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Expand your woodworking skills to include steam bending wood into beautifully smooth and permanent curves with a Rockler Steam Bending Kit! The kit includes a 5.3 quart reservoir with built-in heating element to provide continuous steam for up to two hours, heating everything inside your steam box to 212°. You also get a 10' long steam hose, a brass fitting to attach the hose to your steam box, two hinges, a latch/clasp, and an assembly plan that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to build a steam box. Get your Rockler Steam Bending Kit now to build unique chairs, toys, oval Shaker boxes, instruments, specialized molding, doors, handrails, and more! And be sure to check out these fine books for plenty of wood bending tips and ideas: Wood Bending Made Simple (41028)
and the Complete Manual of Wood Bending (65913)
Free Downloads from Woodworker's Journal:
- Makes it possible to give nearly any wood species enough plasticity to bend or curve to your liking
- Use it to build unique chairs, toys, oval Shaker boxes, instruments, specialized molding, doors, handrails, and more
- 5.3 quart reservoir with built-in heating element heats the inside of your steam box to 212°
- Easy-access reservoir may be refilled during the steaming process for unlimited steam
- 10' long steam hose allows you to position your steam box in a safe position off the floor
What's in the Box?
- One Steam Generator
- One Steam Hose
- One Brass Fitting
- Two Hinges
- One Latch/Clasp
- One Plan for Building Your Own Steam Box
Best Used With:
Wood Bending Made Simple (41028)
Complete Manual of Wood Bending (65913)
Customer Reviews and Photos for:
Steam Bending Kit w/FREE Bentwood Carryall Plan Download
(3 customer reviews)
Add your review...
1) Submitted by
Steve, from Richland, WA
I got mine from a friend and after a meltdown of the PVC tube I was using, I utilized a 5 foot by 6" dia. section of galvanized ductwork that with end caps and a slope, work flawlessly and is very easy to build. Bending strips for former glue-ups in a full scale WW1 biplane project.
2) Submitted by
Robert Horwath, from Hackettstown, NJ
As a woodworker, I have struggled for years with different types of steam bending setups. This unit is not only extremely easy to setup and use, it allows up to 2 hours of steam which is more than enough for most bending projects. This tool is a welcomed addition to my shop.
Steam Bent Arches
3) Submitted by
David Tilson, from Cypress, CA
When I first saw this kit, I was skeptical that this tiny plastic box could put out enough heat to get the job done. It takes a lot of energy to turn water into enough live steam to bend wood with, & all of the steamers I’d seen involved one of those 5 zillion BTU propane burners like New Englanders use for clam bakes. Having now used that little box with the 1500W heater to bend white oak like it was a wet noodle, I’ll say I’m a believer. BTW, if you’re not intimately familiar with the dangers involved in working with live steam, watch out or you’ll end up with severe burns!
The kit includes all of the hardware you’ll need besides screws, but there are a few other bits you’ll want to pick up before you start. I started out with some ¾” hickory scraps & built the steam box. Then I ran over to the Big Box to get some weatherstrip. Having built the box & glued it with Titebond III, I left it overnight &, next morning, proceeded to fire up the steamer. I quickly found that gluing a 1” length of tubing into the drain hole would have been a great idea, as the water would run out the hole, then along the low corner of the box & drip anywhere other than into the can I had put there to catch it. Also, the plan hadn’t made fully clear the importance of sealing the inside of the box against moisture. Over the next 1/2 hour, I watched the box warp & twist into something from a Salvador Dali painting!
O.K., lesson learned! Plywood is my friend & epoxy my blood brother. As for the steam box: “gentlemen, we can rebuild it, we have the technology.” I reused the hardware & a few wood parts, but this time I used birch marine ply for the box & coated the inside faces with epoxy. I also made sure to seal all surfaces that would be exposed to steam, including the steam vents, drain, holes for the dowel support racks, & the hole for the meat thermometer (oh, yeah, that’s one more bit of hardware you’ll want to get). The box was reassembled & the seams were sealed with a bead of epoxy. Why, you ask, didn’t I just use a length of ABS pipe from the store? Well, ABS doesn’t look half as sexy or smell very good in the woodshop. Wood is also a better insulator, and, most importantly, I need a door on the box that’s fast & easy to open & close. A pipe with a screw-on cap just can’t compete with a nice wooden box.
So, back to the story! I fired up Steam Box Mark II the next morning, and, lo and behold, the boiler puts out enough steam to heat the “cold” end of the box (near the door & steam vents) to about 190°F! Having fiddled with the draw catch on the door & nearly gotten burned a couple of times, I made a small handle to keep the door-opening hand clear of the escaping steam. I did a few test bends on the bent-handle carrier (free downloadable plan on the “more info” tab) & found the job goes a whole lot easier if you use a bending strap. Once I made one from some perforated galvanized stuff they had at the local Big Box, I was able to turn out a handful of perfectly bent handles from some kiln-dried oak that had been lurking in the scrap bin. The boiler holds about 2 hours worth of water, & if you do need to refill it, you just turn it off long enough to stop boiling, fill it, & turn it back on. The box will only lose about 10° in the process if you don’t open it, so the wood will still be kept hot until you get fresh steam.
Overall, I’d say that for the convenience of having a rough plan to follow, the hardware components to make the box, & a convenient (and safe!) steam source that’s actually designed for this sort of job, this kit is easily worth the money for the home-shop woodworker or occasional professional wood bender. I’ll try to post some photos sometime soon. A highly recommended “accessory” for this kit would be any wood bending book by Lon Schleining. I heard a lecture of his a while back, & the guy really knows his stuff – he’ll save you a lot of frustration & trial-and-error.
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