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Stabilizing Wood.

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Stabilizing Wood.

Postby Crooked Stic » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:13 pm

I got this project up and running. I have done three pieces so far. Zebra birdseye maple and a thin piece of osage. I made a vacuum chamber from PVC and used clear lexan for a lid. I pickup a two stage pump of -bay cheap. I borrowed a couple of fittings from work ;) and plumbed it up. It will pull and hold a solid 28 in.I got the Cactus Juice resin. It takes about 4 hours a vacuum to get most of the air out of a riser sized block. I talked the the guy that sells the juice and he recommended Leaving the wood in after releasing the vacuum twice as long as vacuum time and longer don't hurt. I made a curing hotbox 20x10 by 14in. tall with two 200 watt bulbs and 200 degree snap disc thermostat. Pieces TD riser size takes about four hours to cure. A word of caution Do Not get the resin in your vacuum pump. I got a little carried away (not watching close enough on initial startup) and got some in my pump. The heat of the pump cured the resin and locked the pump up.Had to take it all apart and do a major cleanup. I will put a catch chamber inline to avoid that.
It seems the maple gained the most weight and all pieces deepened a bit in color. I have some African mahogany I want to do next and put it together in a riser with the maple. Then I can post on any differences in how the wood works.
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Last edited by Crooked Stic on Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby Crooked Stic » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:24 pm

Couple more pics.
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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby Festivus » Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:45 am

That's pretty damn awesome! Keep us up to date.
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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby Crooked Stic » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:13 am

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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby kennym » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:58 pm

That is cool Mike!! :D
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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby Trux » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:09 am

pretty cool- it will be interesting to see how much the African mahogany changes also. Does the cactus juice act as a grain filler too?
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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby Crooked Stic » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:45 pm

I have not had a chance to work with any of the wood yet. Just guessing right now I would say it does fill the grain. To what exstint I can say for sure yet. The wood gains weight so it has to be going in where the air was removed by the vacuum process.
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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby arrowlauncherdj » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:54 pm

Very cool!
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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby TargetSlayer » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:31 am

Oh MAN... NON-vacuum-rated greases and oils vaporize and condense throughout the pump and drip out the exhaust... along with some of my analine dye's alcohol (no smoking!it's belching concentrated solvent vapor haha)
SO I never thought of getting GLUE in it...I wonder if any resins sort of sublimate in a vacuum like Vasoline? That would get it in there for sure. Sounds like you got the problem licked, though, so it must not be sucking it in anymore - did you just get it too close was all?

like my dye howitzer!
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Definitely depends on wood species and specimen... and not quickie thoughts about overall density, either. Some ash, particularly some pieces, seemed to have more porous character than say some hard maple, but dense rings in the ash were the hardest thing to dye out of red oak, maple, and ash thus far. I'm doing slices to lam back together into patriotic red/white/blue-banded riser blocks. I actually left them for weeks but days is probably fine. A few hours didn't dye for me but then I can't get pull over 26.8 in. Hg... I didn't think that a big deal until the CactusJuice guy's site just showed how the trapped air explodes way more at like 27.2 than 26...it's not a linear thing and I'm falling just short...GREAT info over there about this. THANKS for the link the guy's an awesome craftsman & provider, and his aviator friends with the DIY salvage pump files.
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Re: Stabilizing Wood.

Postby Crooked Stic » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:53 am

A little more on this process. The mahogany did not get very good penetration. It floated to the top when I removed the hold down weight. :cry: Soo getting back with Turn Tex here is what I will try next. Vacuum and soak multiple times. Vacuum 1 hr. soak 2 hrs. a couple of times then vacuum again until there are no or very few bubbles showing up release vacuum and just forget about it for a few days. My thoughts are if you have created a negative pressure area it has to fill back up with either air or resin. I think it will take more time for the resin than it would for the air to go back in.
The next piece will be maple with brown die added---hopefully make the grain pop.
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