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Spalters Inc. #8: fast-extracted xylindein

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Blog entry by Sodabowski posted 904 days ago 1276 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: First (preliminary) determination of decay temperature of Xylindein Part 8 of Spalters Inc. series Part 9: STM vs xylindein: STM WINS! »

Hi guys,

So in an effort to gear up my lab stuff, I recently bought a cheap peristaltic pump on ebay to help extract xylindein faster. Relying on gravity sure works, but it’s damn slow. So I filled up a funnel with xylindein-stained sawdust, connected the output to the pump, set the other end of the pump above the funnel for a closed-loop circuit of sorts, dropped enough acetone to soak all the sawdust, and fired the pump for a few minutes. Wow, I gotta tell you, this modus operandi is waay faster than the “wait for it” approach. In a matter of minutes, the acetone was saturated with xylindein, so much so that I had to pump it out into a vial and add fresh acetone to the funnel to continue extracting the pigment. Despite that, the sawdust still remains very green, and it will be good to go for another cycle after it has been very finely ground. I don’t have a proper mortar and pestle at the moment, so that will wait.

So there you have it, a better view of what the color of the stains made by Chlorociboria look like in the raw.

Next up: put a few drops of it into an AFM, a few other drops into a transmission spectrometer, and make science with it \m/

Hope you enjoy :) Cheers!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!



13 comments so far

View dspahn's profile

dspahn

84 posts in 965 days


#1 posted 904 days ago

Are you attempting to do man-made spalting or something? If so, cool!

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2001 posts in 1417 days


#2 posted 904 days ago

Not really, in fact I’m studying several properties of that fungus-made stain to better understand how some woodworking techniques can affect its color. Dr Spalting is the one studying it in detail, and I gotta tell you she rules the man-made spalting world!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10254 posts in 1591 days


#3 posted 904 days ago

I was just wondering how your experiment is goin. I love this blog. Keep us posted Soda, i wanna see you make some green wood …. or somethin like that.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1531 posts in 1572 days


#4 posted 904 days ago

Nice work.
I really enjoy this series.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1464 posts in 2046 days


#5 posted 903 days ago

Natural stains to dye wood for pens??? humm…...... I am looking forward to hearing what you do with this process.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2001 posts in 1417 days


#6 posted 903 days ago

@Ken: well, even though I thought about using the extracted xylindein to stain a pen after it’s been turned (the next one will probably be that kind of experiment), I’m not sure the color would be very interesting, plus you still have to use acetone to extract and inject the stain in the wood, which is not really eco-responsible in my book… I mainly want to assess very precisely the temperature at which that stain vanishes to determine the exact process to hot-bend bandings made with that wood without losing the color. I’m thinking guitars here… ;)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View dspahn's profile

dspahn

84 posts in 965 days


#7 posted 903 days ago

So I just read the entire blog series, and I am profoundly entertained, both by your methods and results, and by the clear passion you have for what you’re doing.

I apologise in advance for what may be a stupid question, and while I have a pretty analytical mind, I’m no scientist. Regarding discoloration at temperatures exceeding 90 celsius, does this hold true for the xylindein once it’s been extracted? In other words, if you were to heat the “vial” shown in the picture above to 90 or more, would the color change?

Very cool blog. Can’t wait for the next installment. :)

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2001 posts in 1417 days


#8 posted 903 days ago

Nah, that’s a good one. I won’t try heating it in the acetone, for quite obvious reasons :P but I can sure let the acetone evaporate and then heat the deposited xylindein. In fact, I plan to do both methods when I will have the time to do it at the university lab: heating it in the raw, within a chip’o’wood, and by evaporating the pure extracted pigment. What I can tell you at this point is that acetone attacks xylindein on the medium run (over the course of a few days) and turns it brown. Probably one of the two methyl groups in the xylindein molecule that switch with a cetone group. Dunno, will have to experiment and spectro-probe it.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View dspahn's profile

dspahn

84 posts in 965 days


#9 posted 903 days ago

Ahh, yes. Wouldn’t want any “Jump in the fire” incidents, now would we? ;)

I wonder if any other alcohol groups might have some success in extracting the xylindein: alkanes, alkenes, etc.? (It’s been many, many years since my high school organic chemistry class.) And I’m not sure why you’d even want to experiment with this, except maybe to try to find one that doesn’t attack the xylindein… Or maybe to find one that has a higher combustion temperature.

Feel free to ignore my out-loud thinking. ;)

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2001 posts in 1417 days


#10 posted 903 days ago

Out-loud thinking is a great way to go further! I didn’t have any luck with ethanol, maybe other alcoohols would work. Toluene works for sure, but it’s not really safe either!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View DrSpalting's profile

DrSpalting

1 post in 901 days


#11 posted 901 days ago

Well I’m super geeked. I did a lot of acetone extraction on spated wood several years ago. Chlorociboria was always by far the most rapid.

Keep up the neat work!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9413 posts in 1674 days


#12 posted 893 days ago

Thomas you are wonderful – nothing less!
It looks stunning, I would like to also use ice and vodka, and then you could play that guitar for us.
Hope life is showing it’s shiny side.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10254 posts in 1591 days


#13 posted 858 days ago

im in with mads on the vodka ice and guitar thing … dsphan excellent metallica reference.

Im read back through it again and sometimes i wish i had a scientific brain because your journey here was awesome.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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