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View CartersWhittling's profile

What to steam wood with?

by CartersWhittling
posted 04-04-2012 03:09 PM


19 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5201 posts in 1300 days


#1 posted 04-04-2012 03:29 PM

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=30714&site=ROCKLER&filter=steam%20bending%20kit

This may give you some ideas and good luck on your project.

Your hand made plans are awesome, keep doing the good work!

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2119 days


#2 posted 04-04-2012 03:34 PM

Used professional wallpaper steamers work fantastic and are safe. I got mine on ebay for $175 (almost new). They usually run $200-300. I got lucky on mine and caught a better than usual deal.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3105 posts in 1210 days


#3 posted 04-04-2012 03:37 PM

I use a hot plate, some PVC pipe and an old stove top coffee pot. Total cost about $10 at yard sales.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1810 posts in 1026 days


#4 posted 04-04-2012 04:27 PM

I like this method DIY Steam Box

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Richard's profile

Richard

1045 posts in 1413 days


#5 posted 04-04-2012 04:55 PM

Norm abrams has good example on an episode that he made a bentwood hat rack. Not sure of the episode name or number but I will try look it up when I get home.
It used a brand new gas can on top of a burner and some radiator hose and a large PVC tube with a cap on it.

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3710 posts in 2457 days


#6 posted 04-04-2012 05:30 PM

I’ve got my eye on the side burner of my gas grille. The one for cooking a pot of corn on the cob, or lobstah. Plus it’s already outdoors. Should be more than enough heat for a pot of water and some stovepipe flue.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112529 posts in 2300 days


#7 posted 04-04-2012 06:04 PM

I use an electric tea kettle type steamer and a hose into a DIY steam box. Many times you can soak wood in hot water
and bend it if it’s thin enough or just use thin strips just glued together into a lamination with out heat at all.

http://books.google.com/books?id=s_YDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=mike+dunbar+steam+box&source=bl&ots=B2v9jCo9PZ&sig=vH_txjVHAZxlZ1WxM4LozKBPlNM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BIt8T5mMJsmPiAKOh4H1DQ&sqi=2&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=mike%20dunbar%20steam%20box&f=false

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View YorkshireStewart's profile

YorkshireStewart

1117 posts in 2624 days


#8 posted 04-04-2012 06:09 PM

For my yew Windsor chair, I used a domestic wallpaper stripper connected to a length of rainwater pipe. The plastic pipe did go a bit limp! However, supported on a length of timber, all was well.

Click for details

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2542 posts in 2465 days


#9 posted 04-04-2012 06:21 PM

I’m with A1Jim – - -though it is hard to find a METAL electric kettle anymore.
Most are plastic with a thermal cutout, that shuts off at the most inopportune times…..

Check out the salvation army/DAV thrift stores see if you can find one of the old 1950-1970 era ones

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Jeff in Huntersville's profile

Jeff in Huntersville

402 posts in 1917 days


#10 posted 04-04-2012 06:32 PM

I echo Scot’s wallpaper steamer idea. Although I use a Wagner steamer from Lowes. It’s cheaper. It depends on the volume and duration of steam you need. I have a 6” ABS tube, 4 ft long I use for relatively small pieces. The steamer lasts for about 45 minutes if started full.

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1838 days


#11 posted 04-04-2012 06:55 PM

basicly you collect some water before you boil the water and use the steam from it …. LOL

okay joke aside :-)

the cheapest is to steal ….eeergh borrow moms stealkettle and leed the steam into
a steam bed made of wood and 1-1½ meter of cobbertube with holes and an endcap

there is several on L J that has made one and posted them as projects

you can use one of the modern kettles if you shortcut the thermo cuout
but then you have to be very carefull not to let it boiling dry….. you don´t want a fire
now your water is steam … lol

good luck with your steam project

Dennis

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5228 posts in 1521 days


#12 posted 04-04-2012 07:06 PM

I used to use an oil fired pressure washer modified to dramatically reduce the water going through but I was steaming much larger things than I suspect you are.
One thing to think about if you are steaming many or thick pieces, is that hotter steam created under pressure will get the job done more quickly. I’m not sure exactly what the temperatures were that we used to run but 225 to 230 degrees sounds about right. We went by the appearance of the steam more than the temperature. You want it about ten degrees lower than the point where it becomes clear. That is if it’s nice and white, it’s not too hot.
Inch and a half Oak will be bendable in about half the time it would take at non-pressure temps.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View CartersWhittling's profile

CartersWhittling

451 posts in 1397 days


#13 posted 04-04-2012 10:00 PM

Thanks for all the help guys, it is much appreciated.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23 http://carterswhittling.wordpress.com/

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1646 days


#14 posted 04-04-2012 10:07 PM

I bought a wallpaper steamer at Goodwill for 10 bucks. Works good for thin strips(up to 1/4”)

-- Life is good.

View BobM001's profile

BobM001

388 posts in 1053 days


#15 posted 04-05-2012 01:06 AM

I recall seeing a “rig” that used a large pot that the branch of a 12” 24 gauge tee was inserted into the pot. Then equal lengths of the same sized pipe wher inserted into the “run” sides of the tee. These pieces were long enough so that there was about 6” of void on each end based on the length of the pieces to be steamed. They were doing bent wood rockers as I recall. A short piece of “riser” into the tee branch would keep any liquid from contacting the wood if a hard boil was in process. The steam poured out of the ends of the pipes. Perhaps a turkey fryer burner/pot would make a good source for doing larger pieces. Find a reducer that would fit the top of the pot and build from there.

-- OK, who's the wise guy that shrunk the plywood?

View Tomj's profile

Tomj

204 posts in 1105 days


#16 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.

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2467 days


#17 posted 04-05-2012 04:09 PM

This is the rig I use http://lumberjocks.com/projects/5618. After welding a new bottom on the can several times, I going to switch to the regular lobster pot that came with the cooker, and make a wood top with a slot the width of the steam box. The box will sit right down on the pot.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5228 posts in 1521 days


#18 posted 04-05-2012 11:23 PM

I just added a blog entry about making pressurized steam and a simple steamer that will do it.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View benchbuilder's profile

benchbuilder

114 posts in 1173 days


#19 posted 04-05-2012 11:37 PM

I have written a blog here about the wood steaming system I designed and I give out free 26 page sets of plans and drawings for it at: woodsteamingsystems@yahoo.com
Its free, give it a look

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