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


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Old 06-13-2018, 08:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Default Stabilizing Redwood

I recently found some reclaimed Redwood that was salvaged out of an old cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I've always heard that Redwood takes a long time to stabilize. I'm hoping someone can shed a bit of light on what I experienced when stabilizing these pieces with Cactus Juice.
First off this wood was bone dry. I put around 9 pieces of the wood in my vacuum chamber, filled it up with the juice and turned on my vacuum pump. For about the first hour or so it bubbled up pretty hard then it calmed down to a steady stream of bubbles that I knew wouldn't cause any trouble. Now comes the interesting part. After 12 hours the bubbles continued at full vacuum. As I live off grid I let the blanks sit in the juice overnight after shutting off the vacuum pump and releasing the pressure in the chamber. Next day I turned the vacuum pump back on and the bubbles continued, not a small amount of bubbles but a pretty good grouping. I did this every day for 4 days (48 hours) until I got zero bubbles out of the blanks. The blanks were always covered with at least 2 inches of juice during this process and were never exposed to any air. Has anyone else had an experience like this in the past? Also, with Redwood is it common for the juice to pick up pigment during the stabilizing process? My Cactus Juice now has a red tint to it and I'm wondering if this tint will transfer to any other wood I might stabilize.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I personally have had 0 luck with stabilizing red wood. I have not be able to get the cactus juice to penetrate further than a few millimeters into the lace redwood I have. The buckeye and oak, no problem, no issues.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Redwood for me has always been a failure to stabilize, have tried many different ways, new juice,old juice,long soak time under max vac for days.

Baking afterwards with different temp from 200 to 250, 2 hours all the way up over night.

So its my thinking ,why waist time and products on redwood as there are so many great woods to stabilize.

charlie
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Ive stabilized redwood a few times and it didnít act any different than other softwoods. Have seen it said before that it was not possible. There was always a noticeable difference in weight before and after. Not sure on the bubbles but on the CJ site it says to maintain vacuum until there is a notable reduction in the bubbles. Not until there are no bubbles, so that is what I do.
On the color in the CJ - happens with most wood and I donít worry about it unless Iím doing Holly, then only new CJ.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I have very limited experience in casting but I've had KandG stabilize lots of redwood. Stabilizing medium goes clear to center. Not sure how they do it but they nailed it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I've had success with redwood, similar results to other species. But note that I am using wood that may have been bought and sold several times, not completely certain it is labeled correctly. Also, even if it is redwood, not all pieces are equal. I have found that a little bit of spalting can dramatically increase resin uptake. When using vacuum, truly bone dry is critical, even a few hours in the open air after baking the wood can allow it to soak up enough moisture to inhibit stabilizing. If you are baking at 225 for 24 hours, then I don't have any other ideas... But I seem to recall that you have some limitations with the baking step.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Also, forgot to mention that I have used pretty dark juice and not had it contaminate other light woods. It might be a little bit of an issue if the wood is really porous, but I would use it without much concern.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Great advice from you all and I appreciate your time in responding to my question. I'll post to this thread after I see how this turns out. Might be a total flop but I hope I've been able to do something with this wood. I don't remember ever seeing any pictures or actual pen/pencils out of Redwood and I'm hoping by trying to stabilize it I can bring out some "texture" in the wood. Once I (actually my wife) figures out how to post pictures I'll be posting some pictures, I hope, of a Redwood pen. Thanks again!
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockb View Post
I have very limited experience in casting but I've had KandG stabilize lots of redwood. Stabilizing medium goes clear to center. Not sure how they do it but they nailed it.
Rocky, had a chance to visit your web page. Very nice selection of blanks out of Curly Redwood. I was also given some very dry limbs (if that's what they're called) of Manzanita by my brother in law who lives in Redding. I made a knife and pen out of what I could salvage and they came out beautiful. Is there anyway to treat the wood so it doesn't check and split as bad?
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Interesting post. I have never worked redwood in any fashion. I don't use commercial solutions for stabilizing. Prefer my own. If I come across some scrap from a decking job, or whatever I'll have to try it. OTOH, it is a pretty plain and uninteresting wood. Not likely I would go out of my way to get some.
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