Author Topic: My DIY stabilizing setup  (Read 3387 times)

Offline DanHamra

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My DIY stabilizing setup
« on: April 21, 2015, 03:44:23 PM »
So I decided to take the plunge and jump into the world of trying to stabilize wood at home. I have had a few burls laying around, and purchased a few dry and partially dry ones to mess around with.

- I got the 2 CFM vac pump from craigslist for $50 - you will have to put a 3/8NPT x barb fitting on this, it's not the typical pump's fitting
- I got the 8qt stainless stock pot at bed bath & beyond for $20, with 20% off coupon
- the valves and fittings were from home depot, about $15. (1x tee, 2x 1/4" barb nipple, 1x ball valve) look in plumbing and air compressor sections
- The vac lines and drain cock was from auto store, $6. Vac gages here are TOO MUCH $$!!
- the Vac gage was from Harbor freight and it came with fittings, $10 with coupon.
- the Polycarbonate lid was a free piece of drop from my work, but many local plastic supply store will sell their drop for CHEAP!
- and the seal is just drawer liner I got for $3 at the grocery store.

The one thing I would maybe do different is just buy a lid from slickvacseal.com for a 3 gallon - its $40 comes with fitting, gagse , and poly lid 12" x 12". You'll still have to provide lines and a seal, but overall it may only be another $20
 to not tap and thread or make as many plumbing connections.

I bought two types of resin - Stick fast (32oz) and Cactus juice (1 gal). I tried the stick fast first with some orange alumilite dye. I bought some dye from turn tex and some from Ebay... there are may colors. I almost bought some of the type stick fast has at woodcraft, but haven't just yet.

I bought some disposable aluminum oven pans ($1 for 3 pack) of different shapes to contain the resin and wood and also bought some Ball mason jars ($9 for pack of 12) to put different left over colors of resin in so I don't waste the stuff; it isn't cheap! So this first pic kind of shows my setup:



This is some of the components I have for stabilizing. Resins, dyes, and shows the plumbing connections. I used a 1/4" tap after drilling 7/16" holes to put in the radiator drain cock (for a vent) and the Tee fitting for the vac lines. You can see how the connections are done pretty clearly here and in the next photo. I used silicone to seal the 1/4" NPT threads in the lid and tape one everything else.


So once I was done I watched Turn tex videos on how to stabilize and got to it! This one is not cooked off yet, but I hope to post some results once I get my first and second ones done. This is stick fast with orange, obviously. and I may try to add in black after I cook the orange. I also have a red elm root burl soaking in clear cactus juice right now as well. It took 2.5 hours to pull all the air out of that chunk ( 2"x2"x5"). I am able to pull nearly full vacuum (it pins the gage) at about 1000 ft (OKLA).


Hope this maybe helps a few who are thinking about playing with this.  :pot:

Offline David @ Mad Duck Game Calls

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Re: My DIY stabilizing setup
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2015, 03:57:47 PM »
Woah! That's awesome!
David
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Offline David @ Mad Duck Game Calls

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Re: My DIY stabilizing setup
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2015, 04:26:07 PM »
One thing I would recommend doing is moving the hole over to the side. That or putting a 90 fitting thing on there so there air goes in and out facing the side. When it is dead center you can't let the pressure out quick or it will blow the juice everywhere.
David
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Offline DanHamra

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Re: My DIY stabilizing setup
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2015, 10:25:37 PM »
I put the bleed valve about 1.5" from the edge. It may not look like it in the picture I guess. As long as I don't place the container of resin right under it seems to be ok. I could certainly see how that could happen tho after pulling a few blanks down and releasing vacuum after. Also the fact it's a drain cock valve helps with easier regulation of the vacuum release duration. I do kind of like the elbow idea though ... Thanks!

Offline DanHamra

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Re: My DIY stabilizing setup
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2015, 07:53:54 PM »
So I have some recommendations after trying a few blanks.

I got a few of the alumilite "flo" colors, which are florescent. I thought that meant they would be brighter, but after using them it appears they are actually a transparent florescent. This means that most of it comes out very faint and almost clear. I would say stick to the regular colors. The flo colors might work good for castings, but not so well with stabilizing.

I plan to post a few pics this weekend
Thanks
Danny

Offline Moonpiecalls

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Re: My DIY stabilizing setup
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 05:24:02 PM »
I did a little research after using a flo color for the first time.  They are a pigment and wont penetrate the wood.  So the resin wuld have penetrated and left all the flo color on the outside.  The other dyes are grea but flo ones wont work for stabilizing.

Offline c stivison

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Re: My DIY stabilizing setup
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2015, 12:06:18 PM »
Be careful with the polycarbinate lid. My friend had one that cracked after a little use. better to drill the pot and not the lid. looks like a good setup.
HAVE A GREAT DAY!
Curt