Some of the wood we offer is stabilized. When wood is stabilized, it is impregnated with acrylic. Stabilization allows you to have the beauty of wood with the stability of a man made material.
Stabilization minimizes cracking and checking. Expansion and contraction are also minimized. If you try, you can crack and/or break stabilized wood. If you force a pin or screw into a hole that is too small, the wood will crack. Stabilization allows the use of wood that would normally be too soft to use i.e. spalted woods. We've stabilized wood that was so soft it could be picked apart with our fingernails. After stabilizing, the wood was solid and very hard.
Some people think ivory can be stabilized. We've tested ivory stabilization and determined it is not cost effective. Ivory does not absorb stabilant. If you want to test stabilizing ivory, do the following:
1) Dry the ivory
2) Weigh the ivory
3) Stabilize the ivory
4) Weigh the ivory again on the same scale
Did the ivory gain weight? Try the same test with a piece of wood. The results are illuminating.
Knife collectors deserve the best quality materials and craftsmanship. When a collector has a problem with wood handles moving or shrinking, it casts a negative light on the entire custom knife market. If you choose to stabilize your own wood, you should tell the collector you did the stabilization. Letting a collector think the wood was professionally stabilized is the same as using Devin Thomas damascus and letting the collector think you made the steel yourself. If anyone thinks any stabilant or chemical available to the general public works as well as the commercial stabilants, they are mistaken. The professional stabilizing companies would save thousands of dollars if MinWax Wood Hardener worked as well as commercial stabilants.
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