Question About Steam Bending Wood


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I've never done any steam bending in the past but I'm planning to do it in the near future. I thought that I read once (can't remember where) that wood that has been kiln dried cannot be steam bent. Does anyone know if this is true...?

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Kiln dried wood can be steam bent but the radius limit is MUCH larger. For example if air dried could be bent to a radius of 6" kiln dried would be closer to 12-18". This is also highly species dependent. Species like oak, ash, and hickory bend better than species like maple.

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While I agree air dried wood is more conducive to steam bending then kiln dried other factors come into play. How severe are the bends, are you using multiple layers of thin material or are you bending the wood in one piece, etc. One thing you can do is soak the kiln dry lumber in a tub to bring up the moisture content prior to bending.

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