wood bending steam box - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 Old 06-30-2015, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 5
View deputybulmer's Photo Album My Photos
wood bending steam box

need advice on a steam box. I built a steam box today, made from solid 3/4 x 9" lumber. Made it according to a youtube video and it turned out really nice. I attached the Earlex steam generator to it and fired it up to check for unusual leaks. Moisture dripped out of the bottom hole like it should, temperature reached 212 degrees and steam was coming out of the front vent holes i drilled into the door. All seemed like a sucess, was about to dance the jig and i heard cracking, then noticed the edges on top one side only start to have little seperation but no leaks, then it started to crack down the middle on the top board, and on the side. Temp at that point was still 212 degrees. So does anyone know what went wrong??? spent a lot of money on the wood so im a little bummed.. Any advice wouuld be appriciated.. Thank you.
deputybulmer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 06-30-2015, 05:10 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
I don't know but I suspect you need to make the steamer out of a different material than wood. The ones I've seen were made out of PVC pipe. If you need bigger probably galvanized ductwork would do it.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 06-30-2015, 06:46 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 14
View turnkeytrim's Photo Album My Photos
Made mine out of schedule 80 pvc pipe. And a few fittings. New metal gas can radiator hose and lobster boiler cooker. Worked great bent a pc of 3/4x3/4 pine around a coffee can. Lol.
turnkeytrim is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to turnkeytrim For This Useful Post:
deputybulmer (07-01-2015)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 20 Old 06-30-2015, 07:23 PM
Village Idiot
 
epicfail48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Springfield MO
Posts: 4,906
View epicfail48's Photo Album My Photos
I agree with Steve, using a wood box for a steamer doesn't seem like itd work out very well. I'd lean to a big PVC pipe instead. If you need any bigger, duct would work, but I imagine you'd have to insulate it somehow

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
epicfail48 is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 06-30-2015, 09:04 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,897
View Quickstep's Photo Album My Photos
Boatbuilding guys have been using wooden steam boxes for years. I think they're usually made of wood that's a little thicker than 3/4" though. It seems to me that the wood you made the box from expanded when the hot moisture was introduced. The wood didn't expand evenly, so it cracked. I can imagine this happening if it was kiln dried and had some internal stresses. If the cracks aren't structural, you could cover them with another piece of wood and move on. I seem to remember seeing the big ones used for boats covered with patches.

BTW, what kid of wood was it that you used?
Quickstep is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 06-30-2015, 11:38 PM
Custom stair builder
 
Treeoflifestairs.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 241
View Treeoflifestairs.com's Photo Album My Photos
I had the same question. Different species will expand more or less than others with moisture.

Check out some of my custom stairs
Treeoflifestairs.com is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 10:09 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NW Pa
Posts: 2,945
View TimPa's Photo Album My Photos
what kind of wood did you use? I made my first one from 4" pvc and basically hung it over the tea kettle on the stove. the pvc got hot enough to misform over time. so my second one was made from 6" stove pipe, cheap, never looked back.

save your wood for another project...
TimPa is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 5
View deputybulmer's Photo Album My Photos
I would post a picture of it but when I click the attachment it doesn't seem to work.
I think the wood was either poplar or pine. And yeah maybe should have used thicker wood, but funny there are NO cracks on inside of box.. just outside. Maybe needed more vents?? Don't know. Thinking about getting the welder and plasma cutter out and converting an old water heater tank into a steam box. Should work..
deputybulmer is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 5
View deputybulmer's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
what kind of wood did you use? I made my first one from 4" pvc and basically hung it over the tea kettle on the stove. the pvc got hot enough to misform over time. so my second one was made from 6" stove pipe, cheap, never looked back.

save your wood for another project...
doesn't the wood pieces have to be suspended off the bottom of pipe so steam gets all around it?
deputybulmer is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 12:20 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NW Pa
Posts: 2,945
View TimPa's Photo Album My Photos
yes they do. I lay cross pieces in the bottom on the pipe that the boards rest on. cutting angles on the ends help them stay in place. you will need to do that with any round housing you select.
TimPa is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to TimPa For This Useful Post:
deputybulmer (07-01-2015)
post #11 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 02:04 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,897
View Quickstep's Photo Album My Photos
Well,,,,, If you don't have any leaks.............

Just sayin'
Quickstep is offline  
post #12 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 04:41 PM
Wood Snob
 
Al B Thayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,963
View Al B Thayer's Photo Album My Photos
Just fill the cracks with bondo or something. Aluminum tape they use on duct work. I made one out of PVC and it melted and flattened out. Wood works fine you just had a piece that needed "seasoning". The wood will work better because it will also hold the heat in better.

Heat is what causes the wood to plasticize but if it's kiln dried it won't work as well or very little.

Al


Al B Thayer is offline  
post #13 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 07:42 PM
Senior Member
 
Sleeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Casa Grande, AZ
Posts: 5,395
View Sleeper's Photo Album My Photos
Need some photos because I have no idea of what it is.

JohnnyB
Iím a die hard DIY guy. Donít tell me to hire someone for what I can do myself.
Sleeper is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 07:47 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,897
View Quickstep's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper View Post
Need some photos because I have no idea of what it is.
Here's the general idea

Quickstep is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Quickstep For This Useful Post:
Sleeper (07-01-2015)
post #15 of 20 Old 07-01-2015, 09:05 PM
Senior Member
 
Quo Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South West VA
Posts: 439
View Quo Fan's Photo Album My Photos
I got a steam generator from Rockler, and built a plywood steam cabinet. Was originally too big, so I cut it down. Then it was too long, so I cut it shorter.

Now all I need to do is not use kiln dried stock.

Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
Quo Fan is offline  
post #16 of 20 Old 07-02-2015, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 5
View deputybulmer's Photo Album My Photos
thanks to all of you for your suggestions. they have been helpful.
deputybulmer is offline  
post #17 of 20 Old 07-03-2015, 11:34 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 5,629
View FrankC's Photo Album My Photos
The box has to be vented, you are continuously adding hot steam to replace what has cooled so the excess needs an escape route otherwise it will make one on its own!

Steam boxes have been made from wood practically forever, it is just in later years that other material has been introduced.

What we generally consider as steam coming from a kettle is water vapor, it is relatively harmless, the actual steam is invisible, and very dangerous. There are stories of pipes bursting on steamships and men being sliced in half by it, so be careful.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

FrankC
http://sawdustmaking.com
http://woodworkerglossary.com
FrankC is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 07-03-2015, 10:07 PM
Senior Member
 
Quo Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South West VA
Posts: 439
View Quo Fan's Photo Album My Photos
Steam is incredibly powerful. If you don't vent your steam box, you are building a pressure vessel. They fail with catastrophic results.

You should also incorporate a drain into your steam box.

Tact is for people not witty enough to be sarcastic.
Quo Fan is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old 07-04-2015, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 5
View deputybulmer's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
The box has to be vented, you are continuously adding hot steam to replace what has cooled so the excess needs an escape route otherwise it will make one on its own!

Steam boxes have been made from wood practically forever, it is just in later years that other material has been introduced.

What we generally consider as steam coming from a kettle is water vapor, it is relatively harmless, the actual steam is invisible, and very dangerous. There are stories of pipes bursting on steamships and men being sliced in half by it, so be careful.
I have a drain hole at the back bottom where steam hose goes into box. How many vent holes would you recommend? The box is 4ft long, 9x9
deputybulmer is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old 07-04-2015, 03:03 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 5,629
View FrankC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by deputybulmer View Post
I have a drain hole at the back bottom where steam hose goes into box. How many vent holes would you recommend? The box is 4ft long, 9x9
There is some good info here on making and venting steam boxes:
https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/...y/steambox.pdf

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

FrankC
http://sawdustmaking.com
http://woodworkerglossary.com
FrankC is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steam Bending TomC General Woodworking Discussion 12 02-06-2014 06:17 PM
Steam Bending icor1031 Power Tools & Machinery 6 12-26-2013 08:09 PM
steam bending wood .olav New Member Introductions 2 06-11-2012 07:02 PM
Steam bending glued wood Joshua G General Woodworking Discussion 1 02-05-2011 06:34 AM
Steam bending glued wood Alan General Woodworking Discussion 6 03-30-2009 10:27 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome