Steam bending advice

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RicodJour wrote:

When you say a "reasonably tight" chamber it should be noted the chamber really needs to be reasonably loose, so steam can readily flow. A reasonably tight chamber will result in too little heating and too much kindling, at least by my definition of "reasonably tight":-)
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Jack
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Well, if the chamber isn't doing it's job, then it's being unreasonable.
Yes, some steam has to escape.
R
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Soaking a small diameter piece like that in Downy (Use a capped PVC tube) works very well. Reusable too. No heat.
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Forgot to mention to dilute with distilled water. Some wood will discolour.
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I'd be concerned that the soap would interfere with paint/stain (gag)/ whatever finishing of the piece.
R
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Regular cat lacquer worked alright. After a thorough drying, some sanding and a coat of sanding sealer. Didn't try stain.
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Robatoy wrote:

I've always understood it is the heat that allows wood to bend, and the water (steam) is mainly there to facilitate heating the wood w/o burning it. Not saying soaking in cold, soapy water will, or will not work, but for gradual bends, 3/16th thick wood can bend some with little fuss.
--
Jack
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