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Hints and Tips #13: Spalted Log Breakdown

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 09-30-2015 07:34 PM 5808 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: DIY Bench Cookies Part 13 of Hints and Tips series Part 14: KISS System Dust Collector »

This is a 2 foot section of a 12 foot long branch which I dragged off our bank this week. I speculated that if it wasn’t too rotten that it would have some spalted wood in it. After cutting it in half on my band saw, I discovered I was right.

[Below] I screwed the half log onto a board with an edge overhanging the board. More imortantly one edge of the board was clear of the log as well. This is so that the board will be flat to the table saw and the edge of the board will run along the fence. Be careful to not put your screws in line with the blade.

[Below] I did this progressively until I had a flat edge on the log. Then I screwed the board onto that newly flattened face and repeated the procedure until I had 2 perpendicular flat faces. I started the blade low and raised it up with each pass at the same fence setting. Either way this is not for the feint at heart.

[Below] Once that was done, I just re-sawed the piece until i had nothing left. I made these rips at a little more than 1/4 inch thick. I have a project in mind for them and they don’t need to be that strong.

[Fun Fact] ‘Spalted’ is not recognized by my spell checker.

[Fun Fact II] The Esperanto word for ‘spalted’ is ’belputra’ (behl-POO-trah) which means ‘beauty-rotted’.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!



9 comments so far

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7934 posts in 1847 days


#1 posted 09-30-2015 07:41 PM

There is something very satisfying about making things from your own milled lumber.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

4881 posts in 2134 days


#2 posted 09-30-2015 07:48 PM

Always a interesting surprize when cutting one of these apart and it looks like you got some nice spalting in this one .

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5733 posts in 2835 days


#3 posted 09-30-2015 08:11 PM

Dave, nice breakdown. Do you have a project in mind?

I was wondering, don’t you have wear some kind of breathing protection when cutting spalted wood.
Or am I all wet?

“Spalted” is in my tablets dictionary!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1655 days


#4 posted 09-30-2015 08:23 PM

Dave, nice breakdown. Do you have a project in mind?

I was wondering, don t you have wear some kind of breathing protection when cutting spalted wood.
Or am I all wet?

“Spalted” is in my tablets dictionary!

- oldnovice

I wore a dust mask during this. I’s the best thing I have other than a T-shirt over the nose. I also have a jerry rigged dust collector going .

I do have a project in mind, a small lidded box for my daughter for Christmas. (Shh. secret!)

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5733 posts in 2835 days


#5 posted 09-30-2015 11:37 PM

I think a spalted maple top would make a gorgeous box.

By the way, what is your daughters email as I have a secret?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1435 posts in 1655 days


#6 posted 10-01-2015 12:04 AM



I think a spalted maple top would make a gorgeous box.

By the way, what is your daughters email as I have a secret?

- oldnovice

Too bad it’s spalted elm. ;-) There is an old maple tree that someone took down across the road, but I doubt it’s spalted. It stood dead for about 2-3 years. Spalted wood is usually on the ground covered with leaves.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View ForestGrl's profile

ForestGrl

445 posts in 553 days


#7 posted 10-01-2015 02:50 AM


Dave, nice breakdown. Do you have a project in mind?

I was wondering, don t you have wear some kind of breathing protection when cutting spalted wood.
Or am I all wet?

“Spalted” is in my tablets dictionary!

- oldnovice

Always a good idea to wear a dust mask or respirator. Also, some people’s skin may be sensitive to the spalting organisms. For example :-)—tonight, the skin on either side of my neck was hot and itchy. I remember now, I was wearing a fleece vest zipped up to my chin—said vest having fine sawdust in it from when I forgot to take it off while turning a spalted maple bowl last week. Ooooops!!

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

View ForestGrl's profile

ForestGrl

445 posts in 553 days


#8 posted 10-01-2015 02:53 AM

Dave, I like the way you cut that down to flat sides. I’m only doing turning these days, but can really use that approach with the branches and small trunks that fall into my lap (so to speak). Especially when I want to spindle-turn them, they need to be square. Love spalted wood! Nice find!

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8759 posts in 1307 days


#9 posted 10-01-2015 04:47 AM

Spalted elm finishes beautifully, Dave. Hubby used it for the handle on this ‘saw’.
Click for details
Esperanto translation is spot on! Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

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