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Wood stabilizing


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A number of the wood worker suppliers have products for stabilizing wood for carving green wood. The material is PEG polyethylene glycol. Absorbs and replaces water. When the water leaves the Peg stands in for the water in the cell structure.

I have stabilized anvil stumps by soaking green wood in winter/summer antifreeze for a year. Just out of curiosity I drilled the center of one four years later and the waste still felt moist. ( Inside a super heavy duty plastic bag inside of a black garbage can in the summer fall winter spring summer fall.)

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Can someone explain to me how to build a vacuum setup I can make for home use? :confused: I want to stabilize some wood that I recently purchased. :D Also what are some of the products that can be used in this process? thanks, Bert


I've been playing with a lacquer base stabilizing system. On one of the other groups it's been dubbed the "canning" method.

Blocks of "wet" (haven't tried green yet) wood are put into a sealable gallon jar and covered with a roughly half and half solution of thinned lacquer. Use a double boiler with a flame/sparkless heat sorce to bring this up to boil.

Once the solution stops gassing out, seal the lid down for a couple weeks (don't forget to put a releasing agent down on the rim of the jar or the lacquer will glue it shut). leave it sealed for a couple weeks, then open the jar (leave the lid on to cover) and allow the blocks to remain in solution for another week.

Remove from solution and let it dry out, usually about three weeks. The wood won't be that much harder, but most of the water will be replaced with lacquer. In the bottom of the jar you'll see water and a kind of biological goo made from leached sap and critter juice from any bugs/worms in the wood.

So far I've used this on spalted live oak from my wood pile with out any checking/cracking (so far). You will still have to use a sealing agent such as polyurethane for finish and to protect from moisture, UV, etc.

Or you could just soak it Min Wax wood hardener for a week under vacuum. Good luck with whatever you use.

Jim L. Edited by Jim L.
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