Steam Bending

This fascinating yet simple process has been used for thousands of years and is an essential technique in boat building, making wheels and furniture - anything with a curve.

The principle is to heat wood up to about 95 degrees centigrade. This makes it bendy under certain conditions. The wood is then bent around a former or mould and allowed to cool. As it cools the wood stays bent permanently - it has a new shape.

The Steam Chamber. the wood before steaming and the Steam Generator

Once the wood has been in the steam chamber for about 20 minutes it is about ready to bend...

Around a former ...

The wood easily bends...

And cools quickly for a permanent bend...

ready to fix to whatever we are building...

...in this case it is one more branch of a tree.

The steam chamber, still full of hot wood is ready to provide the next piece.