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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Building a Pickle Jar Vacuum Chamber

Spalted wood is beautiful stuff, most woodworkers will agree to that. However it has its drawbacks due to the spalting process is caused by fungi attacking the wood cells. Spalted wood is essentially partially decomposed wood and therefore has soft spots and ink lines and spongy areas that make it unsuitable for some uses. I have some spalted apple that I want to use for tool handles, in order for this beautiful wood to hold up to the abuses I put my tools through I will have to stabilize it in acrylic resin. This is how it is done. First you must build a vacuum chamber, that might seem intimidating at first, but it is neither hard or expensive.

Here is what you need to get started. A pickle jar that is large enough to hold the piece of wood you want to stabilize, the wood has to be completely immersed in the resin. The jar in the photo is a quart or 32 oz jar. A brake bleeder, available from Harbor Freight for around $25 or less if you have a coupon. A 1/4 inch brass barb connector, available at Ace hardware or your local BORG. You will also need some epoxy resin or even better some JB Weld.

Wood Fluid Tool Gas Table


First step is to drill a hole in the lid large enough for the barb fitting.

Wood Gas Circle Wire Fashion accessory


Watch Clock Analog watch Measuring instrument Wood


I used a 19/64ths drill bit.

Then scuff the area around the hole and the fitting and set it in place with epoxy or JBWeld. The photos show epoxy but I have had better luck using JBWeld, sometimes the epoxy won't bond to lid as well and will break free.
Bottle cap Jewellery Gas Circle Metal


Camera lens Gauge Camera accessory Cameras & optics Measuring instrument

The next step is work on the wood, These pieces of wood were dipped in paraffin, here I have scraped it all off.
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Wood stain


You will need to size your pieces of wood so that they fit in the pickle jar with room on top to be completely immersed and also have room to add weight. The wood will want to float in the resin so I add a small stone on top of the piece to weight it down so that it stays completely submerged. This essentially completes the vacuum chamber, all that is left is to slip the tubing that comes w/ the brake bleeder over the barb fitting. I like to heat the tubing first in hot water or with a heat gun on low setting. This is how it should look when you are done.

Drinkware Ingredient Drink Wood Drinking straw


That is all for now. In the next entry I'll show the rest of the story.
 

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Building a Pickle Jar Vacuum Chamber

Spalted wood is beautiful stuff, most woodworkers will agree to that. However it has its drawbacks due to the spalting process is caused by fungi attacking the wood cells. Spalted wood is essentially partially decomposed wood and therefore has soft spots and ink lines and spongy areas that make it unsuitable for some uses. I have some spalted apple that I want to use for tool handles, in order for this beautiful wood to hold up to the abuses I put my tools through I will have to stabilize it in acrylic resin. This is how it is done. First you must build a vacuum chamber, that might seem intimidating at first, but it is neither hard or expensive.

Here is what you need to get started. A pickle jar that is large enough to hold the piece of wood you want to stabilize, the wood has to be completely immersed in the resin. The jar in the photo is a quart or 32 oz jar. A brake bleeder, available from Harbor Freight for around $25 or less if you have a coupon. A 1/4 inch brass barb connector, available at Ace hardware or your local BORG. You will also need some epoxy resin or even better some JB Weld.

Wood Fluid Tool Gas Table


First step is to drill a hole in the lid large enough for the barb fitting.

Wood Gas Circle Wire Fashion accessory


Watch Clock Analog watch Measuring instrument Wood


I used a 19/64ths drill bit.

Then scuff the area around the hole and the fitting and set it in place with epoxy or JBWeld. The photos show epoxy but I have had better luck using JBWeld, sometimes the epoxy won't bond to lid as well and will break free.
Bottle cap Jewellery Gas Circle Metal


Camera lens Gauge Camera accessory Cameras & optics Measuring instrument

The next step is work on the wood, These pieces of wood were dipped in paraffin, here I have scraped it all off.
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Wood stain


You will need to size your pieces of wood so that they fit in the pickle jar with room on top to be completely immersed and also have room to add weight. The wood will want to float in the resin so I add a small stone on top of the piece to weight it down so that it stays completely submerged. This essentially completes the vacuum chamber, all that is left is to slip the tubing that comes w/ the brake bleeder over the barb fitting. I like to heat the tubing first in hot water or with a heat gun on low setting. This is how it should look when you are done.



That is all for now. In the next entry I'll show the rest of the story.
Well I'm looking ahead to your follow-up. Have you tried mixing color in?
 

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Building a Pickle Jar Vacuum Chamber

Spalted wood is beautiful stuff, most woodworkers will agree to that. However it has its drawbacks due to the spalting process is caused by fungi attacking the wood cells. Spalted wood is essentially partially decomposed wood and therefore has soft spots and ink lines and spongy areas that make it unsuitable for some uses. I have some spalted apple that I want to use for tool handles, in order for this beautiful wood to hold up to the abuses I put my tools through I will have to stabilize it in acrylic resin. This is how it is done. First you must build a vacuum chamber, that might seem intimidating at first, but it is neither hard or expensive.

Here is what you need to get started. A pickle jar that is large enough to hold the piece of wood you want to stabilize, the wood has to be completely immersed in the resin. The jar in the photo is a quart or 32 oz jar. A brake bleeder, available from Harbor Freight for around $25 or less if you have a coupon. A 1/4 inch brass barb connector, available at Ace hardware or your local BORG. You will also need some epoxy resin or even better some JB Weld.

Wood Fluid Tool Gas Table


First step is to drill a hole in the lid large enough for the barb fitting.

Wood Gas Circle Wire Fashion accessory


Watch Clock Analog watch Measuring instrument Wood


I used a 19/64ths drill bit.

Then scuff the area around the hole and the fitting and set it in place with epoxy or JBWeld. The photos show epoxy but I have had better luck using JBWeld, sometimes the epoxy won't bond to lid as well and will break free.
Bottle cap Jewellery Gas Circle Metal


Camera lens Gauge Camera accessory Cameras & optics Measuring instrument

The next step is work on the wood, These pieces of wood were dipped in paraffin, here I have scraped it all off.
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Wood stain


You will need to size your pieces of wood so that they fit in the pickle jar with room on top to be completely immersed and also have room to add weight. The wood will want to float in the resin so I add a small stone on top of the piece to weight it down so that it stays completely submerged. This essentially completes the vacuum chamber, all that is left is to slip the tubing that comes w/ the brake bleeder over the barb fitting. I like to heat the tubing first in hot water or with a heat gun on low setting. This is how it should look when you are done.

Drinkware Ingredient Drink Wood Drinking straw


That is all for now. In the next entry I'll show the rest of the story.
I'll wait for volume II as I do have a couple of questions already.

Well see if you cover them…..............
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Building a Pickle Jar Vacuum Chamber

Spalted wood is beautiful stuff, most woodworkers will agree to that. However it has its drawbacks due to the spalting process is caused by fungi attacking the wood cells. Spalted wood is essentially partially decomposed wood and therefore has soft spots and ink lines and spongy areas that make it unsuitable for some uses. I have some spalted apple that I want to use for tool handles, in order for this beautiful wood to hold up to the abuses I put my tools through I will have to stabilize it in acrylic resin. This is how it is done. First you must build a vacuum chamber, that might seem intimidating at first, but it is neither hard or expensive.

Here is what you need to get started. A pickle jar that is large enough to hold the piece of wood you want to stabilize, the wood has to be completely immersed in the resin. The jar in the photo is a quart or 32 oz jar. A brake bleeder, available from Harbor Freight for around $25 or less if you have a coupon. A 1/4 inch brass barb connector, available at Ace hardware or your local BORG. You will also need some epoxy resin or even better some JB Weld.

Wood Fluid Tool Gas Table


First step is to drill a hole in the lid large enough for the barb fitting.

Wood Gas Circle Wire Fashion accessory


Watch Clock Analog watch Measuring instrument Wood


I used a 19/64ths drill bit.

Then scuff the area around the hole and the fitting and set it in place with epoxy or JBWeld. The photos show epoxy but I have had better luck using JBWeld, sometimes the epoxy won't bond to lid as well and will break free.
Bottle cap Jewellery Gas Circle Metal



The next step is work on the wood, These pieces of wood were dipped in paraffin, here I have scraped it all off.
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Wood stain


You will need to size your pieces of wood so that they fit in the pickle jar with room on top to be completely immersed and also have room to add weight. The wood will want to float in the resin so I add a small stone on top of the piece to weight it down so that it stays completely submerged. This essentially completes the vacuum chamber, all that is left is to slip the tubing that comes w/ the brake bleeder over the barb fitting. I like to heat the tubing first in hot water or with a heat gun on low setting. This is how it should look when you are done.

Drinkware Ingredient Drink Wood Drinking straw


That is all for now. In the next entry I'll show the rest of the story.
Daniel, no I haven't played w/ dyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Finishing Up

The vacuum chamber is done, now we need to put in our piece of wood and weight it down, then fill the jar w/ resin. I use Turn Tex Cactus Juice. Make sure that the resin covers the top of the block of wood by at least 1/2" or more.
Liquid Product Fluid Drinkware Plastic bottle


Then pump the brake bleeder until you hit 25 on the guage. This will immediately cause the resin froth and foam as the air leaves the cellular structure of the wood and is replaced by resin.


I like to leave it in the resin for at least 24hrs, longer is better. If your resin level drops to below the top of the block of wood you should release the pressure and open the jar and add more. Then re-apply the vacuum to 25 on the gauge. If you are losing pressure in a short period of time then probably the seal on your jar is not good. The only recourse is to make another jar. I typically get about 2 years out of jar before the seal fails, not bad considering the cost.


Now it is time to remove the block of wood. First release the pressure on the brake bleeder, there is a little pin on the under side of the bleeder just push it and that releases the pressure. You won't be able to open the jar unless you release the vacuum completely. Pull out your wood and wrap it in foil.




Now we have to bake it in order to set the resin. I use a toaster oven for this and do it outside. The resin gives off some chemical odors that are not really pleasant. Keep everyone in your household happy and do it outside. Bake it at 200° F or 93°C for 2 hours.

Automotive parking light Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Motor vehicle


When it is done, let it cool thoroughly, then remove from the toaster oven and peel off the foil and it is done.


It will have some hard plastic like stuff on the outside there will be bits of foil stuck to it but, no matter, that will come off on the lathe when I turn it into something useful. That is the complete process that I use for stabilizing wood. After you acquire the supplies and build the vacuum chamber it is pretty easy.
 

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Finishing Up

The vacuum chamber is done, now we need to put in our piece of wood and weight it down, then fill the jar w/ resin. I use Turn Tex Cactus Juice. Make sure that the resin covers the top of the block of wood by at least 1/2" or more.
Liquid Product Fluid Drinkware Plastic bottle


Then pump the brake bleeder until you hit 25 on the guage. This will immediately cause the resin froth and foam as the air leaves the cellular structure of the wood and is replaced by resin.
Tableware Drinkware Liquid Fluid Mason jar


I like to leave it in the resin for at least 24hrs, longer is better. If your resin level drops to below the top of the block of wood you should release the pressure and open the jar and add more. Then re-apply the vacuum to 25 on the gauge. If you are losing pressure in a short period of time then probably the seal on your jar is not good. The only recourse is to make another jar. I typically get about 2 years out of jar before the seal fails, not bad considering the cost.

Tableware Drinkware Mason jar Wood Food storage containers

Now it is time to remove the block of wood. First release the pressure on the brake bleeder, there is a little pin on the under side of the bleeder just push it and that releases the pressure. You won't be able to open the jar unless you release the vacuum completely. Pull out your wood and wrap it in foil.
Wood Rectangle Plastic wrap Food Tints and shades


Liquid Fluid Solution Tin can Chemical compound


Now we have to bake it in order to set the resin. I use a toaster oven for this and do it outside. The resin gives off some chemical odors that are not really pleasant. Keep everyone in your household happy and do it outside. Bake it at 200° F or 93°C for 2 hours.



When it is done, let it cool thoroughly, then remove from the toaster oven and peel off the foil and it is done.


It will have some hard plastic like stuff on the outside there will be bits of foil stuck to it but, no matter, that will come off on the lathe when I turn it into something useful. That is the complete process that I use for stabilizing wood. After you acquire the supplies and build the vacuum chamber it is pretty easy.
Have you had any issues with glass jars imploding on you? I've been looking for a way to do this cheaply, but having glass shards fly into my face isn't very appealing.
 

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Finishing Up

The vacuum chamber is done, now we need to put in our piece of wood and weight it down, then fill the jar w/ resin. I use Turn Tex Cactus Juice. Make sure that the resin covers the top of the block of wood by at least 1/2" or more.
Liquid Product Fluid Drinkware Plastic bottle


Then pump the brake bleeder until you hit 25 on the guage. This will immediately cause the resin froth and foam as the air leaves the cellular structure of the wood and is replaced by resin.
Tableware Drinkware Liquid Fluid Mason jar


I like to leave it in the resin for at least 24hrs, longer is better. If your resin level drops to below the top of the block of wood you should release the pressure and open the jar and add more. Then re-apply the vacuum to 25 on the gauge. If you are losing pressure in a short period of time then probably the seal on your jar is not good. The only recourse is to make another jar. I typically get about 2 years out of jar before the seal fails, not bad considering the cost.

Tableware Drinkware Mason jar Wood Food storage containers

Now it is time to remove the block of wood. First release the pressure on the brake bleeder, there is a little pin on the under side of the bleeder just push it and that releases the pressure. You won't be able to open the jar unless you release the vacuum completely. Pull out your wood and wrap it in foil.
Wood Rectangle Plastic wrap Food Tints and shades


Liquid Fluid Solution Tin can Chemical compound


Now we have to bake it in order to set the resin. I use a toaster oven for this and do it outside. The resin gives off some chemical odors that are not really pleasant. Keep everyone in your household happy and do it outside. Bake it at 200° F or 93°C for 2 hours.

Automotive parking light Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Motor vehicle


When it is done, let it cool thoroughly, then remove from the toaster oven and peel off the foil and it is done.

Wood Font Metal Natural material Concrete

It will have some hard plastic like stuff on the outside there will be bits of foil stuck to it but, no matter, that will come off on the lathe when I turn it into something useful. That is the complete process that I use for stabilizing wood. After you acquire the supplies and build the vacuum chamber it is pretty easy.
Is the unused resin reusable? Can I pore the resin from the vacuum jar back into the bottle and use it again?
 

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Finishing Up

The vacuum chamber is done, now we need to put in our piece of wood and weight it down, then fill the jar w/ resin. I use Turn Tex Cactus Juice. Make sure that the resin covers the top of the block of wood by at least 1/2" or more.
Liquid Product Fluid Drinkware Plastic bottle


Then pump the brake bleeder until you hit 25 on the guage. This will immediately cause the resin froth and foam as the air leaves the cellular structure of the wood and is replaced by resin.
Tableware Drinkware Liquid Fluid Mason jar


I like to leave it in the resin for at least 24hrs, longer is better. If your resin level drops to below the top of the block of wood you should release the pressure and open the jar and add more. Then re-apply the vacuum to 25 on the gauge. If you are losing pressure in a short period of time then probably the seal on your jar is not good. The only recourse is to make another jar. I typically get about 2 years out of jar before the seal fails, not bad considering the cost.

Tableware Drinkware Mason jar Wood Food storage containers

Now it is time to remove the block of wood. First release the pressure on the brake bleeder, there is a little pin on the under side of the bleeder just push it and that releases the pressure. You won't be able to open the jar unless you release the vacuum completely. Pull out your wood and wrap it in foil.
Wood Rectangle Plastic wrap Food Tints and shades


Liquid Fluid Solution Tin can Chemical compound


Now we have to bake it in order to set the resin. I use a toaster oven for this and do it outside. The resin gives off some chemical odors that are not really pleasant. Keep everyone in your household happy and do it outside. Bake it at 200° F or 93°C for 2 hours.

Automotive parking light Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Motor vehicle


When it is done, let it cool thoroughly, then remove from the toaster oven and peel off the foil and it is done.

Wood Font Metal Natural material Concrete

It will have some hard plastic like stuff on the outside there will be bits of foil stuck to it but, no matter, that will come off on the lathe when I turn it into something useful. That is the complete process that I use for stabilizing wood. After you acquire the supplies and build the vacuum chamber it is pretty easy.
Very simple and easy process, once someone else has thought it all out for you. Thank you for sharing, I
have the vacuum pump and a pickle jar will be easy to buy and empty, so all I will need to buy is the
Cactus Juice. Looks like you are doing that outside your new shop, Hope you are getting all settled in
and happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Finishing Up

The vacuum chamber is done, now we need to put in our piece of wood and weight it down, then fill the jar w/ resin. I use Turn Tex Cactus Juice. Make sure that the resin covers the top of the block of wood by at least 1/2" or more.
Liquid Product Fluid Drinkware Plastic bottle


Then pump the brake bleeder until you hit 25 on the guage. This will immediately cause the resin froth and foam as the air leaves the cellular structure of the wood and is replaced by resin.
Tableware Drinkware Liquid Fluid Mason jar


I like to leave it in the resin for at least 24hrs, longer is better. If your resin level drops to below the top of the block of wood you should release the pressure and open the jar and add more. Then re-apply the vacuum to 25 on the gauge. If you are losing pressure in a short period of time then probably the seal on your jar is not good. The only recourse is to make another jar. I typically get about 2 years out of jar before the seal fails, not bad considering the cost.

Tableware Drinkware Mason jar Wood Food storage containers

Now it is time to remove the block of wood. First release the pressure on the brake bleeder, there is a little pin on the under side of the bleeder just push it and that releases the pressure. You won't be able to open the jar unless you release the vacuum completely. Pull out your wood and wrap it in foil.
Wood Rectangle Plastic wrap Food Tints and shades


Liquid Fluid Solution Tin can Chemical compound


Now we have to bake it in order to set the resin. I use a toaster oven for this and do it outside. The resin gives off some chemical odors that are not really pleasant. Keep everyone in your household happy and do it outside. Bake it at 200° F or 93°C for 2 hours.

Automotive parking light Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Motor vehicle


When it is done, let it cool thoroughly, then remove from the toaster oven and peel off the foil and it is done.

Wood Font Metal Natural material Concrete

It will have some hard plastic like stuff on the outside there will be bits of foil stuck to it but, no matter, that will come off on the lathe when I turn it into something useful. That is the complete process that I use for stabilizing wood. After you acquire the supplies and build the vacuum chamber it is pretty easy.
grfrazee, no I have not. Pickle jars are designed to withstand some amount of vacuum pressure. I can't say how that compares to the amount I use in this process. I can say that I never had a jar implode. One thing I do is thoroughly inspect it before it becomes a candidate for a vacuum chamber. You certainly wouldn't want to use a jar that has chip or crack. Also do this in place where it isn't going to get knocked over or fall.

WoodnSawdust, yes, the resin is re-usable. I just leave it in the pickle jar as the resin level drops I stabilize smaller smaller pieces of wood until it is gone. I buy the catalyzed version and it has a shelf life of 6 months, so I try use it up by that time

Bluepine38, Yes, I moved into the shop around Christmas. I'm still not organized but I am working on it.
 

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Finishing Up

The vacuum chamber is done, now we need to put in our piece of wood and weight it down, then fill the jar w/ resin. I use Turn Tex Cactus Juice. Make sure that the resin covers the top of the block of wood by at least 1/2" or more.


Then pump the brake bleeder until you hit 25 on the guage. This will immediately cause the resin froth and foam as the air leaves the cellular structure of the wood and is replaced by resin.
Tableware Drinkware Liquid Fluid Mason jar


I like to leave it in the resin for at least 24hrs, longer is better. If your resin level drops to below the top of the block of wood you should release the pressure and open the jar and add more. Then re-apply the vacuum to 25 on the gauge. If you are losing pressure in a short period of time then probably the seal on your jar is not good. The only recourse is to make another jar. I typically get about 2 years out of jar before the seal fails, not bad considering the cost.

Tableware Drinkware Mason jar Wood Food storage containers

Now it is time to remove the block of wood. First release the pressure on the brake bleeder, there is a little pin on the under side of the bleeder just push it and that releases the pressure. You won't be able to open the jar unless you release the vacuum completely. Pull out your wood and wrap it in foil.




Now we have to bake it in order to set the resin. I use a toaster oven for this and do it outside. The resin gives off some chemical odors that are not really pleasant. Keep everyone in your household happy and do it outside. Bake it at 200° F or 93°C for 2 hours.

Automotive parking light Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Motor vehicle


When it is done, let it cool thoroughly, then remove from the toaster oven and peel off the foil and it is done.

Wood Font Metal Natural material Concrete

It will have some hard plastic like stuff on the outside there will be bits of foil stuck to it but, no matter, that will come off on the lathe when I turn it into something useful. That is the complete process that I use for stabilizing wood. After you acquire the supplies and build the vacuum chamber it is pretty easy.
Thanks for writing up the process. Very easy to follow.
 

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