How to prepare your materials for Stabilising
There are a couple of things you should do before you send me stuff. The first one may be very important! Depending on the type of material you are wishing to stabilise.
1. Make each piece as close to its final size and shape as possible
This is the most important piece of preparation you should consider doing. I can’t do this for you.
The reason you should do it is as follows.
Resin impregnation is a process which works from the outside of the material to the inside. Atmospheric pressure pushes resin IN to the vacuum we have created in the material. With some materials the pressure meets little resistance, so resin easily penetrates all the way through the material to the centre. This is what we want!
However with certain other materials, mainly harder/denser woods, and those containing significant oils, or with a closed/robust cell structure, the resin does not penetrate fully to the middle. This is NOT what we want! and it means that if you remove a lot of material from the block, you may find the resin has penetrated inadequately.
So in order to maximise the amount of resin present in the outside edge of your knife handle (which is where you want it), you should:
— Make each piece as close to its final size and shape as possible before it is stabilised (leaving a few millimetres is fine)
— NOT provide me with a single block which you then intend to divide into multiple pieces
This is especially important if you are supplying a dense/difficult wood such as katalox, olive, mulberry, black locust, eucalyptus, malee, blackthorn, ebony, cherry, and double-especially if it’s one of the very difficult/impossible woods (not normally stabilised), for example lignum vitae, rosewood, cocobolo, kingwood, and desert ironwood.
2. Remove sharp corners
Please slightly round or chamfer sharp corners and edges, with a file or course sandpaper.
This is because if I bag-seal your pieces (I use different methods during the curing process), sharp corners and edges they have a tendency to stress the bag, sometimes to the point where it will rupture. This needs to be avoided and we do this by rounding the corners.
If you forget, I will do this for you but if there are a lot of pieces I may charge you a nominal sum for the work because when there are many pieces it adds time to the process.