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alteran
12-07-2003, 12:50 AM
I am building an ash frame for a canoe to hang as a piece of art in my house. I think I'll want to steam some parts to more easily bend them. My thought is to build a styrofoam box about 5' long and about 6" square and put steam from a hose connected to a large camping style coffee pot into one end of the box and have a sliding door on the other end to load wood strips and to leave open a bit for steam to exit. Wood I'm using is black and white ash.

Will this work? Are there any other things I need to consider? Is ther an easier way?

Thanks, Al.

Steve Martinson
12-07-2003, 01:28 AM
Do what you said but use a large dia. PVC pipe with a screw cap on the end instead of styrofoam.

Ken Hutchins
12-07-2003, 05:53 AM
Forget the steam box. See this post on how I bent the ribs in TALLY HO II.
bent ribs (http://media5.hypernet.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=008328)

You won't need that much steam for your project, fact is I didn't need that much but I had the boiler and it was convienent for me to use it.

wolfietuk
12-07-2003, 06:33 AM
I finally did some steam bending on some cockpit combings. It isnt hard just tricky. A couple of things I learned. Make sure the steam is hot enough. And When you take the wood out of the box you have about 5 seconds to get it bent, so have everything ready.

Rick

Concordia..41
12-07-2003, 06:54 AM
As an addition to what Rick said, if you can presoak the wood, and get it hot enough, you get more working time. My only frame of reference is white oak, but we have such an operation, Dave actually built a Hydration Chamber (http://www.sailingwithsarah.com/hydrationchamber.htm) .

Having the wood wet through and through really helps, and several folks working on a smaller scale or with other woods have said that they had good results with just soaking.

Happy steaming!

jwaldin
12-07-2003, 07:59 AM
For a small like you describe build your steam box out of half" ply say 6"X6"X5' long. Use hinges for the door, put that thin black foam weather stripping on the door to get a tight seal. A sliding door will not seal tight enough. Caulk the seams inside as you build the box with something like Sikoflex. Use whatever you can to produce lots of steam. Two important tips: make sure whatever you're steaming is not simply laying in the bottom of the box. And drill a small hole 1/8" in the box, or so, to allow a bit of pressure to escape otherwise the whole thing won't work. Soaking the wood for a couple days helps a lot.

Mrleft8
12-07-2003, 09:30 AM
Just nail a few dusty old boards together, pipe in some steam from a good source, (don't forget that water disappears VERY quickly when it turns to steam) and plug the business end up with a wadded up rag. This isn't rocket science. Sealing the box with caulk, or goop is fine, but in no way needed. Steam needs to get out of the box in order for new (hotter) steam to get in. Don't over think it, you're not going to be leaving this steam box to anyone in your will anyway! :D

JimD
12-07-2003, 10:20 AM
Like MrLeft says. You don't want to trap the steam in the box anyway. It has to flow over the wood and escape easily. In Greg Rossel's words from Building Small Boats "Don't bother caulking the box. You want leaks. The only thing a tight steam box will do is slow down or prevent hot steam from entering the box".

hoz
12-07-2003, 01:02 PM
I bent stems for a Peterborough Canoe using just the method the original poster described. Homemade blu styrofoam box Duct taped together. I snserted wires thru the foam to make shelves to stack my laminations. DO NOT make it air tight. You want the steam to escape in small increments.

I used a big stock pot with a plywood lid and a car heater hose to transit the stream.

It's big fun to bend wood!

alteran
12-07-2003, 02:19 PM
Thanks for all the good advice gentlemen.
I just finished making it. It took about 20 minutes. I had a 4X4 sheet of 2" foam laying on top of the table saw since that was what it was sawing last for an insulation project. This was scrap so I wacked it up, made a box, glued it together with some leftover foam in a can, found an old radiator hose that fit on the spout of a giant junk coffee pot[that I have saved for 20 years thinking it might be handy for something someday] and SHAZAM I have a steamer.

Later tonight when the foam is done oozing out and set I'll fire up the old junky gas hot plate burner I've been saving for 20 years thinking it might come in handy someday and try bending wood. My kind of project. A bachelors ideal Sunday.

Thanks all, I'll let you know if it works.

Al.

alteran
12-07-2003, 02:53 PM
And now as a reward for myself I'm having a raw onion sandwich and a can of Leinenkugels.

Life doesn't get much better than this.

Al.

JimD
12-07-2003, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by alteran:
And now as a reward for myself I'm having a raw onion sandwich and a can of Leinenkugels.

Al.EEEEWWW! Did we really need to know that, Al? :D

hoz
12-07-2003, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by alteran:
And now as a reward for myself I'm having a raw onion sandwich and a can of Leinenkugels.

Life doesn't get much better than this.

Al.What? No limberger cheese?

alteran
12-07-2003, 04:27 PM
Limberger!? That stuffs smelly.

I've gotta be fresh smelling in case some ladies come by to see my steaming machine. Ya never know, it could happen.

Al.

Nicholas Carey
12-08-2003, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by JimD:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by alteran:
And now as a reward for myself I'm having a raw onion sandwich and a can of Leinenkugels.

Al.EEEEWWW! Did we really need to know that, Al? :D </font>[/QUOTE]My grandfather was kinda fond of raw onion and lard sandwiches on homemade Rupjmaize (http://www.upword.com/bread/latvian.html) (sourdough rye bread.)