Steam bending advice

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I need to bend some 3/16" oak and I know enough to know I shouldn't overcook it. Can some one give me a guideline on how long to leave it in? Thanks in advance, Phil Brown
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Go to Google.
I found http://www.wcha.org/tidbits/steamfaq.html
"Now when I say "one hour of steaming per one inch of wood" I mean one hour of SERIOUS steam with NO interruptions."
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Phil Brown wrote:

How long is it and what kind of radius do you need? Unless it is quite short and/or you neeed a very tight radius, you can bend it dry. Oak bends quite well.
--

dadiOH
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Tried it dry, no luck. The bend is quite tight. Phil Brown
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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
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wrote:

Not sure how you escaped my " delete Smart a-- sender file", but I have corrected it now !
Sparky 01
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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 window. Thanks all. Phil Brown
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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 window. Thanks all. Phil Brown
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Details. 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 biscuited together. 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 girlfriend. Phil Brown
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MDF doesn't bend this way. Kerf it. Phil Brown
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Thanx!
Is the kerf best on the inside of the curve, outside or both?
wrote:

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Phil Brown wrote:

Well, then, best I can tell you is that when a veneer plant is slicing oak the flitch has been steamed for 24 hours.
--

dadiOH
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On 7/9/2010 7:56 AM, dadiOH wrote:

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.
Harvey
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I don't know if you can find it, but Norm of the NYW did a show on this exact subject. He bent oak into a victorian style hat and coat rack. Joe G
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On Thu, 8 Jul 2010 12:06:23 -0700 (PDT), GROVER wrote:

I recall that programme. From memory, didn't he split the wood, rather than cutting it, before it went in the steamer?
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Pete, your memory serves you well, he did split the oak stock rather than saw it.
Joe G
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Thanks, all. I've got a nice piece of PVC pipe, not too big, not too small, and I'll be steaming this weekend. Wish me luck. Phil brown
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Here is one data point.
I watched a chairmaking demo where the guy "cooked" his 1" square, green stock for an hour.
He was able to bend it to a 6" radius.
It was very cool.

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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 chamber.
R
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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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