I am trying to locate containers to submerge long pieces of veneers in
hot water. The depth is not all that critical, perhaps only an inch or
two, but width and length, especially length needs to be longer then,
The container must be water-tight, of course, and suitable to heating so
that the water in it can boil.
Any suggstions anyone has will be appreciated.
I was in the same boat and here's what I did. I got a piece of copper
flashing material from a local roofer and bent it into a U shape, cut
the ends, and soldered it together. A friend had a bending brake and
I used that to bend the material. I made mine 44 inches long and
about 4 inches deep by about 6 wide. I also put some hinges on it so
I could make a lid to hold the heat in. I use a couple of Walmart hot
plates to heat the water. Works pretty slick.
IF you are in a rural or pseudo-rural area I'd suggest finding an
agriculture supply store (Tractor Supply Co, Fleet Farm etc are
examples from the MidWest).
Look in the section for feed troughs or ask them for suggestions.
Otherwise, I would agree with a previously posted suggestion of
getting some rain gutter.
I've never hot water bent (always used steam) and would be curious to
know how you get along.
I made a herd of shaker baskets several years ago. Had a bathroom
adjacent to the back porch, so I soaked 'em in just a covering of hot
water for about an hour (replacing the hot water every 10 minutes or so)
and added boiling water about 10 minutes prior to running out the
back door with 'em and wrapping them around the styrofoam molds and duct
taping them. One out of six was just on the verge of cracking, but all
worked out well after allowing 3 days for drying here in AZ.
I did the final thicknessing on my RAS with a rotary planer, but that's
I'm like hex here any bending I have ever done successfully has been with
steam. I take a big downspout or some other pipe to fit the stock put duct
tape over one end and wood inside and loose fit a rag in the open end. Then
I poke the hose from an old wallpaper steamer through the taped end and let
it steep. I made a box and put it on top of a woodstove in my shop but
never had any success with that. The steaming method has even bent 1"
walnut rope dowel for me and that is a hard bend (the short grain wants to
Good luck and happy bending!
just finished a weekend of Shaker box making at the John Campbell folk
school and the instructer had a stainless tank that had a hinged cover.
he had it made at a local sheel metal shop in Atlanta. He also
suggested a length of metal rain gutter. I have also seen articles that
indicated the Shakers used room temp water but I can't confirm that.
C'mon! You're a woodworker! Get some cdx plywood and make a box! Put
in several screws at the joints and the wood will swell and keep the
leakage to a minimum, or you can use epoxy for the joints, being sure
to slather it on in critical areas (like corners). Epoxy has
gap-filling properties which will fill small gaps (~1/16"), so it
should work well.
I bet you even have some scrap wood laying around which will work.
Well, I bought a length of guttering, put the end caps on, filled the
gaps at the end with gutter seal, and it holds the water just fine. It
also looks like it will do fine for boxes up to about a #8, 4 feet in
length and 5-6" in width.
I tried heating the water over a dual hot plate, and after about an
hour, the water was still only at about 150 degrees.
Any ideas on the best way to get the water to boil?
doesn't have to boil, just get to the "steaming" state. boiling breaks
down part of the wood and can weaken it. Our instructor last weekend
had a 2 burner hot plate under his stainless steel tank (18"x48"x 4"
deep) and that worked just fine, took about 30 miuntes to get the water
steaming but it never did boil. did you have a cover on it?
His tank was a gift from some former students. they had asked in class
what his ideal tank would be and had a sheet metal shop make 3, one for
each of the 2 students and the 3rd they sent to him.
Sheet metal shop or sheet metal fabricator.
I bought an old tea kettle for $1 at Goodwill and fit a metal pipe to
it and my steambox. I heat the tea kettle with a natural gas Fisher
burner (gets extremely hot), but I guess an electric burner will work
fine too. What you don't want is to run out of fuel in the middle of
the steaming process (like using a propane torch.)
Get yourself a pair of leather gloves. Steam burns hurt!
You don't have to boil the water for Shaker boxes. You need to keep
the stock thin -- for the smallest boxes (with the tightest radii),
the stock must be thinner than a big box, like a #8. I use a Walmart
electric hotplate under a 40" x 7" copper tray, with about 3" of water
in it. One burner gets really hot, while the other is stuck on "low"
for warming only. It gets the water more than hot enough. I soak the
pieces for 15-20 minutes, and they bend like butter.
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