steamed wood?

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Forum topic by BigTiny posted 08-05-2010 10:31 PM 1171 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1684 posts in 3864 days

08-05-2010 10:31 PM

I’ve read several references to “steamed” this wood or that, and for the life of me I just don’t get it? How and why is this done?

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

6 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4688 days

#1 posted 08-05-2010 10:47 PM

My understanding it is a process by which the wood is heated (generally with steam) to alter the colour of the wood, making it more uniform in contrast/tone so that more of the wood is marketable. I asked this same question here

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View spclPatrolGroup's profile


233 posts in 3870 days

#2 posted 08-05-2010 11:05 PM

it also makes it more pliable, it used to be used back in teh day for ship building, and there are still people who use it to do other projects, generally you take the board out of the steamer and bring ti to a peg board where you have lots of holes to position pegs to bend against and hold it while it coolds off and dries.

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

260 posts in 4099 days

#3 posted 08-05-2010 11:12 PM

You can’t do this dry…

-- Tony -

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 4030 days

#4 posted 08-06-2010 12:39 AM

Steaming is done before the drying process to darken the wood, give it a more uniform appearance and make it look aged.

You can heat the chamber to 212F, 100C for 24 hours to accomplish this with wood that is not refractory ( prone to checking) The chamber must be kept at 100% RH.

I personally find steamed wood to be bland or dull. Air drying and then kiln drying gives a richer color to the wood especially walnut and cherry.

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View BigTiny's profile


1684 posts in 3864 days

#5 posted 08-06-2010 03:00 AM

I was aware of the bending part, and am intending to do some soon as a matter of fact, as the wife wants a celtic drum. It was the colour part that stumped me. Thought it might be similar to fuming or lye treating.
Guess I should have been clearer in my question.
Problem solved. Thanks guys/

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3959 days

#6 posted 08-06-2010 04:48 PM

I knew about steaming for forming. I didn’t know about for color. Learned something new today guess that makes me a lucky guy. Thanks guys!

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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