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MICRO WAVE STEAM BENDING AND JIG

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Project by kiefer posted 644 days ago 5222 views 24 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my effort of using the micro wave oven instead of a steam box to bend wood pieces .
The first jig I build did not produce the quality of pieces as they cracked during the drying process.
I modified the jig by adding two timing belt straps retaining blocks to compress the wood during the bending process and not let it stretch .
The method I use for steaming is as follows .
Soak the wood for at least a day in water then wrap it in a wet cloth and put in the micro wave for about a minute then flip it over and let it rest for a minute and microwave for another minute .
Work fast during the bending process but methodically and have everything ready .

The results have been better and soon I hope I will turn the bend pieces into a box .

-- Kiefer 松





29 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112011 posts in 2204 days


#1 posted 644 days ago

Cool Jig Kiefer

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

4827 posts in 1204 days


#2 posted 644 days ago

Looking forward to the box Kiefer!
Good idea on the microwave process as well.

View yrob's profile

yrob

340 posts in 2280 days


#3 posted 644 days ago

You place the flat piece of wood in the microwave with a bowl of water next to it ? Then remove it and bend it onto the form ? Is that how it works ?

-- Yves

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2748 posts in 1980 days


#4 posted 644 days ago

Ok..neat idea! But how are you holding everything togeter when you put it in the microwave? I’m thinking you can’t put the clamps in the microwave.

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Woodenwizard's profile

Woodenwizard

1068 posts in 1682 days


#5 posted 644 days ago

interesting project. Thanks

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3030 posts in 1294 days


#6 posted 644 days ago

OK
This is how I do it .
I soak the wood in a pot of water for a day and then wrap it in a hot wet towel and place it in the micro wave oven for 2 minutes pausing at one minute for a minute and also flipping it over .
Then I run to the shop, tripping over my dog and quicklyy putting it in the jig and bending and clamping the piece while my wife is taking pictures .
I guess I should have explained this in the post .

-- Kiefer 松

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2748 posts in 1980 days


#7 posted 644 days ago

I’m still LMAO!!! I should of thought of that! Nice! And thanks for setting me stright!
Would I be wrong in saying ”that’s thinking outside the box”. :)

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3030 posts in 1294 days


#8 posted 644 days ago

Tony
I love people that laugh and as far as thinking outside of the box I have to give credit to others but this steaming process sure works great and the last pieces have come out pretty good .
It’s a learning and experimenting process with some poor bends but I can still use some sections for other designs .

-- Kiefer 松

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2094 posts in 815 days


#9 posted 644 days ago

Looks like you are getting close, real close !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2748 posts in 1980 days


#10 posted 644 days ago

Kiefer,
I’m all for experimenting! I even do it in the kitchen when it’s my turn to cook. It’s people like you that bring good things to life. I also spend a lot of time trying to think of a better way to do things. I have tried the “Box” (microwave) a few times to dry a few small pieces of wood or melt so bees wax but I haven’t tried to do any bending YET! Thanks for your Post! It may come in handy someday!
Nice work!

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3030 posts in 1294 days


#11 posted 644 days ago

Tony try this process and I think you will be amazed how pliable the wood is and if you look at the pics in the post you will realize it because I don’t use any levers, just my hands to form the wood around the jig which at the ends has a fairly small radius .

-- Kiefer 松

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2748 posts in 1980 days


#12 posted 644 days ago

Kiefer,
I will give this a try. I can’t wait to see what you make using this jig. I’m making you my buddy so I can follow your progress. You have really got me thinking now! I’m retired and alwasy looking for something new to do!

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3076 posts in 1561 days


#13 posted 644 days ago

They came out really good.

I can’t tell if you got a lot of spring back , since they are trapped between two rails in the picture.

I tried the microwave method few months ago and I had mixed results.

I moved the microwave to the shop; the wife wasn’t very pleased.

My next steam bending project will be with a steam box because of the size of the laminations.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3030 posts in 1294 days


#14 posted 644 days ago

Tony
es retired is a good thing
and it gives you time to reap the rewards of a working life.
I am almost there Hurray !!!!!!!!!!!
Ian
Yes there is spring back on these but being in the retainer for a while it is minimal and I think I can work with it as the box will be also a retainer and if not I will change the form and make it a tighter radius .

-- Kiefer 松

View woodshaver's profile

woodshaver

2748 posts in 1980 days


#15 posted 644 days ago

Maybe if you nuked two thin pices and glued them togeter with some Titebond III in the form the work would stay put when dried? Yes? No? Maybe?

-- Tony C , My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

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