Stabilized Wood - what is it?
Stabilized wood, stabilised wood, modified wood, polymerized wood is wood impregnated with special polymeric compositions (fillers) to improve its physical and operational properties.
The stabilized wood is widely used for manufacturing of knife handles, dagger handles, handles of other kinds of the cold weapon, jewels, writing accessories and ornaments.
Not every type of wood is suitable for good quality stabilization.
Only dry wood is stabilized, even a small amount of water in the fibers and capillaries prevents qualitative impregnation.
A number of species of wood cannot be impregnated due to high density or presence of chemicals in the wood, which prevent the stabilization.
For example, resinous conifers, the rosewood family (cocobolo, royal rosewood, Indian rosewood) are not stabilized, as rosewoods are oily rich, caoutchouc and other types of wood.
The process of stabilization of the wood is carried out in several stages.
At first, the workpiece is completely immersed in a sealed container with an impregnating and staining solution, a vacuum is created in the container by a pump and a compressor, the air comes out of the workpiece, the voids and fibers are filled with impregnation.
At this stage at the majority of manufacturers of the stabilised wood process of stabilization comes to an end, such stabilization at home spend and many knifes, private masters.
The highest quality and complete stabilization of the entire depth of the wooden workpiece occurs only if there is a technological possibility to create a high pressure after a high vacuum, during which the most complete and deep penetration of the impregnation and staining composition into the wood fibers is achieved, resulting in the most homogeneous impregnation and obtaining a uniform color throughout the depth of the tree.
The most beautiful are the stabilized stained maple drops, stabilized Karelian birch, birch cap, elm cap, birch souvel and ash root.
The stabilised coloured black hornbeam is used as a replacement for the highly cracked ebony.
The qualitatively made stabilized wood is much more steady than an unprocessed tree to factors of influence of external environment: it does not change the appearance and does not lose colour under the influence of ultra-violet beams, technical oils, organic solvents; it can sustain heating by an open flame to high temperatures during some small piece of time without external changes.
Author's text by George de Corbeau 02.10.2019.
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