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"The Vacuum Compressor" by Curtis M. Wilson

"The Vacuum Compressor" by Curtis M. Wilson

The vacuum comes from a medical suction machine, or a vacuum pump available from, "Surplus Center, 1015 West "0" Street, P.O. Box-82209, Lincoln, NE 68501-2209; Ph # (402)-474-5198. This is the only place that I've been able to find this item. (Note: for the purchase of a medical suction machine you will need to have a Physicians Order).

The Stabilization Solution

Many different knifemakers use different materials for stabilization, and most Professional Stabilizers will just tell you that it's different polymers, if you get any answer from them at all.

The following are some of the products that I have used: 1) Thompsonís Water Seal 2) A Quality Sanding Sealer (water, oil, or acrylic based) 3) Polyurethane (clear-gloss, or semi-gloss) 4) Sodium Silicate (also known as liquid glass, this is a water base and will need to be thinned down to be used.

I prefer Sanding Sealer (acrylic, or water based) and Polyurethane for the wood burls and the softer woods. The reason for this is that it seems to fill into the wood and make it harder than the Water Seal. If you are just going to waterproof then use the Thompsonís Water Seal.

Items Not To Be Stabilized

Cocobolo, or any other wood that has a high natural oil base. The reason for not stabilizing these types of materials is that it will in most cases draw out the oil under pressure and discolor the wood or other material in the vacuum.

I hope that this helps in some way to answer some of the questions concerning stabilization of handle materials.