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Steaming wood

A place to discuss tenkara nets. Techniques for making it, woods used, designs, etc.

Steaming wood

Postby tenkara no janguru » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:04 am

On the same day that I cut a branch for a tamo I strip the bark and tie the two arms into a 24cm circle. Then I put wax on the cut ends and allow to dry before sanding and joining arms. My question is if I want to steam the wood to improve the shape, do I do it before or after drying? Do I then tie the tamo frame in order to hold the new shape? Any steaming and shaping advice would be helpful. Thanks, Dax
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Re: Steaming wood

Postby ToddW » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:56 pm

I steam and shape when the wood is still green and with the bark on. I get it onto the form for drying (I use my wife's terra cotta flower pots) and then strip the bark after the wood is completely dry. Others have different techniques, but this one works for the hardwoods I use.
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Re: Steaming wood

Postby tsegelke » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:58 pm

Steaming wood softens the legumes of the wood to allow for the shaping. Green wood (freshly cut) has softer legumes, and therefore more pliable. As the cut wood ages/dries, they stiffen into the held shape. Steaming effectively takes the wood back to a fresh cut, or young status, and allows for shaping.

When shaping wood, I try to form it while green, and if I need to shape it more after that, I steam it. Regardless of the method, there will always be spring back. Therefore I shape the wood a little smaller than my final size, so after drying it will be the final desired size.

I hope this helps.
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