Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

steam?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Matthew Tucker, Feb 25, 2006.


  1. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Any makers using steam for bending ribs and linings?
     
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Of course. You dampen the wood and then massage it against a hot bender. Steam results, mostly inside the wood, helping it become temporarily flexible. But I think you meant something else...
     
  3. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Yes I was thinking of steam chambers such as are used for bent furniture etc. Was that a silly thought? You're going to tell me that I spent all that time and money getting the wood nice and dry and now I'm thinking about saturating it with steam?
     
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I'm pretty sure it would work ok. Once the piece is steamed, you'll have to bend and clamp it to a mold until dry and cool. You will probably get some bend-back, though. Have no worries about moisture content. Material as thin as bass ribs will dry in a matter of hours. An alternative method to your steam box is the use of silicone heating blankets on a mold. The blankets heat up and make the wood flexible; then the pieces are clamped to the mold/blanket, and the heat turned off. Many guitar makers and a few bass makers employ this method, which is extremely accurate.