Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Steam Machine

For our current project of screening in a porch to be my temporary studio space, David built a machine to steam wood.

Here's the machine! The body of it is a piece of (6 inch?) PVC pipe.

The steam is produced by a kettle on a Coleman camp stove. (The second kettle is just backup, which we ended up not needing and is being used as a prop for the steam pipe).

Here's the joint where the steam enters the pipe. The original version had a smaller pipe, but the larger diameter pipe made a huge difference in the effectiveness of the machine.

Here's the connection to the kettle. The piece that enters the kettle was shaved to fit.

This is the end where the wood fits into the pipe. The screw cap controls how much steam can escape. The whole cap comes off for quick access.

The machine worked flawlessly-- except when we let the kettle run dry and the plastic handle on the lid of the kettle melted. It now has a wooden handle.

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