View Full Version : Boiler / Steamer
11-05-2004, 10:24 PM
This topic might have been brought up before, so I apologize for reasking, but here goes. How can I build a simple plank steamer or boiler? I was thinking something along the lines of an electric stove top, heating up a canister of water that dumps vapor into a sealed tarp steaming bag. Any suggestions?
11-05-2004, 10:39 PM
Here are some past threads that should get you started:
11-05-2004, 10:42 PM
Wouldn't recommend a bag, hard to get steam around plank evenly. Instead make a box out of Insulfoam***1" x 4' x 8' get at lowes for $9 a sheet, grey tape the seams, can easily make any length width, height etc; push stiff wire through sides to support plank. Elevate one end (heat rises). Water takes a lot of energy to change from liquid to vapor. Don't know about electric hot plate but one of those propane deep fryer setups would give you a dual purpose (chicken deep fried in peanut oil yum). Seen them at Kmart for cheap. Set one of those jerry can metal gas cans on top. Use a radiator hose to direct steam to box. Gives good volume Vent box so steam can enter move through and exit. Anyway thats what I would do.
11-05-2004, 10:50 PM
I have a stovetop unit that gets it's steam from two cooking pots with plywood lids that have a steam connection and a fill hole. This setup has worked just fine with my around 48" long steambox. A larger box might need more steam than I could generate in this way. Just don't use a steambox in a room with wallpaper -- if you put too much steam into the air you are likely to start peeling the wallpaper. I know someone who did this when they tried to boil down maple sap on their kitchen stove!
This isn't pretty, but it's very effective...and portable, which is a major factor for me.
The cat was not any help at all!
[ 11-05-2004, 10:57 PM: Message edited by: DanO ]
11-05-2004, 11:27 PM
Thanks alot. I think I can finally steam in confidence. One last thing...how long can you "handle" (not necessarily with bare hands mind you) a 10' x 4" x .75" plank fresh out of the steambox?
11-06-2004, 09:23 AM
It's hard for me to translate my experience into minutes -- when you've got a hot (but cooling fast!) piece of wood in your hands the time seems to fly by. Basically, the faster you get it into place the better. I'm guessing a minute or so at best.
11-06-2004, 10:07 AM
If you're going to generate your steam on the kitchen stove, know that you will get condensation. The better the insulation, the less condensation there will be.
As far as handling time, if you can give the board a suggestion as to which way you want it to live for the rest of its life, immediately after you get it out of the box, it will be easier to clamp in place.
3/4 inch, sounds like you've got something interesting going on. Any pics ?
11-06-2004, 10:46 AM
Mine is almost identical to what Spissgator described and it works very well.
11-07-2004, 04:35 PM
A tip I got from this forum last year was to buy a Wagner electric wallpaper steamer, about $30 at HD. I connected the hose end to a 5 foot long box I made out of 1X8 pine. My Wagner steamer holds enough water to supply about 2 hours of continuous steam which is more than you'll need. Very safe and no mess!
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