52 AM

Karson-there is no drain hole, but that’s not a bad idea. I do have a 1/4 inch hole on the end of the pipe for steam to escape.

Bob-I never had to refill the pressure cooker. Filled it up in the begining and went through about half a pot-a little more than half gallon I’d say. Good luck to you! The only problem I had was with a small ammount of twist in one of my shafts. Seems like hit or miss on that issue.

oscorner-I found some info on the net somewhere but don’t remember where. The hour and fifteen worked fine. It does depend on thickness and type of wood. Google it…you will see. I love bbq.

ron-I’ve heard of box method. With pvc I still had to make a tray out of wood b/c the pvc does start to flex when heated.

Blue Stingray Boots- never tried but sounds interesting!

-- Tim Nuanes

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3122 days

#7 posted 06-26-2007 03:04 PM

Nice setup.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3069 days

#8 posted 06-27-2007 07:04 AM

speaking of bbq I’m going to smoke my salmon this weekend, anyone wanting some send me your address.
this will keep, its cryo vact. or vacuum packed when I’m done. I’m doing it all at once because we’re selling our freezer and I have about 100 lbs of salmon I have to smoke. Nice steamer I made one similar to bend maple for a rocking chair. It worked great. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 3149 days

#9 posted 06-27-2007 01:23 PM

Pressure cooker? Now there’s an idea… I guess I don’t need to get a big kettle afterall. Did you use a propane burner for the heat source? I’m going to be steaming a project in the coming weeks, but I don’t have an outside heat source, was thinking an electric burner style plate might work? Or I was looking for a larger electric kettle… until now, that is.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Timbers's profile


25 posts in 2814 days

#10 posted 06-29-2007 08:54 PM

I used a natural gas burner. Heat is what you need to get the water hot so however you come up with it that doesn’t really matter in the end. I think that electric might be safer in most situations. An electric kettle seems like a good idea if you can get a tight seal where the steam comes out. Also, that’s nice to have the heat and container all in one unit. Nice thing about the pressure cooker is that it only cost me $2 at the local thrift shop!

Good luck, however which way you go!

-- Tim Nuanes

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