I recently made an impromptu steam bender for bending walnut molding. I made it out of whatever I could find in my barn, which includes a length of black pipe…more on that in a second…
To make a short story long, the walnut molding bent just fine…but was heavily blackened – not burned, but almost the color of ebony…
So…Did I steam it too long? do I just need to wait for a day for it to thoroughly dry out? Is this just what walnut does when steam bent?
(btw, the molding is 9/16″ X 7/16″ with an ogee profile. It has to achieve a fairly tight elliptical curve. And I steamed it at over 200 degrees F for 35 minutes)
As for the pipe, it’s an old steel pipe, and the water that collected was kind of dirty and, well, black.. So I’m leaning towards the dirtiness of the old pipe as the problem and will try a different pipe in a couple days..
I’ve read through a lot of the steam bending articles and plan on making a proper steam box at some point…but I didn’t see anything about wood discoloration.
What do you all think?
Edited 6/17/2009 8:49 pm ET by Zigs