Shown here completed, the door and jamb will be installed as a unit.
Trim will bend around the radius and the structure on the top will
The process starts with a strip of oak that must be bent. This steam bending setup includes a propane burner, a metal gas
can holding water, and an automotive hose to transfer the generated
steam into the pine box.
Seconds after the oak is removed from the steam bending box, it
is wrapped around the radius of the door and strapped in place.
Later, the steam-bent oak is fitted to a custom jamb. There is little room for error.
Once fully integrated, the jamb is cut for hinge mortises and the door is hung.
My clients were given an old arched top door to use in their new
house. There was only one problem--the door had no jamb to go with
I solved the problem by fashioning a new curved jamb using steam
bending techniques and hand work. A steam box is used to prepare the oak jamb and stops for
bending. The oak is removed from the steam box after a little more
than an hour of "cooking" and it is immediately bent around the
radius of the door.
With the curved part complete, the rest of the jamb is created
and the steam-bent oak is integrated into the straight part by hand.
Finally the door is fitted, the hinge mortises are cut, the doorknob
is fitted, and the whole unit is stained.
--John Painter, Owner