wood stabilizer?

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Forum topic by dalepage posted 03-31-2018 11:05 PM 806 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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385 posts in 1444 days

03-31-2018 11:05 PM

Does anyone know of a product that I can put on punky wood to stabilize the rot?

The area will not show in the finished piece. It’s a tree trunk, lowest log and sawn close to the ground. It’s going to be the pedestal for a table made of a maple “cookie.”

Thanks in advance,

-- Dale

10 replies so far

View Breeze73's profile


102 posts in 1284 days

#1 posted 04-01-2018 02:20 AM

Try using CA (cyanoacrolite) glue (aka super glue). But make sure it is the real thin stuff. It will help to soak into the wood. Once it is saturated, give it a while to cure (maybe let it dry overnight but it shouldn’t take that long), and you should be GTG.

-- Breeze

View Ripper70's profile


1368 posts in 1512 days

#2 posted 04-01-2018 02:20 AM

Cactus Juice Stabilizing Resin

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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John Smith

2131 posts in 766 days

#3 posted 04-01-2018 02:34 AM

Dale – how big is this “tree trunk” pedestal and table going to be ?

if it is for a table, it must be pretty big.
so – it may take a few quarts of CA glue, if you go that route.
and cactus juice has to be in a vacuum chamber for several hours
and then into an oven @ 225* for several more hours which enables the resin to go all the way in.
PEG (PolyEthylene Glycol) will also take a few gallons and must soak for several weeks to work.

so – more information as to the size and maybe some photos would be of great help.
the size of the trunk and how big and thick will the “cookie” table top be ? (stuff like that).


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View OSU55's profile


2498 posts in 2593 days

#4 posted 04-01-2018 03:39 AM

System three and total boat, 2 I know of, have 2part epoxies just for this. No vacuum or heat required, cures in a day or so.

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


7581 posts in 2802 days

#5 posted 04-01-2018 04:05 AM

I’ve used the Minwax wood hardener before with satisfactory results:

but lately I’ve just been using thinned poly (50/50 or more) – works just as well IMO and much cheaper.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View jimintx's profile


933 posts in 2187 days

#6 posted 04-01-2018 04:31 AM

This stuff is remarkable. It is oft used to restore and sustain some colonial era homes, and on and on: Abatron LiquidWood & WoodEpox, a restoration kit.


-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4442 posts in 1185 days

#7 posted 04-01-2018 10:52 AM

It’s really going to depend on how big of an area you need to stabilize and how punky it is. CA glue will work fine for small areas that are pretty solid. If it’s a larger volume that still has substantial wood, the Minwax Wood Hardener will work, and is quite a bit cheaper for larger volumes. It does still need some wood to bind to, though. I used almost 3oz of CA and sawdust to fill punky spots on my low workbench. I used Minwax Wood Hardener on my badly rotted, but still holding together, dining room windows. But it took almost a pint of wood hardener for two windows.

Small volumes that are really rotted (but still have enough wood to hold things together) can benefit from Cactus Juice, but you need a vacuum chamber to hold the piece and then you’ll have to bake it in an oven.

Really large volumes, or where you’ve got almost no wood left, or where you want to be food-safe afterwards, use one of the epoxy-based solutions. Build walls to hold it in place, and you can fill large voids that way, adding stability, and even decoration, depending on what you add to the epoxy.

Good luck!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View TravisH's profile


700 posts in 2538 days

#8 posted 04-01-2018 11:51 AM

Have had good results with the Rot Doctor products over the years on large surfaces.

View gwilki's profile


330 posts in 2077 days

#9 posted 04-01-2018 03:06 PM

I’ll add on more for you to consider.

This stuff penetrates the rot and hardens to an epoxy-like product.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View dalepage's profile


385 posts in 1444 days

#10 posted 04-01-2018 09:07 PM

Thanks so much for the all the info. I can see I wasn’t clear enough in describing the trunk.

Only the very bottom is punky, and that area is hollow, about the size of half a volleyball. I’m going to try the 50/50 poly and see how that goes. The exterior, which has great gray and brown patina after losing its bark, is not affected by the interior rot. The cookie will attach to good wood, too. No part of the treated punky wood will show.

The cookie is hard maple with some bird’s eye, three inches thick and about 30 inches in diameter. I will post photos as I go. I have some experience flattening end grain cookies by using a router sled and belt sander sled. I did that with an antique butcher block and it came out dead flat.

I appreciate the help.

-- Dale

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