bending willow

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bending willow

Postby adric » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:21 pm

Hi
I have just joined this group and have a question about steam bending willow. I have built a steam box out of wood and the steam source is from a wallpaper stripper. What I am trying to do is to bend 13mm diameter willow into a circle diameter 12". The willow type I am using is Oster willow which was cut at the end of January and is stored with the bark on outside.

My main question is how long would I need to steam the willow to successfully bend it without too many failures.

Thanks for any help

Richard
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Re: bending willow

Postby Davie Crockett » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:52 pm

Rule of thumb..1 hour per inch thickness, yours is 1/2 inch and in the round with bark on so 25-30 mins should do it. Do you have a former to clamp it to? You'll need to work very quickly to clamp it before it cools and it's worth doing a few dry runs to get some "muscle memory". Keep us posted. :)
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Re: bending willow

Postby adric » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:20 pm

Tanks for this.
I remove the bark before I try to bend it and clamp it around a metal hanging basket. Would it be better to leave the bark on ad them remove it afterwards?

Richard
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Re: bending willow

Postby Davie Crockett » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:47 pm

If you steam it bark on you may end up with a buff finish, if you strip it first it will stay white. in terms of labour it's much easier to strip it first than wrangle with a curved stick. Do you have access to a stripping brakehttps://www.musgrovewillows.co.uk/adjustable-stripping-brake? ...if not drive 2 nails into a fixed block about 6mm apart (They'll need to stand proud of the block by about 3" so use 4" nails driven in about an inch)...pull your whip through from tip to butt and strip it).
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