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What does 'stabilized' mean?

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Forum topic by Padre posted 01-24-2010 07:34 PM 3828 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Padre

930 posts in 2950 days


01-24-2010 07:34 PM

While looking for some burl recently I saw a lot of items offered that said “stabilized.” Does anyone know what this really means?

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8


11 replies so far

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papadan

1174 posts in 2830 days


#1 posted 01-24-2010 07:50 PM

Normally stabilizing is used to secure wood from loose or soft fibers, like spalted woods. It hardens the wood by thouroughly soaking it in something like laquer.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

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woodworm

14164 posts in 3052 days


#2 posted 01-24-2010 08:18 PM

A month back I asked this question on Knife Making forum ( I Forged Iron) in relation to my knife handle scales.
I received very detailed answer, but could not relocate my post there. It is what I can remember : Stabilizing wood/horn is forcing Liquid resins into the pores of the wood/horn under high pressure. When the resins cure the wood/horn is stable and resistant to moisture.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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papadan

1174 posts in 2830 days


#3 posted 01-24-2010 08:21 PM

Without a pressurizing method, stabilizing can be done with thinned laquer and left to thouroughly soak the wood.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

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Moron

5032 posts in 3355 days


#4 posted 01-24-2010 08:37 PM

it could mean many things….........ie., most often its refered to wood that is kept outside in an area where the temperature and relative humidity is significantly different from where it will be machined, and therefor is brought inside to stabalize/aclimatize to indoor temps and humidity…............dry it out.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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WayneC

12642 posts in 3558 days


#5 posted 01-24-2010 08:42 PM

from Craft Supplies USA web site

http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/store/Pen_Making___Pen_Blanks___Stabilized_Pen_Blank___stab_blank?Args=

Stabilized wood is a composite material consisting of plastic and wood. It creates a material which looks like wood, but machines and finishes like acrylic plastic. This combination of materials has been used for years to produce knife handles and other items which were to look like wood with a high polish, yet resistant to water, oils, and most solvents. The plastic in the wood fills the cells so the composite block is relatively stable. It will practically eliminate checking or cracking due to expansion or contraction. Sanding and polishing will produce a satin, semi gloss or high gloss finish, depending on requirements. Mirror-like surfaces will require buffing with a flannel buff and a fine polish.

I have made some pens from it and they come out great. Stabilized buckeye burl is really nice looking…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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papadan

1174 posts in 2830 days


#6 posted 01-24-2010 08:52 PM

http://www.woodturningvideosplus.com/wood-stabilization.html Info here on how to do it.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

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woodworm

14164 posts in 3052 days


#7 posted 01-24-2010 08:53 PM

Yes Papadan,
pressurizing method needs special equipment which we may not have it or do it at home. And one of the forum member said that for oily hardwood stabilizing is not really necessary if it is for indoor use and not heavily & frequently in contact with water.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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Padre

930 posts in 2950 days


#8 posted 06-05-2011 05:14 PM

Methinks Woodman might work for Woodstabilization.com. You might want to check out this post on the IAP before you leap.

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8

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Padre

930 posts in 2950 days


#9 posted 06-05-2011 05:21 PM

Stabilization, for the most part, is done on small pieces of wood, IE: pen blanks, knife handles, etc. It is possible to get large pieces done professionally, but it costs a fortune.

Stabilization is best done in a vacuum. The wood is placed in a container of some sort, the stabilization fluid is poured on and then a vacuum is applied. Vacuum at about 26Hg. After 1/2 hour or so, the wood is thoroughly soaked, and then put in an oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees. This cures the stabilization fluid.

If you are interested in a small system, go here. I am not connected with them, but I do have their system and it is great.

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2419 days


#10 posted 06-06-2011 05:25 PM

Stabilization is done a few different ways, but basically it is related to injecting a polymer liquid into super dried wood. The wood suffers from the process, but what remains is a beautiful product. The process I am familiar with vacuum dries the wood at around 125 deg f. and about 25” vacuum; once dry it is then injected under high pressure with the polymer, it being clear or colored to your choice. Pretty cool.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2698 days


#11 posted 06-07-2011 02:02 PM

I use West System 3 epoxy to stabilize punky maple. It’s easily thinned with 15% by volume with acetone and the mixture flows like water. It penetrates great without pressure or vacuum. If it’s a thick piece, I put the wood and epoxy in a plastic bag, attach a hose, run the hose to a 5 gal. plastic bucket, and attach another hose to my shop vac. After I reduce the pressure in the bag, I clamp the exit hose and let the epoxy soak into the wood. It cures in a few hours or overnight. The bucket catches any epoxy runoff and keeps it out of the shop vac.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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