Stabilize first, then cast?

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Dick Mahany

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Dec 21, 2012
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Okay, new guy here and sorry if this seems too basic. I've recently been reading the library and a couple of current threads on stabilizing and casting.

I have some beautiful burl blank potentials and seek wisdom :).. I have some maple burl, solid but punky, and some buckeye burl that is a little soft, not punky, with some pretty sizeable voids. It seems like the maple is a candidate for stabilization with vacuum only. But for the buckeye, should I stabilize it first with cactus juice/vacuum, then cast it with thick resin / pressure---or--- should I just go for casting the buckeye with voids since it isn't punky?

I really like this place and it's like drinking from a firehose :biggrin:
 
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Monty

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I have seen this done by casting first with alumilite and pressure, then stabilize with CJ. You can add a color to the CJ to enhance the contrast in the voids.
 

jthompson1995

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Parkville, Maryland, USA.
If I were doing it I would stabilize first then cast. I typically use alumilite resin which can only handle heat up to about 140 deg according to their literature and CJ needs to cure at 200 deg.

The trick will be making sure the little bit of CJ that comes out of the blanks when curing does not fill the voids you want to fill with resin. I know CJ won't fill large voids but it may fill some smaller cracks or worm holes. May need to take a file or bit in a Dremel to some areas to clean out larger voids of excess hardened CJ.
 

Jim Burr

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I just finished 3 blanks that were pressure cast w/PR first then stabilized. Worked very well for that application...YMMV
 

BangleGuy

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Jan 27, 2012
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Whitewater, CO - USA
I think the answer really depends on the wood species, how many voids are present, what size the voids are, and how punky the wood is. In general, I think casting with alumilite first would be my choice. I have stabilized and baked alumilite cast parts at 200F without a problem.
 
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