Stabilizing wood

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Anyone have experience doing it themselves with Cactus Juice?
IOW, if done right is it a good product for cues?

There are vacuum pumps here and adhoc chambers for other things mostly epoxy related. Juice and some plumbing fittings would be the only necessary additions.

smt
 

Newsheriffintwn

Newsheriff Custom Cues
Silver Member
I use it frequently, it's a great product to stabilize with a pressure chamber. It needs to be baked in order to cure it.

Depending on how large of a chamber you have to stabilize as well as the oven size you have (DO NOT USE THE OVEN IN YOUR HOUSE) to bake/cure, can limit the size of pieces you can do.

Some Buckeye burl I did with cactus juice and dye.
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Wow. That is beautiful!
Thank you for affirming the product is acceptable (or better).

DO NOT USE THE OVEN IN YOUR HOUSE

OK, might have a problem there. They note that a toaster oven would be ok, though for cues it would be too small.
What is best for "baking" cactus juice? Is the problem with the oven temperature control? or wife's reaction? :)

Thanks,
smt
 

Dave38

theemperorhasnoclotheson
Silver Member
I have used a similar product (will have to lookup the name) and yes they do make toaster ovens that are large enough to do cue sized pieces, Walmart has a couple units that fit the pieces. Now, the fun part is getting all the equipment....a Vacuum chamber needs to be built...which is different than a pressure chamber... different construction.... and a vacuum pump with the proper fittings/filters/hoses etc need to be acquired. One issue is that as you suck the air out of the chamber, the air also comes out of the wood, and makes it seem like the fluid is boiling which raises the level in your tank. You have to build the chamber large enough to hold a Holding tank that the wood and fluid are in, with a large enough wall so the fluid doesn't overflow and get sucked into the vacuum line. As the vacuum increases so does the fluid level.....It's a lot of fun figuring it out...and messy at times. Then comes the curing part....I had digital thermometers, timers etc. Big learning cure. If your going to only do a few pieces, it's too expensive to get setup. It only pays off if you have a large amount of soft wood/burls etc to stabilize and hope the vacuum pump doesn't crap the bed due to some of the vapors getting into it. Filtration on the lines are a must...I went thru 2 pumps before figuring that out. Harbor Freight has a decent one, but buy the protection plan
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Good to be reminded of some of the issues with vacuum systems.

One issue is that as you suck the air out of the chamber, the air also comes out of the wood, and makes it seem like the fluid is boiling which raises the level in your tank. You have to build the chamber large enough to hold a Holding tank that the wood and fluid are in, with a large enough wall so the fluid doesn't overflow and get sucked into the vacuum line. As the vacuum increases so does the fluid level....

Same thing happens with WEST. But i gave up trying to vac-stabilize with WEST 15 years ago. (Was trying to do plane totes/wooden parts for metal bodied woodworking planes i was selling back then). WEST is too thick, and the added complication that it was necessary to try to get the wood impregnated with vacuum, then judge when to get it out of the pot and dried off before the largish volume of epoxy started to set. :) I tried it for 2 sets of parts and gave up.

3 Cenco Mega-vacs here. Used for vac-bagging large bent wood laminations.

But the other issues are new.

Your advice about having it done professionally makes sense & would probably be faster. No doubt cheaper, too. But i get hard headed about trying new things sometimes. Best case, it could come in useful for a furniture project somewhere down the line, then that would subsidize things so it could be tried for some cue parts.....

I do appreciate the thought and advice.
Many ways in so many things to get bit by what you don't know you don't know.

smt
 

Michael Webb

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I use it frequently, it's a great product to stabilize with a pressure chamber. It needs to be baked in order to cure it.

Depending on how large of a chamber you have to stabilize as well as the oven size you have (DO NOT USE THE OVEN IN YOUR HOUSE) to bake/cure, can limit the size of pieces you can do.

Some Buckeye burl I did with cactus juice and dye.
They look very nice.
 

Bishop

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have used a similar product (will have to lookup the name) and yes they do make toaster ovens that are large enough to do cue sized pieces, Walmart has a couple units that fit the pieces. Now, the fun part is getting all the equipment....a Vacuum chamber needs to be built...which is different than a pressure chamber... different construction.... and a vacuum pump with the proper fittings/filters/hoses etc need to be acquired. One issue is that as you suck the air out of the chamber, the air also comes out of the wood, and makes it seem like the fluid is boiling which raises the level in your tank. You have to build the chamber large enough to hold a Holding tank that the wood and fluid are in, with a large enough wall so the fluid doesn't overflow and get sucked into the vacuum line. As the vacuum increases so does the fluid level.....It's a lot of fun figuring it out...and messy at times. Then comes the curing part....I had digital thermometers, timers etc. Big learning cure. If your going to only do a few pieces, it's too expensive to get setup. It only pays off if you have a large amount of soft wood/burls etc to stabilize and hope the vacuum pump doesn't crap the bed due to some of the vapors getting into it. Filtration on the lines are a must...I went thru 2 pumps before figuring that out. Harbor Freight has a decent one, but buy the protection plan
I have not had any luck finding a toaster over large enough yet. Where did you see these?

I recently bought a stabilizing set up. Everything was going great until my room got unexpectedly warm when the sun started coming though the window late in the day.

Flashed my chamber once it hit about 83 degrees. Ruined my canister and the wood.
 

Dave38

theemperorhasnoclotheson
Silver Member
This one has a 15" interior width, which is more than enough for forearms/handles. If you need to do a larger item, or larger batch, look on craigslist or FB marketplace for someone getting rid of their stove. Just need to have a 240v line or gas line out in your shop. Do NOT do in the house...the smell is bad, and maybe bad for your health.
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks, Dave - if that chamber size 15-3/4 x 16-3/8 is correct, it should fit (one only) length up to about 20" on the diagonal with a little clearance.
(absolute length point to point in corners 22-1/2"). Used to get good used ranges off construction rehab jobs. But no warehouse and no place to put one in current shop anymore.

smt
 

Bishop

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Yeah I’d need to get something 20” wide. That’s the size blanks I stabilize.

I’m starting to think a cheap oven in the garage is the easier path.
 
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