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Steam Bending Wood

There are lots of instances where you need to steam wood in order to be able to bend it into the required shape.

One way is to pass steam over the wood until it is very hot and wet and then carefully bend it to shape.

Note that not all woods can be bent in this way, longer grain woods are best.

An alternative way is to soak the wood in hot water and then apply a hot iron to the wood and carefully form it.

I made a brass bobbin that fits instead of the normal tip in the end of a soldering iron.

Be very careful with the hot water and electric iron.


Wet the wood thoroughly where you want to bend it. This wood is walnut and bends reasonably well - although you need to keep it thin.


Apply the iron to the wet area and careful pull the wood around the bobbin. For sharper bends use a smaller bobbin. You can also use a former and push the wood it the former using the hot iron.


The wood has been pulled around the bobbin.