Here is a magic formula to harden porous stones and wood or let your imagination run wild with this. If you like cutting and polishing stones but sometimes the material is too soft or fractured to work, or you like exotic woods but some are too soft, try this no special equipment process.
you need: Acetone, two part devcon 5 minute clear epoxy ( the kind in the double syringe), quart glass jar with a good lid, a disposable stirring stick and Time!
- In open ventilation, place roughly one pint of acetone in a jar.
- Squirt the epoxy directly into the acetone without mixing the two first. stir with a disposable stick, the epoxy will dissolve in the acetone and disappear.
- Now submerge your item in the mixture. If you need more solution you can make more. If you only need a little more you can add a little more acetone. Plan well !
- let your item soak for 4-5 days checking daily–if the epoxy solution begins to look cloudy or waxy remove your item. But don’t wait till then-4-5 days should do.
- Remove your item and allow it to drip dry and not sit in a puddle of solution.
6 Drying should be complete in a week.
NOTE the solution is not shelf stable and will start to harden in about a week. So throw it out.
So what happened - this could be explained in about a page and a half of chemical equations but it’s simpler to say the epoxy normally mixes and creates a chemical reaction to harden to plastic. The acetone dilutes the epoxy and delays the reaction giving the solution time and a “vehicle” ( liquid that carries the chemicals) to enter the rock or item. Now when you take the item out of the solution the acetone evaporates rapidly allowing the two parts of the epoxy to find each other inside of your rock and bond together filling the voids in the rock while also gluing the fissures and pores together. After a week the bonding is complete and the acetone is gone.
This I have done many times over the last 20 years and I find it works great for Chalk turquoise creating a turquoise that is stable for cutting and polishes great! Have fun with this, Kyle