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Steam bending ?

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Forum topic by Gwfly posted 04-09-2013 11:31 PM 1202 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gwfly

51 posts in 1686 days


04-09-2013 11:31 PM

Who does steam bending? Trying to bend 1/8” Purple heart will not bend a 5” radius with 20 minute soak or 40 or 60 or 120. Help?

-- gwfly


12 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2749 posts in 1099 days


#1 posted 04-10-2013 12:16 AM

Are you heating it?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Gwfly's profile

Gwfly

51 posts in 1686 days


#2 posted 04-10-2013 12:29 AM

Yes I am using the rocker steam bending system thta I made

-- gwfly

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bondogaposis

2749 posts in 1099 days


#3 posted 04-10-2013 12:34 AM

Then you need to use thinner strips or go to a wider radius.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View scotsman9's profile

scotsman9

134 posts in 637 days


#4 posted 04-10-2013 01:01 AM

Steam bending kiln dried purple heart is, (IMHO), one of the most difficult woods to bend. Soak it for 24hours minimum before steaming (raising the moisture content) and go 2 hours in steam until your temp probe reads 150+. If you get the wood to bend properly in its form, let it sit for at least 36 hours to reduce spring back.

Purple heart is a tough customer when it comes to steam bending.

-- Just a man and his opinion.

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

1235 posts in 773 days


#5 posted 04-10-2013 05:35 AM

Don’t have experience with bending purple heart (though I sawed a bunch for a guy one time—weird the way the sawdust changes color on exposure to air). But wood species vary tremendously in their bending response to heat. It just may be that purple heart is one of stubborn ones, along with Doug fir and luaun.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5309 posts in 1546 days


#6 posted 04-10-2013 05:43 AM

Are you bending on flat grain?
Are you easing the outside corners?
Are you using linseed oil?
I’ve never bothered to steam bend anything that small but those are the tricks that work in bigger, heavier bends.

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

View Loren's profile

Loren

7823 posts in 2396 days


#7 posted 04-10-2013 06:07 AM

Not gonna happen without a backing strap.

It will bend on a hot pipe but the fractures will
drive you mad. To some extent you can repair
the blowout with cyanoacrylate glue and accelator.

Luthiers bend in that radius but the thickness is 2mm.
Purple heart may be harder to bend than most.

Bending a guitar waste in 2mm hardwood to a 5”
radius (more or less) is not too hard.

Thicknessing the portion to be bent is sometimes
acceptable. This is done with cutaways in guitars.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View EPJartisan's profile

EPJartisan

1093 posts in 1873 days


#8 posted 04-10-2013 09:50 PM

Bending purple heart…. ha ha ha ha ha ha.. whew…
Purple heart is way to fragile to get a good bend… especially to 5”r…. at VeneerSupply.com they have a veneer softener. I have used this on a few of the open celled, but fibrous woods.. purple heart will darken a lot with the softener. I steam bent for 30 min after soaking the thinned stock in the softener overnight… I can get 3mm thick to a 8” radius easily with a back strap and clamp system I came up with. This may not be your solution though.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Gwfly's profile

Gwfly

51 posts in 1686 days


#9 posted 04-10-2013 11:52 PM

Thanks for thw info I will just keep trying – may be that soaking might work

-- gwfly

View 489tad's profile

489tad

2495 posts in 1760 days


#10 posted 04-11-2013 01:39 PM

Shipwright, where does the linseed oil come in?

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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shipwright

5309 posts in 1546 days


#11 posted 04-11-2013 01:57 PM

We used to use linseed oil on oak ribs that were getting particularly severe bends. I’m not exactly sure of the reason but I believe it was mostly to keep the heat in a little longer. I do know that it helped.

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

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

1497 posts in 723 days


#12 posted 04-11-2013 02:43 PM

If 1/8” is too thick, could it be bent at 1/16”? Do 2 pieces and them glue them together?

-- Paul, Las Vegas

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