Steam Bending Kiln Dried Lumber and Angry Old Men

Steam Bent Handle

Steam Bent Walnut Handle

When I first wanted to incorporate steam bending into my work I of course did a little research and Googled how to steam bend lumber.  I found myself is a woodworking forum reading through a bunch of argumentative old curmudgeon woodworkers comments, arguing over whether or not you could steam bend kiln dried lumber.

Their thought was once you kiln dry it, the wood will no longer absorb moister so it won’t absorb the steam, and you won’t be able to bend it.

Well air-dried walnut was not readily available in my area, so I picked up a scrap of wood off the floor, applied some steam, bent it around a form, let it sit for a few days and, Bam! Their it is, a kiln dried piece of walnut holding it shape.

Now I will admit that it is only an 1/8th inch thick and I did have to sand off a few splinters, and it did take a few tries to figure out how long it needed to sit in the steam.  But, I was eventually successful.

What I learned from this was…… People that spend their time to arguing on the internet have no life experience and if you want to be a better woodworker and improve your woodworking skills you should spend less time on the internet and more time in your shop making things.

If you want to design and build better things you need to learn what is possible, from the process to the limits of your skill and the material you are working with.

If you want to find out more on how I steam bent this handle I also have a video for that.

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