|Project by DaleMaley||posted 11-18-2016 06:15 PM||1391 views||1 time favorited||10 comments|
This has been one of my most challenging woodworking projects, because of figuring out how to steam bend white oak.
I bought the steamer from Rockler 4 years ago, and had one heck of a time trying to bend white oak. I finally gave up and put the steam stuff away. A while back, I noticed an article saying that freshly cut white oak allowed to air dry to 20% moisture was optimal for steam bending. 2nd best was air dried white oak…....and the most difficult was kiln dried white oak. The high temp of the kiln damages the lignin. But, if you have to use kiln dried white oak, you can steam bend it if you soak it at least 1 week in water and Downy fabric softener.
I soaked a bunch of 1.5×3/8×28.5 inch long white oak boards in a piece of 3” Sched 40 PC with an end cap glued on the bottom for 7 days. I made a new fixture using the process development knowledge I learned back in 2012 (amount of springback, and reduction in final diameter). A miracle happened, and I was able to successfully bend about 6 pieces.
If you would like to read about my Trials & Tribulations on this project, and there were many…see my woodworking web site.
To change batteries, you pull out the front assembly, which has 1/4” dowel pins to the back face.
I used a oil based teak stain with satin polyurethane, two coats.
I made two of them. I’m keeping one, but the other will be a family gift.
Lee Valley has an excellent booklet on steam bending, you can download a copy here.
I uploaded my design to Google Sketchup warehouse, and you can get it here.
-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/