Wood Steaming And Drying Question

I am steaming 10 strips of red oak. Each piece measures 24" x 7/8" x 3/8". They are to be bent lengthwise with an arc that is about 2" high. I plan to cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to 6" x 30". I will then cut the arc in the plywood and have this as a bending jig. My plan is to steam all 10 strips at the same time, place them all in the bending jig and then clamp the plywood together to put the arc into the strips. My question is how long must I leave the strips clamped up so they are dry when I remove them? I do not have any moisture meters available so this must be done by the seat of the pants. Thanks for any and all help.
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On 23 Aug 2004 17:04:43 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Mike Dalton) wrote:

After three days check them. As they dry, they will become loose. Obviously, drying time depends on the room humidity--less time in Arizona, more time in Mississippi. There will be some spring back as they dry, so make the jig have a little tighter curve than you need.
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<< My plan is to steam all 10 strips at the same time, place them all in the bending jig and then clamp the plywood together to put the arc into the strips. >><BR><BR>
You may want to rethink this part. You have about a minute or so to to bnd ALL ten strips; a rather difficult task.
Also, the form has to be VERY strong, and 3/4" plywood may not be the best choice: you are putting tremendous force on the straps, clamps or whatever you are using, and the plywood has a good chance to snap.
Generally the wood should be clamped for up to 24 hours. Expect a small amout of springback. Also, white oak steams and bends better than red oak.
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Mike Dalton wrote:

Overnight will do.
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Mike, Are you planning on laminating /gluing the strips together after bending? If so, you may want to think of cutting the strips in half. 3/8" to 5/16" and forming them dry. (maybe a bit of sake! see other thread.)
I have just finished some dry walnut lamination, glue, clamp wait 24 hours. They came out fine very minor spring back.. http://www.teamcasa.org/workshop/currentproject.htm Pictures here.
If not then steam, clamp into the form asap. Wait 24 hours. Expect some spring-back.
Dave

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nice clamp set
http://www.teamcasa.org/workshop/images/bcab1.jpg
drive bys suck;-)
TeamCasa wrote:

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