View Full Version : larger infusion tank

Ron Bontz
03-15-2017, 6:30 AM
Decided I needed a larger infusion tank a few months back. So here is the end result. The permanent lid is not made yet so the acrylic will suffice for now or the metal lid. The toggle clamps really do nothing other than help with the initial seal and alignment. Could have been perhaps 6" taller, but finding an available tank was proving more difficult than I thought. So at least I can infuse some what larger blanks for saws and such. Recently infused a piece of quilted maple and turned it for a lathe handle, as well as mallets, etc. The real down side to all this is the cost of the resin, but it's great for turning figured woods and burls. Minimizes tear out. :) Made some mistakes along the way, but I will know for the next time. ( Maybe )

Frederick Skelly
03-15-2017, 7:03 AM
Pretty clever Ron. I cant quite tell - was it made from an old air compressor tank, a propane tank or something else?


Marty Gulseth
03-15-2017, 3:43 PM
Because I'm something of a rookie - please, what do you mean by "infusion tank" and for what is it used? Thank you in advance!


Ron Bontz
03-16-2017, 2:33 AM
The tank was made from a 33 gal. compressor tank. 6 inches taller and I would have been quite happy. Oh well.
Marty; the tank is for infusing acrylic resin into wood that in turn is baked to 205* which activates the resin. Replaces the air with acrylic basically. Increases density some times twice as much and to some extent strengthens the wood. Depending on grain direction, etc. It is particularly useful for figured woods that tend to tear out when turning or spalted punky woods. Also finishes well as the grain is basically already sealed and is more resistant to moisture. Simply put, you place the wood in the tank submerged in the resin by several inches. Turn the vacuum on to evacuate all the air in the tank and wood, which may take some time. In some cases 12 hours or more. Once the air is out, you release the vacuum and allow it to go back to normal atmospheric pressure keeping the wood submerged. The resin absorbs into the wood replacing the air. If it has infused well, the wood may not float at all. The wood is then baked to harden the resin. There are other variations, including pressure infusing, epoxy impregnating, etc. Pressure infusing can sometimes crack the wood inside.Too much pressure too fast. Oily woods do not infuse well and can ruin the resin. Those you don't generally want to infuse anyway. Here is a pick of a saw I made with infused maple burl. 356198 and a couple of handles. 356201Hope this helps.

Marty Gulseth
03-17-2017, 3:49 PM
Ah - thanks! Nice looking pieces, BTW.


Mark C Baker
05-02-2017, 8:52 AM
As an absolute newbie to wood working, (I have lurked here for a couple of years) I was not expecting to see a post about plastics on a wood working forum! It actually prompted me to make a post!
I had never heard of this technique, but can see the beauty of it.
Good job on building your system!

Bill Adamsen
05-02-2017, 9:05 AM
Ron, this is great stuff. I'm intrigued. Where do I get more information on the chemistry?

Ron Bontz
05-05-2017, 10:25 PM
Sorry, I just saw this. Vacuum infusing is something wood/ pen turners have been doing for years. There is also pressure casting, as well as vacuum casting. The idea being to prevent those bubbles in the cast acrylic. It was also once called epoxy impregnating. You can use "cactus juice" which is an acrylic resin that is activated by baking at approx. 200*. There is another newer maker called "Gator Venom". Basically the same thing. Holdfast makes one as well. Lots of you tube videos on the pen making side of it. There is a company called "Wood Sure", or " K&G finishing supplies" I think, that does large pieces. It is an expensive process on a larger scale. The actual composition of the resin is proprietary to the makers having their own polymer mixes.