Suitability of Different Woods

The ability of resin to penetrate different types of wood is related to its cell structure, density and oil content.

The softest woods, with the most open and weakest grain structure, absorb a lot of resin, up to 2-3 times their own weight sometimes.

At the other end of the scale, those woods that are very hard, strong and oily absorb almost nothing and there is little point in trying to stabilise them.

It’s worth noting the group of timbers that absorb very little but still benefit from stabilising because of how they will polish up afterwards. They are also more dimensionally stable.

This is not an exhaustive list, of course, neither is it definitive — there is sometimes a bit of overlap. If you’re not sure about a piece of wood, get in touch, I may have experience with it. And there’s no harm in trying, anyway… the process is unlikely to make a piece unusable.

Stabilise well and absorb a lot of resin: laurel, buckeye, elm, lime, walnut, sycamore, maple and ivy.

Stabilise well and don’t absorb quite so much: oak, wenge, zebrano, myrtle, black palm and many others.

Worth stabilising but don’t absorb much: katalox, olive, mulberry, black locust, eucalyptus, malee and blackthorn.

Don’t stabilise well: lignum vitae, rosewood, cocobolo, kingwood, and desert ironwood.

Other Materials

Wood is the commonest material I deal with but it is also possible to stabilise other porous natural materials, such as bone, antler, and leather.

These materials vary a lot in size and shape so it’s not possible to create a simple pricing structure for them.

If you’d like one of these materials stabilising, or if you’ve something other than these which you think could be stabilised, please get in contact and I will work out a price for you.