The Difference Between Pentacryl, Polycryl & Wood Juice
Pentacryl, Polycryl & Wood Juice all look very similar but have different uses when it comes to working with wood. Learn more about what makes each one of them unique before deciding which one is right for your project.
Pentacryl: "The Green Wood Stabiliser"
Pentacryl is a compound of modified polymers. It will keep green wood from cracking and splitting as it dries and is popular with carvers, wood turners, furniture makers, builders and others working with green wood. Pentacryl is formulated to penetrate green, wet wood with a moisture content above 25-30%, as the moisture in the wood helps the penetration.
If you have wood that is semi-dry with a moisture content between 15-25%, use our Wood Juice. Pentacryl works by completely saturating the wood cells and displacing the water. Once the wood dries, the Pentacryl leaves a thin coating on the wood cell walls. This process keeps the cells from shrinking, which reduces cracking, checking and irregular drying. Shrinkage is reduced up to 600% depending on the orientation of the wood grain. Quarter grain shrinks less than flat grain.
Pentacryl is non-hazardous, does not contain silicone, will not discolor the wood, is non-hygroscopic (meaning it will not retain water), will not oxidize, decompose or migrate in the wood when exposed to different degrees of temperature and relative humidity. It also contains a natural UV protectant.
Tests have been carried out for over 25 years with excellent results. Many types of hard and soft woods have been treated including pine, fir, basswood, tupelo, walnut, oak, apple wood, hawthorne, cherry, rock maple, soft maple, ash, madrone, yellow cedar, bamboo, exotic wood and others.
Pentacryl can be brushed/rolled on or the wood can be immersed (soaked) into a 100% solution of Pentacryl. Although soaking is the preferred method, excellent results are still obtained by using the brushing/rolling method. The key is to completely saturate the wood.
Polycryl: "The Wood Fortifier"
Polycryl is a concentrated, non-toxic, high molecular weight acrylic polymer that will fill and strengthen soft, spalted or punky wood. It will dry clear and not yellow the wood. Polycryl is water-soluble and penetrates best when wood is damp. It will help make carving and turning easier by fortifying/strengthening wood that is soft. Penetration varies depending on the density of the wood you are treating. Since Polycryl is water-based, treated wood needs to be finished/sealed so the product will not wash out.
Polycryl is applied by first diluting with hot tap water and then brushing on or the wood can be immersed (soaked) in a solution of Polycryl. Then a stronger application is applied. When the Polycryl treated wood has dried, the wood can be glued or finished with various finishes. Easy soap and water clean up.
Wood Juice: "The Dry Wood Stabiliser"
Wood Juice is a compound of modified polymers. It is formulated to penetrate and stabilize dry to semi-dry wood to prevent future cracking.
Wood Juice works by saturating the wood and displacing the remaining water. Once the wood dries, Wood Juice leaves a thin coating on the cell walls of the wood. This process keeps the cells from shrinking, which reduces future cracking, checking and irregular drying. Shrinkage is reduced up to 500% depending on the orientation of the wood grain and how dry the wood is prior to treating with Wood Juice.
Wood Juice is non-toxic, non-hazardous, does not contain silicone, will not discolor the wood, is non-hygroscopic (meaning it will not attract and retain water), will not oxidize, decompose or migrate in the wood when exposed to different degrees of temperature and relative humidity.
Wood Juice can be brushed on or the wood can be immersed (soaked) in Wood Juice (use full strength, do not dilute).
Still unsure which one is right for your project? Please send us your questions and we'll help you as best we can.
Q.What is the difference between Pentacryl and Wood Juice and how do I know which one to use?
Both products are wood stabilizers. However, they are each formulated differently. Pentacryl was developed to treat green or freshly cut wood with a higher moisture content, typically above 30-35%. The wetter the wood, the better Pentacryl will work.
Wood Juice is formulated to treat dryer wood with a lower moisture content. It is formulated to compensate for the difference in the reduced amount of water in the wood. Use on wood with moisture content between 15%-25%. Dryer wood (moisture content below 15%) will only need 1-2 coats. Do not saturate wood that is completely dry as the Wood Juice will just sit in the wood and leave it tacky.
Q.Do I need to use Pentacryl if I am using Polycryl?
Q.Why is it necessary to put on different mixtures of Polycryl and water?
The reason for starting out with a thin mixture, is to get the deepest penetration. If Polycryl is applied in it’s concentrated form, it will block the surface and prevent further penetration.