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


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Old 04-20-2016, 09:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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How would I go about drying the manzanita without it cracking? I did cut some pen blanks right away and coated them completely with anchorseal, but they still cracked like all heck. I was thinking maybe slowing it down by putting the stuff in a sealed paper grocery bag? Ideas? Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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For me,
I coat just the ends maybe a half inch, and that allows for the wood to dry from the middle. By coating them completely, you didn't leave an area for the moisture to escape.

JMHO
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonepecker View Post
For me,
I coat just the ends maybe a half inch, and that allows for the wood to dry from the middle. By coating them completely, you didn't leave an area for the moisture to escape.

JMHO
That makes a lot of sense. Feel really stupid now! Ha ha! Oh well, gonna get more and try again. Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderwear View Post
How would I go about drying the manzanita without it cracking? I did cut some pen blanks right away and coated them completely with anchorseal, but they still cracked like all heck. I was thinking maybe slowing it down by putting the stuff in a sealed paper grocery bag? Ideas? Thanks.
Some woods are very prone to moving and cracking a lot while drying - Manzanita, especially the root/burl is definitely one of those woods. With woods that are extremely tricky to dry, some suggest boiling the wood for a certain amount of time and then sealing it and letting it dry to help reduce how much checking and moving the piece does while drying. I've not tried the boiling method, so I can't give you specific details on it.

Another key with woods that are prone to move and crack is to dry very slowly in a cool place without a ton of airflow. For me, that's the cellar portion of our basement here in Minnesota - it's the coolest portion of our basement. Wood I place in there dries very slowly, but is also then less prone to crack/check on me.

With Manzanita, once it's dry you're going to have a lot of pieces that will work great for casting - may want to start researching getting a pressure pot and casting with Alumilite so you can still make good use of those cracked pieces.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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If the pieces of wood will fit in a mason jar, I have a possible solution.

Get a mason jar with ring and lid, punch a small hole in the lid, and put a piece of electrical tape over the hole. Then get one of the gizmos used to put a vacuum on a wine bottle.

To stabilize, put enough of a mix of half each of lacquer and lacquer thinner in the jar. Put the wood in the jar, and put something else in the jar to keep the blanks submerged in the liquid. Put the lid on the jar, place the pump over the tape, and pull on it a half dozen times or so. Remove the lid, if you want, to see that it does "pop" when the lid is removed. Repeat the process to restore the vacuum. Let it soak for a few days. Remove the blanks and let them completely dry. I've had good luck doing this with corn cobs.

If you like the results, add some dye the next time and see what kind of results you get. May or may not totally penetrate. Have never tried the dye.

Good luck.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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[quote]With woods that are extremely tricky to dry, some suggest boiling the wood for a certain amount of time and then sealing it and letting it dry to help reduce how much checking and moving the piece does while drying. I've not tried the boiling method, so I can't give you specific details on it.
[quote]

Very interesting. Never thought about boiling. Not sure how that would work, but I can give it a shot. I'll have to search and see what I can learn about that.

I've come to the conclusion that I am now hooked and need to take this more seriously....making my own vacuum chamber with some 1/2' thick polycarbonate sheets and buying a vacuum pump. I seem to be collecting a lot of great wood that needs stabilizing, so I better just get my act together. Pressure pot down the road too.

Thanks for the boiling idea!
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