oak/hickory walking canes

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Forum topic by ctc posted 09-26-2009 03:33 AM 4642 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 3620 days

09-26-2009 03:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: steam bending

My object is to make oak/hickory walking canes. First I took an old water heater and re-plumbed it to boil the water inside. Then I suspended some lengths of hickory,oak and poplar saplings. After exposure to the boiling water and steam for 20 min.or so, I took them out andl attempted to bend them. Nothing doing. They split.

Can one use fresh wood for steaming ? Or, must it be dried first ?
C.T. Carley

2 replies so far

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661 posts in 3225 days

#1 posted 09-28-2009 04:06 PM,45866,45867
Ok, here is a link that will explain a lot. You have got to let solid wood cook. Maybe 2 to 3 hours for making a cane. And it has to be steam. You cannot immerse the wood in boiling water, you are just making wood soup. I believe the rule of thumb is one hour of live steam for every 1/2 inch of thickness for bends over 90 degrees. You also have to make a frame form to hold the piece until it dries, 5 to 7 days before you remove it from the form. Read some other articles on guys who make steam bent wood chairs. As for wood fresh or dry, it doesn’t matter. You are going to drive the moisture content through the roof anyway,

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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11 posts in 3620 days

#2 posted 09-28-2009 08:09 PM

Thanks a million. I was going about it all wrong.

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