Spalting some Maple

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Blog entry by EPJartisan posted 02-02-2011 09:31 PM 5423 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My parents own a small bit of land near the border between Wisconsin and the UP Michigan. Being on the highest spot in the whole area the land is filled with silver and sugar maple trees, though still an immature forest (only 20 or so years old) with birch, hornbeam, and old basswood slowly being crowded out. The great thing is cutting fire wood from felled trees. My father knows that if I help, a quarter of the wood will be stolen for my shop. Spalted maple is everywhere… as is fiddle back figuring. This last summer, after a firewood trip north. I came back with a ton of fiddle back and spalt. But I decided to see if I can do some of my own spalting into the fiddle back.

Researched a bit on-line and 7 months later I have great mold and fungus growth. I used two already spalted pieces in the bottom of the bin, soaked in water and wet potting soil. Flipping the wood and spraying them down each week. I am going to keep it going for a few more months and I will post the results, but for now it looks promising.

Keep it moist and covered and in the sunlight.

Got some good black coloring going on…

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

2 comments so far

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3134 days

#1 posted 02-02-2011 11:24 PM

Now this is interesting. I want to see the end result. Way to go. Rand

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3901 days

#2 posted 02-04-2011 06:22 PM

Wow, yea this is interesting. I’m really curious how this will turn out and how long the process takes to get spalting all the way through the wood. I would have thought that was something that took years as the tree grew. Maybe not.

Be careful of the mold, that stuff can make you seriously sick. Also, once you are done with the spalting process you will need to let the wood completely cure in a very dry environment. And maybe you already know this but even after the mold completely dries out in cured wood, as soon as it is introduced to the right moisture content it becomes active again (like in your lungs). It never dies, just goes dormant. So working with spalted wood is always a respiratory risk. Just take precautions.

-- Happy woodworking!

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