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Thread: Wood Stabilization Questions

  1. #1

    Wood Stabilization Questions

    Was wondering what happens when you stabilize wood that's not dry enough. Also wondering if all finishes (lacquer, etc.) need to be removed before stabilization. Thanks for your response.
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Uptothehilt View Post
    Was wondering what happens when you stabilize wood that's not dry enough. Also wondering if all finishes (lacquer, etc.) need to be removed before stabilization. Thanks for your response.
    I don't remember the explanation, but I recall that wood has to have under 10% MC. I was told by K&G that higher MC might result in wood cracking during stabilizing. K&G also measure moisture content of the wood they are to stabilize.

    M


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  3. #3
    I would think that other finishes would need to be removed so the stabilizing agents can penetrate the block. Higher moisture rates can cause the blocks to crack or break IIRC. I have a big box of stuff to get stabilized, but I'm worried it's not dry enough, so I'm letting it dry longer to make sure and checking it periodically.

  4. #4
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    If you have wood stabilized before it is dry enough bad things happen.
    #1 The wood pulls itself apart internally. A warning sign is drastic movement seen on the exterior of the block. Low spots, twisting and warping.
    The outside can look to be without cracks, but then when cut you find big interior cracks.

    This is an example.
    The piece had twisted and moved all over the place.

    I sanded it flat and it looked ok, but there had been a lot of movement so I cut it in half.

    The moisture inside prevented the dye from penetrating and those black lines are open cracks.


    I saved this because I have a guy who comes by that likes stuff like this. He fills the cracks with contrasting material.
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  5. #5
    Ok, how do you tell when the middle of the block has a low enough moisture content? I can only get the prongs on my meter around 1/8" into the wood???

  6. #6
    Weird Wood Pusher Burl Source's Avatar
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    If moisture level is questionable...

    I would include a note followed up by a phone call if you are unsure if the wood is dry enough.

    I am not positive but I think they check the moisture content on random pieces. Not sure if they check every piece.
    So, Better safe than sorry.

    There are 2 main types of moisture meters.
    One uses pins that penetrate 3/16 or 3/8 into the block. This reads the moisture to the depth the pins penetrate.
    The other uses a frequency that measures the interior moisture. (this is what K&G uses)

    Removing any surface finish just makes it a lot easier for the stabilizing agent to penetrate the wood.
    Some stuff like wax like they use on turning wood will contaminate the chemicals and prevent them from working like they are supposed to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz575 View Post
    Ok, how do you tell when the middle of the block has a low enough moisture content? I can only get the prongs on my meter around 1/8" into the wood???
    I take one of the blocks from a batch of the same wood and split it in half thickness and measure the inner surface. When I am cutting blocks to dry before stabilizing I keep a couple rejects to use as sacrificial pieces to cut and check.
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  7. #7
    Good idea on the scraps! I gotta trim most of the blocks down a bit more, so I can use some of the trimmed pieces!

    I've held off since I've been worried about the moisture content. I will check the pieces tomorrow and see where they stand!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Burl Source View Post
    I saved this because I have a guy who comes by that likes stuff like this. He fills the cracks with contrasting material.
    You have the strangest customers, man. Us included.

  9. #9
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
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    Good advice. Just want to point out that under 10% would be perfect, but out here on the islands that only happens when you store the wood in a climatized room. So, a little bit over 10% also still works. But telling them if you are not sure is definitely a good idea, as is light sanding of the pieces to remove wax and finishes.

    Stefan

  10. #10
    Thanks for all your responses. I have a better feel for it now.
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