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  #1  
Old 03-04-2010, 09:11 PM
10es& 10es& is offline
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Stabilized wood help

This might be a case of being penny wise and dollar stupid?

I purchased a BLOCK of stabilized buckeye burl with the thought of cutting it into scales for folders. The reason I did this was that for the same price as a set of scales I could by a block and cut at least three sets of scales out of it.

Well now I am in the middle of the block and my ?scales? that I cut off the block seem to be a bit dry, and there is little pin holes without resin almost like there is less resin in the middle than on the outside.

Is this normal for stabilized blocks to have less resin in the middle? Does anyone else do this or is this just a foolish way to try and save some money?

Thanks
Brett
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:06 PM
fatzombie fatzombie is offline
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What size was the block before you cut it? Did you buy it from a professional stabilizing company? Well I guess it doesnt matter you still have to use it so just fill the voids with CA glue and finish as normal. Even for the pros its hard to fill every void in every block of wood so it may not be the last time you encounter this delema and you might as well learn to work around it.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:06 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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No, it's not a stupid thing to do. Properly stabilized wood will usually have no voids or pin holes but, depending on the type of wood, even the pros may have a few pin holes on highly figured burl woods. If you buy a block that is 2" or less square and if it was stabilized by K&G Finishing or WSSI then you should have no problems cutting as many scales from it as you want. If you do find a void the do as Farzombie suggested and fill it with epoxy with some sawdust mixed in ....


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Old 03-05-2010, 09:39 AM
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B.Finnigan B.Finnigan is offline
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Although with buckeye burl I would be curious why such a porous wood could not be saturated completely. That stuff is just one level above a kitchen sponge in hardness.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:33 PM
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Thanks guys, I will fix the scales as suggested.

I am glad to hear that cutting up a block is not a bad idea as it saves a lot of money.
Especially since I am new enough to still have a high scrap rate on all of my materials and have already purchased a few other stabilized blocks that I have not cut into yet?.

Brett
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:43 PM
fatzombie fatzombie is offline
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My understanding is that penetrating the wood is only half the problem. Once the stabiliser is pressurized into the wood it is still in liquid form and must be taken from the pressurizer and placed into an autoclave to cure with heat. While it is in the autoclave and before it cures the stabiliser has an opportunity to weep out of the wood, leaving voids in the areas that were hollow to begin with. Imagine Mr Finnigans kitchen sponge soaked with epoxy...by the time it cures half of it would be on your workbench. That may not be the case with WSSI and K&G but good luck getting them to tell you how to do anything or what they use. Good stabilized wood seems to be a closely gaurded secret. That is why Ray always says to just buy it from the pros, if you want to make stabilized wood you may as well quit making knives because to make it well you will be investing a lot of money and time in R&D that will prevent you from doing anything else.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:52 PM
Jim T Jim T is offline
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Hey Brett;

I find this quite interesting. I have a similar problem.

I sent a whole bunch of spalted maple blocks (1" x 1 1/2" x 5") to be professionally stabilized. The outside of the blocks are mostly resin-coated, but I've sliced several down the middle and have found the insides appear dry and unsaturated. There are unfilled holes and cracks.

Can anyone tell me if this is what they should look like? Should I send them back to be redone? Can they even be redone?

Jim
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:04 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Generally, the inside will appear dry and there may be small voids but usually not many in maple. Cut a block, sand the cut side to 400 grit and buff. If it takes a glass like shine with very little polishing you got what you paid for .....


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Old 03-06-2010, 03:11 AM
CWKnifeman CWKnifeman is offline
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I have to agreee with Ray If it holds a high polish on the cut area then it was stabilized properly. I have been doing my own for about 10 years or so. Although I hav not had any that had voids of any kind other than a mm or so in size. Most everything that I have done comes out with the voids filled in with the resin, and looks like hard colored glass as the resin will pick up some color from the area around the void. Sometimes there will be some voids from the outside surface area of blocks but not normally from the center if tha vacuum was done properly.
Curtis


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