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Old 09-22-2008, 11:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 51
Steam bending questions

Anyone have any advice. I'm replacing the rub rail on my 40' Nova and I'm building a steam box to bend the wood. I'm using 17' long pieces of Purpleheart that are 2" wide by 3/4" thick. Rule of thumb is 60 min per Inch so I'll cook the wood for ~ 45 to 50 min.

For my steamer I'm planning on a closed system with a condensation return line.

I'm using 4" schedule 40 plastic pipe and planning on using a 5 gal propane tank as the boiler. I'll put it on a propane crab cooker for the heat source. I'm wondering if it'll end up generating enough steam to fill the ~ 20' pipe. I have a pressure cooker relief valve for any over pressure, which I'll tap into the pipe. Another concern is the return tube. I'm using 1/4" copper tube which I'm planning on running from the low spot of the 4" pipe back to the propane tank where I'll tap some threads for a connection point just below the top of the tank. Will that work for the condensation return line?

All previous bending was with small pieces which were set in place immediately. When setting this piece I planned to screw it into place. Any idea how long a piece can be out of the steamer before it becomes unworkable?
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