Apple wood and then a strange fever

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Blog entry by BarryW posted 02-04-2008 06:35 AM 4007 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Yesterday, Ground Hog Day, several friends and I took down three apple trees in 40 degree weather…including one trunk about 24 inches across and five foot long. It should make some excellent heartwood for projects…I guestimate we acquired about 5000 pounds of wood since my little trailer and 4.7 liter Jeep was straining to pull it up the hills west of town.
And then oddly overnight got sicker than a dog…maybe the local hamburger stands “double burger of death” or some odd bug that shot my tempurature up to 103.5…or maybe I was just excited to get so much great wood. A trip to the ER with no results and only perplexed doctors and me…with a slightly elevated white blood cell count. Tonight much much better…and excited to unload the trailer this week and seal the wood ASAP. Any suggestions on treating this apple wood? How to seal it…etc…before bandsawing it?

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

6 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


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#1 posted 02-04-2008 06:39 AM

I have heard that you want to cut it to the size you want, and then stack them with stickers to dry.
If you want to keep some for turning, wax the ends.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3901 days

#2 posted 02-04-2008 11:42 AM

Glad your illness subsided. Looking forward to projects from the harvest.

View DustyNewt's profile


671 posts in 3889 days

#3 posted 02-04-2008 11:53 AM

I don’t have any experience with apple wood, but I would think that sealing the ends, bandsawing it slightly oversized while green, then sticker and stacking oughta do the trick. Mucho trabajo.
Be careful of the local cuisine. “Mad buffalo” meat might be next on the CDC’s list.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View MsDebbieP's profile


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#4 posted 02-04-2008 01:50 PM

illness: scary! Glad you are better.

nice wood

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4233 days

#5 posted 02-04-2008 02:23 PM

Hi Barry;
—-apple wood, what a woodworking treat//feast!

I will sometimes seal the ends of the wood with leftover latex//acrylic paint and then often I just let it go it’s own way. Apple wood is a very hard-wood and so pay attention to your tools, but is also some nice wood to work with. This wood also sands up by machine and then hand real good with plenty of smoothness in it’s sheen….and looks great when finished out in tung oil and #0000 steel wool.

I have made tool handles, mallet heads, sculptures and such also, along with small boards for boxs. I save the wood chips and use for an added smoke flavoring on the grill along with also using in potpourri.

Most of what I get is large trunks and so the wood has become infested with disease or forms of critters and ants….and so I’m wondering if maybe in your sawing there, you might have come into contact with ‘spalted apple wood’? A lot of what I get in apple wood has the bacteria and fungus of spalting all ready working in the wood….bad stuff. So did you in your cutting happen to be breathing these fungus spalts? When working with apple wood or any wood where there is the suspect of spalting I all-ways wear a a mask that covers my face.

As too cutting//sawing on the bandsaw, my experience is to wait until I’m ready to use the piece….and yes, this does give me checking in the wood, but then thats the kind of character I like. If you are wanting to use the wood sooner, you might pay attention to what the other’s have said up above….

Enjoy your day and….,

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4326 days

#6 posted 02-04-2008 02:41 PM

I think Frank may be right about the spalted fungus, you can get it from any species of wood.

( I noticed in the picture that there’s some light colored spalting on one of the logs)

My favorite end sealer is waterproof carpenters glue, I cut it to the size block I want then give it a couple of coats of

the glue, or more, until it leaves a shiny finish. Then store it in a dry place, for a few years.

You can also turn it when it’s green but watch out for the spalted pieces.

I made custom handles on all of my carving tools with apple.

It’s real hard, but I like it for carving things that have fine detail.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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