"One limb began to twist. Probably 15 degrees out of wind
now, and I am nowhere near done. Curses! This was such a nice stick,
why is it misbehaving like this?"
The "why" may never be known. Maybe it's just rebalancing its moisture,
who knows? It probably doesn't matter if you have parallel rings all the
way through the stock.
I haven't steamed much, but I have used an old electric kettle with a bit
of old radiator hose and a piece of 4" aluminum downspout to jerry-rig a
steamer with rags as partial plugs for the ends. An old blankey was the
insulation and a couple of drill holes for water drainage at the bottom on
the far end. When it's all hot ( maybe an hour per inch of thickness? That
rings a bell, YMMV), you have about 5 minutes or less to clamp it into the
shape you want. I had some plywood forms ready, but whatever you clamp to
has to be ready to go (not much time to fuss with clamps-- Everything has
to be set up and ready to go, working time is less than you think).
If it's already 'kindling', you've got nothing to lose, right? It's
already useless, you can't possibly make it any worse, so I would steam it.
It doesn't take much time, and it might save your project. Good luck,
Claudio in Waterloo