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  #1  
Old 01-24-2002, 12:05 PM
pupandcat
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Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in house)


I have been watching for a thread about stabilizing wood (ourselves) but haven’t seen an acceptable method of doing this discussed yet. I know stabilizedwood.com will do it for us but I am looking for a method of doing it in house. I have a substantial amount of poplar which always has some figure around each knot. It is usually a nice olive color, some with blue/purple or red/orange mineral streaks. This wood is to soft to use for handle material without being stabilized or hardened by some other method.

The companies that do this stabilization commercially appear to be using an acrylic resin. Having painted large items in the past (aircraft), my favorite coating was dupont centari acrylic enamel. This acrylic resin (paint) is, I believe, available in clear as well as custom-tented (transparent tint, not opaque). Might this be an acceptable material to use to stabilize wood if the wood could be saturated with it and then allowed to cure?????

Technique might be something like this:

1. Place wood to be stabilized in a vacuum/pressure vessel. Cover the wood with the unthinned acrylic with or without urethane hardener.
2. Reduce pressure to near vacuum until the wood has had time for all (most) of the air to be evacuated from the wood fibers.
3. Increase pressure in the vessel as high as practical, forcing the resin into the wood fiber.
4. After the wood is saturated, reduce pressure to ambient and remove the wood from the resin bath.
5. Again reduce pressure as much as possible to remove excess resin. (The objective to saturate the wood fibers and not to completely fill the pores between the fibers.)
6. The wood would then be removed and the resin allowed to curing. Might help to place it in a low temp oven.

This finish with a urethane hardener added will get hard inside a paint can in a freezer at 0 degrees F.

Has anyone tried something like this ????

Thanks
Pup
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2002, 04:10 PM
P MOORE
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


I am trying something along the same lines except I am using Minwax Wood Hardener under vacuum at around 20 in. It fizzes like Alka Selzer. Leave in vacuum for 1 hour. Wood Hardener contains acetone and resen. The test I have run seem to be promising. Paul
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2002, 04:49 PM
pupandcat
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Paul
Is the acetone boiling out of the hardener or is it just air being liberated from the wood?

Is the remaining hardener noticibly thicker after the process (less acetone) ?

Thanks
Pup
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2002, 01:40 AM
RWClark
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


I have been using the Minwax Harderner for about 6 months with outstanding results. Just a warning. Let the wood cure for at least a week before using. The solvents in the base will eat epoxy for breakfast.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2002, 07:00 AM
P MOORE
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Pup: I have not noticed a difference in viscosity in the hardener. It seems to evaporate and soak in the same, or close I keep the hardener in a mason jar with a pin hole for the vacumm then seal the hole with tape when not in use. I do know however not to speed curing time by placing in the toaster oven...don't ask.

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  #6  
Old 01-25-2002, 07:49 AM
Geno
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


That would work fine, but may I suggest that the drying is the most important phase.
After curing, draw a suction on the dry wood to remove ANY moisture trapped inside. I would let this set under negative pressure at least overnight befor adding your bug juice.
The knottier the wood, the longer I suck out the moisture. Any moisture trapped inside will be sealed up if not removed first, and cause problems later.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2002, 03:06 PM
P MOORE
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Hi Gene:
Are you talking about drying before or after treatment?
I think it would not be a bad idea to heat the wood for a while before treating it .maybe a light box or I have heard of defrosting in the microwave. Paul

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  #8  
Old 01-25-2002, 09:58 PM
Geno
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


After all that, then draw it too.
There is still some risidual moisture in the middle of the wood, the heat dries the outside by layers, the inside does not dry as quick. The suction draws it out of the ends.
Just a trick I learned on wood.
After drying, I put it in the chamber and draw a suction over night.
A dew meter shows how much moisture is being removed , but few shops have a dew meter to measure the moisture.
Ever notice that fresh cut hard wood has a wax sealer put on the end. This is to prevent moisture from being sucked up inside and getting trapped. You will need to make sure the wax has been removed before stabilizing.
BTW the bubbling is air being removed. It looks like it is boiling.
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2002, 10:02 AM
blckbear
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Gene is it a good idea to drill for the tang before stabilizing?

Mike
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2002, 10:29 AM
RNickl
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Does a positive pressure need to be applied after vacuume is pulled? If so, how high of a pressure for how long? Also is there any way to tell if the wood has been fully penetrated throught without cutting it in half?

Thanks,
Rick
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2002, 10:54 AM
pupandcat
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Rick
In my (proposed) technkque, i listed a posative presure to aid penetration of the unthinned acrylic resin (paint) into the wood. I assumed that a negative presure would only cause thinners to boil off yealding a thick medium by the time the vacume was pulled.

The time required to fully saturate the wood would be a factor of the density and grain size of the wood, viscosity of the hardener, the completeness of the vacume pulled to begin, the amount of posative presure applied (if any) and the temperature.

The vacume/presure vesil that i plan to use is rated at 110 Lb. Posative at 650 degrees F. I do not have a vacume source as yet, so i have not been able to do any experimentation yet.

Thanks to Gene for the comment about vacume drying the wood. A point well taken (one i had not previously considered).

I continue to hope that some of the folks with experience in this will help us out. I could spend considerable time experimenting with this to figure out what someone out there


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  #12  
Old 01-28-2002, 08:00 PM
allan lanigan
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Pup,Reguarding Your idea of useing dupont products,I've done some experamenting using urethane clear coats,{automotive finishes,Problem you have to use the activator{hardener} and it sets up before you get the wood saturated..I plan to keep trying, ...
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2002, 07:04 PM
Geno
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Pre-drilling is a good idea, esspecially for antler.
The positive pressure helps, but the vaccum is the most critical part, it actually sucks it into the fibers for a good fill.
There are many hardening agents out there.
I have used lots of stuff including epoxy for antler, Thompson's brick sealer is my main formula mixed with a pint of rotted wood hardener.
It works on wood, ivory,ect...
I know a guy who uses styrofoam peanuts liquified with acetone, it basically makes a slow curing super glue.
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2002, 09:20 AM
blckbear
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


Just curious Gene, would you give us your formula?

Mike
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2002, 01:20 PM
Geno
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Re: Has anyone developed a method of stabilizing wood (in ho


I have not found one secret formula that works on everything.
I try to think "like the grains,I'm trying to fill", if that makes sence.
Picture in your mind, an orange has a particular grain pattern to it, as does a watermelon or a grape. If I were to replace all the natural juice with a plastic hardener(I mean a chemically produced hard material that can be placed inside the grains themselves in a liquid and then become hard), each grain or cavity might require a different type of plastic hardener in order to fill it completely with out falling out of the grain in the process of hardening.
First I must remove the natural juices by suction, fill the cavity with the right solution, and Keep it there to become solid while it hardens.
Wood has a different grain pattern than ivory or stag. I might need to have three different types of hardener to accomplish these different challenges.
Stag can have a spongey inside where the marrow was. It kinda needs a goop to hold in the voids (or grains).Picture an epoxy type of hardener.
Wood is fairly porous and needs more of a liquid source rather than a gooey source to hold.Goo doesn't flow well enough to fill the grains of wood and must be thinned to work well.Picture a oil based sealer/hardener like minwax products or the Thompson's brick sealer I mentioned earlier mixed with a hardening agent.
Ivory can be the hardest of all requiring several different types, all in one material.
First you must remove ALL moisture from ANY void, then fill the tightest spots first, followed by the larger voids such as in BARK Mammoth ivory.
I might combine two different processes, depending on the need.
For example, I might use the Thompson's stuff to get the tiny voids, and after drying and curing, reapeat the process with another type of hardening agent such as the exoxy types mentioned above.
The combination would improve the over all quality of the material being solidified or "stabilized", as we call it.
I'v used super glue on ivory too, depending on the grain structure of that particular piece. Sometimes using multiple layers of the same agent, works best.S/G is a good example.

I mentioned my secret formulas in the last post, this is more HOW I use them.

Find something you are comfortable with that you think would do a good job.
Play with the variables, untill you get repeatable results, that satisfy your particular needs, then ask someone else how they do it.
Compare and experiment some more with a new understanding.

I'v tried some of those expensive"perfect mixtures", and found they are not as consistant as they are boasted to be.

As I started with, I have found no perfect mixture that works the same on everything.
My "secret" formula is HOW I think about the tasc at hand.
The agents I use are all mentioned here.
I don't see that the super space aged technical formulas are any better than what Grampa used, I just may be using it for something different.
I hope I answered your question in all this.
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