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Stabilizing Wood

Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
293
Sorry if this is asked all the time, for some reason my search function doesn't work.

I know almost nothing about stabilizing wood so I guess my question is how do you stabilize wood?

If I use Pentacryl can I stabilize green wood or does it have to be dry? How long must I let it dry before working it or can I work it after a couple hours?

Does all wood need to be stabilized in order to use it for handles?

What is punky wood?

Sorry for being so confused....

Thanks a ton!

Alex
 
Pentacryl is used by wood turners to prevent cracking in their green wood turning. I do not know if anyone uses it to stabalize knife handle material. Most send it out or use nelsonite. It nelsonite needs to be used on dry wood and it needs to dry at least 48 hrs. Not all wood needs to be stabalized. Hard oily woods ie rosewoods do not take the stabalizing well. Cocobolo, ebony, bocote, and many others do well without. Punky wood is dry rot. It can be run through the stablizing process if not too far gone. I have seen Alpha supply have good success with punky wood but it is a hit or miss proposition. I recommend having the material done professionaly. I use K&G knife supply out of Arizona. I spent way too much attempting to do it myself. could of had 200 or more done by the pro's. By the way welcome to the forums.

Chuck
 
Welcome!
Send all your wood that is to be stabilized to Mike at WSSI. http://www.stabilizedwood.com/info.shtml
He does a great job. The more you sent the better the price.=, so doing a handle at a time is not the cheapest way to go.
I send it to him in larger pieces and cut my own scales and blocks when the stabilizing is done.
Stacy
 
Any wood that is not so oily and dense that stabilization won't work will benefit. The stabilization will fill all the fibers and pores with a resin that is cured hard. Pentacryl and most other home shop "stabilizing" won't harden,and are not going to polish like a piece of stabilized wood. Some woods, like buckeye burl and box elder burl, can't be used unless stabilized. Ebony, blackwood, cocobola, thuya,lignum vitae, and rosewood are usually not stabilized. All softer woods,porous wood,and all burls improve greatly with stabilization.Often a barely visible patern turns intense with stabilization, quilted maple is a good example of this.
Call Mike at WSSI and he will tell you if your wood is or is not a good candidate. He will not do wood that is not going to benefit. The most important thing that you need to know is that to stabilize wood it needs to be below 10% moisture ,preferably below 7%.
Hope this helps.
Stacy
 
Thanks again Stacy! Maybe I should invest in a moisture meter. Any recommendations?

Edit: If wood is labeled "cut green and sealed" can that be used at all for scales? Can it be stabilized?
 
Anyone?

If wood is labeled "cut green and sealed" can that be used at all for scales? Can it be stabilized?

Thanks
 
Anyone?

If wood is labeled "cut green and sealed" can that be used at all for scales? Can it be stabilized?

Thanks

Probably not. If it is green cut and sealed then it was just cut off the tree and will be way to wet to stabalize. Wood needs to be under 10% I beleive. Check out WSSI website to find out. A good moisture meter would be a plus. They can be a bit expensive but if you look long enough you may find one at a decent price. I have seen them at HF for arounf $30. Do not know how good they are but could give them a try. You should try to get the wood as dry as possible anyway even if you do not intend to stabalize it. This could prevent shinkage etc.

Chuck
 
Green cut and sealed means that the wood was cut up into pieces while green,and the ends were sealed to help stop cracking. Wood that is air dried or kiln dried is better . The green wood will have to be seasoned for a period of 6 months to several years, depending on thickness and length.
Stacy
 
Does anybody know if willow benefits from stabilization- I have a good quantity of an unknown wood that I have been told was willow but have been unable to verify- it does seem very dense and hard but I want to prevent movement.
Thanks
 
Willow benefits a lot.It probably would not be suitable for handles if not stabilized.
 
Well I do not use wood for handles as of yet. But I been thinking about doing some with wood. Back about 10 years ago I was into wood working and put back some great wood for down the road. Its been there in a dry room and not been tamper with since that time. There Hickory, Walnut, rosewood, desertwood and some I just can't remember unless I go out and look at. Do you think this wood could be utilized in the handle department. Would appreciate feedback on this. The reason I am asking this information is because I have several individuals wanting me to start utilizing that material. I would appreciate any advise you may want to offer. Have a great day in the land of knife world.

Barkes :)
http://my.hsonline.net/wizard/knifeshop.htm
1.812.526.6390
 
They should all be ready for handles by now. I would have the Hicork,Walnut,and similar woods stabilized. The rosewood and ironwood don't need it.
Stacy
 
Can wood that was airdried/kilndried and then sealed be stabilized? Will the sealant just come out?
 
They should all be ready for handles by now. I would have the Hicork,Walnut,and similar woods stabilized. The rosewood and ironwood don't need it.
Stacy

Thanks Stacy for the fast get back. I was thinking that myself. The ironwood is dark. Looks great, went out and got some and put in the shop. I may put some of that on one of the Barkes Hunter's I am working on. Thanks again.

Barkes:thumbup:
http://my.hsonline.net/wizard/knifeshop.htm
1.812.526.6390
 
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