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Nelsonite


Janel

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Don Fogg mentioned using Nelsonite to finish a wood handle he made recently.

 

Seeking to learn about what Nelsonite is, I found http://www.cuecomponents.com and have learned instead about a resource for high quality exotic hardwood blanks, pre-ban ivory, adhesives, and of course, how to build pool cues... plus much more.

 

I still don't know what Nelsonite is made of, but know that it is used as a stabilizer, and comes with a recommendation to apply it in a vacuum chamber situation.

 

Did you do that Don? Is soaking and wiping off adequate for our needs? Do you know what sort of material Nelsonite is?

 

Janel

 

There is always room to learn!

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I use it both with a vacuum system and by dipping. The pool cue guys dip and have had great results with the hardwoods they use. It minimizing cracking, checking, warping and shrinkage. Those are critical in a pool cue that has to remain straight to be functional.

 

Nelsenite dries in a few days with no residue or weeping. I prefer it to acrylic resins that give the wood a plastic feel and smell. The acrylics do harden the woods allowing use of woods that would previously have been too soft.

 

Nelsenite is intended to be a stablizer and doesn't limit the use of surface finishes.

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I just noticed that Darren Ellis is now selling Nelsonite. I spelled it wrong in the previous posts.

 

As far as snakewood, I would suppose it would work well. It is good on fossil bone and ivories as well as wood.

 

I have an elaborate vacuum system, but you can do the job with a hand pump brake line vacuum from auto parts. The idea is to pull a vacuum and then flood the material with the liquid. I usually set a container in the vacuum chamber and pull and release the vacuum several times. Randal Graham says that you can also use the canning jar method and a double boiler.

 

This isn't sliced bread, but it does resolve some problems.

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I am not sure what kind of testing could be done other than to put it in the field and see what results. I have been using some form of stablizer either wood hardener or Nelsonite for nearly ten years now and haven't had any handles crack or returned.

 

The custom pool cue makers have had similar experience. The process I use was given to me by a custom wood golf club maker to stablize magnolia heads. He was having problems with cracking heads when he shipped to climates that varied greatly. This was eliminated by stablization. Knifemakers have been using this for years now. Alex Daniels was the one who introduced Nelsenite to me.

 

One of the tests I did run was on penetration and you can get total saturation with the vacuum method and depending on the wood very good results by dipping. If one wanted to be scientific about the test you could measure the weight gained. The golf club guy did that and I took his word for it. He was put out of business by the titanium heads, but in his day he made clubs for all the top players.

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