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Thread: Extreme wood bending with ammonia

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    Jon
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    Extreme wood bending with ammonia

    Video depicting a heavy-duty wood steamer that uses ammonia instead of steam.



    There's an interesting patent linked in the video description: https://www.google.com/patents/US5360631 . Essentially, the patent is for wood treated with ammonia and then sealed. The patent description proposes that the sealed ammonia-treated wood is then provided to the consumer, who breaks the seal, bends the wood, and then lets the ammonia evaporate.

    The end user physically removes the outer protective film and bends, twists, or compresses the wood into its desirable, final shape. This can include compressive molding, or embossing, the wood to simulate carving for carved wood panels useful for doors and drawers, carved table aprons, carved rails or styles for doors and cabinets, etc. The wood can also be bent into tight radius bends, e.g., bends with a radius of 0.5 inch, without breaking or splintering, and with very low clamp loads. In most applications, the wood can be bent into the desired shape with hand pressure, and clamps are only used to prevent sagging of the wood until the permanent stiffness is restored.

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    Christophe Mineau (05-09-2015), jere (04-30-2015)

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    Very neat stuff. The guy presenting this video has an absolutely fascinating YouTube channel called Applied Science. It would be easy to spend hours watching his work.

    Ken

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    Never heard of bending wood with ammonia before! Learned something new today.
    Last edited by DIYer; 04-29-2015 at 07:29 PM.

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    Ron B's Tools
    Wow, his treatment of ammonia is a bit laissez-faire . Ammonia WILL kill you and stinks like a public toilet on a hot day. He doesn't mention what he did with the ammonia in his pipe but when working on Fridge plants we had to run a evacuation line to a large container of water (around 5000 gals) The ammonia was allowed to run into the water eventually saturating it ,but perfectly safe. Then the water was simply sprayed onto grass .The grass usually got on a great spurt of growth with a few days.
    Even the slightest amount of Ammonia in gaseous form will suffocate you so if anyone is considering using this stuff like this get a respirator .

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    Good info, Ron B. Sometimes, diyers do things that skirt the boundaries of safety and this is a good reminder.

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    I regularly see guys doing stuff that goes far beyond the mere skirting of safety boundaries and well into the "Holy moly, I can't believe he's doing that!" range.

    As a classic TV show used to say, "Let's be careful out there!"

    Ken

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    DIYer (04-30-2015)

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    Interesting technique, but a little too dangerous for my taste.

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    Supporting Member Christophe Mineau's Avatar
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    Christophe Mineau's Tools
    Yes and what about his questionning about the tanks he uses, and wheter aluminium will react or not ...
    He feels confident ...
    I think steam would do as well and much safer (though can be dangerous also)
    Cheers !
    Christophe
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    He's got a really cavalier attitude toward a potentially hazardous reagent. If he doesn't know whether or not ammonia at that molarity will react with his storage vessels, then he's already behind the curve and asking for trouble.

    Still, neat stuff to watch - from a distance!

    Ken


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