A Call For Wood!

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by MacHete, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. MacHete

    MacHete Hair Cropper & Chipmunk Wrangler

    Apr 7, 2000
    I have been playing around with stabilizing wood. Results have been favorable enough that I am overhauling (actually scrapping old and building new) my set-up. It's nothing terribly fancy, still powered by a brake line vac hand pump, but I'm going to try to make it work in some larger containers.

    I need wood! I have some pieces that are a little too nice to experiment on, and I have some cherry, buckeye and locust cuttings that won't be seasoned until next year. What I really need are some larger pieces (in both length and thickness-up to twelve inches long and four inches around.) of hardwoods.

    Like the idiot I am, I didn't cut off any chunks of the walnut and oak that Hollow Dweller had at the Khon- that would have been perfect. HD, If you still have that stuff, could you lop me off a chunk or two and send it? I'll pay for your trouble and shipping.

    Brian In Chi- I am %99 and 44/100ths sure that your "chinese 2 X 4" is maple or an eastern cousin thereof. I sanded it down, and the end grain is quite distinctive. If you have any more of it lying around, the same deal for HD applies to you. :)

    If anyone else has any slightly-oversized pieces that they don't plan to use, shoot me an email or a PM. I don't want you really good stuff, I just don't want pine, plywood or old picnic tables. :p

    Thanks a bunch, guys! :D
     
  2. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003
    I've got the piece of Oak...wonder if I have to crate it to ship it?
     
  3. WarrenR

    WarrenR

    308
    Dec 27, 2003
    that sounds cool Mac...
    don't forget to post how you made that big 'ol vacuum chamber to hold the
    wood and the 'stabilizing' solution...
    While I was on vacation, a great big vacuum canister caught my eye (to be used w/ the foodsaver vacuum sealer).
    My doubts were that an acetone solution would eat or destroy the acrylic container.
    If it would survive, one could easily submerge a smaller khuk, like a 12" AK.
    I didn't scrutinize a whole lot, but I'd say it was 14"-16" tall and maybe 7"-8" in diameter...
    IIRC, Dan stated he uses a vacuum container from Harborfreight?
    Are you using the pellets w/ acetone for the stabilizing solution as well?
    I'm definitely interested in trying to stabilize some hickory and maple one of these days.
    Keep us posted on the results and post some pics... ;)
     
  4. hollowdweller

    hollowdweller

    Sep 22, 2003
    I can do that. Give me your e mail address. I got some walnut and maybe some other stuff if I look around. Some more oak.
     
  5. MacHete

    MacHete Hair Cropper & Chipmunk Wrangler

    Apr 7, 2000
    You guys ROCK! :D

    Nasty, if you've got a way to cut off a hunk, you can just shake your cat out of that triangle box and ship it to me in that. :D

    Warren, I need to get some of the pellets like Dan had. I've been using the Min-Wax hardener, and cyanoacrylate(< some horror stories with that stuff).
    I've looked at the food-saver vacs, and the canning vacs, but those that I've seen do not lend themselves easily to attachment to different containers. The brake line pump just has that hose that's pretty easy to seal around a hole for. I have a wild hair to convert a weatherguard gun case into a vacuum chamber, so I can stabilize "cane-sized" pieces of wood. I'll have to test a bunch of solvents on it and on the gaskets. I'm also looking for an old pressure cooker at the thrift stores. I'm currently trying to empty a gallon pickle jar to accomodate larger wood pieces. The "crazy-glue" stuff will probably not be suitable for the larger batches, so I may abandon it altogether. I've done some test pieces of soft woods (white pine dowels, lath boards and shims) just to see how well things penetrate. I have some smaller, knife slab sized pieces of Black ash, and curly and birdseye maple to play with, but not until I've perfected things a little better. I already trashed some decent walnut in a crazy-glue fiasco. :grumpy: I will be happy to share my triumphs (and maybe my failures will be instructive as well.)

    HD, you are the man! Email is headed your way. :)
    Oops! email not headed your way. You can use the email in my profile and cc it to [email protected] (dropping the "no-spam" of course.)
     
  6. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003
    MactheBaptist...email me your shipping address to make it easy for me. I've been around Bruise too long and have gotten lazy(er). I have a spare triangular box (the other one makes hissing noises everyt time I get close to it).
     
  7. hollowdweller

    hollowdweller

    Sep 22, 2003
    I wonder if the stabilizing thing worked well, if it wouldn't save to go ahead as soon as you bought a khuk, to pull the handle and sand it down, stabilize it and then put it back on with Acraglas.

    Can't help but think that it would cut down on the number of cracked or loose handles.
     
  8. MacHete

    MacHete Hair Cropper & Chipmunk Wrangler

    Apr 7, 2000
    I'm a little curious about Warren's idea of just immersing the whole thing. I doubt the bolster/cap fit is "air-tight", and I'm sure it would take much longer to penetrate, but it would have to be somewhat effective. I just wonder how the penetrant would react to the laha, and if there might be swelling that stressed the fit. Hmmm. Worth exploring...
     
  9. Aardvark

    Aardvark Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Mac, try not too laugh to hard at this one.

    I have some applewood that has been curing for about a year. Also, some pieces of ironwood.

    I don't know if applewood is considered 'hard', though I know that they make woodworking planes out of it. And I don't know if ironwood lends itself to stabilization, since it's so dense.

    Let me know if you're interested in either.
     
  10. BruiseLeee

    BruiseLeee

    Sep 7, 2001
    I see a toothpick on the floor that's been seasoning for a couple of days. E-mail me if you want me to send it. :)
     
  11. MacHete

    MacHete Hair Cropper & Chipmunk Wrangler

    Apr 7, 2000
    Aardvark- Yes, fruitwoods are considered "hard". :) And apple often has some nice figure to it, so if it's something you're sure you aren't going to use, I'd love some! Ironwood really doesn't need stabilization, but again, if it's something you won't be using, send it on along! I would expect that you'd want more than just shipping compensation for your ironwood, so let me know.

    Bruise- toothpicks are usually made from birch, so if there's any burl to the grain of the one on your floor, I'll send you a S.A.S.E. :p
     
  12. Aardvark

    Aardvark Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Mac, don't need compensation.

    The apple is basically raw branch pieces at this point. Is that OK?

    If you will email me with your address, I'll try to get it out this weekend.

    Joe
     
  13. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    If you send a big enough envelope, Bruise might try to get in it himself....word is, he's in need of a vacation anyway....:D



    I have some sources for inexpensive, nicely grained woods, if you want them, Mac. Basically, 2" x 2" x 18" pieces for around $3 each.
     
  14. WarrenR

    WarrenR

    308
    Dec 27, 2003
    Ahh, yes...Applewood.
    I use this on the smoker with a lil hickory for ribs and chicken 1/4's and 1/2's.
    I will say that most of the time, it's impossible to split evenly (lengthwise) in pieces
    with its scattered grain.
    My 20 ton log-splitter has a very sharp wedge, & usually ends up 'cutting' the
    applewood because of this crazy grain pattern...sometimes I find pieces that I swear
    the grain runs straight for a few inches, then changes to nearly perpendicular.
    It is a really hard, dense wood and may be the ticket for some nice woodchucking work.

    As for the total Khuk submersion process, I would think that it would be most beneficial,
    even if it affects the laha, because you're performing a total void fill with an acryllic, no?
    Any places around the hardware, ie. tang, bolster, butt, etc. would be encased with the stabilizing medium.
    We may need some expert opinions on this though...I'm just stating my hypothesis at this point. :D :D :D
    If this does infact turn to be true, maybe there's a solution for stabilizing horn handles... :D
     
  15. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    horn can definitely be stabilized, as can bone, ivory, etc.


    Maybe some kind of stopper in the lid that would be able to be fitted to a blade (handle in the jar, blade outside the jar)....just thinkin' out loud...
     
  16. MacHete

    MacHete Hair Cropper & Chipmunk Wrangler

    Apr 7, 2000
    Warren- if I can get my larger-scale set-up working, I will try the immersion process. But, I'll probably try it on a five-dollar machete from Smoky Mountain before I try it on a Khuk.

    Pen, do you mean you have some pieces on hand, or know where to get them? I bought my last batch from a cabinetry outfit in Canada. (Only place I could find Black Ash.) There are a lot of suppliers out there, but a lot of them only cater to the cabinetry crowd, and seldom have anything thicker than 1". I'm seeing that even the knifemaker supply outfits don't seem to be stocking blocks like they used to, everything is mostly scales. 2X2X18 would be a very useful size, both to use and experiment with. What species are available?
     
  17. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
  18. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    the longleaf pine doesn't look so fancy, but when you see it in person it is wonderful! And just $2.50 for a 1.5"x1.5"x18" piece.

    These have nice contrast grains too:

    Texas Ebony
    Zebrawood
    Bocote


    And the Ipe (ironwood) is cool....very dense and hard. (not good for stabilizing, though - doesn't need it)



    I'd also do a search on ebay for "spalted". Anything spalted is going to be softer and easier to stabilize. Watch out, though. It will suck up a lot of your stuff.
     
  19. MacHete

    MacHete Hair Cropper & Chipmunk Wrangler

    Apr 7, 2000
    Thank you, sir! Seems like a great outfit, and those prices are very good.
     
  20. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    Don's great to work with too.

    Forgot to say the pieces are "turning blanks". The knife scales are more expensive per lb. of wood, so I just cut my own pieces to size.

    You could ask him if he has any 2x3x18 pieces or perhaps even an uncut 2x4x18....
     

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