Some thoughts from the boatbuilding world...Yes, 1 hour of steam per inch of
thickness. Wear gloves - the wood is very hot and will cause blisters (learned
that the hard way). Some other thoughts - before the stock goes into the
steamer, round off any squared edges along the grain with a plane - just a
single pass - so the wood will have less of a tendency to split; and, wipe the
wood down with dawn dish detergent - it makes it easier for the wood to bend.
When it comes out of the steamer, and if the wood is thick, use a metal strap
along the back of the bend to keep it from splintering. Be prepared to work
quickly (the thinner the stock, the less time you have), and let the wood dry
for 24-48 hours while in the form. With wood that is 3/4-inch thick, we learned
you might have as little as 60-90 seconds before the lignin begins to set and
the wood becomes difficult to bend without breaking.
Pete LeenhoutsPort Ludlow WA