Steam-bending wood at a saw mill

#Picture Number ST214

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Victorian illustration to download showing the bending bench used in steam-bending wood at a saw mill. Specially-shaped pieces of wood were needed for ship building and especially carriage building. The wood (usually ash) was first softened by the steaming process. Men at the bending bench have formed the wood with clamps, and one man forces it to shape by leaning on it and pushing it. In the background a boy carries a formed piece of wood – it will be fixed in a frame to dry, and will then keep its shape for ever. This scene was sketched at the City Saw Mills, London, in 1843. From roughly drawn original.