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What do you guys use to stabilize punky wood? I'm having a hard time getting a decent cut without extreme tear out.
 

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Exactly what he said. I use thin CA on small areas. I soak larger areas with Lacquer thinner. Usually before I do that I use a tool with an edge that is sharpened at a sharper angle if I can.
 

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One other alternative I have not tried but quite a few others have. Soak it in diluted white glue. Dilute the glue 50/50 with water, soak the bowl for an hour and then let it dry overnight. I'm told it works, just never tried it because I always have lacquer on hand and it dries in 10 or 15 minutes.
 

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I do like the others but used thinned shellac (1 pt shellac to 2-3 parts DNA). I don't use lacquer much so I don't know what will go on top of it, maybe anything(?). Almost anything will go on top of shellac with no problem.
Even thinning it only soaks in 1/8" or so. You may need to apply additional coats as you continue turning.
 

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Almost anything will go on top of shellac with no problem.
If the shellac contains wax, then top coat finishes may not adhere well.

Unless the shellac product specifically states "dewaxed" it likely contains wax, which is the way nature made it.

For a dewaxed shellac, I use Zinsser "SealCoat".
 

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Punky wood

Tyler, I turn a lot of spalted big leaf maple. I have used thinned lacquer, immersing the blank in a five gallon bucket with a hole that fits my shop vac hose drilled in the lid. I let the vac run for about five to ten minutes. Let it dry overnight and it turns a lot better. Also, I have lately been turning to a rough shape and then starting with 60 grit running through 250 grit and getting a nice finish. For the inside and bottom it really helps to have a Woodriver 2" bowl sander, or the like. Good luck and post pics...ken
 
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