Steam Box Deluxe

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DJ Parker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:05 pm
Location: Jacksonville, Fl.

Steam Box Deluxe

Post by DJ Parker »

Hello Everyone,

Ok, so this may seem like gloating but I wanted to show off my new steam boxes for sides and top/back halves. Ever since I saw Frank Finnochio's method for steam-bending the tops and backs for archtop guitars I've wanted to give it a try. However, building and storing steam boxes was yet another sideways project that I really wasn't ready to tackle at this time. In fact, with Gypsy style guitars being my main focus, steaming really isn't necessary anyway. Still, I am one who likes to vet through the parts and pieces needed to build whatever style I have in mind and then when I need it, it's there ready to go. It's no wonder I have more jigs built than guitars :shock:

At any rate, I am lucky to have various resources available including a couple of welder buddies who had nothing better to do than to build two stainless steel pipe steam boxes complete with a steam inlet port, a drain port, adjustable legs, and internal racks. I just have to build the end caps which will be cedar and then hook up a pressure cooker to fill em' with steam.

Aside from being a bit heavy I think these will far outlast me and the next several generations!

Thanks for indulging me!
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Steam1 - Copy.JPG
Steam2 - Copy.JPG

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Barry Daniels
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Steam Box Deluxe

Post by Barry Daniels »

Nice. Are you going to install end caps?
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DJ Parker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:05 pm
Location: Jacksonville, Fl.

Re: Steam Box Deluxe

Post by DJ Parker »

Hello Barry,

Thanks for looking,

Yes, I thought I would I would just use cedar or maybe even a plywood disc slightly tapered to fit inside and then one a little larger to create the lip so it doesn't fall inside. Since there really won't be any pressure involved I'm thinking the wood will swell a bit to make a tight fit. I'll add handles so I can pull the ends off afterwards.

regards,

DJ

Jim Ritter
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:14 pm

Re: Steam Box Deluxe

Post by Jim Ritter »

Those look awesome. The stainless doesn’t offer much in the way of heat retention so they will benefit from having some sort of insulation wrapped around them. As a boatbuilder I’ve built many steam boxes and helped a friend with a steaming project. He had used a pvc pipe and steam was coming out wherever it could find a hole so it looked good. But he was still breaking the little tiny ribs he was using. We wrapped the pipe with insulation and the internal temperature immediately went up over 200° and the rest of the bends were a piece of cake. You might also have a small hole in one of your wooden ends to insert a kitchen thermometer.
Jim

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DJ Parker
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:05 pm
Location: Jacksonville, Fl.

Re: Steam Box Deluxe

Post by DJ Parker »

Thank you Jim,

All good points for sure. Yes, I had planned on the thermometer and the insulation should be an easy add, especially since I am employed by a large mechanical contractor ;) . Actually, I was going to go the PVC (or rather the grey CPVC) route but my guys here just said 'we'll build something to last'. Boy did they! I only wish they had added wheels as these things are fairly heavy but I won't say that too loud ;)

Regards,
DJ

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Barry Daniels
Posts: 2492
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:58 am
Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: Steam Box Deluxe

Post by Barry Daniels »

Put a steering wheel on it and drive it around town. ;-) Worked for Stanley.
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