Diseased Oak or Mold

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Forum topic by LumberJaneLife posted 03-14-2016 09:14 PM 1231 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 768 days

03-14-2016 09:14 PM

Hello all. I need some advice. So, I have been waiting on these rounds for wood carving/burning and have looked forwards to it for months. I received 5 oak rounds two days ago and needless to say I was sourly disappointed. Usually, I have my husband gather wood for me when he has time, I used to do it myself but as a mother it is much more difficult than you think to take a toddler out into the woods (especially because I worry about bears and wild boars). Anyway, this wood I was told is good, but as soon as I smelled it I knew it was rank. I am not sure if it is black mold, because I never knew black mold to have a scent, maybe this is just rot?

Should I use this wood at all? Here is a photo I took with my tablet on one that doesn’t have “as much” of the gunk but you see that brown/black stuff? It is on every round in the same spot and I was curious if this would be dangerous to use or not. They are beautiful minus the spots and smell, I feel so awful, I really want to start carving. Could I maybe cut the pieces with the affected areas off? Or would the wood itself be bad to use?

The person who gave them to me is a friend of the family and I do not have it in me to ask him about this, so I came online seeking answers.

Thank you for your time, please no negative responses as I am here to learn from more experienced wood workers.

9 replies so far

View oldwood's profile


133 posts in 1208 days

#1 posted 03-15-2016 03:19 AM

I am not an expert on mold/fungus but here are my thoughts.
  1. 1 Is it DRY? if not drying will kill the mold or fungus, but therein lies a bigger problem, getting it dry without cracks. I am sure some of the turners will show up with advice on drying. #2 If it is dry, the stuff is probably dead and will sand away. wear a mask just in case. should wear one sanding anyway.
    Dont do much carving but am wondering about carving end grain oak. Look forward to seeing your work.
    Good luck.
View LumberJaneLife's profile


2 posts in 768 days

#2 posted 03-15-2016 08:32 PM

They are still drying a bit, although I know they will crack, I am using these just for practicing designs for now. I am receiving some cedar rounds soon and with those I wanted to try pentacyl out :). Thanks so much for your reply, will wear a mask and see how it goes!

View bonesbr549's profile


1531 posts in 3031 days

#3 posted 03-15-2016 08:38 PM

mix a diluted solution of bleach spritz it, and if it goes away it’s a mold, but i’d not worry about it too much.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18246 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 03-16-2016 06:20 AM

Vinegar would be better, the water in the bleach solution will regenerate the mold.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View MNgary's profile


298 posts in 2381 days

#5 posted 03-16-2016 06:41 AM

Hydrogen peroxide (available at Walmart or any other favorite grocery store or discount big box) will kill the mold.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View tomsteve's profile


771 posts in 1183 days

#6 posted 03-16-2016 04:40 PM

ive heard people describe the smell of red oak as cat urine.
and mold can like freshly cut red oak

View mpounders's profile


873 posts in 2859 days

#7 posted 03-24-2016 03:41 PM

Rounds like you have are difficult to carve or burn, because you you would be carving directly into the end grain of the wood. The end grain is difficult to carve and doesn’t hold details well, for carving or burning. And it has that tendency to crack also. Most pieces for carving or burning that have the bark on are cut from the side of the tree, with the grain running up and down, and bark around the edges. But give it a shot. I think you will like the cedar much better than the oak!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View Cooler's profile


299 posts in 807 days

#8 posted 03-24-2016 04:12 PM

I used vinegar to kill mold on my shower tiles. It took several applications. I would think it would work here too. But wear a mask when You sand off the surface after killing the mold.

-- This post is a hand-crafted natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar should not be viewed as flaws or defects, but rather as an integral characteristic of the creative process.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18246 posts in 3640 days

#9 posted 03-25-2016 04:28 AM

Sanding puts spores in the air. That is why they carefully remove all material on mold jobs. Probably be better to cut it off ?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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