DIY Steamer

Im looking for any info on making a steamer at home. I heard you can
do it with a hot plate but dont know anymore than that.

Please help

Im looking for any info on making a steamer at home. 

I use an espresso machine I bought on eBay for a buck (plus $15
shipping). It isn’t fabulous, but you can’t beat it for the price!


There is a steamer for sale now that’s the size of a toaster - it
runs about $50. I know Otto Frei carries them. Surely a steamer can
be made - anything can be made - but I know I wouldn’t. I’m not sure
if my friends still have a big old homemade steamer, but I can check
if you want it - it’s about 3 feet tall and 18" around… Having a
homemade steamer blow could ruin your whole day. Just the safety
valve will cost you around the same as the Otto Frei steamer

I found a 12 inch tall 10 inch round steamer (cooking pot with
perforated grid in bottom) at the local store - a pint of water, 4
off 4 inch flasks and voila - steamer. Oh, and leather gloves absorb
hot water - ouch - use tongs!

Andy Parker, Agate House Lapidary
Ulverston, Cumbria, England

runs about $50. I know Otto Frei carries them 

I’m also looking to build one, I was thinking of using a steam iron
(9.95) with some solder and tubing. Haven’t got round tuit yet.

I agree with you, if I can buy one for $50 that’s the right price.
However, I sure didn’t see it for anywhere near that price on the
Otto Frei website. If you have any further info, please let us know.


I have the Jewel Jet steamer that sells for around $50. It works
beautifully. The only problem with it is, the gasket on the top
wears out quickly with everyday use. If you can get extra gaskets, it
is a heck of a nice little machine. Works as well as my big
professional machine at work.


I bought an enamel canning kettle with the jar rack in it. I put a
round BBQ rack in it to hold the flasks above the water. Cut down to
fi and set on the jar rack. It was a lot cheaper than replacing the
heating element in the old box steamer.


Excellent Point – [4 inch flasks and voila - steamer.]
Uh Oh, reality check.
Steamer to clean rings and things?
Steamer to De-Wax flasks?
Steamer to smooth Wax Patterns prior to investing?
Steamer to ???


There is a steamer for sale now that's the size of a toaster - it
runs about $50. 

I have sold these to clients over the last couple of years for home
use, and only heard great things in response. Before selling them, I
used one in my studio for a few days during the Christmas rush, and
it performed flawlessly. I’d definitely recommend this product, and I
think I got mine from Gesswein. They are sold as Jewel Jet Steamers.

Matthew Crawford

Jewel Jet steamers are sold at, although it’s not
pictured. Cost is about $60 I think

David Geller
510 Sutters Point
Sandy Springs, Ga. 30328


I don’t know what kind of steamer you are looking for. My husband
made one for me to steam fix my silk. But I guess this is not what
you are looking for. Anyway I am giving you the page of my web site.
Maybe there are silk painters out there can use the info.

Kind regards from Montreal,
Oya Borahan

Safety considerations aside, other than using the canning/cooking
type steamer for general steam bath cleaning. Make sure that the
safety valve and pressure gage are in working order. Theses are good
for steaming the whole item inside and out at the same time with no
control or contact till after it is removed from the pot. Try getting
a small housed hold steamer, like the shark that has a hose and
brush on the end. These are steam generators like the box steamers.
you can hold the item in tongs and brush the steam over the item. Any
thing else is a waste of time and your money that might be better
spent on practicing your craft.

Steam is nothing to play with. Because of the way some of the
devices are that we use today. It comes across as benign, believe me
it is not. due to safety controls there are not as many steam
related accidents today as in years past. Burns are almost
indescribably painful. The explosion comes from the superheating of
the steam in a closed container with no water coming in to remove
the heat from the heat source. The steam boxes are generally once
thru meaning water in, steam out little if any storage of steam.
Using a steam iron with tubes or other stuff will not get you enough
volume of steam to clean much.

If you have the volume of items that need cleaning, you can always
locate a used autoclave for medical/dental instrument cleaning. The
older models sell reasonable.

And before somebody asks? I hold 28 issues on a city of Detroit
stationary engineer license for steam boilers, engines and turbines
of unlimited horse power. Retired

Its like reinventing the wheel, anybody can but why bother when
there are so many more interesting things in the artmetal,jewelry
areas to explore.

This is my opinion and, All the usual disclaimers apply

glen been there done that and broke it!

Excellent Point – [4 inch flasks and voila - steamer.]
Uh Oh, reality check.
Steamer to clean rings and things?
Steamer to De-Wax flasks?

DOH - sorry guys - steamer to de-wax flaks in my case - I’ll go back
to sleep now honest!

Andy Parker, Agate House Lapidary
Ulverston, Cumbria, England

Could you clarify the comment about using an autoclave: As a dentist
I use one all the time and it does not clean! Its function is to
sterilize and that is what the steam does. It does not act like a
steam cleaner.

Charles Friedman DDS
Ventura by the sea

Andy, I read somewhere that one could make a DIY steamer. It
required a fairly large pot and a rack to fit in it… One puts about
2 inches of water into the pot, sets the rack so that it is well
above the water----using jar rings or whatever to elevate it. The
flasks are then set sprue side down on the rack—making sure that
they are well above the water. The water is then brought to a low
boil or simmer, and the flasks left in the simmering water long
enough for the wax to melt and drip into the water. Length of time
will depend on the melting point of thewax that was used. As sprues
often have a lower melting point than the wax used for the model, it
is necessary to leave the flasks in long enough so that as much of
the wax as possible has melted into the water.

I have never tried this, and do have concerns as to whether or not
it weakens the investment. Perhaps another Orchidian has some first
hand knowledge.


It will raise the temp to melt out the wax of the flask. Sorry I
didn’t complete the statement to avoid confusion. small flat tray or
pan with wire rack in bottom flasks turned upside down so the wax
will collect in the tray.

glen been there done that, and still get confused some days :slight_smile:

Andy, I read somewhere that one could make a DIY steamer. It
required a fairly large pot and a rack to fit in it.. One puts

That is right Alma that is how we do it. Finally ordered a Dewaxer
cause you could only fit one or two flasks in a pot at a time. Still
waiting for it. If some one from Rio is reading this please see where
my Dewaxer is.

Gary Udhwani.

Gary, While waiting for your Dewaxer, see if you can borrow a large
canning kettle. They hold about 6 to 8 quart jars—which have
bottoms wider than your flasks. You should be able to get at least 8
flasks–maybe 10 in it. Sometimes you can pick these canning kettles
up at a thrift store. My local hardware store carries them—and they
are cheap.


And, regarding the pressure cooker: How long does the investment
have to set before putting it into the steamer?

I use a large pressure cooker for canning, like the one Alma
recommended. I put the flasks in the pressure cooker an hour after
finishing investing, and doing this strengthens the investment.

As far as steaming a wax to smooth it out, I think xylene or lighter
fluid and a cotton swab would be better. For really small areas, use
a razor blade on the end of a toothpick to nick it, and twist it in
some cotton from the cotton swab so you get a little ball of the
end, and use to smooth.

(took a day off to go mushroom hunting and found some Porcini
(Boletus Edulis) which sauteed in butter with scrambled eggs and Swiss
cheese made my wife very happy the next morning)

Richard Hart

Sorry if this is redundant I have been out of the loop lately. A
great DIY steamer that I have been using for ages is and old Espresso
machine that I picked up from a thrift store for $2. The foaming
mechanism works great. It hasn’t let me down yet.