How To Stabilize Wood?: An Easy To Follow Step by Step Guide

By Tom Pelly | Woodworking

Mar 07
how to stabilize wood

Wood is a conventional material used for any type of construction and is known to be stable, strong and durable.

Nonetheless, it also has its limits and is subject to wear and tear which begs the question of how to stabilize wood for it to lasts longer. Wood stabilization is a process to reinforce wood to give it more durability and strength.

Surprisingly, there is more than one way of doing it and it is a process that can be easily learned by anyone.

Familiarizing yourself to the procedures on how to stabilize wood and the steps to operate it can make it easier for future use.

Aside from that, comprehending how the whole process works can earn you another skill being an avid DIYer.

With this article, I will give you a simple and easy to follow guide on how to stabilize wood. Plus, I have added some bonus tips you need to keep in mind.

What You Will Need

Before giving you the numerous options on how to stabilize wood, there are essential things that you will need in order to accomplish this task. 

  • Protective gear - as a safety precaution, you need to wear protective goggles, gloves, and mask while doing this process.
  • Vacuum stabilization chamber - you can buy this at any store or you can also make one yourself.
  • Resin - this will be used during the stabilization process.
  • Color dye - this is optional if in case you want you wood blanks to have a little color.
  • Air compressor - this will be attached to your vacuum stabilization chamber.
  • Oven - for the curing or baking process of the wood blanks.
  • Aluminum foil - use this for wrapping your wood blanks for the curing or baking process.

How To Stabilize Wood: The Step-by-step Procedure

Once you have secured the materials you need, you may now proceed to follow the easy and simple guide as follows.

To get things started, here are the different methods on how to stabilize wood and the step by step guide for doing it. 

1. Prepare the Wood Blanks

In preparing your wood blanks, you have to ensure that they do not contain a lot of moisture. It is best if the moisture content of each blank is at ten percent or less.

If in case the moisture content is more than what is required, you can let your blanks sit in a food dehydrator for a few days. Another option is to use a toaster to dry it for 24 hours before the stabilization process.

2. Stabilizing the Blanks

Inside your vacuum chamber, place your wood blanks. Use an anti-float to prevent the wood blanks floating when the resin is poured in.

  • Pour your resin and make sure that your wood blanks are fully submerged in it. You can opt to mix in dye with your resin to give your wood blanks some color.
  • Once all that is done, you can proceed to seal the vacuum chamber. Next is to attach the vacuum lines to its source then turn the vacuum on.
  • You will notice foam forming once you have the vacuum running. This is a result of air being pulled out from the wood blanks. Control the vacuum using its valve. Continue with this procedure until you noticed that the foaming slowed down or stop.
  • Once this is done, let your wood blanks soak in resin for another hour or so. Afterwards, check if the whole process of stabilization is a success by removing the anti-floats. 

If the wood blanks float, the process is not a success and you need to initiate the process of stabilization again.

On the other hand, if you are successful with this step, you can proceed to take out the wood blanks and wipe off any excess resin.

3. Curing Process

Next is to wrap the wood blanks in aluminum foil and place each wrapped wood blanks in an oven that is preheated at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smaller wood blanks will take about thirty minutes to cure while larger ones will take longer. Check the wood blanks from time to time to see if the resin has crystallized.

If you notice the resin is still wet, it just means the curing is not yet done. Once the resin dries and hardens, take out the wood blanks and let them rest for about 24 to 48 hours in open air.

To see how this process is done, watch this video version.

Other Ways To Stabilize Wood

Aside from the process, I have shared with you on how to stabilize wood using resin, there are also other alternatives. Like using resin, you can also do this yourself as these are simple and easy ways to stabilize wood. 

1. Using Wood Hardener

You can use this option to stabilize old and crumbling wood. Start by sanding off the surface of the wood that may have signs of decay. Next is to make sure your wood is dry enough to proceed with the stabilization process.

Use a brush to apply the wood hardener. You can apply several coats depending on your preference. Subsequently, let it dry for two to four hours.

2. Using Salt Paste

This method uses natural ingredients instead of chemicals to stabilize wood. Like the routine procedure, always start with making sure your wood is dry.

Proceed to make your salt paste mixture by combining three pounds of table salt and one gallon of water.

While mixing add in cups of cornstarch until you notice the consistency becoming pasty. Lastly, separate three eggs and add in the egg whites unto your mixture.

Using a brush, coat your wood with the salt paste mixture and let it dry in a room with low humidity for several days or weeks so it can cure thoroughly.

3. Using Pentacryl

Place dry pieces of wood in a soaking pool. This can be any container large enough to hold your wood pieces without touching any sides of it.

Place two small wood planks to serve as stands for your wood pieces to make sure they do not touch the bottom of the container as well. Pour Pentacryl over your wood pieces.

Even out any larger piece of Pentacryl on top of the wood by brushing it evenly. Afterwards, cover it with plastic to start the curing process. Let the wood soak Pentacryl for about three days to a week.

Once Pentacryl is fully absorbed, move the wood pieces in a room without direct sunlight and let it dry for another eight weeks.

Conclusion

Wood stabilization is categorically a meticulous process. However, if you pay attention and make an effort to study the steps on how to stabilize wood, you can definitely succeed in doing it yourself.

Learning the whole process is interesting and completing each step is in a way fulfilling. Furthermore, doing this process yourself is very cost-saving.

Was this article helpful? Were you able to follow this step-by-step guide on how to stabilize wood? Do you find the additional tips useful? Do you have any other suggestions regarding this topic?

I would like to hear your thoughts about this article. Send your feedback and suggestions by leaving a comment below.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Pelly. I'm a home designer and founder of TidyTheHome. While doing my job, I found that choosing a right tool to repair home is an essential factor. As a result, my blog is designed to provide you with important information of latest tools to help you complete job faster and more professional. Explore my blog to get all information you need in home improvement.

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