On Thu, 8 Jul 2010 11:34:18 -0700 (PDT), Phil Brown
God, I love it when people ask questions and fail, even when prompted,
to give clear examples of what the hell they're trying to do. Next
you'll be mad at me for not giving you the answer to an incompletely
posed query. <thud>
EXPLETIVE: A balm, usually applied verbally in hindsight,
which somehow eases those pains and indignities following
We need details!
How did you steam it and what kind of radius and length did you need?
I ask because I have a large front entrance that needs an extension for my
8" walls. The radius would be about 2-3' and about 6-7' across after bent.
Not quite 180 degrees.
Previously I attempted to bend soem 2" cutoff trim in MDF. I left it in the
closet for a few months and let it sloop naturally and slowly. I wasn't
curved enough when I took it out, months later and when I went to increase
the bend...it snapped! The stuff can't hold it's own weight but when you
bend it...it snaps???? GRRRRRR...
I just steamed the piece this afternoon and it went beautifully.
Cooked it for about 9 minutes, put into the form and intallled it into
The piece was a oak about 3 1/2" wide to trim the inside of the window
and make up the gap between it and the trim on the very uneven wall.
The trim piece is made from two carved twin bed head boards glued and
It ended up being about 7 feet long. I made the box from a piece of
waste ABS pipe with an inlet glued to one end and a relief hole-about
3/32"-at the other. Very important. I cut a piece of plywood to sit on
the boiling pot on the stove and bored a hole to fit the inlet pipe.
Nothing needed to be really close fitting and little steam escaped on
the way to the box. Slope it so that when you open it you don't get a
cascade of boiling water on you when you open it.
Cooked it for about 9 minutes and it came out pliable and went into
the form-an identical window I have yet to install-easily.
Have plenty of clamps-I had 15-and at least one other pair of hands.
You have about a minute to get it into shape.
All in all a very satisifying experience and the result was one happy
I would think about 20 minutes in active steam would be plenty. Pull it
out periodically and get a feel for where it is at. start with samples.
This should not be too difficult. If the bend is too tight and you get
splitting, use a backer along the outer radius to support the fibers.
I'm not sure I ever heard about over cooking. Guess it is possible, but
you are mopre likely to under steam than over, I would think.
Totally dependent on your heating setup and the ambient temperature.
Rough guess, 15 minutes is all you'll need if the chamber is
reasonably tight and you're putting a goodly amount of steam into the
On Thu, 8 Jul 2010 12:17:05 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour
I took a seminar a Lee Valley Tools a few years ago on steam bending.
Learned that wood compresses inside the bend to form the bend (not
expands outside the bend) and that you can't uncompresses a piece of
wood so bent. Might be useful info to any new steam benders.
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