Steam Bending Kit

So that it may be molded for craftsman and industrial applications, such as the manufacture of furniture and boat parts. You may find it easier to bend a longer piece — say, 200x10x400mm — because it gives you more leverage, trimming it down to the desired length after the bending. This is continued with successive sheets, with each glued to the preceding one and clamped to the curved bending form to hold it in place. Boiling – This will work well provided you have a container large enough to hold the stock you’ll be bending. The latter can be done by hand by bending the piece the other way or by placing it with its outside on the tube and by rocking it until you get the right curve.

Even with a form, the hot wood should be massaged gently over the form, and clamped or held to avoid split outs (delaminating) on the outside of the bend or compression failures on the inside. Make sure that you allow plenty of ventilation for the steam to escape your steambox so you don’t build up pressure in the box. Louis Sauzedde , the wood expert and master shipwright we looked at earlier , uses a different wood-steaming method that solves all three of those issues. To do this I must place the wood into a sealed PVC pipe and pump steam into it. The PVC pipe part is the easiest part.

I stuck the end of the nozzle in the bag, taped it shut, and let it fill with steam for 30 minutes before pulling the piece out and bending it into my form and clamping it. Bending table: The bending table is similar to and has the same functions as the drawing bench for metal. The same goes for the Mike Dunbar Ultimate Steam Box” and in the setup shown in the Veritas Tools folder on steaming.

If you are using a dark-colored wood and cut the laminations from the same board, then glue them back together in sequential order with a dark-colored glue, and you may be able to hide the glue lines altogether. Jenny: I was reading a very detailed article about the specifics of bending oak and became fascinated. If the cells are stretched too much by a sharp curve, the cells rip open and the wood cracks and splinters.

Going back to an earlier example of a composite material, let’s visualize wood as steel-reinforced concrete. That is: making the lignin plastic, so that the wood stays in shape after the wood gets out of the mould. When you have finished bending the first side of the body leave the second piece to soak in water and then proceed as with the first piece; try to bend it as symmetrical to the first side as possible.

Test it and if it needs more put it back in. Bend slow and steady, if it resist a lot, don’t force it. I some times like to over bend because some wood will spring back a little after it is released from the jig. Looks like a good product, and need to do some wood bending for a historical restoration on a mansion / museum. That is hot enough for the three foot steambox I use and just hot enough for the 8 foot steam box.

Some take to steambending well, while others will break before bending significantly. In case you actually are hunting for excellent hints regarding wood working, then can certainly help! With time and a lot of practice Tom has developed his own way of using steam, which has reinvented this traditional process and brought it into the 21st century. Steamed red oak has to be removed from the box and placed in its form in less than 30 seconds. When the box is full of steam and the boiler is producing full steam and has enough water that it won’t run out, the wood is steamed for 1 hour per inch.

Secondly, a 12 inch diameter by ten foot long pipe will take quite a good source of steam to get up to temperature. This makes the wood easier to bend and then you have the key of how you raise and lower the temperature at which each wood properly cures and over what period of time. The steamed wood is removed from the steaming box and bent immediately – within five seconds, if possible – as the wood will stiffen with each passing second. It is strong, light, and bends exceptionally well after only a short period of steaming. Without bending, work the area to be bent from end to end over the iron, heating the wood gradually, and developing steam.

I’ll be using my steambox for Windsor chair parts and maybe the occasional ladderback, so the 4″ PVC is a perfect size that should fit anything I want to throw at it. My first steambox was a 12″ x 12″ x 48″ plywood box that was really oversized for what I was using it for. I talked quite a bit with Steve, who does the bending & lathing at VaughnCraft, and while there are certain steps he couldn’t talk about, I did get the info that lathing is a step. I used a bucket that had a cover, I simply cut a hole in the cover the size I wanted and placed the steam box on top. A heat source: A heat source will ensure that water in the tank is converted into steam.

I then add as many additional nails to the form as I see fit, along the arch of the wood. Steam boxes made out of stove pipe, metal boxes, wooden boxes and so forth all have drawbacks. You have just a minute or two max to get the wood in place and bent so work fast. Also, if the wood is heated to assist in bending, the heat will spread more rapidly into moist wood than it will in dry wood.

I had problems getting the glazing compound off without breaking the glass or spending to much time on them. The ability to alter the grain direction as our imagination dictates while preserving the strength inherent in a straight piece of wood allows us to create the elegant beauty of a continuous-arm Windsor chair and the inspiring sweep of a vaulted ceiling. You only have a very short period of time because the wood will start to cool down as soon as you take it out of the steam box. This boiler/steam box has to be used outside, best on a gravel or concrete suface, so as not to ignite any yard materials. Perhaps the heat and steam will give me an even longer open time with the hide glue.

You’ll also learn how you can make the tools and acquire the skills you need for successful bending in your own projects. The bending process involves wet wood that we treat with chemicals (again this depends on the type of wood) and steam heat (done under a pressurized unit). We first explored our world in sailing ships with bent wood hulls, then left it in airplanes with bent wood wings. Now the wood Roy used was not kiln dried, but his technique was what I was interested in and I thought it was worth a try. Tried bending some dry white oak trim (1/4 x 3/4) yesterday using a heat gun as outlined in Woodenboat 129.

And I own a steambox, a steam generator and all the clamps and forms that make it a snap. Cutting across the rings violates the grain and allows the wood to separate more easily along the growth rings. The steaming box should be provided with a short piece of gas pipe turned into a hole bored into one of the sides used for the top on which to attach the hose.

You know to apply this pressure when you feel the wood lose most of its springiness. This can consist of blocks of scrap wood suitably nailed onto some type of backing or supporting board, and arranged so that when the steamed wood is bent around the blocks it will be formed to the shape desired. First off, kiln dried wood can not be steamed and I use the method Matt suggested and make all kinds of bent wood projects.

Since we are not blessed with a reliable source of air dried hardwoods in Arizona, it’s good to know that kiln-dried wood will also bend — though not so easily, and with a higher expected failure rate and a more unpredictable spring-back factor. Being able to bend the wood whilst it is being steamed allows Tom to craft pieces much more slowly and carefully as the time restrictions usually imposed by the rapid cooling of the wood being are no longer a problem. High density wood is required for trusses, rafters, studs, and for framing windows and doors.