Steam box

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Project by Hallmark posted 05-02-2010 08:35 PM 10237 views 41 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Steam box from extra wood hanging around. 58” x 8” x 7” I used a $50 wallpaper steamer for ease and safety. I cut the hose end off and attached to the copper pipe. One end is contoured to channel the water to the center so it can drip off the end and drain into a pan. Takes about 15 minutes and your in business. Used it last for some pieces on my entry shoe bench.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

15 comments so far

View dakremer's profile


2672 posts in 3120 days

#1 posted 05-02-2010 09:38 PM

I made a smaller one with some PVC pipe. It didnt work as planned as I only had Kiln dried lumber. I think its much easier to steam bend when the wood is air dried… this right??

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3144 days

#2 posted 05-02-2010 10:38 PM

like it how you used a wallpapersteamer
but what excacly do you meen with ” One end is filed down to center the water as it drains into a pan.”
do you have a picture of it


View mafe's profile


11732 posts in 3118 days

#3 posted 05-02-2010 11:00 PM

Brilliant and simple I was planing to make one of the same princip (since I have a similar steamer), but I was thinking to use a PVC tube as outside. Are there a reason why wood is better? Perhaps the insulation.
Also I did not think of this inside heat and moisture distributer pipe system, wich are quite brilliant, but perhaps this might be better in PVC! Just thoughts and silly questions, since I’m going to build me one.
Good work, thank you for sharing.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3614 days

#4 posted 05-02-2010 11:09 PM

I have a friend who made such a device without a lot of effort he simply used a piece of wide diameter 8” to 12 ” undergrouind gas or water pipe ,I am giving the dimensions off the top of my head simply from memory so please bear with me,it so far has been a great benefit to him as he makes beautiful furniture.When the wood for bending was installed he used a coloser for each end one with a ball blown up to fill one end of the pipe and another was an pot lid pre-drilled to take the hose from a wallpaper steamer with a towel around it to reduce leakage . Alistair ps if you pass some underground work where this type of pipe is beinmg used simply ask for whatever size offcut you need.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View dougdeg's profile


107 posts in 3799 days

#5 posted 05-02-2010 11:32 PM

has anyone ddone any small log bending say in cedar will this type of system work, How thick of a board can you bend. and how long does it need to stay in.

Sounds llike a great idea.

-- Doug Cedar Log Furniture,

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3135 days

#6 posted 05-03-2010 12:52 AM

dakremer; not sure why kiln or air dried wood wood be different. Kiln drying probably has a lower mositure content than air dried. If you had heard that, then that might be the reason.
Mafe; I had extra wood and cooper around so I used what I had. I stayed away from PVC because I have seen that people have had problems with it holding up to the heat.
Denisgrosen; I posted a photo when I was building it to show the end.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3911 days

#7 posted 05-03-2010 01:56 AM

Nice. I like it. I have never seen one with the internal copper pipe before.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3390 days

#8 posted 05-03-2010 04:30 AM

Hey Hallmark,
Simple and sweet…nice one.

View Gar's profile


84 posts in 3363 days

#9 posted 05-03-2010 06:32 AM

Just an idea but you may want to fix one end with a sheet or rag so as not to build up psi. Any way that is what all the old timers told me when I started making Shaker boxes. The master John Wilson has been at it a long time so I stayed with the sheet. just thought I would point that out. but hay great job. never thought of a steam machine.

-- GAR

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3135 days

#10 posted 05-03-2010 07:14 AM

Gar; Thanks for the input, I’ll look into John Wilson. It is hard to tell from the photos, but both ends are a loose fit at the bottom so the preasure can escape. It’s worked great so far.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3144 days

#11 posted 05-03-2010 09:03 AM

thankĀ“s that make sens


View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3811 days

#12 posted 05-03-2010 11:34 AM

Air dried lumber is easier to bend because the Lignin in the wood has not been heated like it usually is in a kiln.
Lignin is the stuff that makes wood flexible, but you can compare it to cookie dough. Once you bake it to a certain temp it’s impossible to return it to a flexible state.
Kiln dried lumber will bend, but you need to use thinner pieces with more clamping pressure and expect a higher failure rate. It’s not an exact science a lot depends on how hot the kiln was when the lumber was dried (something we will never know unless we know the kiln operator) and each specie of wood has it’s own bending properties.


View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4008 days

#13 posted 05-03-2010 01:47 PM

This is a great idea… just don’t use it on your saw table, as it will drip condensate onto the saw. Nothing worse than a rusty saw table.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Hallmark's profile


432 posts in 3135 days

#14 posted 05-03-2010 04:14 PM

Tim; thanks for great info on kiln dried wood.
Lee; The table saw was just for photos. I use a couple blocks of wood that give it an angle to drain and lift it just above the edge of the pan.

-- Style is simple, but not my execution of it.

View djg's profile


160 posts in 2191 days

#15 posted 05-14-2015 02:41 PM

I have the same setup. I do not have the brass and copper connections like you but want to implement this on mine. DO you know the diameter of the brass hose fitting?

-- DJG

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