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Casting & Stabilization Making your own blanks & stabilizing wood blanks.


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Old 04-29-2016, 06:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Alternatives to Cactus Juice?

Hey all, I've tried to search for this, but there is so much information on this forum about "resins" that it's difficult to find anything that directly answers this question.

Being that both Cactus Juice and Stickfast stabilizing resins are so expensive, what are alternatives? Are there any cheaper alternatives that work as well? Has anyone come up with a way to make their own stabilizing resin?

Thanks for any advice....my vacuum pump is on the way and my chamber is almost built.

--Jeff
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderwear View Post
Being that both Cactus Juice and Stickfast stabilizing resins are so expensive, what are alternatives?
--Jeff
Well... My refrigerator was expensive, but I like my ice cream cold . And I don't want to build a refrigerator (probably fail) - I'll buy one I know works...

Jeff, You can try to re-invent the wheel, but there are plenty of nice wheels available.

I suspect if you wish to re-invent "Cactus Juice and Stickfast stabilizing resins" you can... and $1,000.. $2,000..$3,000 later... Hmnnn.. That's nice

But to answer your question: I do not know of other alternatives. However, you can just use a tube of CA to get things solid. But as you have a vacuum pump and a chamber on the way... What ya gonna put in it?

Disclosure: I do not stabilize, but use Alumilite to cast - And have no interest in re-inventing Alumilite, which is also by comparison expensive; or cheap as I would probably spend a LOT to re-invent it!

Get your chamber, get some proven product, save your money.

Just my opinion.

Oh, truly, have FUN!
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Have to agree with Mark. There is Venom which is probably similar to CJ and Stickfast and I think there price is about the same. If you want it to come out stick with what others have already done unless you have a chem degree or a lot of money for R and D. I have used both CJ and Stickfast and prefer CJ because of the customer service. Can't say enough good stuff about Curtis. In addition he does a lot for IAP so why not support him. I save up til I can make a 4 gallon order to save a little money or go in with others so that we can order the 4 gallons.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Not sure how the price compares but the old stand by used was Minwax wood hardener. Been used for many years.

Need to read the do's and don'ts.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Do some research on here before CJ was available. You either shipped your blanks away to a professional, or tried weird conceptions like plexiglas scraps melted in acetone. None of the home brews come close.
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Do some research on here before CJ was available. You either shipped your blanks away to a professional, or tried weird conceptions like plexiglas scraps melted in acetone. None of the home brews come close.

Do not remember the plexiglass scraps used for stabilizing. Do remember them being used to make a durable finish instead of CA.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:30 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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One of the advantages of Cactus Juice is that it is 100% solids. That means there is nothing to evaporate and every bit of juice absorbed become part of the product rather than evaporation. Reminds me of the expression good meat ain't cheap and cheap meat ain't good.
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Old 05-22-2016, 07:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Many years ago I started searching for the same solution and all I could come up with was what is used in the boating industry. They use a mix of Xylene and Epoxy to soak into the wood to stabilize rotten or punky wood. This is the website that I was looking at for information. I have not tried this so I do not know if it works or if anyone here has tried this.

Penetrating Epoxy Resin - Facts - Test Results
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Almost 2 years ago I was exactly were you are. I posted something similar and got similar results, except for the melted plastic(now that's desperate).

My sister invited me do Utah, to take a course on stabilizing wood at Craft USA, with Kirk Deheer, yes Dr. Kirk. I was interested in getting a hands on do and don't s, so my sister and I grab our bags and went to Provo. I most confess that I was under the impression that I wasn't going to learn much, boy was I wrong. The fluid we used was cactus juice, we learned about dyes, tricks, catalyzing and what type of wood to use.
In addition the Dr. taught us about thread chasing and other things, on the 3rd day of our 2 day seminar.

The most important thing I learned was how much the stuff lasts. You use air tight bottles to store the different colors you make, and save them after you finish. The amount of juice that actually stays in the blank is very small, but you need enough to submerge that blank.

So the real disadvantage is the initial investment, but you will get a big return.

P.S. In that trip I met Josh Reid, from CSUSA, who also took the seminar, and we have been good friends since, he should be coming over for New Years with his wife George (Georgina). I can't wait!
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Thanks TerryMiller....I spent waaaaaay too much time this morning learning about epoxies, but I am glad I did. Very interesting. Thanks for the link!
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