How To Harden Wood Image 1

Wood is a very resourceful bio material. In addition to its wide availability, its strength, low cost, ability to be used without modification and sustainability makes wood highly preferable in construction.

Many a time you will come across a piece of wood that is just the right size for your work, however, the wood is soft, old or decayed which makes it difficult to cut and curve.

Notwithstanding using a wood router to achieve precise cuts (see the purpose of a wood router), below are some of the ways on how to harden wood so you can work with it properly:

Using Fire Hardening

Fire hardening (2) is the process of eliminating moisture from wood.

It involves heating wood below the charring state and then using a blunt object such a a rock to scrap the wood slightly. This method is more traditional and arguably not very effective.

The below methods are very helpful in hardening wood:

Using A Wood Hardener Such As Minwax

You need to get rid of the parts of the wood that are decayed. The idea here is to isolate the sound part of the wood and harden it. Avoid using any paint or oil, which prevents absorption. Follow these steps:

  1. Dry the surface of the wood using a hair dryer.
  2. Set the piece of wood on top of a workspace and arm yourself by wearing gloves and safety glasses.
  3. Shake the wood hardener can you are using and pour it on a brush.
  4. Using the brush, smear the wood hardener on the surface of the wood. Make it shiny.
  5. Allow the wood to dry for two hours and then fill any holes with wood fillers.

Using Pentacryl

This method is normally used on wood that is damp and yet to dry, and it can be very expensive depending on how much is used.

Get a container to be used as a soaking pool; it can be the size of a Tupperware container, a kiddie pool, or whatever is needed to hold the wood piece you want to stabilize. Make sure your wood piece fits in the container without touching the sides.

Place wooden stickers at the bottom of the pool so that the wood does not touch the bottom of the container. Pour the pentacryl on the wood, and brush it on the top. You can cover the wood with plastic to prevent it from drying.

Wait for the Pentacryl to soak into the wood. You’ll discover that the wood darkens from the inside out as it absorbs the wood stabilizer.

Keep the wood saturated for three days. For large woods, you can give it a week. If the wood is not well coated, you may repeat the soaking process.

If you find that your wood piece is drying too fast, put it in an area where there’s no direct sunlight.


There are many ways to go about hardening wood. Whichever method you choose, the end result should be much easier to work with to achieve your desired goals.

Leave a Reply