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Thread: Steam Bending, an Addendum

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    sarnia ont
    Real Name
    Steve Morris

    Default Steam Bending, an Addendum

    just a few words of caution

    i have to steam bend 4 more pieces for the chairs im working on and i ran into an unforeseen problem
    i've been using a piece of 3 inch abs pipe as a steam chamber, seemed easy, wrap it in fibreglass, fittings easily available etc etc

    but the 5 foot piece of pipe sagged about 2 inches during the last steambending session, preventing the stock from fitting in, a disaster in the making!!

    so just a caution, support the pipe well, not just at the ends like i did, and watch out for that steam!! it'll burn you in seconds

    steam bending is a good process for many things, but heat and water create a real hazard in the shop, from fire hazards from the hotplate, steam burns etc etc, it seems pretty benign, to steam a piece of wood for an hour, but it can be very dangerous

    protective clothing is a must, spilled boiling water on yourclothes are a real hazard, i wear rain type gear for sailors, believe me you wont be able to get jeans off fast enough if you spill boiling water

    support the steam chamber well, dont rely on the kettle for support, when its empty, it will fall over, my setup fell over the first time i used it and it wasnt pretty

    and remember, water ie steam has a very high specific heat or in general terms contains a huge amount of energy and it will burn you in seconds or even less

    all in all the process is pretty cheap and easy, just needs some real precautions

    i'll post more details of my steam bending setup if there's interest, let me know
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont

    1930's Beaver Bandsaw

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