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Phil D

Wooden Reel Seat Inserts

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Al,

 

I am interested in turning my own inserts, but have a question. What does it mean when manufacturers say that their inserts are "stabilized"? What does one need to know about making inserts regarding wood treatment and/or finish?

 

Thanks

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First I have to say that I don't make my own so what I am going to say comes from what I heard but I believe it to be from a good source and hopefully will help. Stabilized means it has been filled with some type of acrylic resin under pressure that has rendered it so that it will longer split, crack or expand. I assume the stuff that goes in is some type of epoxy or plastic resin and replaces the natural sap and stuff. I also know from what I have read in Rodmaker that some woods like the rosewoods family won't take varnish or other finishes because they have a high resin content and the finish can't dry on them. These should be stabilized or impregnated for best results. I think your best sources of info on wood inserts is going to be Tom at Rodmaker magazine or the guys at www.eisenbran.com who are a supplier of exotic wood inserts. I hope I have not steered you wrong.

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Phil,

 

Mac's answer is absolutely correct on what stabilized wood is.

 

I have been turning my own reelseats for about 15 years now. I first bore and rough shape them when the wood is in a seasoned state. Then I pay to have them stabilized.

 

After the seat is stabilized i do the final shaping, fitting and finishing.

 

Please note that no liquid finish or sealer is necessary. The stabilization process fills the wood pores completely. After final shaping your finishing process consists of going through finer and finer grits of silicone paper to 600 grit. I then use a buffing wheel imprenated with buffing compound to buff the seat to a high gloss.

 

Al G.

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