When to stabilize

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

JessePens

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
94
Location
La Crescent, MN
I've been burning wood from a tree that fell in my yard, and thought some of it had pretty spalting.
These pictures are some pieces I cut.

They seem dry and pretty stable, would you recommend having them stabilized? If I don't, is there risk of blanks falling apart when turning?

Thanks, I've never tried turning wood that I scavenged.

Jesse
 

Attachments

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,002
Location
Tunica, MS,
Need to be stabilized? Yes.

Would they fall apart if not stabilized? it depends on their density and your skill, but more than likely, even with a skilled person it would fall apart.

is the material soft? Can you mash/indent any of it with your fingernail? If so, it is probably too soft for natural turning.
 

KLJ

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
268
Location
Flat Rock North Carolina
If you have the ability to stabilize then I would. I don't yet, but have turned a lot of this type of wood and only lost a couple of them. The ones with the lighter almost white places are more fragile. They make beautiful stuff and people like them. I have sold every one I made. I have drilled them then pour thin ca in the hole before gluing the tubes in. Maybe this is poor mans stabilizing. Sharp tools light touch and you might be surprised. Give it a try its free ( scavenged) anyway. If you do mess it up just turn it down to the brass and go again. Let us know how it turns out.
 

JessePens

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
94
Location
La Crescent, MN
Thanks Hank, I appreciate your feedback.
I don't have any equipment to stabilize, I might try using some wood hardener on one and see how it turns. They are actually pretty solid, I can't make any indentations with my fingernail (the wood is oak and has been drying over a year).

Thanks,
Jesse
 

JessePens

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
94
Location
La Crescent, MN
If you have the ability to stabilize then I would. I don't yet, but have turned a lot of this type of wood and only lost a couple of them. The ones with the lighter almost white places are more fragile. They make beautiful stuff and people like them. I have sold every one I made. I have drilled them then pour thin ca in the hole before gluing the tubes in. Maybe this is poor mans stabilizing. Sharp tools light touch and you might be surprised. Give it a try its free ( scavenged) anyway. If you do mess it up just turn it down to the brass and go again. Let us know how it turns out.
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback!
I agree, it's free wood and I'm not wasting anything by trying. Maybe they will turn out nice enough to enter into the upcoming pretty wood contest. :)
 

dpstudios

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
278
Location
New Orleans
One more step to getting it there. when you get close to the finish size, apply thin CA to harden it up and then turn to finish. It IS poor mans stabilization:biggrin:. I do it all the time with iffy wood.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,918
Location
NJ, USA.
Just picked up a stabilizing system from a member here today. So I may get into this somewhat myself. Oh the web we weave.:):):)
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,002
Location
Tunica, MS,
One more step to getting it there. when you get close to the finish size, apply thin CA to harden it up and then turn to finish. It IS poor mans stabilization:biggrin:. I do it all the time with iffy wood.
I agree with the above.

If it is hard, saturate with CA as mentioned, turn the edges off, or use a router. Wrap a couple of layers of gauze around it and CA it to death! Turn it down. With each set of turns below the outward CA surface, CA more.

This is the way some very delicate segmented pieces are turned. It might take you 2 or 3 hours to get it down to size, as opposed to 20 minutes on a normal blank, but hey, you did it. Still CA it to death and finish it.

It can work.
 

KLJ

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
268
Location
Flat Rock North Carolina
Also on the oak the grain can be deeper ( maybe not right term) than other wood. You might not want to turn it to finish size before you start to sand it. They look good and solid I don't see them being a problem to turn and they are very nice. It is also surprising how well sawdust and ca can fix holes in these type blanks. For larger holes coffee grinds can look good also.
 

greenacres2

Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
1,054
Location
Northwest IN
Jesse--if you'd like to try having some of that stabilized, send me a PM and i'll help you out for the cost of the round-trip postage. I've been able to turn some old maple & cherry from my fire pit using the CA method, but started stabilizing last summer. Now it's kind of like turning pens, but i only have to do it every few weeks instead of daily!!
earl
 

JessePens

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
94
Location
La Crescent, MN
Jesse--if you'd like to try having some of that stabilized, send me a PM and i'll help you out for the cost of the round-trip postage. I've been able to turn some old maple & cherry from my fire pit using the CA method, but started stabilizing last summer. Now it's kind of like turning pens, but i only have to do it every few weeks instead of daily!!
earl
Hi Earl,
Once I get some more cut, I'll PM you. Thank you for the kind offer.

Jesse
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
1,058
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I'd stabilize it. I was sent some spalted Hack Berry that looked an awful lot like this. Thought I'd give it a try without stabilizing and all I got was a lot of sawdust and pieces of wood flying all over the place. Once stabilized the wood turned beautifully and I had now problems with any voids that might not be seen inside the blank. My stabilizing system is from Turntex and I use Cactus Juice for the solution. To date I've had no problems with the system or the outcome and I've probably stabilized around 100 blanks.
 

MRDucks2

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
1,931
Location
Franklin, IN
I have turned some pretty pinky soft maple without stabilizing and with sharp tools, had no issues with the turning. Once to the size I wanted I then began to “stabilize” with CA and all in all worked OK. However, after the fact the piece seemed to easy to dent and ding as the substrate was not solid enough to support the CA layers from damage, in my opinion.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
 

JessePens

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
94
Location
La Crescent, MN
I ended up trying the methods suggested: I turned it to round, and then would switch between soaking with CA and turning. Once I got it near to shape, I sanded it the rest of the way.
It took a lot of layers of CA and sanding to get it to the glass look that I prefer.

I have to say that it took longer than any other pen I've done, but i think it turned out beautiful!
I can't post a picture since I'm entering it into a contest, but I'll follow up with a picture once BASH is over.

Thank you all for your tips.
 
Top Bottom