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verhoevenc

Double dye stabilizing wood

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I would suspect the piece are having tensions built in, whether it be by uneven heating changing the structure of the wood unevenly along the length or some other mechanism. Resawing releasing new internal tensions suggests that indirect heat with better airflow would be better.

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Plus you are mostly using highly figured woods and burl. Growth patterns are going in every direction. and hunting for new directions as soon as it's cut.

SR

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But it always seems to bow in this ONE direction here. And the same boards, when resawn otherwise (like into top billets) didn't move... it's something with the process that's doing this.

Chris

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Could it be getting more heat on one side than the other or could the vacuum be drawing from one direction and literally drawing more solution into the pores (cells?) on one side than the other?

SR

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Well once I figure this warping issue out I've got my next piece to stabilize!!! Got this huge (5.25" thick hahaha) box elder burl for a steal from Turnright Specialties (@turnright78) on facebook. Was super helpful. Mostly deals with turners but went above and beyond to let me give him my template so he could find a piece that worked for my shapes! Can't wait to see how colors react in this!

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Chris

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It looks pretty amazing dressed in its natural colors. It ought to be crazy when you get done with it.

SR

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Here is the latest top. Decent amount to talk about with this one. Given I was having issues with bowing after I resaw the billets, and was only doing like 1/8" tops at this point, I figured I should use some "lesser wood" to test how this process would go with 1/4" tops. So I used some sorta-burly wood I got for really cheap at a local recycling lumber yard. Also, being a fairly solid piece of wood, instead of punky like buckeye or spalt, I went back to the old "give both baths some vacuum" tactic. This piece got a 20 minute vacuum cycle in purple, followed by a 12-hour vacuum cycle in red.

Sure enough, when I went to resaw it, it bowed along the lengths, the centers going out and away from the blade; big and bad. There was probably 1"+ separating the boards in the center when held together. However, after weighting them flat for a couple weeks they are flat as can be and I see no issues with using them, the bow returning, etc. I'm starting to think the plasticization that takes place really does do some wonders in terms of being able to control the wood.

This is also another great example of how you really need to use a lot of red dye in your cactus juice unless you want pink, like I got. After these trials I'll likely start doing a 2oz/gallon mix for red.

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Chris

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Note to everyone: anything you see on this thread is for sale. PM if interested in pricing. Need to recoup some of this tool investment!

Chris

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Here's an interesting pic. This is a billet I decided to resaw halfway through the process. I wanted to see what soaking different colors along different areas would look like. I did just that and this is the view from the outside:

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As you can see though, the capillary action pulled less than you'd think into the center. I did this color in stages. Blue red and purple were soaked into the billet at the same time; from each side one after the other. A couple applications, let it drink up, repeat. That was cured and then it was soaked in green over night for a second round of soaked color.

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Now that I've seen the result that section-specific soaking can give I may leave this as-is; partially stabilized. Or maybe I'll do a vacuum pull on it to liven up all that plain box elder Burl?

Chris

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Difficult to say. Does it look attractive close up? Maybe pulling a light colour will keep the weirdness and smooth it out. Is the dye able to be remobilised in successive sessions?

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What do you mean remobilized? As in, next color/cure session will it move at all? No. Once color is cured with heat it's locked into those cells/figure sections. If that area didn't fully saturate the color may change a bit. For example let's say a cluster of fibers absorbed 50% of what they're able to of blue. Then I come in and do a vacuum with yellow where it sucks up the other 50%. Apparently it's possible to then get green where there was once blue. I haven't seen much of that though. I've mainly seen things: it either colors that area or it doesn't.

Chris

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Yes, same as how using an alcohol-based dye will cause existing dye to lift and move. Interesting how it locks a certain amount of product.

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Well after curing its no longer dye. It's now a solid hunk of plastic of a certain color filling up the voids in the wood's cellular structure. It also doesn't re-melt upon re-heating. So there's is nothing to 'move.' Only solid structures locked in place.

Chris

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Ugh... I should go replace the missing pics... thanks for the policy change Photobucket!

i wanted to give another update though for now. I believe I've solved the 'large pieces warp in the oven' issue! Had some good luck following these procedures:

1- go from you ambient MC% to ~4% very slowly. For this I'm using a food dehydrator/jerky maker box.

2- still go 24hrs+ in the oven to get to 0% MC

3- ANY TIME YOU PUT ANY TOP IN THE OVEN, weight and sticker it! I've also found that a top/bottom buffer so one side of the wood isn't always facing one heating element or the other. Is good. My sandwich goes: Plywood, stickers, foil (to catch any bleed out only), stickers (covered in foil so they don't stick to the wood), plywood, rocks for weight.

Chris

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It's hostage taking, really. Photobucket has killed so much good content around the net. I mean, it's their prerogative and perhaps we should have seen it coming, but still. Bastards.

Good to hear that you've identified and remedied the issues. It sounds like quite a protracted process now though. What sort of resistance to bending back flat do the warped boards present? Simply, if they are fairly flexible with little resistance then the tension built into glueing them down to a substrate might be far less problematic than having to jump through all of those hoops.

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There's not really much... once they are resawn down thinner. Obviously anything 3/4" thick (where my billets start to get a 1/4" bookmatch in the end) will not want to move. And I'm capable of resawing a curved board all day. So that's not a problem. The real issue comes with putting a warped board in the cactus juice and the vacuum chamber. The more warped the board, the deeper the juice bath must be, and the deeper the tray it sits in. Since the chamber is round... that means the less wide the board can be.

Its all very connected. So I'm still of the opinion that dealing with keeping the billet flat through to the end, as much as possible, is worth it.

Chris

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So that one I talk about above that I resawed after the initial soaks... to see how far color would penetrate... looks like this. The left side is what the "outside" looks like, the right side is what the inside bookmatched face looks like.

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Chris

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I would say, "far enough". Not sure if its slightly lighter, or whether the darker colours are more prevalent in the left side pic. Stunning stuff though Chris.

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One more for good measure. This is the sister set that I pulled out this morning. Black and blue soaks followed by a pull in yellow. This is a much thinner billet so the soaked colors will likely be more drastic inside than the one above.

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Chris

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I was in a rush this morning and agree that that picture isn't the best. I'll take a better one later. It's more vibrant than it looks here.

I do love how the spalted rear area really drank up the black in a drastic way yet stopped just as drastically where the spalt ended. Should make for some cool aesthetic.

Chris

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It was more comment on the nature of black dyes as opposed to the photo :-)

I agree that it looks very striking. Like a false colour shoreline.

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