Sunday, April 17, 2016

Steam Bending Kiln Dried Wood

Recently I needed to steam bend some American Ash for a prototype chair commission. I am not a fan of steam bending kiln dried lumber, but due to time restraints this is all I could find.  The lean of the upper back posts is 2 inches from vertical. I made the clamping fixture with a 21/2 inch lean for the expected/guessed spring back. 

When steam bending thick material a common rule is for every inch in thickness means at least one hour in the steam box. I broke the so called rule for it took 4 hours in the steam box to bend the back posts in position.  I allow the bend to set for several days before removing them from the fixture. The spring back was almost perfectly estimated. 

Bending fixture.  

Pine steam box screwed together. Dowels to hold parts.
A wallpaper steamer was the tool of choice. 

Forms with dowels and folding wedges to hold the bend in place. 


  1. The wood and material must be purchased at your local lumber supply company; we only supply the woodworking plan and instruction booklet to build the project. best router table