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Shamus Blargostadt

alternatives to cactus juice?

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I'm doing my first round of scale processing, using a half gallon of cactus juice. I was wondering, does anyone know if there are alternatives for hardeners/resins that cost less than this product that do the job just as well (or perhaps even better?) It seems to be very popular. I'm using a vacuum for infusing and oven for curing process.

I have several maple burls and some spalted maple and some other spalted wood I need to stabilize.

 

Edited by Shamus Blargostadt
more info on what I'm doing, for clarification.

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Thanks for the link.  I looked around a bit and also came to the conclusion that there wasn't really a better "cheap" solution.  I ponied up for a gallon of the Juice and so far have only stabilized one piece of elk antler, but if it stays liquid and treats as many pieces as I think it will, the cost per stabilized piece will be fairly insignificant. It is a little pricey up front but appears to be worth the cost.  If I run into anything negative I'll let you know, but so far so good.

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for my scales, I just did four of some really porous spalted maple, and two blocks of pretty dense burl. They soaked up about 1/3 of my half gallon jug. They did turn out really nice though.. so if I had found an outstanding deal on ebay or etsy and paid $10 each for them I've already saved a bit (considering shipping costs) on just the resin.

 

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My son just started making knife scales as a summer income project between school years. He'll be a high school senior this fall. He's just run through his first gallon of cactus juice stabilizing spalted maple knife scale sets - each scale has dimensions of 3/8" x 1 3/4" x 6". He calculated it out to be roughly $0.90 per set for the cactus juice.

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