Instructables

How to Steam Bend Wood

video How to Steam Bend Wood
First of all add hot water to the wallpaper steamer. Two pieces of wood for bending are already inserted into the chamber of the steamer. They are made to raise from the base and each other by placing a few small pieces off wood between them. The steamer is connected to the chamber and turned on. You will need an hour of steaming per 2.5 cm of thickness. I am steaming two pieces of one meter long pine, which are 1 by 4 cm thick. I would estimate about 60 to 70 minutes. The chamber is sealed quite tightly however the steam does condense into water within it. By turning the the chamber towards the ground, the pressure from the steamer will force any water out. When your time has passed, in a quick and smooth action, open your chamber and place the wood on the former carefully bending it into shape. Make sure to wear leather builders gloves as the steam is hot!
jexter3 months ago

Those cams for tightening the bent strips to the form are a great idea. Thanks for posting this!

That is pretty slick. When you where trying to make that first pin I kept waiting for that three stooges moment when it springs free knocking you in the head. That jig is a thing of beauty, but why have rollers?
The rollers are actually clamps, I think. I'm betting they aren't perfectly round, and the center hole is not in the exact center. You can see they also have a hole at the edge, so it appears that once the wood is in it's rough position, a pin or awl or whatever is put into the edge hole and used to rotate the rollers, and since they aren't perfectly round, they will end up pushing the wood down against the form like a clamp would.
eheemstra8 months ago
What are u making in ur pic? Looks like a lacrosse mold
eyesee1 year ago
very good
curbowman2 years ago
Thanks! One question: How could I build a bigger steam chamber, for pieces about 50x50 cm?
i've found that a dishwasher makes a great steam chamber, if its big enough fo what you need, have a look at how this guy does his http://www.instructables.com/id/EL-Wire-Spiderweb/step3/Steam-bend-wood/
joreknight2 years ago
Have you thought of placing the steamer in an angle and putting the vent hole in the lowest point of the jig?

That way the condensed water will be forced out and you wont have to move around the jig to clear the water out of it.
savvas_papasavva (author) 2 years ago
Good call on the roof insulation. Will try that out myself when I get a chance. It depends on how many times you want to use it but I guess a standered box made out of some good quality ply.
rickharris2 years ago
You can make it more efficient by lagging the pipe with roof insulation. Wood becomes surprisingly flexible when steamed.

yes the system scales up and even very large section wood can be steam bent.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!