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Thread: Need Advice - Turning "Punky" Wood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    West Tennessee
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    70

    Need Advice - Turning "Punky" Wood

    I'd like to get started turning peppermills, so I purchased a few spalted maple peppermill blanks. They all have "punky" places throughout, but the one I'm worried about is the most spalted - the prettiest one, of course - which obviously has the most rot.

    What do you recommend to stabilize these blanks with? I'll have to make sure they are dry, which may make matters worse, but I don't have a pressure stabilizer and really don't want to spend a lot of money on the process.

    Are they too big to use CA? would you soak them in a home-made or lacquer-based stabilizing medium?

    Please throw all your ideas at me!

    I

  2. #2
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    Oct 2008
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    OK, since you said all ideas, my $0.02 would be to not turn it. I think it's just not worth it, punky wood looks bad, since it is punky. It won't buff to a shine. It sands easy, so your turning is not round. (you get flat spots) I've tried salvaging punky wood because it does look nice, but it's a lot of work and best be left alone.

    That being said, CA fixes just about everything, and does work for fixing punky wood, BUT you can sometimes see the CA after you finish. It does stain maple.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Mililani, Hawaii
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    I've used this clear penetrating epoxy sealer on some very punky spalted mango. The local Woodcraft store sells it here. It's fairly pricey, but not as bad as an equivalent amount of CA. It has very low viscosity so it really penetrates the wood, much like a thin CA.

    http://www.smithandcompany.org/CPES/index.html

    System Three also makes and epoxy sealer, but I haven't used it so I can't recommend it, but here's a link.

    http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...-Coat-Kit.aspx

    Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Iwamoto View Post
    OK, since you said all ideas, my $0.02 would be to not turn it. I think it's just not worth it, punky wood looks bad, since it is punky. It won't buff to a shine. It sands easy, so your turning is not round. (you get flat spots) I've tried salvaging punky wood because it does look nice, but it's a lot of work and best be left alone.

    That being said, CA fixes just about everything, and does work for fixing punky wood, BUT you can sometimes see the CA after you finish. It does stain maple.
    Thank you, Kyle.

    It's probably more work than it's worth. I guess the hardest part is to see an incredibly spalted piece go to waste.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2008
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    West Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hirlinger View Post
    I've used this clear penetrating epoxy sealer on some very punky spalted mango. The local Woodcraft store sells it here. It's fairly pricey, but not as bad as an equivalent amount of CA. It has very low viscosity so it really penetrates the wood, much like a thin CA.

    http://www.smithandcompany.org/CPES/index.html

    System Three also makes and epoxy sealer, but I haven't used it so I can't recommend it, but here's a link.

    http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...-Coat-Kit.aspx

    Good luck.
    Roger, I may try one of these. Were you able to achieve a decent finish after using it?

  6. #6
    "Life's too short to turn shitty wood..." - John Jordan
    "My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Fresno, Ca
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    Remember Eric, nothing on the inside of a mill except bare wood. No CA, no Cactus juice, no PR...nothing. So...I'd make a cool weed pot or vessel from the punky stuff and get a more stable piece for a mill.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears combat boots

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Crossville, TN
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    254
    Eric, I guess that I am odd man out, I agree that it is somewhat a hassle compared to good wood but for me it is worth it. When I get it close to making the finishing cuts, I soak it with glue diluted 50% with water. Then I soak it with diluted lacquer sanding sealer when I start the sanding process. This is an example.

    bowls---110.jpg

    This bowl is approximately 4 x 11" and finished with two coats of pre-cat lacquer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Putnam County, NY
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    3,086
    http://www.amazon.com/Minwax-41700-P...uct/B000BPINKS

    Very easy to use and it works very well in stabilizing punky blanks.
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Chicago Heights, Il.
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    I mix sanding dust of the same species of wood and lacquer. I brush it into the soft spots and any tear out. Then I spin the piece to help rub the mixture into the wood. Acts like wood filler and blends right in.
    Member Illiana Woodturners

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