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Thread: Does anyone steam their own wood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Tacoma, WA

    Does anyone steam their own wood?

    Does anyone steam their own wood? I would like to build my own steamer, the local spa is really starting to get annoying with their wining every time I bring my wood and forms down to their steam room!
    I was thinking of using a pvc pipe with a drain in the bottom on a slight downhill slant and a small vent on the up hill side and use an old clothes steamer for the source. Does anyone have a better idea or tips?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Brian, Although I have never done it there are a number of folks on here who have. I am sure you will get a number of answers
    "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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    Leevally sells a kettel just for for steaming. Use a peice6" pipe with a end cap or a peice of wood with hinge

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I did a project a while back and it worked ok, Here is a link to the post,
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Of course there is also Chucks way you can see here when he makes his handles for his fantastic beer mugs

    here is the thread link

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    I bend a lot of thin strips and I just use a heat gun on it. No water. It's the heat not the moisture that allows it to bend. But if you doing thicker pieces that need to steam for a long time then the heat gun probably wouldn't be suitable.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
    I've done a moderate amount of steam bending, but rather than try to explain it, I'll point you to a booklet that you can download from Lee Valley. It is great, like most everything they do.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I did the PVC pipe and it worked OK, but if I were doing it regular like, I'd build a proper plywood steam box, the PVC is not fun to handle and it actually sagged on me a bit in the middle.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Tacoma, WA

    Thanks for the info!

    Thank you much! I will start a steam box here next week and give it a try! (maybe I can steam my lunch while I wait and have it keep my coffee warm too! Well, maybe not. How does cedar flavored coffee sound?)


  10. #10
    I have a 6" dia chunk of schedule 80 pvc, which is a lot more robust than the regular stuff. Regular pvc will sag, and I stopped using it because of that. Be careful of making the box too big because it can be difficult to get the whole works hot and keep it that way.

    I made a wooden trough out of some plywood to keep the pipe from sagging before I got the thicker stuff.

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