Reply by Tomj

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Posted on What to steam wood with?

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204 posts in 2409 days

#1 posted 04-05-2012 03:47 AM

The hot plate, steam pot and metal duct pipe works great. I have done this with building bows. With bows if the wood is green (still wet) use wet heat (steam) if the wood is dried use dry heat as in a heat gun, fire etc. This works for radical bends in wood up to 3/4” inch thick. With steam you could straiten whole staves (log splits) when wet. The wood you are bending needs to be of strait grain though otherwise it is likely to fracture where the grain runs off. Steaming and heat straitening is a common thing when building bows, I know for boat building too though I have not built any boats. If you look up either or I’m sure you will find plans that won’t break the bank. The kits you see woodworking companies selling seem awfully small to me and expensive for what they do. You could even use a pot on a stove with foil over the top to keep steam in if it’s just a small section you are bending or if it’s small enough (unless you have a very big pot) just boil it for about an hour (it depends on how thick it is) the thicker the longer. Native Americans would boil rocks or lay them in a fire until hot enough to place on whatever wood they needed to bend, or they would just hold their wood over the fire and do it that way. Good luck.

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