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Photo: Jacob Ehrbahn

Photo: Jacob Ehrbahn

steam-bending

Steam-bending is an old technique which was originally used for making ships, but which is now also to a lesser extent used for making furniture.

The method consist of making the wood plastic (softening the wood) by exposing it to high temperatures and steam. While the wood is plastic it can be bent to the desired shape. Nevertheless, this presumes the fixation of the wood in a clamping mould. Subsequently, the wood is left to dry whereupon it can be removed from the mould. After this, the wood will keep the desired shape and will largely regain its original properties such as appearance, ultimate stress etc..

Steam-bending causes the wood’s cell walls on the inner side of the bend to be pressed together like a harmonica, while the outer layer maintains its original wood structure. The method is therefore limited depending on the thickness of the wood.

At PP Mřbler, steam-bent parts enter several pieces of furniture - especially in top rails because the method preserves the wood properties; the wood still emerges as solid, the possibilities for joining and gluing are good. Steam-bending also preserves the original surface of the wood.

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