FREE SAMPLE ISSUE FREE NEWSLETTER DIGITAL ISSUE PREVIEW

Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Two Toboggans (illustrating steam bending techniques)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Toronto (Scarborough), Ontario
    Posts
    2,221

    Default Two Toboggans (illustrating steam bending techniques)

    (part 1 of 2)

    Early in 2005 I created a thread on Saw Mill Creek about building a toboggan for my granddaughter Jamie. At the time I made that toboggan, I bent sufficient slats for a second toboggan and this year I built that toboggan for my grandson Ethan.

    Here a thread that contains much of the stuff from the original thread augmented by material about the new toboggan.

    In early 2005, I attended a toboggan making course at my local Lee Valley store. It was a two part course. During the first part, we steamed and bent the wood then, a week later; we took the wood off the forms, and assembled the toboggans. Everyone attending the course exited with a toboggan and, for a small additional charge to cover material, I exited with the bent wood that will allow me to build a second toboggan in the future.

    The main purpose of the course was to learn to steam and bend wood, producing a toboggan was just a bonus. The course was taught by John Robinson who is a well known Windsor Chair craftsman. John teaches chair making classes in both Canada and the USA and some of his chairs have been featured in Fine Woodworking.

    We made the toboggans with relatively green ash that John cut on his bandsaw shortly before the course. The boards were about 3/8 inch thick and about 2.6 inches wide. According to our coarse notes, kiln dried wood should not be used. Here is a quote from the notes:

    Kiln-dried wood must not be used; the lignin in the wood has been permanently set during the hot dry kilning process. No amount of steaming or soaking will weaken the lignum bond sufficiently for successful bending. The same applies for air dried wood that has been allowed to dry and stabilize below 10% moisture content.

    The toboggan making process is best illustrated with pictures.

    (1) We first marked the ash to show best orientation and position of cross pieces. Then we planed the edges and scraped the sides a bit. Next, the boards were placed into the (home made) steam box.

    Name:  Toboggan Making -1 -small.JPG
Views: 9734
Size:  82.1 KB

    (2) The boards were steamed for about an hour. Here is another view of the box.

    Name:  Toboggan Making -2  -small.JPG
Views: 11265
Size:  92.9 KB

    (3) The boards were (very carefully) bent over a circular form. The form is made of PVC pipe about 8 inches in diameter.

    Name:  Toboggan Making -3 -small.JPG
Views: 9572
Size:  93.4 KB

    (4) Then, they were tied down. That's John Robinson in the background.


    Name:  Toboggan Making -4 -small.JPG
Views: 9107
Size:  96.4 KB

    (5) Finally, the boards were clamped in a couple of places. This assembly was allowed to dry for a week.


    Name:  Toboggan Making -5 small.JPG
Views: 9066
Size:  98.1 KB

    The second part of the course was straightforward scrapping, sanding, and assembly. Then finishing was completed at home.

    (6) This is a photo of the toboggan as it was when I brought it home.


    Name:  Toboggan Making -6 -small.JPG
Views: 9205
Size:  68.6 KB

    (7) In this photo, I am burning Jamie's name into the toboggan.


    Name:  Toboggan Making -7 -small.JPG
Views: 9098
Size:  100.7 KB

    (8) The next step was to finish the toboggan with 3 coats of clear Varathane and with two coats of wax on the bottom. This is a photo of taken after that stage (along with the second toboggan still in the form).

    Name:  Toboggan Making -8 -small.JPG
Views: 8983
Size:  87.5 KB
    Cheers,
    Frank

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Toronto (Scarborough), Ontario
    Posts
    2,221

    Default

    (part 2 of 2)

    (9) And, here is Jamieís toboggan decked out with ropes and a pad and all ready to go.


    Name:  Toboggan Making -9 -small.JPG
Views: 9062
Size:  100.3 KB




    Attachment 2473



    Attachment 2474.

    12) Now turning to 2006. In December, I finished the other toboggan for my grandson Ethan (4.5 years old). First, I needed to sand the slats.


    Name:  Toboggan Making -12 -Frank sanding inside of a toboggan slat -small.JPG
Views: 9382
Size:  99.4 KB

    13) Next, I needed to make the cross pieces (out of scrap maple). Here the slats are being fitted into the top cross piece:


    Name:  Toboggan Making -13 -Fitting the slats in Ethan's toboggan -small.JPG
Views: 9199
Size:  73.5 KB

    14) Now the toboggan has been assembled and Ethanís name is being burned into it.

    Name:  Toboggan Making -14 Burning Ethan's name into the toboggan -small.JPG
Views: 9396
Size:  101.2 KB


    I did split one of the slats a bit when bending it two years ago, and that is a Bondo patch at the curve of the second slat to the right.

    15) And here is the finished toboggan, along with other gifts, outside Ethanís house on Christmas day.


    Name:  Toboggan Making -15 -Xmas Day -Our presents waiting inthe Harris driveway -small.JPG
Views: 8896
Size:  99.9 KB

    Unfortunately, we are not getting a decent winter in Toronto this year :(, so Ethan has not had the opportunity to use the toboggan (nor his sister Isla to use the sled). If and when snow does arrive, I will post a picture or two of Ethanís toboggan in use.
    Cheers,
    Frank

Similar Threads

  1. Two Toboggans (illustrating steam bending techniques)
    By Frank Pellow in forum Woodworking
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 02-05-2012, 09:03 AM
  2. Steam Bending, an Addendum
    By stevem in forum Woodworking
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-07-2008, 09:28 PM
  3. 350 bdft of qswo ph 4 steam bending
    By stevem in forum Woodworking
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-11-2008, 06:42 PM
  4. Steam Bending QSWO
    By stevem in forum Woodworking
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-05-2008, 10:08 AM
  5. using PVC for a steamer for steam bending wood
    By wood steamer in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-30-2007, 01:57 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •