How to Steam Bend Wood

Intro: 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!

Share

    Recommendations

    • Optics Contest

      Optics Contest
    • Plastics Contest

      Plastics Contest
    • Electronics Tips & Tricks Challenge

      Electronics Tips & Tricks Challenge

    14 Discussions

    0
    None
    thegrimbarian

    1 year ago

    My Mrs was going to throw an old carpet / floor steam cleaner out today. The water container is massive, plus it has many pipes and brushes; I have to look at it properly, it was in my shed like a shot, before she said, "Oh no, more clutter!" I have an old steam iron with a water vessel too but it has been under my bench in the garage for months, I will have to find the time to bend some wood as the Mrs would like a seat in the garden that looks like an upended boat.

    0
    None
    YossiMiller

    2 years ago

    Hello,

    Which color I need to protect my wood chamber inside and outside made of

    plywood?

    thanks Yossi

    plywood

    0
    None
    abathpi

    3 years ago on Introduction

    I got a question how many hours we need to steam for thickness wood like 10cm or 20cm or 40cm
    I'm from Asia not very good at English don't mind me thanks

    i need to bend a 1 1/2 " * 5 1/2" by 16 ft long can anyone help me with this challange?

    0
    None
    jexter

    4 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    None

    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?

    1 reply

    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.

    0
    None
    eheemstra

    5 years ago

    What are u making in ur pic? Looks like a lacrosse mold

    0
    None
    On The 3dgecurbowman

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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 https://www.instructables.com/id/EL-Wire-Spiderweb/step3/Steam-bend-wood/

    0
    None
    joreknight

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    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.

    0
    None
    rickharris

    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.