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Profile of markofmagic
I have some projects that require bending wood (3/4"red oak) I built a steam box and purchased a steam generator followed the instructions completely But, I had no success. I have since read an article that states that it virtually impossible to bend kiln dried lumber because the lignin is already set fast and will allow the wood to flex. Has any one else had in experience with steam bending wood? Thanks in advance for your imput.
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I have bent red oak into barrel staves. I will have to find the formula but it so much time per thickness of wood. I was not bending 3/4 wood though. It was 1/4" and not a heavy bend. I simply heated on a burner with a tube and lid over a pot of boiling water. I have heard of guy's using stove pipes or ductwork also.

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colorado, usa
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Profile of chill
Try soaking the wood well before the steam process. red oak is very porous and should bend nicely(with clamps and a form) after an hour per inch thickness steaming. the steam needs to pass over the wood so a small vent at the top of your tube keeps the steam moving and lets you know when it's hot enough (212f/100c) to start timing.
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Ray Tupper.
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Profile of Ray Tupper.
Have you given any thought to using 1/4" thickness and laminating them together round the former/mould?
It'll make matters much easier and give the exact same outcome.
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Washington state
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Profile of magicwatcher2005
White Oak steam bends far more easily than Red Oak, so your choice of species may have something to do with your failure. These guys have had some experience with bending wood, so start here:
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Profile of markofmagic
Thanks magicwatcher2005 This a great article
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Profile of markofmagic
OK I did bent some 1/4" stuff this evening but some type of purple resin or something came to the surface of the wood. Any one got any ideas what this could be?
jay leslie
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Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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The other way to curve wood is to make cuts to within 1/16th of an inch from the outer edge. Using the saw kerf of the blade for spacing. The spacing or distance between the cuts has to do with the size of the curve you are trying to make and the Kerf of the blade. Bend and clamp then glue, you may fill the openings with wood filler if desired. I have a book that shows the process and how to calculate for a curve. I am sure there should be something on the internet. This type of process is more work but accomplishes the same thing as steaming. But you can bend the full thickness of your board at once.
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