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What exactly is "Stabilizing wood" and is it easy to do?Where do I get the stuff to do this with? I've got some nice pieces of spalted maple that I would like to make pens with but I'm afraid they might fly apart.

Donny
 

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Stabilized wood is wood that has been impregnated with resin to make it hard enough ans strong enough to turn on a lathe. There are several ways to make it yourself but most people just buy it ready to turn. I like it mainly because of the ease in finishing.
 

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I've worked with different woods that need something before turning. I've used two methods to prepare this wood.
One is using Minwax Wood Hardener. Soak your wood in this for a few day and then let drain and dry before turning. You will still have to keep an eye on it and "repaint" areas as needed. You can leave it on the lathe when yo do this. (You can also use CA to touch it up)
The second way, and faster is to use a thin CA. Just keep applying untill it won't take any more. Be sure you do this in a well ventilated area. This you will also need to keep an eye on and add as needed.
A third way is to use resin and a pressure pot. I've never used this method but this is the method commercial stabilized blanks are made.
Have fun and be safe.
Dave
 
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