H&M were about to marry, and I was entrusted the building of a wedding arch . I had access to little workshop, but not much time nor financial support . I couldn't build something too technically difficult, but still I wanted curves ! And modern shapes . So i dig up an old dream I had, to make my own steam machine to bent wood . It worked fine, and was a really interesting experiment .
We must be able to take the arch apart, so separate pieces can be easily transportable by car . It has to be strong enough to be then installed in H&M's Garden, and ground fixable so the wind won't put it down .
Hopefully, I was given some ash wood by a friend, and started the building .
Step 1: Building the Steam Machine.
I built the first prototype for my steam machine, using a galvanized metallic tube, a pressure cooker and some planks . The pipe to conduct the steam is a gas pipe. It comes really soft with the heat, but doesn't melt .
The machine takes half an hour to get hot, you need to put enough water in the cooker, but then, in less than ten minutes, your wooden strips become soft as chewing gum . Though, the softness only lasts a couple of minutes, even less i think, so you've got to shape it really quickly .