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Recommendation? Vaccuum Chamber for Stabilizing

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by DeadFall27, May 25, 2019.

  1. DeadFall27

    DeadFall27 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2011
    Hello everyone!

    I was hoping to seek knowledge from those who stabilize wood and other materials themselves.

    -I am looking into buying a chamber, vacuum, inner chamber and potentially a pressure pot. Are there any of the "starter kits" that are worth looking into? Or should I buy everything separate and make my own?

    -Are pressure pots as necessary to push in the resin into the material as some say? Or is it precautionary and not something necessarily vital to the process?

    -I have been reading up on the different types of resins used to stabilize. Cactus juice and Acryllic resins seem to be most popular. Is there a universal reason why one is better than the other? I have read many saying acrylic resins are best, but not why they might be better.

    -What ruins wood when attempting to stabilize? What are the things to avoid or look for? I have seen basic how-to's, but never things for specific types of wood or warnings.

    -When stabilizing, do you stabilize only one wood at a time, or can you mix them all in the same batch? Can woods with high pitch contents ruin other blocks (Pine heartwood/fatwood/pitchwood/etc)? I'd like to attempt to stabilize a piece of pine heart and make something with it.

    I apologize for my questions, I appreciate your time and feedback. Please have a wonderful day and take care!!

    -DeadFall27
     
  2. kmf600

    kmf600

    81
    Jul 2, 2018
    Not an expert, but I just use a large pickle jar and a harbor Freight vacuum pump with cactus juice. You can get plastic hose and fittings from home depot.
     
  3. Alex Topfer

    Alex Topfer

    83
    May 1, 2019
    I would think that once you have the air out of the wood then releasing the vacuum is going to force resin into the wood under atmospheric pressure. Maybe putting it under pressure would do it faster, but doesn't seem like it would make much if a difference?
     
  4. Don Hanson III

    Don Hanson III KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 3, 2002
    Sending wood blocks to K&G is by far the best method! But I do use cactus juice under vacuum with good results. Fat pine won't stibilize.
     
  5. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    Go with Cactus Juice. Read here for first learning:
    https://www.turntex.com/help-center/cactus-juice-stabilizing-resources/61-vacuum-explanation

    Next read this page:
    https://www.turntex.com/help-center/cactus-juice-stabilizing-resources/60-using-cactus-juice

    The few times I've called Curtis he's been VERY helpful and returns calls if you leave a msg. I wouldn't worry about asking questions anywhere of anybody, Curtis has the experience and knowledge to make it work.

    The best woods to stabilize are an open pore wood and must be VERY dry. Most spalted woods will work good, maple, etc. Many woods like American Black Walnut just doesn't work very well at all for home stabilizing, but K&G can do a GREAT job on the same wood.

    Yes, you can mix woods at same time in pot. I doubt even K&G would stabilize pitch pine (fat pine?).
     
  6. scott kozub

    scott kozub Gold Member Gold Member

    263
    Jan 1, 2018
    I use a glass pasta container so I can see the bubbles with a plate of aluminum on top with a rubber gasket and a harbour freight vacuum pump.

    Still not as good as professionally stabilized blocks but if figure if someone wants plain wood handle it won't hurt.
     
  7. Lieblad

    Lieblad

    Jul 24, 2015
    I use an oldschool cast aluminum pressure canner and vacuum pump is compressor from a scrapped 'fridge. But cant see what going on inside. Just draw vacuum and let it sit a few hours.
    Not too much using it however and since its no longer properly oiled, I expect compressor to seize up someday. But I give its input a few drips of whatever is handy, and its worked several years now...
     

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