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Sooo... Did we cure the soft wood dysfunction?

Updated: May 30

We did!

You can clearly see the treated side is much harder than the untreated side in the super duper official siceney "Tappy Tap Tap" test video below!

That's great! How far did it penetrate?!

Um... Yes?

I haven't quite figured out how to measure it... But I can tell you for certain, it penetrated further than if it hadn't been thinned (I didn't tell you yet... After I did the "TappyTapTap" test I coated the opposite side without thinning the resin, surprise!).

Here's a pic of a piece I cut:

Yah, super helpful right!?

WTF Makerneer... Don't you clickbait me!

OK. Lets get into it further.

On first glance it looks like the left (normal resin) side penetrated further because we see a darker line below the surface. The right side doesn't look to have any sort of color change from the resin penetrating into the wood.

Using our official Makerneer Institute of Laboratory Scienceing precision indentation device, (affiliate link) we start to see more of the story.

The dark line on the normal side is hard, it's penetrated about 1/16" ish. No surprise.

The, burnished?, area on the thinned side is hard. Hmmm....

So, it looks like when I cut the sample piece, the saw cut differently into the the harder sections of the wood causing the harder wood on the thinned side to look just a little different. It appears the thinned resin penetrate about twice as far as the normal resin. Here's a better picture to illustrate what I think is going on:

This observation of the internal wood grain is in line with the top surface finish too. The thinned side looks matte or dull compared to the shiny normal side.

Pretty interesting and a fun experiment, but what did we actually learn?

1. Polyester resin will work with wood.

2. The polyester resin thinned with acetone did penetrate further than the resin that was not thinned. Roughly twice as deep, maybe close to 1/8" ish.

3. Subjectively the thinned resin side and the normal resin side appear to "feel" the same with respect to how hard they ended up. They both resist fingernail dents. This is very much a "butt dyno" kinda thing, I might rockwell test it just to be funny. If I get ambitions it would be interesting to do a barcol test, throw a comment on this and let me know if you'd be curious to see that.

4. There is still untreated wood in the middle. This could be an issue for some projects.

  • I have my doubts that penetrating epoxy (affiliate link)would (wood) have penetrated deeper, it would be fun to test them side by side maybe eventually.

  • Products like Cactus Juice (affiliate link) work great for stabilizing wood but require a vacuum source to pull the resin deeper into the wood. This makes larger objects more difficult.

5. It worked for what I'm after so we can go full scale on this pacific project right meow!

This is a red alder live edge I cut with my Alaskan Chainsaw Mill (affiliate link) almost 2 years ago!

It's nice and dry, so it's time to finally get around to making something out of it!

Alrighty-then, that wraps up this episode of how to get your wood hard!

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