Woodworkers and woodturners tend to value different kinds of wood and are able to appreciate the little details of a wood blank which an ordinary human might not even be able to register. These details fascinate them and cause them to utilize the last scrape of wood available. Discarding a beautiful piece of wood is very hard for woodworkers and woodturners, hence they always try to stabilize wood. A soft and punky wood which cannot be used in any form of woodwork can be hardened and stabilized using different wood stabilizers available.
Many companies produce wood stabilizers which show amazing results after a single injection; however, they are extremely costly. Buying an expensive wood stabilizer or a wood hardener for a single blank of wood does not seem to be a sensible investment of money. Hence, many homemade methods can be used to stabilize wood. A soft and punky wood tends to have air pockets within its grain structure which causes it to collapse if it is used in any woodwork. The purpose of wood stabilizers and hardeners is to fill the air pockets with the desired material and ensure that the wood does not bend or collapse.
In order to stabilize a wood blank, it is important to ensure that the wood piece contains a negligible amount of water. The usual practice of measuring water content of a woodblock is to use a moisture meter and ensure that the moisture content reported is less than 10%. However, in case the moisture meter is not available, keeping the wood blank in a hot area overnight tends to absorb all the moisture present. However, if a drying agent or a direct source of heat is used, the wood might get extremely dry and eventually crack.
For stabilizing, using any form of resin is highly recommended since many best-selling wood stabilizers also tend to have high amounts of resin. Other options to use are any available wood hardeners like Minwax Wood Hardener. Minwax Wood Hardener is the best wood hardener present in the market since it can be easily used as wood stabilizers and have a clear finish. Before injecting the wood with a stabilizer, it is important to heat up the liquid since it causes the air trapped within the solution to be released. The vacuum pipe is often used to ensure that there is not air present in the solution. After all the air bubbles are removed from the stabilizer, it can either be injected directly into the wood or the wood can be left in the solution until it soaks up the required liquid.
In case the solution is injected into the wood blank, the user needs to keep on injecting the solution until all the air pockets are completely filled. After the air, pockets have filled the solution and the wood needs to be dried thoroughly before it can be used. However, if the other method is chosen, then the wood that needs to be stabilized should be left in the solution for a significant amount of time. Usually leaving the wood in the solution for at least 24 hours is recommended to ensure that all the air pockets are completely filled. If any air pocket is not covered with the stabilizer, the wood cannot be used in any form of the woodwork since it would remain soft and punky.
The next step, after filling the air pockets with the stabilizer, is to cure the wood pieces and harden the stabilizer. In order to cure the wood, exposure to a direct heat source is required hence the wood pieces are heated in a microwave. Depending on the size of the wood blank, the heating source must be chosen. Cover the wood in a sheet of aluminium foil and heat it for 30 minutes. This ensures that all the liquid injected or soaked by the wood is fully cured and is hardened. The cured resin and stabilizer would appear to be hard and crystallized.
After the resin is cured, the wood must rest for 24 to 48 hours before turning can be done. In turn, it is important to check the progress gradually since overturning can cause the wood to become brittle and hence break apart.
Wood stabilizing is a common practice among woodworkers who tend to ensure that the wood being used in any structure or figure is stable. In case an unstable and soft piece of wood is used, it can cause the whole structure to fall apart, causing time, money and effort to be wasted. Although, the process of wood stabilizing is fairly simple however it requires the user to be extremely patient and persistent, since leaving any air pocket in the wood unfilled or in the stabilizers solution can cause the results to be negative.