Cactus Juice vs Wood Juice vs Minwax

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ramaroodle

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Feb 15, 2018
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Just getting into stabilization. Made a vac system last night and immersed spalted maple blanks and pulled a vacuum until it stopped bubbling. Used Minwax wood hardener as it was at the big box store and I wanted to see what it would do. Didn't want to bake them as I figured that would be grounds for divorce or at lease a serious ass-chewing. (bought a cheap toaster oven at Goodwill for $9 today). I have no problem starting over. It was just an experiment.

Sooooo,

1. Do you need to bake them since I used Minwax and do I still need to bake them since they will have been drying for 24hrs when I get home from work?

2. Is CJ the beat-all end-all product to use?

3. Just for fun I mixed in some red trans tint dye in another batch and let them percolate in the chamber too. Is that a technique or was that a waste of time. The blanks looked red through and through when I checked this morning.

4. Didn't put a gauge on my system as I figured that if was bubbling like the ones on youtube it was sucking. I just let off a little pressure when it bubbled too much. Need to replace the 16oz jelly jar with a big pickle jar.
 
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TattooedTurner

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Minwax doesn’t come close to Cactus Juice IMO. My pump also died the first time I tried stabilizing with Minwax. It may have been a coincidence, but I’ve read online that the fumes from Minwax can seize up a pump, especially the cheap ones, which it was. I now have a Robinair and use CJ exclusively. I also recommend getting an oven thermometer if you haven’t already. Toaster ovens are notoriously inaccurate and when using CJ you have to make sure it heats to the proper temp for the full curing time. I got one at Walmart for somewhere between $10-$20. I let the wood marinate overnight in a pressure pot after the bubbles stop coming out. You don’t need pressure but I figured it might help. Regardless, you want to let it soak after you release the vacuum. I’ve also read that more resin seeps in after releasing the vacuum than what actually penetrates while it’s under vacuum. I have no way of verifying this, but I’d rather listen to the experienced folks.
 

its_virgil

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Personally, I don't think you can get a better product than Cactus Juice nor any better customer service than what Curtis Seebeck gives. You cannot go wrong using Cactus Juice....great product and great guy that sells it.

Temperature is important. Do not trust the temp dial on the oven. Good advice above about the oven thermometer. Let the wood soak for twice as long (or longer) than the time under vacuum.

Do a good turn daily!
Don
 
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ramaroodle

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Well alrighty then! Thanks guys. CJ it is. Hopefully I haven't ruined the pump.
 
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robutacion

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Aug 6, 2009
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Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Minwax doesn’t come close to Cactus Juice IMO. My pump also died the first time I tried stabilizing with Minwax. It may have been a coincidence, but I’ve read online that the fumes from Minwax can seize up a pump, especially the cheap ones, which it was. I now have a Robinair and use CJ exclusively. I also recommend getting an oven thermometer if you haven’t already. Toaster ovens are notoriously inaccurate and when using CJ you have to make sure it heats to the proper temp for the full curing time. I got one at Walmart for somewhere between $10-$20. I let the wood marinate overnight in a pressure pot after the bubbles stop coming out. You don’t need pressure but I figured it might help. Regardless, you want to let it soak after you release the vacuum. I’ve also read that more resin seeps in after releasing the vacuum than what actually penetrates while it’s under vacuum. I have no way of verifying this, but I’d rather listen to the experienced folks.
Yes, you do and is very simple.

Grab a piece or two of softwood (gives you a more dramatic/intense result) and do your normal vacuum steps, when the bubbles stop, turn the pump off and immediately remove all the air inside the chamber, take the blanks/wood out immediately and put them to drip for a little bit. Now do the same with identical blanks/wood pieces and when the bubbles stop remove the air but leave the blanks in the juice (make sure they are covered) overnight or at least for a few hours, then put them to drip.

At this time is when you should wrap the blanks with foil and cook them at 90°Celsius for 90 minutes, however, you can verify the amount of juice soaked between the first blanks and the second lot, the weight difference would be noticeable by simply holding them in your hands but, the most accurate way is to weight them, it makes a lot of sense to actually weight the blanks before they go into the juice, you can then have an accurate % of juice saturation between the 2 lots and I can tell you that, what you've heard about it is most accurate/true, I mention that all of the time as this issue has been the cause of many folks complaining about lack of juice penetration (exceptions do apply).:biggrin:

To answer ramaroodle with his question 2, there is no other product that will do a better job than the Cactus Juice.

PS: Experimenting is good...!:smile:

Cheers
George
 

TattooedTurner

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Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
1,265
Location
Surprise, Arizona
Minwax doesn’t come close to Cactus Juice IMO. My pump also died the first time I tried stabilizing with Minwax. It may have been a coincidence, but I’ve read online that the fumes from Minwax can seize up a pump, especially the cheap ones, which it was. I now have a Robinair and use CJ exclusively. I also recommend getting an oven thermometer if you haven’t already. Toaster ovens are notoriously inaccurate and when using CJ you have to make sure it heats to the proper temp for the full curing time. I got one at Walmart for somewhere between $10-$20. I let the wood marinate overnight in a pressure pot after the bubbles stop coming out. You don’t need pressure but I figured it might help. Regardless, you want to let it soak after you release the vacuum. I’ve also read that more resin seeps in after releasing the vacuum than what actually penetrates while it’s under vacuum. I have no way of verifying this, but I’d rather listen to the experienced folks.
Yes, you do and is very simple.

Grab a piece or two of softwood (gives you a more dramatic/intense result) and do your normal vacuum steps, when the bubbles stop, turn the pump off and immediately remove all the air inside the chamber, take the blanks/wood out immediately and put them to drip for a little bit. Now do the same with identical blanks/wood pieces and when the bubbles stop remove the air but leave the blanks in the juice (make sure they are covered) overnight or at least for a few hours, then put them to drip.

At this time is when you should wrap the blanks with foil and cook them at 90°Celsius for 90 minutes, however, you can verify the amount of juice soaked between the first blanks and the second lot, the weight difference would be noticeable by simply holding them in your hands but, the most accurate way is to weight them, it makes a lot of sense to actually weight the blanks before they go into the juice, you can then have an accurate % of juice saturation between the 2 lots and I can tell you that, what you've heard about it is most accurate/true, I mention that all of the time as this issue has been the cause of many folks complaining about lack of juice penetration (exceptions do apply).:biggrin:

To answer ramaroodle with his question 2, there is no other product that will do a better job than the Cactus Juice.

PS: Experimenting is good...!:smile:

Cheers
George
I stand corrected, and thanks for the lesson. As I was reading this it became clear as a bell.
 
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