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  #1  
Old 01-21-2005, 12:33 PM
Weldon Mersiovsky Weldon Mersiovsky is offline
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Default Bending wood

I am going to be steam heating some lip molding that is going to go around the curves in an archway in my home.

My question is: Should I stain the lip molding before or after I steam heat it?

Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2005, 03:33 PM
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RobSmith RobSmith is offline
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I am no expert but I would think that you should stain it after you steam it. I think the stream would either bleed out the stain, hinder the stream from soaking into the wood completely, or at the least discolor the stain. I would steam the molding and bend it to the shape you need, then when it is dry and/or installed, stain it as you would any other trim.

Maybe someone else has more experience with this and will offer some info.

Hope this helps,
Rob
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:37 AM
Weldon Mersiovsky Weldon Mersiovsky is offline
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Default Bending wood

I have never steamed wood before and am wondering if the process of steaming changes the color the wood at all.

Weldon
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Old 01-22-2005, 08:18 PM
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RobSmith RobSmith is offline
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Steaming will change the color slightly.

Most Black Walnut is steamed when put into the drying kilns. They steam it to bleed the dark color of the heartwood into the sap wood. By doing this the sap wood turns a darker brown and almost matches the heartwood, there for making more of the board acceptable to use. But the down side is that the Dark Brown Heartwood lightens slightly and gets a muddy look. That is why I hate buying walnut, because most commercial sources offer steamed walnut. If you hold an air dried piece next to a streamed/and/kiln dried piece, you will see night and day. I try to only use natural dried walnut, or plain kiln dried.

FYI-if you leave a walnut log lay on the ground for a year or two or longer, before sawing it into lumber, the sapwood will darken slightly on it's own, and the heartwood stays dark and sharp looking.

Also FYI- The only woods that I know that are steamed before drying are Walnut and European Beech.

But if your gonna stain afterwards anyway, that wouldn't matter too much. You will just have to experiment with the stain if you are trying to match other trim in the house. Or if you are using Maple or other white woods, you shouldn't have a problem. Cherry seems to keep good color and Oaks muddy-up very little.



Later,
Rob
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