Reply by Gary Fixler

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Posted on wood stabilization for turning blanks?

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Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 3407 days

#1 posted 03-14-2009 11:05 PM

interpim – I’ll keep posting progress as/if I make any

Karson – Cool! I hadn’t thought of the vacuum bags. I assume you do that for veneers. That would be another good reason to splurge on a vacuum pump. The people online seem to have no problem pulling about 25 inches of water from mason jars. I don’t know what that is in PSI, but even a nice little manual pump has a gauge that only goes to 30”. I guess they’re pretty tough little containers. 1gal. pickle jars, too. I’d definitely be suited up and wearing eye protection when around that setup.

I’ve seen one guy who did what you said – has a hose into a pickle jar lid, and a mason jar sitting in the bottom of it with the solution and small piece(s) of wood in the mason jar only. Seemed to work for him. I imagine it’s not entirely safe, as there’s always the chance of a flawed jar, or one with an air bubble you don’t see, and even the pro jar science sites also sell metal cages for added safety against implosions in their pro bell jars.

Vacuum bell jars and similar seem to be going the way of the dodo. Edmund Scientific doesn’t supply more than 1, and it’s polycarbonate – not meant for harsh chemicals, which some of the infiltrants I want to try probably include. Several jars on Amazon are no longer available. Even Ebay is really low on offerings. I really like your idea of a simple cylinder with a strong, clear top. I’ve seen that setup before, now that you mention it, for other vacuum setups, unrelated to wood stabilization. I can probably afford a clear polycarbonate cylinder, and thick polycarbonate plate for the top, if I can find them. If not, I really like your simple pipe and jar plan. In fact, I think I like it more, as I could later remove the top plate and pipe and have a clear jar to look through. What’s a toilet plate?

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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