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What to steam wood with?

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Forum topic by CartersWhittling posted 04-04-2012 03:09 PM 2539 views 2 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CartersWhittling

451 posts in 1329 days


04-04-2012 03:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question wood steamer steam bending

Hello.

I am trying to find a way to produce the steam for wood bending. Could you guys help me out and let me know the different ways you can produce the steam for a steam box? I am wanting something that doesn’t take up loads of space and doesn’t cost a lot of money either.

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


19 replies so far

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waho6o9

4923 posts in 1231 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!

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Scot

344 posts in 2051 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.

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Dallas

2906 posts in 1142 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!

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luv2learn

1703 posts in 957 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

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Richard

906 posts in 1345 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.

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poopiekat

3630 posts in 2389 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!!

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a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 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

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YorkshireStewart

1112 posts in 2556 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

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DrDirt

2446 posts in 2397 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

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Jeff in Huntersville

399 posts in 1849 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.

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Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1770 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

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shipwright

4970 posts in 1452 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/

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CartersWhittling

451 posts in 1329 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/

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Howie

2656 posts in 1578 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.

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BobM001

388 posts in 985 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?

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