RHS Chelsea

Steaming up

19d. ready for the first bend copy

Despite all resolutions to keep my blog up to date I have been very quiet because this project has really been a challenge!  Here we were, ready to go.  The bender was built and we turned on the burners.

20. Brewing up copy

Steam began to fill the steam box and the wood began to soften. We were about to realise that it doesn’t soften very much…

21. Steam coming up copy

While the wood steams we wait anxiously and try to get ready.

21a. Petter with the first bend for Chelsea copy

But the wood was full of knots and it kept cracking.  While we turned it around the former with tremendous effort – literally every ounce of strength we had – we could hear the gunshot sounds of the wood cracking.

21a. After the first bend cracked

After every failed attempt, we rebuilt the jig, looking for ways to channel the pressure smoothly. Jim Tory and I worked together for a long time. He is a tremendous help when ideas are bouncing around in my head!

22. After many failures finally a Beautiful bend copy

Finally, finally we managed to get the shorter lengths to turn smoothly without cracking. What a relief!

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