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Thread: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

  1. #1
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    Default What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    My steambox will be 5"x9"x10'. The wood being steamed is 3/4"x6"x8' green white oak. What diameter should I make my steam delivering hose? I've got a bit of 5/8 I.D. heater hose that I've used in a small steambox but am thinking I'd need something bigger for this one. Thoughts? Thanks.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    I've had no problem with doing the same with 1/4" fuel line. 5/8 should be fine.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    I usually use 1" automobile radiator hose.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    The one I had for years has died. I don't recall the exact spec. but I'm gonna say about 3/4", maybe 1".
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    I think I have a short piece of 1 1/2 galvanized pipe between the two, but could use smaller.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    My steam box is slightly smaller than yours, but I'm opting to rent my steam source: a wallpaper steamer. Given the cost of a boiler, or the hassle of a DIY kludge, plus the amount of usage my box will get, I'm going with the rental. This steamer uses a 1/4" hose w/ quick connect fittings. I should know within a couple of weeks how well this works out.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    Rich, I used 1 1/4 inch iro pipe because that is what I had on hand. I also drilled a small hole near the flap door on the top of my steam box so I could stick a meat thermometer, friction fit, into the hole. I waited to put my wood in until it was up to temp. Makes timing more accurate. More important, can you get an extra pair of hands to help with the steaming? My son's help was invaluable. I might have done it without him but it would have been much more of a struggle and, as you know, time is of the essence. Hard to get a do-over. Expensive too.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    I use 4"flexible dryer vent

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    I use about 1", maybe bigger, marine hose. The water tank is a former propane tank. I think bigger is better but I can't exactly tell you why.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    Bigger is better because there is a lower ratio of heat dissipating surface area to volume than with a smaller hose. For example, look at how round guy will stay warm longer than a long thin guy of the same weight in the water, or how 1 pound of aluminum foil will cool off a lot faster than a 1 pound lead ball.

    There's more to consider though. The hot gas is exposed to that heat dissipating surface for a lot less time in a smaller hose. Once you add that in the difference, in fact, is so small that it doesn't really matter for this application.

    I use 1/4" hose out of a pressure cooker because there's already a threaded hole in the cover that accommodates a 1/4" hose nipple and it works just fine.

    What matters a lot more is ensuring an adequate heat source.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    I went with auto radiator hose and a repurposed turkey deep fry rig for the boiler. The best thing, if you can work it, is to configure the box so that the water that condenses can run back to your boiler. That way you are not always adding so much cold water to the boiler. I didn't achieve this on my big steamer. I have also done makeshift steamers with a tea kettle, garden hose, and a length of stovepipe with rags stuffed in the ends.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What diameter hose/pipe from steam generator to steambox?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbowen View Post
    I went with auto radiator hose and a repurposed turkey deep fry rig for the boiler. The best thing, if you can work it, is to configure the box so that the water that condenses can run back to your boiler. That way you are not always adding so much cold water to the boiler. I didn't achieve this on my big steamer. I have also done makeshift steamers with a tea kettle, garden hose, and a length of stovepipe with rags stuffed in the ends.
    I also went with radiator hose and turkey deep fryer. I'll have already-boiling water ready for the refill. The next week or two should see the steaming process.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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