Cactus Juice Tips for Best Results


Forum Owner - Moderator
Here are some suggestions for best results when stabilizing with Cactus Juice.

[FONT=&amp]Tips for best results


[FONT=&amp]DRY YOUR MATERIAL[/FONT][FONT=&amp] Make sure you material is as dry as possible before stabilizing. I like to see 0% moisture. To do this, place your material in your cure oven at 200° F for 24 hours. Then remove it and immediately put it in a zip lock bag or sealed plastic container and seal it up while still hot. This will prevent it from picking up moisture from the air as it cools down.[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]Make sure you have sufficient Cactus Juice above your blanks. I suggest at least 1”. If you do not have enough, when you release vacuum, it is likely that the level will drop and the tops of the blanks will be exposed to air. If this happens, you need to do them again![/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]Keep your vacuum pump running the entire time you have the material in your chamber. Pulling a vacuum and then sealing it off does not work! You need to have the pump running so that it keeps removing air from the blanks and evacuating it from the chamber.[/FONT] Don't believe me, next time you are drinking through a straw, see what happens if you suck on it just enough to get the drink half way up the straw and then hold it! As long as you are sucking, the drink keeps flowing. When you stop, it stops. Same thing with the air in your blanks!

[FONT=&amp] Make sure you soak your blanks after you release the vacuum. Skipping this step is the number one cause for poor penetration! The vast majority of Cactus Juice uptake occurs AFTER you release vacuum. I recommend soaking for twice as long as you had it under vacuum. Do not soak your blanks for an extended period of time in an acrylic chamber. The Juice will create a slimy film on the inside of the chamber that is impossible to get out. I like to soak for 30 minutes, and then transfer the blanks to a different container. Pour your Juice into the soak container and wash out your chamber with soap and water.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp] Double check the temperature of your oven with an oven thermometer. Most toaster oven dials are terribly inaccurate. You want to cure your blanks at 200° F (90° C). Hotter will not hurt the Juice but it will cause more to bleed out before it cures.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]Make sure to cure your blanks long enough. There is no specific time I can give you since different densities of material and quantities of material will take different amounts of time. It is not possible to leave them in too long. Once the Juice cures, it is heat resistant to 400° F (204° C). I frequently put my blanks in the oven before I go to bed and take them out when I get up. If you are in a hurry, cure them for 1 hour and then check them. To check the blanks, put on some good leather gloves and remove the blanks from the oven. Peel some of the foil back while they are still hot and if you see liquid Juice, immediately wrap them back up and put them back in the oven. If you allow the blanks to cool down before you check them and find liquid Juice, you might as well toss them in the trash. They will not cure a second time around.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]If you get stuck or are not getting the results you had expected, please call me! Not only did you buy Cactus Juice, you also “bought” unlimited access to my stabilizing experience including tips and tricks to get the best results. I am eager to answer your questions, even if you think they are trivial! Your success with Cactus Juice is of utmost importance to me so never hesitate to call. You can call from 11am until midnight, central time, 7 days a week. If I miss your call, please leave a message with your number and how late I can call you back.[/FONT] 512-738-0775
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Brad Lilly

Moderator and Awards Boss
Great to see some tips on stabilizing wood, thanks for posting. One thing I would like to know is how long is the usual time a typical handle block would need to be under vacuum?


Forum Owner - Moderator
A typical knife block will take a couple of hours until you have the air removed. That is with the pump running the whole time and assumes you dried the wood before hand in an oven as suggested in my directions.


Forum Owner - Moderator

What is your elevation? I looked at an old order of yours on my site and assuming you are still in the same location, it appears your elevation is 407' above sea level. If that is indeed the case, your maximum theoretical vacuum is 29.48" Hg. I would expect you to be able to achieve better than a 28" vacuum. A 28" vacuum at your elevation is a 94.9% vacuum, thus you are only removing 98.4% of the air at best from your blanks. At my elevation of 800', I can achieve a 29" vacuum every day. This equates to a 99.8% vacuum which is about as good as you can get. This is done with a good pump and well sealed chamber. Remember, the definition of a perfect vacuum for our purposes is the absence of all air and is achieved at 29.92" Hg on a standard atmospheric day. The objective in vacuum impregnation is to remove as much air from the wood as possible, leaving more room for the Cactus Juice to be sucked back in. It is not possible to achieve a perfect vacuum but you should be able to do better than 28"!

Give me a call at your convenience and I will help you troubleshoot to see if we can get that up a little more. The vacuum you are getting should provide good results, you could just do better with deeper vacuum. Of course this all assumes I have your elevation correct at 407'!


Well-Known Member
David, do you need some help sucking? :biggrin:

As I understand it you can also stabilize wood without a vacuum? how would one go about this?