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Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

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  • Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

    After the back and forth with the Mason Jar project, I have given in and ordered a 5 gallon Aluminium vacuum chamber from Best Value Vacuums. I did look at the Glass Lid offering, but it only came in 3 gallon capacity, and I didn't see any advantage to having a glass lid over an acrylic lid, even though they promote the glass lid for woodworking stabilization.

    After I had ordered the unit, I relaized that the standard aluminium vacuum can also be ordered in the side mount gauge with a thicker 1" acrylic lid, but I will be quite happy with my top mounted.

    I had looked at the offering from Amazon.ca and they only sell the ProVac units but I decided I would prefer the BestValue because the lid does have a removable seal that is actually 2 sided but also user replaceable. A new seal was $16, where as the ProVac units after talkin with them require you to purchase a new lid at a cost of $75.

    I ordered the unit on Wedsnday at around 3:00est and they shipped it out via UPS the same day. BestValue has a setup with UPS that gives a discount on the brokerage and fee's. I got a phone call from UPS to ask about clearing the item, and they allowed me to issue a credit card number so I could pay the fee's when they are issues rather than having to also cover the COD and Bond fees. The taxes and fees for my order came out to $32.54 on my $243 order. It worked out to be about $9 more than buying the ProVac though amazon plus I got an extra spare lid seal.

    I will put up some photographs of the unit when it shows up tomorrow along with the Robinair vacuum compressor that I ordered as well.
    Matt

    People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.
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  • #2

    Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

    Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

    Geez Matt, sorry I didn't speak up sooner...

    Not quite big enough for bowl blanks but...

    I have a knife maker friend who went through setting up a vacuum stabilization system for knife handle blanks.

    He used a frig compressor and a pickle jar

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    This is one of his latest creations

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    Cheers, Don
    Last edited by Don Kondra; 04-30-2015, 09:17 PM.
    Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
    Product Photography
    My Acreage Bird Photographs

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

      Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

      Don. As it was put to me, "just because you done something very dangerous and gotten away with it in the past, doesn't make it any less dangerous". I get the feeling this could easily turn into a similar discussion to buying a SawStop. Those who feel it's justified and those who don't. At least the vacuum chamber was less than $200, rather than $4000+

      I did take a visit to Woodbizard and saw his operation. I was thinking of getting a tall 6" clear vacuum chamber, but after seeing how Adrian has his setup, I bought the 5gal aluminium tank. That way if you are going to be working with multiple colours, you can arrange multiple jars with different coloured cactus juice in the tank and do them all in a single process. I also learnt from Bellsy that to get a true deep stabilization you will need to pull a vacuum multiple times leaving the wood inside the juice to absorb.

      Now it is just getting down to using the equipment and making something with it.
      Matt

      People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

        Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

        I came across this video on vacuum infusion a month ago. I'd never heard of this before then.
        It's not about you.

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

          Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

          Okay

          Looking forward to seeing your results..

          Cheers, Don
          Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
          Product Photography
          My Acreage Bird Photographs

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

            Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

            My tank showed up yesterday, but sadly the fittings on the top of the lid were a little bit bent. When shipping, and going through customs, it's hard to control what happens. Now I will say that the box was in pristine condition, and I could not see where the box had been opened from the original shipping tape put on by the manufacturer. But needless to say the top vent ball-valve had a definite bend to it, and when you buy new you would want it to be in perfect working order.

            I gave BestValue a phone call and sent some photo's and they were right on it to get the unit replaced with a new one. I have to now wait for the return label to get sent to me and deal with shipping the one I got back to Montreal and getting a replacement shipped back to me. I will say that BestValue have been very good about getting the unit replaced and I can't wait for the new one to get shipped.
            Matt

            People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

              Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

              Originally posted by ArtMulder View Post
              I came across this video on vacuum infusion a month ago. I'd never heard of this before then.
              Thanks for the video.
              Noel
              Noel

              "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
              'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
              "

              John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                Ever feel like it's two steps forward and one step back, or even the opposite?
                Noel
                Noel

                "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
                'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
                "

                John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                  Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                  Originally posted by beachburl View Post
                  Ever feel like it's two steps forward and one step back, or even the opposite?
                  Noel
                  No, Its not that bad.

                  To be honest, it might be me being a bit picky and thinking if I spent that much money then I might as well get something done right. I showed the fitting to my father who trained in England as a Millwright, and he too thought that it looked wrong. Might as well get to done right to begin with. I'd however bet that 9 out of 10 purchasers would not have noticed or been bothered to send it back to get it right.

                  As far as stabilizing wood goes. I have some burls that are so light a flakey that turning them is a bit of a trick and needs VERY sharp tools to turn, but worse is that on small catch and the piece just blows up. For these pieces I can see the definite need to stabilize. What I have to figure out is how much 'juice' it will suck in so I can wrap my head around the cost. I bought a small quart bottle of juice for $45 and it took the whole bottle in the glass jar I had to cover the wood pieces. I had 2 long pen blank pieces, 5 shorter pen blanks, and two chuncks of this super light burl that I was going to use for birdhouse ornaments. With my new vacuum pump it has been going for 3 hours and still quite rapidly bubbling so until it is done I won't have a starting reference point to see how much liquid gets absorbed into the wood.

                  This is making woodworking a bit more fun as it's like the mad scientist in me getting a chance to get out.

                  Update

                  So, after about 7 hours under a vacuum, the wood is still bubbling away. It seems that there is no end to the amount of air inside this wood. I would not have believed it. If I go by some of the videos I have seen on YouTube, we are not anywhere near the odd bubble that some use as to mean that all the air inside has been gotten out.

                  This brings me to a question for those that have stabilized. In talking with Bellsy, he said that he likes to run the wood through a couple of vacuum goes in his tank. As you are effectively expanding the wood when under a vacuum that breaks down some of the cell fiber to allow the trapped air inside to get out, each time you redo a piece of wood, the cell fiber is just that much more softer and more likely to give a bit more out the air. Effectively you are putting back the moisture that was kiln dried out of the wood, except this time you are putting in a resin.

                  Do you need to vacuum to the point of zero bubble if you are going to be re-vacuuming it again after the wood has had a chance to rebalance?

                  Update2

                  After close to 9 hours under vacuum, I managed to get it down to the mystical 29.7Hg and there is the odd bubble coming up still. I decided to turn the vacuum off and will let it sit for another hour then release the vacuum in the chamber. As the wood is stilling in a large pickle jar, I can just put a lid onto the jar and let it sit overnight and pull a vacuum again tomorrow to make sure that I have got all the air out. I guess depending on how much bubbling I get tomorrow will determine if I go for a third vacuum or not.
                  Last edited by matt.mackinnon; 05-02-2015, 02:32 PM.
                  Matt

                  People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                    Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                    I will ask the question..

                    In the video and I have seen it on some of the vacuum sites talking about stabilizing resins and the acrylic lid tops. They say about how the two are not compatible with each other. This has me wondering. There are many different types of stabilizing resins with the one that I am using is Cactus Juice. This one is water soluble unlike ones like the MinWax that uses a solvent.

                    Now you can get a soda glass lid for the vacuum that I have, but it is quite a bit more expensive and also sadly not in stock. But the resin does not come into contact with the lid other than vapour I guess. I know that Adrian's chamber looked to have hairline cracks over the inside of the lid. I don't know if that is what they are talking about with an incompatibility with resins. Then you get back to the trouble of "No Glass In The WorkStop" rule.

                    What is the censuses thought about this??
                    Matt

                    People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                      Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                      After letting the vacuum out of the jar about a good 1" of resin got absorbed into the wood. Four of the larger pieces were close to the top and after absorbing the resin, their ends were well above the liquid line. So I took those pieces out and tried baking them at 200F for just over an hour. Two of the pieces that were box elder burl turned out OK, but the other two that were a harder wood were still quite wet.

                      The rest of the pieces were left in the mason jar and in the morning I put them back under vacuum. I was surprised to see the amount of bubbles coming off the wood that has been left in the resin over night after the 9 hours the day before under vacuum. They took another 3 hours for the bubbles to die down. I should have given them longer, but I was getting rather sick of waiting, so I turned off the vacuum, but this time little resin seems to be absorbed.

                      I baked the pieces from my second vacuum and it worked out OK. I left them to bake for a good 2.5 hours (along with the two pieces that didn't cure last time). I had two pieces of very light box elder that I was making into roofs for Christmas ornaments. They definitely took on some resin, going from around 31g to 60g weight cured.

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                      The piece to the left I just finished turning. Before stabilizing the wood flaked off in small bits with lots of dust particles. After stabilizing, it turned more easily with a more common chip. The wood has definitely darkened somewhat. The piese to the right was the same box elder without any stabilization.

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                      I played around with trying to come up with some sort of shape that I like. The plan is to make the bottom bit out of some cocobolo that I picked up last year. I am sure they will turn out quite nice when they get done.

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                      Matt

                      People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

                      Comment

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                      • #12

                        Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                        Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                        I guess this shows that buying stabilized wood is worth its price.
                        Noel
                        Noel

                        "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
                        'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
                        "

                        John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                          Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                          Hey Matt
                          Glad to see you are getting good results from the get go!You're a natural.
                          Keep posting your finished pieces- they are looking good.
                          Adrian

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                          • #14

                            Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                            Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                            My replacement vacuum showed up. There was a bit of confusion and back/forth but in the end, they sent me a Glass front ported unit, rather than the Acrylic top ported. I could not be happier.

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                            Holds the 30Hg vacuum and all is good. I know I am back to having glass inside the shop, but I will just need to be very careful not to knock it over. It is designed to run under vacuum so I am not worried that it will implode or break in use. So I am happy all around.
                            Matt

                            People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                              Re: Steps tpwards Stabilization. New Vacuum chamber

                              Looks like a very nice set up!
                              Happy stabilizing :-)

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