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Hey Everyone!

 

Does anyone have plans, drawings or links to make a vacuum chamber to stabilize handle material? I can't seem to find any solid information on the subject. There is so much material that needs to be stabilized and I like to do it all myself.

 

Any help would be great.

 

Patrick

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Whoops! Here's the rest of the information to go along with my first post.

 

 

http://www.knifeart.com/awbycurwil.html

 

 

Has anyone else seen the commercials for the ziploc vacseal bags/pump I am probably going to go pick up some of these and give it a try maybe it will work maybe not. All I know is I can get large blocks of burl wood around here for pretty cheap and make my own handle materials if I could only stabilize them.

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I don't think those food vacumms have the power to get a good enough vacumm.......maybe they might but a real vacumm pump that industry uses will work much better ........and quicker

I have watched the process done to some of my own Maple maybe 40 years ago at syacuse university.......I was interested in using the stabilised wood for guitar fingerboards.......It took about a half hour to pump it down and then the vacumm was released and it was over.........the wood was then wrapped in tinfoil to keep the resin contained and put in an oven to cure........the wood lost some of its resitaince to bending and and so was not good for fingerboards.......and it smelled like plastic to work it........I'm not sure if they are using the same kind of plastic today.........but the vacumm part of the process is the same..........the deeper the vacumm the better and quicker it will work .......has any one had sucsess with one of those food vacumms?

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I have been using the the FoodSaver Plus that comes with a canning jar attachment to vacuum and then seal. On small blocks or slabs it works fine. Usually a week is enough for the wood to drop to the bottom indicating full saturation.

 

On smaller pen blanks I do not even use the vacuum. I just seal it and the slight barometer changes is enough to saturate burl and spalted wood. The blanks do have a 7mm hole throught hem which will speed it up.

Edited by B Finnigan
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are we talking about using a plastic polymer to stabilize the wood ........Or are we talking about using oil ( linseed, tung ect.)

the process I was refering to was with a plastic polymer.........

does the food vacumm pull the oil into the center of the wood billet or is it more of a parcial penitration ?

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I use Minwax wood hardener. It's very thin and moderately tough when it dries.

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Stabilizervalves.jpgHere is a stabilizer made from a garage sale pressure cooker and valve system for pressure and vaccum lines. Make sure the gasket is good before you buy.
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Hi Bearpaw, I made a pressure cooker homemade pressure pot for a different use, but I just wanted to mention that there are a bunch of online parts places that have replacement gaskets for very reasonable. So, don't pass up a good deal or don't toss out your stabilizer if it springs a leak.

 

Take care, Craig

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I LIKE the pressure cooker idea...........I have that exact model.........

BUT.......I use mine for making popcorn so that is all it gets used for.......never even gets washed!!!!!!!!!! so I will have to keep my eyes open for another....... and yes replacement gaskets are avalible........I made my own out of high temp silcon gasket material cause the heat for cooking the popcorn detirieorated the original one .........

dick

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I would think you would want someway to be able to see the wood blanks on the inside. If you can not see them, then how do you know that they are saturated? For one or two blanks it seems that the food processor works pretty good, but what if you want to do a few more than that or use a heaver duty agent than the woodhardner?

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I got a used glass vacuum desiccator from some lab supplier on eBay for about $40. Works great with my Mityvac brake bleeder pump. You get to see the bubbles pouring out of the wood when you start pumping, which is fun. The wood usually sinks to the bottom of the nelsonite in a couple of hours. The downside is that you can't apply any positive pressure with the dessicator like you can with a pressure cooker.

Edited by HSJackson
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Great idea Bearclaw! I'm sure i can find one at a yard sale cheap. I did want to be able to see inside but I'd rather make something that will last.

 

Now, how long do you keep the vac on with nelsonite? I'm sure different materials take different amounts of time. Soft to hard wood, real pithy antler to solid antler, mammoth ivory.

 

How long do you keep the pressure on?

 

BTW thanks everyone for all your input!

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Now, how long do you keep the vac on with nelsonite? I'm sure different materials take different amounts of time. Soft to hard wood, real pithy antler to solid antler, mammoth ivory.

 

How long do you keep the pressure on?

 

BTW thanks everyone for all your input!

 

Again, to me that is why I would want to be able to see what is in side. When it sinks then it probaly would be satuated. There has to be some way to do it. The only other way would be to keep testing and keep notes on each test.

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Again, to me that is why I would want to be able to see what is in side. When it sinks then it probaly would be satuated. There has to be some way to do it. The only other way would be to keep testing and keep notes on each test.

 

 

I'm thinking of a two stage process. At least until I get used to how long each type of wood needs to saturate. First the vacuum in something I can see inside of, then to the pressure cooker for the pressure part. Now, dose anyone that has done this actually see a difference with wood that was put under pressure after the vacuum, and stuff that wasn't ? I would think that after all the air is sucked out and replaced with stabilizer that there really wouldn't be a need for any pressure. But I guess it would be a good safety precaution, just to make sure you get full penetration. Next question. How long do you keep it under vacuum and then pressure ? thanks.

 

Tony G

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