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Steam bending wood without using a steambox
Steam bending wood without using a steambox
Published: 2016/03/04
Channel: Tips from a Shipwright
Steam Bending Timber
Steam Bending Timber
Published: 2015/02/11
Channel: Rowan Dicks
Steam bending timber WOODWORK New Yankee Workshop
Steam bending timber WOODWORK New Yankee Workshop
Published: 2015/03/02
Channel: neiallswheel
steam bending wood
steam bending wood
Published: 2016/04/25
Channel: EngelsCoachShop
Build a Steam Bending Box | Laney Shaughnessy
Build a Steam Bending Box | Laney Shaughnessy
Published: 2013/07/29
Channel: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
How to steam bend wood at home
How to steam bend wood at home
Published: 2013/01/06
Channel: Sean Carney
Steam Bending White Oak Boards
Steam Bending White Oak Boards
Published: 2014/02/27
Channel: F.W. Willis
Improved Way to Steam Bend Wood
Improved Way to Steam Bend Wood
Published: 2015/09/04
Channel: Peter Collin
How I Built a Steam Box in Under 3 Hours
How I Built a Steam Box in Under 3 Hours
Published: 2016/01/01
Channel: iROBODUDE
Steam Bending Timber (Ash)
Steam Bending Timber (Ash)
Published: 2015/02/10
Channel: Rowan Dicks
The Steambending Shell Process at the Noble & Cooley Factory
The Steambending Shell Process at the Noble & Cooley Factory
Published: 2013/11/01
Channel: DrumCenterNH
Steam Bending Timber
Steam Bending Timber
Published: 2015/02/10
Channel: Rowan Dicks
Steam Bending 20
Steam Bending 20' Cedar 2x12
Published: 2016/11/23
Channel: Structure Decks and Pergolas
Steam bending wood - no special tool needed
Steam bending wood - no special tool needed
Published: 2016/05/20
Channel: Michal Kadlec
How NOT to do Steam Bending
How NOT to do Steam Bending
Published: 2016/04/10
Channel: Frenchcreekvalley .frenchcreekvalley
Making a Steam Bending Chamber: Andrew Pitts~FurnitureMaker
Making a Steam Bending Chamber: Andrew Pitts~FurnitureMaker
Published: 2012/12/22
Channel: Andrew Pitts ~ FurnitureMaker
How to Make a Chair | Episode 7: WOOD BENDING
How to Make a Chair | Episode 7: WOOD BENDING
Published: 2016/05/01
Channel: Conor Coghlan
Steam bending ribs
Steam bending ribs
Published: 2016/03/07
Channel: OrcaBoats
Steam Bending Project Overview | Wood iPad Stand
Steam Bending Project Overview | Wood iPad Stand
Published: 2017/02/10
Channel: Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
Steam Bending Weekend 2013 - Charlie Whinney Associates
Steam Bending Weekend 2013 - Charlie Whinney Associates
Published: 2013/07/10
Channel: Charlie Whinney
How to Build a Steam Box with Rockler
How to Build a Steam Box with Rockler's Steam Bending Kit
Published: 2017/06/25
Channel: SusanStevenson
Steam-bending Basics - WOOD magazine
Steam-bending Basics - WOOD magazine
Published: 2016/01/04
Channel: WOOD magazine
Steam bending
Steam bending
Published: 2011/09/20
Channel: canadianhomeworkshop
Steam Bending for a Windsor Chair by Doucette and Wolfe Furniture Makers
Steam Bending for a Windsor Chair by Doucette and Wolfe Furniture Makers
Published: 2017/06/05
Channel: Len Scungio
Make A Steam Box To Bend Wood
Make A Steam Box To Bend Wood
Published: 2014/03/18
Channel: enduringcharm
serious steam bending
serious steam bending
Published: 2012/03/15
Channel: johnprocario
Beyond Steam Bending!
Beyond Steam Bending!
Published: 2013/12/29
Channel: izzy swan
Building a steam bending box
Building a steam bending box
Published: 2014/09/13
Channel: mtmwood
How to steam bend wooden boat frames in plastic bags instead of a traditional steam box
How to steam bend wooden boat frames in plastic bags instead of a traditional steam box
Published: 2014/03/11
Channel: Tips from a Shipwright
Steam Bending Native American Hand Drum Hoop
Steam Bending Native American Hand Drum Hoop
Published: 2015/12/05
Channel: Donald Porta
Steam Bending A Trout Fishing Net
Steam Bending A Trout Fishing Net
Published: 2012/10/01
Channel: fosterjeffreym
Bending Guitar Sides from my Steambox Luthier Acoustic Building Process
Bending Guitar Sides from my Steambox Luthier Acoustic Building Process
Published: 2015/03/20
Channel: ahmed elfadaly
Steam bending wood with no steam box
Steam bending wood with no steam box
Published: 2016/07/16
Channel: Steven Messman
Steam bending wood for a toboggan
Steam bending wood for a toboggan
Published: 2013/01/09
Channel: Christopher Thiessen
Steam Bending A Toboggan / Sled
Steam Bending A Toboggan / Sled
Published: 2012/12/30
Channel: BoatworksToday
steam bending walnut
steam bending walnut
Published: 2012/01/22
Channel: john bohman
Steam bending wood, air dried oak
Steam bending wood, air dried oak
Published: 2017/03/04
Channel: Premier Upholstery Peterborough
Wooden Boat Repair-Steam Bending Timber
Wooden Boat Repair-Steam Bending Timber
Published: 2013/09/26
Channel: PaulKilpin
Steam Bending a Primitive Bow
Steam Bending a Primitive Bow
Published: 2016/10/06
Channel: J R's Place
Steam bending toboggan runners
Steam bending toboggan runners
Published: 2013/09/30
Channel: Marc Ornstein
Steam bending kayak ribs
Steam bending kayak ribs
Published: 2011/05/31
Channel: William Wessinger
Steam bending Walnut wood
Steam bending Walnut wood
Published: 2015/12/17
Channel: T Zwart
Curvando madeiras Steam bending
Curvando madeiras Steam bending
Published: 2013/07/16
Channel: Toninho Arteirinho Vip
Steam Bending Wood, Build A Steam Box!
Steam Bending Wood, Build A Steam Box!
Published: 2013/12/28
Channel: izzy swan
Timber Benders, wood bending Daylesford, Australia
Timber Benders, wood bending Daylesford, Australia
Published: 2015/04/16
Channel: the Cunning Crow
Steam bending planks
Steam bending planks
Published: 2009/03/28
Channel: TheWoodenBoat
Rouch Cut
Rouch Cut's Tommy Mac on Steam Bending Wood from Season 3
Published: 2013/01/18
Channel: woodcraftmarketing
Steam bending - Building a Timber Frame Home
Steam bending - Building a Timber Frame Home
Published: 2016/05/04
Channel: Timber Frame Home
STEAM BENDING OF WILLOW WOOD.wmv
STEAM BENDING OF WILLOW WOOD.wmv
Published: 2012/02/16
Channel: Muhammad Sagheer
Steam Bending a Toboggan / Sled (Part 2)
Steam Bending a Toboggan / Sled (Part 2)
Published: 2013/01/01
Channel: BoatworksToday
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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A Steinway solid wood piano case being pressed after taking from the steam box.
Steam box formerly used in shipbuilding at historic Axel Stenross slipway, Port Lincoln, South Australia
Steam box oven at historic Axel Stenross slipway, Port Lincoln, South Australia

Steam bending is a woodworking technique where strips of wood are steam heated using a steam box. The applied heat and moisture makes the wood pliable enough to easily bend around a former to create a specific shape. The moulding process is usually done by clamping the strips of wood to a positive form, with the strips of wood often reinforced on the outside with a metal band to prevent blowout. The method has been used in the manufacturing of a diverse range of products, some examples being wooden boat building where it is used in the shaping of hull's ribs and lap boards, the production of traditional wooden lacrosse sticks, musical instruments such as violins and in the manufacture of wooden furniture like the Windsor chair and much of Michael Thonet's work.[1]

Steam bending is a traditional process steeped in history. It was once a vital practice, paramount to the production of weapons, tools and water vessels, but with the advance of technology the practice has become less common. Steam bending is also a low energy, ecological and economical method of manipulating wood. It doesn't need the expense or drying time of glues to join together several wood pieces to make the desired shape. Steam bending also leaves lower levels of scrap since a smaller piece can be bent into shape instead of cutting the desired shape away from larger, more expensive stock.

Process[edit]

Steam bending is limited in the degree of bend it can achieve, particularly for thick wood. Also, not all species of wood steam-bend well.[1] It weakens the wood slightly and can leave residual stresses which may cause breakage, blowouts or spring-back over time.

To properly bend a sheet or plank of wood, there are a few techniques that will help. The hardness of the wood will determine how long is required to soak the wood in water. The harder the wood, the more time is needed to fully soak the wood before it can be bent and to prevent it from springing back to its original form. Popular hardwoods are oak, maple, cherry, birch, walnut, ash and poplar. Common softwoods are pine, fir, spruce, hemlock, cedar and redwood.[2]

A steel mold that is placed on the back of the wood while heat bending can help ensure that all the bends and curves are done to the requirements of the project being made. After heat bending the wood, clamping the wood into a solid mold will reinforce the bends made to the wood while drying, preventing the wood from straightening while it dries.

Steam Box[edit]

A steam box is a long, sealed container used to steam wooden planks for the purpose of making them pliable. Once steamed and then fastened or clamped into the desired position and left to dry, the wood will hold the new shape. Steam boxes allow for much more efficient use of wood. Instead of cutting the desired shape away from a large and more expensive piece of wood and leaving much scrap to be discarded, steam boxes allow for a smaller piece to be bent in the general shape and leaving much less scrap. Steam boxes also allow the wood to bend beyond its dry breaking point, which is useful in making extreme curves with the wood. In many cases, the bent piece is stronger than an identical piece cut from larger stock. Steam bending wood allows the wood grain to follow the bend, leaving it strong where a piece cut from larger stock would snap across crosscut grains or laminated joints.

The largest steam boxes are used in boat building to bend the large planks for the frame and hull. However, smaller ones are used in making a variety of consumer items, such as rocking chairs, musical instruments and walking canes.

Bentwood[edit]

Bentwood chair by Michael Thonet
The wood roof shingles on this onion dome were bent to match the curves of the dome. The church is in a compound known as the Kizhi Pogost.

Bentwood objects are those made by wetting wood (either by soaking or by steaming), then bending it and letting it harden into curved shapes and patterns. In furniture making this method is often used in the production of rocking chairs, cafe chairs, and other light furniture. The iconic No. 14 chair by Thonet is a well-known design based on the technique. The process is in widespread use for making casual and informal furniture of all types, particularly seating and table forms. It is also a popular technique in the worldwide production of furniture with frames made of heavy cane, which is commonly imported into European and Western shops.

Bentwood boxes are a traditional item made by the First Nations people of the North American west coast including the Haida, Gitxsan, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Sugpiaq, Unangax, Yup'ik, Inupiaq and Coast Salish. These boxes are generally made out of one piece of wood that is steamed and bent to form a box. Traditional uses of the boxes was varied and included storage of food goods, clothing and for burial. They were often without decoration while others were decorated elaborately. Today many are made for collectors and can be purchased from museums, gift shops and online sites as well as directly commissioned from the artists.[3][4][5][6]

The Aleut or Unangan People of Alaska made hunting visors, called chagudax, out of driftwood using the bentwood method. The visors were used by hunters who were in kayaks. They are said to help keep the sea spray off the face as well as improve hearing. They were often decorated with paints, beads, sea lion whiskers and ivory figurines. Andrew Gronholdt is credited with reviving the art of chagudax carving in the 1980s. Present day Unangan artists create chagadux for ceremonial purposes and offer them for sale to the public as well.[7][8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b William A. Keyser. Jr. (1985). Steambending:Heat and moisture plasticize wood in Fine woodworking on Bending Wood. Taunton Press. pp. 2–119. ISBN 0-918804-29-9. 
  2. ^ http://www.sawdustmaking.com/Wood/wood.html
  3. ^ "Canadian Museum of Civilization". Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada". Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Museum of Anthropology online collection". Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  6. ^ George MacDonald (1996). Haida Art. University of Washington Press. 
  7. ^ "Alaska Native Collections Smithsonian Institution". Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ancient Aleut Art of Making Bentwood Visors Showcased at Anchorage Museum". Retrieved 14 March 2012. 

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