|Project by tenontim||posted 02-28-2008 06:48 PM||12188 views||24 times favorited||16 comments|
Cojo asked about steamboxes and here’s my version. This is a simple steam box for bending wood. I’ve built several of these. Depending on how much you use it, once they start warping and cracking, just throw it away and build another. Pine works very well, and it’s cheap. Plywood may delaminate on you. Make the box a little larger than the pieces that you think you will be steaming. It doesn’t have to be air tight, in fact you want it to leak to pressure doesn’t build up. Make a loose fitting door and a drain hole on one end and put a catch bucket under it, so you don’t stain your shop floor. Put a couple of rows of dowels through it, to set the wood on. Don’t worry about internal temperatures or any of that other rocket science that you read about steam boxes. If you have a good flow of steam coming out of the can, it’s hot enough. There are different schools of thought on how long to steam. I’ve found that 1 hour per inch of wood thickness works well. About 2” of water in this can will last almost 2 hours. If you let it go dry, you have to let it cool and start the clock over, you can’t take up where you left off. I’ve used this to steam oak, maple, walnut, purpleheart, and cedar and pine. Don’t get carried away with real sharp bends and you should have good luck with your bending.