View Full Version : how long to steam planks

1st May 2009, 19:29
How long do you need to steam planks for a model fishing boat?
The planks are 10mm wide x 3mm thick and up to 1 meter long.
Hope someone can help.
Many thanks

3rd May 2009, 16:50
I made a couple of models when I was in school, best way I could find with limited resources was nicking the technicians kettle, filling it right up and plonking the plank in. Leave the lid open and it stays boiling! It doesn't take long to become pliable. Or you could try soaking it in linseed oil and heating it with a hairdryer or wee blowtorch, this works on stringers and what not on proper boats when you have limited tools to hand!

Or soak the plank in water a day or two then tackle with hairdryer? I'm sure the proper modellers on here have plenty of sneaky techniques!

john webster
4th May 2009, 11:22
I normally soak my planks in hot water for about 10 minutes or so, but depends on thickness and type of wood being used, and also how tight the required bend is. Basically trial and error. If wood is too wet for gluing I clamp it to a former of roughly the shape required and let it dry out a bit.

5th May 2009, 02:43
The ideal item to steam planks is an old "Cauld Iron fish kettle" on the cooker. 2" water in the bottom bring to boil, place planks above the water mark on tressles amongst the steam, on the lid, instant steamer. Seen it done by an old model maker in the past. As the previous poster said there is no fixed time to steam. Between 10 and 20 mins depending on the type and size of wood.

14th May 2009, 12:07
i use a food steamer, i admit i dont bend planks 1 meter long in one go, but i bought a 3 tier steamer designed for food from a big supermarket for 10

fill the bottom reservoir with water, set the timer and turn on - place the planks in the clear plastic sections, and hey presto all the steam you need !- sometimes i premake a former section in acrylic and then steam the planks until they will take the required profile...

i dont bend planks much longer than 450mm so its ideal for me !- worth considering for 10 !

14th May 2009, 19:20
Thank you to all who replied
I made up a steamer with 1mtr long wast pipe joined to a wallpaper stripper with a water hose.
This worked fine steaming for about 15 to 20 mins.
I then discovered that if you hold twist and bend your planks in the heat from a paint stripper gun it is just as good and much quicker.