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so I want to heat/bend 12 ft long lumber. Is there any safe way to cut a hole in my microwave and run it through?


so I want to heat/bend 12 ft long lumber. It only takes about 20 seconds in a microwave. So I'm handy with the grinder but know nothing about microwave radiation, start it up and get far, far away. Or .... Is there any kind of large/long microwave yooz guyz  know of?

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Take a length of PVC pipe, wrap it with fibreglass insulation, and put your piece of wood inside. Make a steam tank from a 10 gallon drum, and get one of those burners they use for frying turkeys at Thanksgiving. Fill drum with water and simmer gently. Blow steam into tube, period depends on thickness of wood.
...So, in other words, "No." :-D
It looks bad if I give my usual succinct answer after yours. ;-)
Fair enough! So this dude classified his question in Tech/electronics. I'm thinking, if he is actually interested in a proper non-wacky method for bending lumber, that it ought to be reclassified to Workshop/woodworking. Your thoughts?
Even if it would work, I doubt that microwaved wood would bend much better than plain wood. Part of the success depends on the moisture in the steam.
jimboa2020red (author)  Re-design6 years ago
I did this with a quarter inch peice of ceder shake. And I read this online that it depends on a 200 degree (F) temp. Also, I'd point to how a stick match often curls when it burns. I'd say that's due to heat and not moisture
jimboa2020red (author)  Re-design6 years ago
lol alot to proccess. I wanted to just put it in my secluded neighboorless/petless/3 acre backyard (country). By the way, no old man wood worker would know about microwaves :) lol Is there no larger metal container to counter waves that may escapes. Also, I'd only be snugly cutting/fitting a 4x4 hole for large wooden post. would beam go through them uninterupted.
What do you mean by the continued use of "no old man wood worker"? To me, that sounds quite insulting. Microwaves have been in routine use since the mid 1970s, at least in the USA. One would have to be quite old to not have become quite familiar. My dad is almost 83 and he's quite familiar. Don't be stupid. Being young isn't a ticket to smart. it's often a ticket to stupid, especially for those that don't respect their elders.
jimboa2020red (author)  seandogue6 years ago
Hey, don't make waves. I've spent the last five years pouring my grandmother's SH into the toilet (3 times daily), so I'm pretty respectful. BTW, I've asked every capenter (were old men) I saw about steam bending. I only got the idea when I saw that these college kids had bent 4x4s into a U-shaped chair. But the had alot of equipment (a huge shop). So I'm just surprised that there is no person (long) microwave avialable. And dispite my overlooked sarcasm, respect is given to those who earn it. I'll let you ponder how a 'youngster' like me missed out on that, especially relative to handy work.
jimboa2020red (author)  Re-design6 years ago
alot to process :) Wood bending depends on heat, steam on carries heat. ok, I have no pets/kids/neighboors around my some 3 acre backyard. Is there no way I can counter what microwaves might escape with a metal container? Also, I just wanted to snugly cut/fit a/some (new/wet wood) 4x4 post into the microwave. not be nieve here, but would a microwave beam be fully uninterupted with a 4x4 post stick through it. and by the way, no old man wood workers would know anything about microwaves lol :)
No. Wood bending depends on moisture. You can heat up dry hardwood all you want, and it won't bend. You can bend green softwood without heating it up hardly at all.
Yep. Steam the sucker. Or: Use thinner pieces, steam them, and laminate them in a form to achieve the desired sheet. Which is a HECK of a lot more likely to work if what you want will windup being 4" thick.

You don't need to repost your comments three or four times. Could you consider deleting the duplicates?

Also, the REPLY link to answer someone is below their comment text, not above.

jimboa2020red (author)  Re-design6 years ago
alot to process :) Wood bending depends on heat, steam on carries heat. ok, I have no pets/kids/neighboors around my some 3 acre backyard. Is there no way I can counter what microwaves might escape with a metal container? Also, I just wanted to snugly cut/fit a/some (new/wet wood) 4x4 post into the microwave. not be nieve here, but would a microwave beam be fully uninterupted with a 4x4 post stick through it. and by the way, no old man wood workers would know anything about microwaves lol :)
+1. Good answer.

(although it can be done with hot water as well. I've seen quite a bit of "steamed wood" done in various vats of heated water, rather than actual steam)
jeff-o6 years ago
The microwave cavity is a "resonant cavity" that is, to microwaves at least, a sealed box. The interior dimensions are specifically set so that the microwave inside forms a "standing wave." If the box were too large or too small, then the beam would short out on the walls and the oven would destroy itself. So no, you cannot cut holes in both ends and run the wood through. Use steam as others have said.
rickharris6 years ago
No - steam it.

Kerf cut on the inside and bend. http://stusshed.wordpress.com/2007/07/17/kerfing-bending-wood-on-the-tablesaw/

Kerf cuts are a great way to overcome some of the problems, especially if you're applying a fascia. problems are apparent, however, if the plank/etc is meant to do more than just spruce something's looks up.

Badumbump!. 
That works too, of course.
kelseymh6 years ago
No.
jimboa2020red (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
Even if I am far away? 30ft? I confused as to the amount of radiation that is dangerous, given the microwave door is see through and only contain bits of metal. In theory, it should work. Steve, like I said 20 secs vs hrs of steam cooking. aslo I can find microwaves for 3 US bucks vs .....$...............But I have an 8ft steam wooded box. I only have about 30 seconds of bending time after 2hrs of cooking, not practicle. I looking for advice from someone familiar with microwave oven radiation......please:)

The "bits of metal" in the window are in fact a continuous metal plate with holes drilled through it. Those holes are much smaller than the wavelength of the radiation, which means that the plate behaves like a solid reflector. At the same time, the holes are much larger than the wavelength of visible light, so the latter can get through them unimpeded (and you can see what's inside).

It isn't just your safety that's important. How about the dog or cat or three-year-old who wanders between you and the oven while you're blasting a kilowatt or so of power out? Microwave ovens are specifically tuned to frequencies which heat water (since most food-like stuff is water). Therefore, they will preferentially cook you, your children, or your pets if you let them.

Never mind the fact that all that radio energy you're putting out is actively illegal and the FCC will come down on you hard if it interferes with anything important like airplane radar...
Sorry Jim, Its really not possible on a DIY basis.

Sure, there are seriously big industrial rigs that might do it, but steam is involved for a reason !

Do you only want a very local bend in this piece or something, because, even if you could cut a hole in a uwave (NOT a plan), you'd only heat a 12" section at a time.

Steve
jimboa2020red (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
Even if I am far away? 30ft? I confused as to the amount of radiation that is dangerous, given the microwave door is see through and only contain bits of metal. In theory, it should work. Steve, like I said 20 secs vs hrs of steam cooking. aslo I can find microwaves for 3 US bucks vs .....$...............But I have an 8ft steam wooded box. I only have about 30 seconds of bending time after 2hrs of cooking, not practicle. I looking for advice from someone familiar with microwave oven radiation......please:)
iPodGuy6 years ago
Is there any way you could set the piece of wood up on horses or 2 ladders or something and hang some weights off? Soak the heck out of it everyday or let the rain take care of it? I had a 2x4 sitting on milk crates once and it bent just from being exposed to the elements (took a few months).