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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Bakersfield, CA, U.S.A..

    Woods for steam bending

    Hi all. Just wondering, what considerations need to be taken into account when slecting a wood to be steam bent? I read here awhile ago that cherry was not a very good wood for bending. What properties of a type of wood make it suitable or unsuitable? Thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Columbus, Georgia, USA.

    RE: Woods for steam bending

    I just spent 3 hours steaming yesterday, so heck... I MUST be an expert! }>

    The properties that make a wood steam well are the actual fibers and cells, and how they're arranged and how they "plastisize" when exposed to steam...

    OK... enough of that technical krap... since I don't know it anyway..

    BUT!... I can sure tell ya WHAT to look for in a board if you're selecting stock for bending...

    I bend Oak primarily, ash quite a bit, hickory sometimes, and I've fooled around and bent other woods just to see how they did... I even bent pine because an article I read said you can't... (it REALLY is hard to bend, and I certainly wouldn't make a habit of trying)

    Look for grain running straight down the face of the board... follow a dark grain pattern... if it runs off the edge this *could* cause problems, as the board will attempt to twist in that direction when steamed. You also need to avoid pronounced cathedrals, as they tend to snap when you bend them.

    See my post on my new steambox for a couple more hints as to building a steambox...

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