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


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Old 05-21-2018, 09:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRDucks2 View Post
The second vacuum drew bubbles for about 30 minutes. Let soak for a couple of hours and cooked again for 3 hours. No real change. More juice present but still not solid.
Try running vacuum for longer. Much longer. 30 minutes is an extremely short vacuum time. With fully dried wood, the shortest vacuum time I've ever had before the bubbles have stopped with any wood I've done has been 10 hours. One would think that spalted woods would release their air faster, but my experience has been that is not always the case.

Try extending your vacuum time. My average vacuum times range from 12 to 24 hours, then soak for at least twice as long as vacuum time before curing.

When I'm working on double dyeing blanks, where I don't want to pull out all the air and only have the material partially submerged because I don't want to saturate the whole block with one color, I will run vacuum for 5 to 30 minutes. 30 minutes just isn't enough time for a full vacuum cycle to get all the air out. If you're impatient and don't want to try 12 or 24 hours, even try 6. You will no doubt notice a big difference.


One other thing - how dry was the wood before you started? Did you bake it at a temp of at least 220F for 24 hours, then start weighing it every few hours after that, and stop drying it once it has stopped loosing weight for 2 measurements in a row to ensure it has 0% moisture? Having moisture in the wood also create issues. And extends the time under vacuum because then you're waiting for the vacuum to vacuum dry the wood and pull that moisture out too, which isn't good for the process.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Thanks, Matthew. Lots of good info. 30 minutes was the second time under vacuum. The first time was probably 7 hours before no more bubbles, didnít really time. Soaked in juice 24 hours. Baked the wood just under 200 for 2+ hours. Juice spots on bottom hard and some spots in wood, but mostly still soft though colored through.

Decided if still soft, why not pull vacuum again and see if it takes more juice. That was the 30 minutes. No change on second round.

This is a small amount of juice. I will try some of the other batches/colors before tossing.


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Old 05-21-2018, 11:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Mike, let us know how it goes. I'll check back in here and, if you're still having issues, I'll be happy to try and help any way I can.

BTW, what species of wood is giving you the issue? There are some woods that just don't take up resin very well. And some woods where parts of it will soak up well, and then some parts that don't.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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This was silver maple that was all punky wood. No big holes or bacterial rot still present, just spongy.

Figured it would have good character if I could stabilize it then cast it with some Alumilite. Iíll keep everyone posted. On the road for a couple of days, then Iíll be back.


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Old 05-22-2018, 02:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
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It's my understanding that the stabilizing resin just fills the empty spaces in the wood. The remaining wood is still there with it's strength or lack of strength. Some will soak into the wood fibers but most just fills the space that use to be air binding the wood together better. The left behind wood should still have the same properties. I've noticed this on Black Palm. It has much more resistance to breaking and chipping when stabilized. It holds together better, but the properties of the wood parts haven't really changed.

Danny
"empty spaces" include microscopic voids in the cellular structure. Done right there should be no softness.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Also check your baking temperature and use a good thermometer.


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Old 05-25-2018, 06:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Alright, here are the answers. Took a different color, different container of the same overall batch of juice. Using same pieces, vacuumed for a day, soaked for a day, picked up deep blue and soaked with juice.

Cooked for about 4 hours at 200 and... same overall results. Wood not a different color but still fingernail soft and can be dug apart easily.

Performed the shot glass of cooked resin test for an hour and end up crumbly rubber. Appears this batch is shot. It is in various smaller containers of color so not worth saving. Will try some new.

It seemed the wood took the juice well but was as if the juice simply cooked away for the most part when heated. And now I know. It was good a month to six weeks ago.


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Old 05-25-2018, 08:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I'm pretty sure I've seen the crumbly rubbery cured resin. Seems like it happens to me more with juice that has been reused with oily woods and/or squeeze out from oily woods. For me it has just been the squeeze out, the blanks themselves were rock hard. Possibly interefence from the dye, or maybe wood resins from a previous batch. Last thought - are you storing juice in glass containers? I think the inhibitor in the juice needs oxygen to work, so breathable container is better for long term storage (not certain on this one though).
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Mike, are the containers still open? Seems I read or heard they should not be stored closed.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:19 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Yep, all the lids are loose.


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