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I've got some large buckeye burls (up to 18" x 24") that I would like to stabilize before adding a finish. Does anyone know where I could buy a reasonably priced vacuum chamber large enough to do the task? Insights into the other equipment I would need as well is appreciated.
 

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I think a chamber could be home built. Any kind of study box, maybe a used 55 gallon metal drum with the removable lid. It must be airtight. I think the biggest expense will be a vacuum pump.

I've been watching craigslist for a vacuum pump for some time now. Harbor Freight has one for under $100.
If I could find something like this for $100 I'd do it, I'm talking just the pump and gauges and not the tanks.

http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/tls/4672453398.html

Along with a pump you will need at least a gauge , hose and fittings. I would use an A/C manifold gauge, specifically the low side gauge as it will show vacuum as well as pressure. You need a gauge, if you're up and running and don't show vacuum you have a leak, you won't know that without a gauge.
 

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You indicate you have some 18-24" burls that you want to stabilize before finish. What is the size going to be when you're ready to stabilize them? Is the burl going to be a chunk of wood or is it going to be slabbed?
Another question is, What are you going to stabilize them with? There are some epoxies that won't give you the time to pull the vaccum before it sets.
You might be better off finding a paint pressure pot to stabilize your burls under pressure rather than vaccum…..... Jerry (in Tucson)
 

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The pieces are going to remain in their original size. The large ones are partial live edge slices of the tree. They are destined to become stands for fancy tobacco pipes that sit on a table.
@rick1955 Pentacryl is good for green wood to keep the wood from checking as it dries. Is has no resin to strenghthen the wood. These pieces are already dry ranging from 7-10% moisture content. I am seeking a solution to make them stronger. The California Buckeye Burls are very lightweight and potentially fragile.
 
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