The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA


Council Tool

Baker Products

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: Anyone Stabilize Wood?  (Read 5014 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Busy Beaver Lumber

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1106
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Gender: Male
    • Busy Beaver Lumber
Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« on: March 02, 2013, 08:39:41 am »
One of our larger customers was over a few days ago and jokingly said " I wish you two did wood stabilization. I would be beating a path to your door with wood blanks for you to process." As he told me, he had tried three suppliers to have his blanks stabilized over the past few years. The first accidentally burnt their shop down and refused to compensate him for the product they had on hand that they were stabilizing for him and basically told him if he wanted his product, bring a shovel and scoop the ashes of the floor. The second one delivers product that varies too much in terms of quality. Some times their work is good and other times the returned pieces have to go right into the trash. The third place, does excellent work for him, but treats him like a less than valued customer. He sends them wood to stabilize and it may be 4 months before he gets it back. They tell him they will only do his wood when they have no other large jobs to do. Nice way to treat a customer. :embarassed:


Have to admit he definitely had my ear because this fellow sells about $5000 worth of wood blanks a month just on one website and he sells on at least 4 other sites and has thousands of local customers as well. Not to mention that this fellow is as above board as they come. You never have to wait for payments as he pays you right at the time he picks his order up. Excellent communications and very easy to get along with. My wife is not a big people person and even she loves dealing with him.

Have to admit, I did not have an Idea what he was talking about and what it meant to "stabilize wood", but thanks to the modern internet age and a few trips to good old Youtube, I soon gathered a bunch of knowledge on the subject and found the process to be quite simple. Basically you start with a dried piece of wood that is porous in nature, put it in a vacuum chamber, immerse it in stabilizing fluid ( like the cactus juice), suck the air our of the wood blanks, and then remove vacuum and let the stabilizing fluid back fill where the air once was in the wood blanks, then bake the blanks to set up the stabilizing fluid into a solid.

This is done to make the wood more suitable ( aka stable) in situations where there is a high degree of certainty that the wood would come into constant contact with moisture, such as when one hold the handle of a knife with a moist hand or washes the knife handle, or when the moisture from your hands comes in contact with say the wood pistol grips. Another reason for doing this is to turn soft, almost punky wood with awesome grains and spalting into a more stable and much more solid form that can be turned on a lathe or machined into a work of art. From a financial perspective, the math is relatively simple. Inexpensive blank of wood + about $1 worth of stabilizing fluid = Higher dollar Stabilized blank, often selling for over $10 a pop

The product I like the best so far uses a stabilizer called Cactus Juice.

I am considering buying a vacuum pump and vacuum chamber large enough to do 24 or so pen planks at a time. My feeling is this same size chamber would be ideal for doing pistol grips and knife handle blanks,

Anyone else have any information or experience stabilizing wood or with this cactus juice in particular they wish to share with me please?
Woodmizer LT-10 10hp
Epilog Mini 18 Laser Engraver with rotary axis
Digital Wood Carver CNC Machine
6 x 10 dump trailer
Grizzly 15in Spiral Cut Surface Planer
Grizzly 6in Spiral Cut Joiner
Twister Firewood Bundler
Jet 10-20 Drum Sander
Jet Bandsaw
 


Save a tree...eat a beaver!

Offline Tree Feller

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 991
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Tyler, Texas
  • Gender: Male
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 10:11:36 am »
I've never tried it myself although I know several wood turners who do. A friend left me some small blanks that he had stabilized a few weeks back. I turned bottle stoppers from them.
Cody

Logmaster LM-1 Sawmill
Kioti CK 30 w/ FEL
Stihl MS-290 Chainsaw
48" Logrite Cant Hook
Well equipped, serious, woodworking shop

Offline Busy Beaver Lumber

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1106
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Gender: Male
    • Busy Beaver Lumber
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 11:10:47 am »
Trefeller

May I ask how they turned and how turning them compares to turning an non-stabilized blank in your opinion.

I am pretty sure i am going forward with this project. Just sent 6 blanks to the supplier to have him run them through his process so i can show my customer. If the customer likes it, I should be stabilizing blanks within two weeks. Already bought a used toaster oven off craigslist for a whopping $10. Have a vacuum pump on my watch list from Amazon, and the supplier will sell me the vacuum chamber and cactus juice.....oh and yeah dont tell wife, but i stole a roll of aluminum foil out of her pantry.
Woodmizer LT-10 10hp
Epilog Mini 18 Laser Engraver with rotary axis
Digital Wood Carver CNC Machine
6 x 10 dump trailer
Grizzly 15in Spiral Cut Surface Planer
Grizzly 6in Spiral Cut Joiner
Twister Firewood Bundler
Jet 10-20 Drum Sander
Jet Bandsaw
 


Save a tree...eat a beaver!

Offline bama20a

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 407
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Blount Co,Alabama
  • Gender: Male
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 12:11:11 pm »
How large is the chamber? I've heard of stabilize wood,But have never gave it much thought.
I've got two vacuum pumps that I don't use any more,But they was for Refg-work that I use to do years back to pull a vacuum on refg- units.Are they bigger enough?
I would like to see a pic- of one for a better ideal of how they work.
Would'nt think it would hard to buildone.Just a thougt.Mark,,,,,,
It is better to ask forgiveness than permission

Offline Busy Beaver Lumber

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1106
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Gender: Male
    • Busy Beaver Lumber
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 03:09:39 pm »
Mark

Your little A/C vacuum pump is exactly all the pump you need. There is a nice video of the entire process on his website and Curtis is one heck of a nice fellow to deal with. He has several different size chambers he build and offers at what appears to me to be a very reasonable price. He can also build a custom size one if you need one. My customer was also interested in stabilizing 20 inch pool cue blanks and Curtis said he would build me a chamber that size if i needed one.

his website is http://www.turntex.com
Woodmizer LT-10 10hp
Epilog Mini 18 Laser Engraver with rotary axis
Digital Wood Carver CNC Machine
6 x 10 dump trailer
Grizzly 15in Spiral Cut Surface Planer
Grizzly 6in Spiral Cut Joiner
Twister Firewood Bundler
Jet 10-20 Drum Sander
Jet Bandsaw
 


Save a tree...eat a beaver!

Offline Tree Feller

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 991
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Tyler, Texas
  • Gender: Male
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 03:18:46 pm »
Trefeller

May I ask how they turned and how turning them compares to turning an non-stabilized blank in your opinion.


The blanks were roughly 2" x 2" x 4" rectangles of heavily spalted Soft Maple. According to the friend, they were punky prior to stabilization. It was his first try at the process.

I thought they turned well, although it was more dust coming off the gouge than the thin ribbons of unstabilized wood. On a small turning like that, I can usually produce the ribbons even on dried wood.

The stabilized wood sanded very well and didn't clog the paper, either.
Cody

Logmaster LM-1 Sawmill
Kioti CK 30 w/ FEL
Stihl MS-290 Chainsaw
48" Logrite Cant Hook
Well equipped, serious, woodworking shop

Offline Busy Beaver Lumber

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1106
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Gender: Male
    • Busy Beaver Lumber
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 08:52:45 am »
thanks Cody, appreciate the review. Hopefully in a few weeks we will be sabilizing wood on this end.
Woodmizer LT-10 10hp
Epilog Mini 18 Laser Engraver with rotary axis
Digital Wood Carver CNC Machine
6 x 10 dump trailer
Grizzly 15in Spiral Cut Surface Planer
Grizzly 6in Spiral Cut Joiner
Twister Firewood Bundler
Jet 10-20 Drum Sander
Jet Bandsaw
 


Save a tree...eat a beaver!

Offline Busy Beaver Lumber

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1106
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Gender: Male
    • Busy Beaver Lumber
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 10:26:34 am »
Well its official. I will be in the wood stabilizing business inside of a few weeks. Ordered our vacuum pump yesterday and the vacuum chamber with all the bells and whistles about a week ago. Picked up a nice oven off craigslist to dry the blanks and cure the resin.

Even got our first box of nice spalted wood blanks on their way to experiment with. Actually kind of excited to start doing this. I love to cut wood on the mill, but what i really like it taking the wood cut on my mill or someone elses mill and turning it into a final product or turning blanks for someone else to turn into final products.

Here is pic of Pump, chamber, first load of wood blanks, and the look of the final product i am trying to achieve which are dyed and stabilized spanish oak as an example. The dye used shows how well it penetrates the blanks in the more porous areas.

 

  

  

  

 

Ultimately, i want to offer stabilized pen blanks, pistol grip blanks, knife handle blanks, and stopper blanks and other such items.

More pics and info to come as I embark on this new journey. May be looking for a few pen turners to take a sample of my finished product, turn it on their lathe, make a pen out of it, and review the quality of my stabilized turning blanks. I will even supply the pen kit for free to any that do as I am a Penn State Industries Dealer and always have a bunch of these kits on hand. My wife is an avid pen turner and I am sure she will give me a truthful review, but I would like independent reviews from others as well to be 100% impartial. After all, she may be somewhat biased since I buy all her pen kits for her and give them to her for free :D
Woodmizer LT-10 10hp
Epilog Mini 18 Laser Engraver with rotary axis
Digital Wood Carver CNC Machine
6 x 10 dump trailer
Grizzly 15in Spiral Cut Surface Planer
Grizzly 6in Spiral Cut Joiner
Twister Firewood Bundler
Jet 10-20 Drum Sander
Jet Bandsaw
 


Save a tree...eat a beaver!

Online thecfarm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 25333
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Chesterville,Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • If I don't do it,it don't get done
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2013, 10:49:31 am »
interesting.How big in the chamber? Kinda looks like 3-4 feet square? Which I know is really all you need with what you say you need for blanks. Good luck to you. I'm almost surprised you don't need stickers in between the wood. But I realize you know what your are doing.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline samandothers

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1905
  • Location: Charlotte NC To SW Va.
  • Gender: Male
  • Been learning on FF since 1/20/12
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2013, 10:56:02 am »
Neat process. I look forward to reading more.  Thanks for the post.

Offline Busy Beaver Lumber

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1106
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Gender: Male
    • Busy Beaver Lumber
Re: Anyone Stabilize Wood?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2013, 08:04:41 pm »
thecfarm

You are way off on your guess of the chamber size. It is 8 x 8 x 7 and that is inches. Even at that size, it will hold quite a few blanks at a time. You were correct however on your sticker comment. You actually use wood skewer sticks under the blanks and between each layer to allow air to escape from all 4 sides when you pull vacuum

I will post videos once i become familiar with the process and get a few loads under my belt

Woodmizer LT-10 10hp
Epilog Mini 18 Laser Engraver with rotary axis
Digital Wood Carver CNC Machine
6 x 10 dump trailer
Grizzly 15in Spiral Cut Surface Planer
Grizzly 6in Spiral Cut Joiner
Twister Firewood Bundler
Jet 10-20 Drum Sander
Jet Bandsaw
 


Save a tree...eat a beaver!