This entry was prompted by this forum topic. I thought it would be of interest to look at a different kind of steamer that is capable of creating more, hotter steam than the average atmospheric pressure ones that are limited to something around 212 deg. F and less at altitude. I don’t have access to either my rusty (but still trusty) old steamer right now or the photo of it that I know I have at home so I did a quick 2D of it in sketchup.
Several years ago I designed this one to be portable to job sites to replace broken planks and the like on site at tide grids and haul-outs. It will produce steam under pressure and therefore hotter than un-pressurized steam which means boards will steam much faster. This is important when you are replacing a bottom plank on a tide grid and the tide is coming up. I can’t actually remember pressures or temperatures exactly because I always go by the look and sound of the steam. ”If it’s white, it’s right” is a good rule. You can get steam so hot it becomes clear and will simply toast the board and ruin it. I’m not sure this rig would be capable of that or not but just keep an eye out and if the sound suddenly seems to get higher in pitch and the steam looks clear, back off the fire a bit.
The pressure is created by the head of water in the open tank. As the pressure builds the water in the closed tank is pushed down and you will see the water in the open tank rise. It will either reach an equilibrium or the closed tank will empty and start blowing steam out through the water in the open tank. If that happens, you weren’t watching and you are using too much heat. Get the steam you want by adding pressure (water in the open tank) or adding or reducing heat at the tiger torch.
In a pinch this steamer will, from cold water, steam a 1 1/2 ” fir plank sufficiently to be bent into place in less than an hour. It works even better on truly flexible bending woods like green Oak.
An added advantage is that you always have a basin of warm (hot) water to wash your hands.
Thanks for looking in.
Questions and discussion welcome.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/