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Blog entry by Davesfunwoodworking posted 01-08-2013 05:01 AM 1895 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I would like help on steam bending. I have made a steam box and have wasted some nice walnut. It breaks, cracks, chips and well turns into kindling. So if any one has any good info please help! Thanks David

-- Davesfunwoodworking

5 comments so far

View Gary's profile


9419 posts in 4548 days

#1 posted 01-08-2013 05:21 AM

No where near enough info. What are you trying to do. How thick is the wood. Tell us something about your project. Are you trying to bend a 4×4 or something 3/8” thick? Info….

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Davesfunwoodworking's profile


278 posts in 4990 days

#2 posted 01-08-2013 05:30 AM

I am going to be bending 3/4 walnut. Its about 3 inches wide. Should be around 34 inches long.

-- Davesfunwoodworking

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4224 days

#3 posted 01-08-2013 01:40 PM

A good deal of it depends on how extreme the bend is. If you are working on a heavy bend, cutting thin strips and laminating them might be a better option. I read an artile in Fine Woodworking that mentioned that one should actually bend the wood in two different directions before fitting it to form. Steaming it, bend the wood in one direction, steam it again, and bend it the opposite way. This allows the wood to become much more pliable.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4788 days

#4 posted 01-08-2013 02:52 PM

Dont you have to have a press to steam bend?

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4835 days

#5 posted 01-09-2013 02:01 AM

I do not have experience bending walnut but I have bent a lot of red oak for Windsor chairs. Without more info on your specific circumstances, here is my advise. Bend air dried stock, kiln drying sets the lignin in the wood and will result in cracked bends. If you use a bending strap (a metal strap with wooden handles on each end the length of the piece that applies pressure to the outside of the bend), you will have better success. The weather conditions impact success. The time in box and the thickness are critical variables. Good luck!

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

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