Steambending Kiln Dried Wood

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 10-11-2014 03:44 PM 983 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1313 posts in 1904 days

10-11-2014 03:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shaping steambending

Hey guys,

I have been looking into steambending some chair parts. I live down in Texas, and air dried wood isn’t easily accessible for me. All of the woods I use are typically kiln dried. Most publications I have read about steambending say that you have to use either green wood or air dried wood. I was wondering if any of you have had success using kiln dried wood, and if there are any tips on getting it to work? I have heard steaming it twice as long helps. Looking forward to your feedback.


-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

2 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10278 posts in 3617 days

#1 posted 10-11-2014 04:09 PM

I steam bend kiln dried wood. With oak I’ve found
that if it hasn’t been sitting around for years it
bend okay. Aged kiln dried oak I’ve bent has
tended to develop surface checks.

I’ve had good results bending walnut too. My
bends are not pushing the limits of the process.

I’ve bent 3/4” kiln dried stock to an 8” radius. That’s
as tight as I’ve required.

View JAAune's profile


1788 posts in 2286 days

#2 posted 10-11-2014 04:17 PM

It’s pretty hit-or-miss but I’ve gotten minor bends on some pieces of wood using the hot pipe method so it’s not always impossible to bend. Some of it is impossible though and I’ve seen a damaged Veritas bending strap that got stretched out of shape from some people attempting to force a piece of kiln-dried oak into a bend.

Air dried is a lot easier, will take tighter bends and doesn’t have springback issues.

-- See my work at and

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