Steamer help

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Steamer help

Postby warrenee » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:15 pm

Hi - some advice please:

Would this (see pic) make a suitable steamer? Never having steam-bent anything (yet, although am planning to ASAP), nor having ever removed wallpaper(!), I have no idea if this gadget will suffice for our purpose… Can anyone give me the benefit of their experience please?

Assuming the plastic pipe can be easily made to feed a steam chest/piping, and supply a constant flow of steam, then it seems a no-brainer to me: £20 from Argos, and since I have a tiny garden (thankfully a 20 foot pole just about lies down in it!) I'd rather plug something like this into a socket than have to stoke my barbecue firepit for an hour or so and risk smoking me and the neighbours out… but I may be missing something so really don't know if it'll work. No doubt someone can tell me?

Many thanks in advance,

Warren
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Re: Steamer help

Postby goldsmithexile » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:33 pm

I used one of those, that and a home made one made from a galvanised bucket and a kettle element. They will work OK and produce ample amounts of steam except dont let them boil dry. Both devices burnt out because of this :oops:

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Re: Steamer help

Postby warrenee » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:38 pm

many thanks, much appreciated
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Re: Steamer help

Postby Bob_Fleet » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:44 pm

I've seen one that used a plastic pipe as the steam chest.
Seems ideal but I don't know if they all take 100 degrees.
Blue ones - for water, yellow ones for gas.
Anyone help?
Just 2 round wooden plugs with holes in them and couple one up to the steam generator and the other is the vent.
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Re: Steamer help

Postby woodness sake » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:32 pm

That looks like the sort of steamer you would use to remove wallpaper
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Re: Steamer help

Postby warrenee » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:04 pm

woodness sake wrote:That looks like the sort of steamer you would use to remove wallpaper


That's eaxctly what it is! £19.99 from Argos.
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Re: Steamer help

Postby warrenee » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:16 pm

Bob_Fleet wrote:I've seen one that used a plastic pipe as the steam chest.
Seems ideal but I don't know if they all take 100 degrees.
Blue ones - for water, yellow ones for gas.
Anyone help?
Just 2 round wooden plugs with holes in them and couple one up to the steam generator and the other is the vent.


Thanks Bob - that was going to be my next question. Can anyone comment on the best pipe to buy etc? (I know nothing whatever about plumbing supplies or any other sort of plastic piping for that matter, and will be buying from Homebase most probably, so don't be afraid to spell out exactly what I need to look for. Thanks).

To clarify - re: the vent - do I only need one hole, at the far end opposite the steam inlet? How big? And in the end of the plug, or along the base of the pipe/chest etc? Does the pipe need extra lagging? And is a pipe easier/better/as good as a purpose-built wooden chest?

Thanks in advance - whilst I appreciate half the fun is in experimentation, this is one area I'm a little apprehensive to experiment in - as mentioned before, my garden is small, so one false move and an exploding steam chest will probably take out my kitchen window, the shed roof, a fence and half my neighbour's porch!

Cheers

Warren
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Re: Steamer help

Postby goldsmithexile » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:23 pm

It would only explode if you had of built up any pressure. I used a box made of ply wood, took about 1/2 an hour to build from scrap. The steamwas fed in with a hose. I put little racks inside made of sticks pushed into holes. didnt lag it or bother with a vent, worked fine....just should of watched the water levels more closely :roll: :lol: :lol: One end was a little door the other was sealed up.
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Re: Steamer help

Postby Robin Fawcett » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:08 pm

I use a similar steaming rig with a piece of black down pipe (soil stack). It does go a bit floppy in use but I just gaffa-taped a couple of battens to it - cheap and cheerful but it works. You can have a kettle of boiling water at hand if you're running out of steam.
When I first made it I cut out a couple of plywood discs one with a hole to take the hose from the steamer and the other with a handle to aid removal. I forgot to drill a small hole to avoid building up pressure and about 10 minutes later there was a bang/plop and the disc with the handle hit the house - about 40 foot!
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Re: Steamer help

Postby warrenee » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:01 pm

Will try to remember to point it towards the hedge then! Thanks for comments.

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Re: Steamer help

Postby Bob_Fleet » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:43 pm

and will be buying from Homebase most probably,

I'd be looking for men working around a hole or a trench and seeing what scrap they had left.
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Re: Steamer help

Postby arth » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:26 pm

I made one using a wall paper steamer and some black drainage pipe. Years ago B & Q sold a rubber bung which held on with a jubilee clip, I just drill a hole the same size as the steamer pipe. B & Q might still sale the bungs or a decent plummers shop.
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Re: Steamer help

Postby SeanHellman » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:53 am

I have used plastic soil pipe, orange/brown, it does collapse. Remember to insulate the pipe, you need it as hot as possible along the whole length of the pipe. You can often buy lengths of metal pipe, up to 12 inch dia from recycling centres, or old flue pipe, metal pipes will definitely need insulation.
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Re: Steamer help

Postby Kevin Downing » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:40 pm

I have no experience with wallpaper strippers. But maybe my other versions of steam pipes/boxes will help you decide what to use. I try to use what I already have so my first attempt was a black plastic drainage pipe. I taped battens to it but it still went floppy. Not a heavy gauge pipe and lack of skill on my part being a beginner. My next steamer was a 4 inch diameter cast iron pipe as there was one lying around. I made rough wooden plugs and bored a central hole in each, one for steam in, one for the outlet. I tacked some rubber from an old leaking welly around them. When tapped into the ends of the pipe it was nicely sealed. But the pipe was too small for what I wanted to steam bend so I only used it a few times. Next I made a wooden box from plywood and 2x1s and this has lasted 4 years albeit only weekend working. I wrap it in three old blankets for insulation. I had some old tin which I cut and bent into the box to help make the box last longer. One end is fixed with an entry hole for a pipe, the other hinged. The hinged end is not an airtight fit so pressure does not build up to dangerous levels. I use rags stuffed in the end as a bung.

The gas cooker is conveniently situated next to a window. I have the steam box propped on a stepladder outside the window, a pressure cooker on the gas cooker and a length of copper pipe between the two for steam delivery. The half inch pipe is push-fitted vertically onto the top of the pressure cooker, and then turns 90 degrees and goes out the window and into the steam box.
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Re: Steamer help

Postby warrenee » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:38 pm

Great, thanks for all the ideas

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