How much Vacuum to use- How fine to sand - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Default How much Vacuum to use- How fine to sand

Ever ponder how much Vacuum to use to Stabilize wood blanks, or how fine to sand wood to get rid of all scratches?
Now you can put the finesse of your woodwork in it's proper place.

"Horror vacui," goes the phrase, usually attributed to Aristotle's fourth book of Physics. Nature abhors a vacuum. ... Emptiness, he concluded, was therefore impossible. Every part of the universe must be filled with something, even if we can't detect it.

Now take a look at this fantastic "Scale of the Universe animation, created by a pair of extremely precocious 14-year-old twins named Cary and Michael Huang earlier this month. Zoom in, past the penny, past the matchstick, past the paramecium and the DNA molecule. Keep zooming. Go past the gamma ray and the proton and the neutron. Go past the quarks and the neutrinos. Eventually, you'll get to a whole lot of nothing."

Scale of the Universe animation: The Scale of the Universe 2

Even if you used 10,000 grit sandpaper, you still won't get all the scratches out

Mark

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 08:39 AM
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Mark (with Bark and No Bite): This was a really cool presentation! Thanks for sharing it! Back to your sanding question: All wood is porous, therefore; perfect smoothness is not achievable. Very close to perfect smoothness based on our "naked eye perception" can be enhanced with finishes that "self-level" to some degree. Finish thicknesses, rate of application, temperature, levelness, etc. all can effect the quality of a wood finish. We often think of glass being perfectly smooth, yet the lamellae on the toes of a gecko may gain purchase on that surface.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Default Filling in those wood pores

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...All wood is porous, therefore; perfect smoothness is not achievable. Very close to perfect smoothness based on our "naked eye perception" can be enhanced with finishes that "self-level" to some degree...
Hi Otis, I'm glad you enjoyed the presentation by those twins. Amazing!

I am on a path to fill in all those wood pores in wood used for pens using a vacuum chamber and wood stabilizers.

Watching some practiced penmakers on the internet, I was impressed how they turned the wood literally into plastic once all the pores that you mentioned in the wood are filled. The vacuum technique pulls out a lot of air from the wood, and apparently filled the pores with plastic once the pressure is restored.

Hence my interest in things "vacuum" and "smooth".

So far I have a vacuum gauge, and a plexiglass window to attach to an old military capacitor case (8x12x10-inches with a rubber seal). I still need to find a vacuum pump. I have yet to figure out how to properly bake the wood after the vacuum treatment.
Any advice will be appreciated.

Mark

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 02:43 PM
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You could make a vacuum pump using an old automotive air conditioner compressor.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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John,
Thanks for the tip. I saw others redoing compressors on the web. Unfortunately, I don't have one since the one I did replace was kept by the car dealer.
I think I can by a reasonably priced one using a discount coupon at Harbor Freight.
Maybe $60.
Mark
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 04:12 PM
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I got mine at a auto junk yard for $15. Good luck with your project.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 04:42 PM
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Mark, I am full of useless information - so knowledge of vacuum devices is not something I have any help to offer on. John (argoknot) seems to have some experience in that field, so he and others can probably help you in that arena. I have a very good friend that is an HVAC Service Manager and he knows a lot about vacuums and evacuations.
In the 1970's, I worked for a manufacturer of concrete block (CMU) and they did what is somewhat the opposite of vacuum in curing "green" concrete block - by utilizing an autoclave. Your description of how to fill the voids in wood with plastic makes me think of petrified wood - which I believe was done (very slowly) with mineralization under pressure - but certainly you'll need a quicker process!
Good Luck, and I really enjoyed your post.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Otis.

It's hard to believe that the creators of that website: The Scale of the Universe 2, were only 14 years old. I happened to click on the "back" at the bottom of their web page, and found that they are very very very creative...

I may explore using a fridge compressor. Going the auto compressor route also seemed to be a choice as suggested by John, but there were some comments on the web about heat and noise, using an auto compressor, that made me decide on a fridge version, if I can find one.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 07:58 AM
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Yes Mark they are noisy to say the least. I used mine outdoors so the noise wasn't an issue. In your case I think a fridge unit would do just fine.

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