Stabilizing wood

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Stabilizing wood

Postby gr8white » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:20 pm

I have some old timbers I scavenged out of a house built in 1890. They are oak and pine. I've cut them down to
1 1/2"x12" stock. If I wanted to send some in to be turned, do they have to be stabilized first, or are they good to go?
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Re: Stabilizing wood

Postby awingert » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:40 pm

Neither oak or pine will be good for making duck calls. It can be done, but there's a reason that you don't see anyone offering calls made from those woods. If you're dead-set on using it, your best bet is to find a maker that is able to sleeve the insert with a toneboard/tonechannel made from a wood that'll yield good sound.

As far as stabilizing, it isn't a bad idea. With the pine I would consider it a must. Pine is far too unstable when turned to thin dimensions, so stabilizing will help some. Not a lot, but some. Oak is very open-grained. An issue with oak is the open grain will take on moisture. That can cause all kinds of issues, and one of those issues is that saliva sitting in open grain on a duck call is kind of nasty. Stabilizing will not fill the open grain.

I think that most callmakers would be doing you a favor by really trying to talk you out of using these two woods.
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Re: Stabilizing wood

Postby awingert » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:42 pm

If you do have them stabilized, be sure they are absolutely and completely dry. If they've got more than about 7 or 8% moisture content, the stabilizing will be pretty ineffective since it can't displace the water.
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Re: Stabilizing wood

Postby gr8white » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:15 pm

Thanks for the info Mr. Wingert. I was actually only wanting to have barrels turned and use acrylic inserts. Calls would most likely sit on a shelf and wouldn't see any field use either. Basically I just wanted to have something done with the wood because it has a little history from a family house it was removed from. So from what you've explained I should be ok as long as the calls aren't exposed to the elements/moisture? And stabilizing would be a waste since they'd be shelf queens? Sent you a pm as well.
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Re: Stabilizing wood

Postby awingert » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:29 pm

If they're destined to be shelf queens you can probably get by without stabilizing them, just be sure to communicate they're shelf queens to potential makers.
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Re: Stabilizing wood

Postby DennyAfstand » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:15 am

Good point about the humidity control. I made a mistake when built gazebos, not carefully checked this figure. I had to rebuild the building, oak broke down.
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