Steam Cabinet

I need to bend two sides of a cabinet. The sides will be constructed of Maple, (probably pine the first time). The two edges will contain a groove in which the side panels will fit. The two edge pieces will be 5/4 material. Does anyone have any suggestion on how to build a temporary steaming cabinet to fit a 59"X24" piece?
If you have a March 2004 catalog of Lee Valley the "cracked cabinet" on the front is what I thinking about making. (I really hate myself!!!!)
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May a little tongue in cheek but if you live in the south west- where summer sems to be coming in April, I would start with enough black plastic garbage bags and a small container of water - not touching the wood- Seal it all up tight, set it out in the sun and let mother nature do her thing.

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Amazing piece. Try doing the sides as bent laminations, of stiched together veneers.
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I just attended a class at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI on steam bending wood. The most important thing that I learned from it was that the steam box construction is really not important nor is the material it's made of. You can use some plywood just screwed together and you don't even need a tight seal around the whole box. You just have to trap a majority of the steam so that it heats the wood enough to stretch the fibers of the piece you are bending. Just make the box a little larger than the largest piece you plan to bend and have it tilt slightly away from the door on one end so that the water can drain away from where you will take the wood out and you will be fine. I have a couple pictures of the steam box that we used at the school here: http://www.bruceharang.com/jigsandtips.html . Another thing is to make sure that you have very straight grained wood that does not "run out" the edge of the board. It tends to crack there.
My advise is have patience and plan on 20-40% waste, as the instructor told us at the school.
Good luck.
Bruce

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Thanks Bruce, with yours and Anne's suggestions, I'm ready to give it a try! It will be a couple of weeks - but I'll let you know how it works out. Evon

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