spalting kiln dried lumber

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Forum topic by bent posted 07-25-2010 04:28 PM 1798 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bent's profile


311 posts in 3875 days

07-25-2010 04:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: trick tip

i’ve read articles about people intentionally spalting green wood. i tried an expirement to see if i could get spalting to occour on some kiln dried soft maple that i had. i found a trick that sort of worked. the two pieces in the picture are the result i got. what i did was to seal the wood in a ziploc(airtight) bag with a piece of stale bread and about a half cup of king cobra malt liqour. i don’t know if the brand of beer makes much difference, but it was the cheapest i could find and didn’t want to feel guilty about wasting any good beer. i left the bag under a storage shed in my backyard (humid and dark). i let it set about 3 months. the spalting penetrated about 1/8 into each side of the wood. i ran the 2 pieces through a couple of passes on my jointer to clean them up before i took the pictures, it was much more dramatic on the original surface. for what it’s worth, we’ve had a very hot and wet summer this year, i’m sure that helped the process.

4 replies so far

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 3902 days

#1 posted 07-25-2010 05:10 PM

very nice looking, I wonder if you left it ther longer, would it go depper in to the board. Chuck

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View Ole's profile


67 posts in 3282 days

#2 posted 07-25-2010 05:36 PM

That’s pretty cool. I am not too versed on all the details of spalting. I was under the impression that part of the process is that the kiln drying kills off the fungus. If you don’t do this, does that mean the board will “rot”?

View Hayabusa's profile


173 posts in 3086 days

#3 posted 07-25-2010 05:45 PM

Pretty good, spalted timber has seduced me and I wish if I could get some

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3164 days

#4 posted 07-26-2010 11:08 PM

Spalting is a fungal process which happens quite easily when conditions are right; warm, wet, and low to no air flow. Kiln drying will stop the process as it takes away the wetness, but the fungus remains; given the chance it will leave dormancy and pop up again. From what I have learned with maple is that there are 3 fungi involved; the first colors the wood but doesn’t degrade it, the second can only propagate after the first has had its way, and it degrades the wood to a point, and the third (white wood rot) totally breaks it down to a pithy substance. The first doesn’t much like the other two moving in on its territory and puts up a defensive wall (seen as black lines) but it only lasts so long. Air drying wood without stickers will spalt the snot out of it quick-like. Last, spalting is really just a nice term for rotting so you need to take it easy if you try. Looks like your test worked very well, I hope any bugs in there caught a nice buzz!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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