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Thread: Steam Bending ?

  1. #1
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    Steam Bending ?

    OK as I stated in another thread "I need to build a steamer so that I can bend some oak pieces. So can anyone out there show me how they built their steam boxes. believe that Tod had a post about this but maybe it was on the other forum.
    Last edited by Don Baer; 07-30-2009 at 05:31 AM.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    don,
    i try to avoid steam bending when ever possible. what curve do you need?
    maybe i can help...
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    I will need to bend the 30 pieces of 1/2x1/2 White Oak for these chairs Spindles. http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ad.php?t=15192
    My plan is to make two template steam the spindle and use the templates to get them all the same.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    I don't have any pics, but my steamer is just a piece of 6" PVC pipe, set across a sawbuck, with one end capped, and the other end removeable.

    I cross drilled it about every 8" and inserted dowels across it to make a 'shelf' to hold my stock.

    My steam source is a NEW (never used for fuel) 3 gallon metal gas can with a piece of automobile radiator hose fitted to the spout, and a propane turkey fryer burner. Two gallons of water begins to boil in under five minutes, and the steam volume is huge. Thirty minutes in the steamer does half inch stock very well, but you gotta work quickly.

    Working time out of the steamer is way less than a minute. You might want to make up half a dozen (or more) forms so you can steam multiples. The bent pieces should stay on the forms at least overnight - I usually wait a couple days.

    The bends for your chairs look to be compound curve. You'll probably need to make two-piece molds, and clamp them together to make the bends.

    Oh, BTW, expect about a 30% loss due to splintering/breaking, so make some extras. DAMHIKT...
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
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    Thanks Jim Thats about the way I figured it. 30% loss
    Would it help to l;eave em in the steamer a little longer ?
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Don you can buy a Upholsters steamer very cheep and then make the 6" PVC holder. Works great.

  7. #7
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    don,
    if you want `em to all be the same steam bending isn``t the best choice.
    every piece will have its own memory..
    resawing and planing wide boards down and gluing them back together then ripping your bends off of the glue-up is much more stable. (and the face grain will be continuous)
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    Tod,
    Not sure what you are saying, maybe im just dense. Do you mean to resaw, bend and laminate them. enlighten me oh wise oone who is the master of curves..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    don,
    resaw 6" boards into 6"x 1/8" or so long enough to be "to long".....
    plane those strips down to 1/16" or so? thin enough to bend your curves.
    build forms, male-n-female or just one if you`ve got a bag? wax the forms and glue the thin boards together into a bent one 1/2" thick then resaw it.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  10. #10
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    Thanks Tod, Thats sorta what I thought. Guess I need to get a Vac Bag and pump..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

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