Is this Sap? Any advice on removing it?

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Forum topic by Jacob Lucas posted 09-29-2011 07:58 AM 1419 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jacob Lucas

100 posts in 1855 days

09-29-2011 07:58 AM

I apologize for my ignorance in advance, but does this look like Sap or pitch? It goes all the way through the slab, and its next to what seems to be some insect holes which also go all the way through the slab. If this is sap, should I try and find a kiln and let it sit at 160 degrees for a few days? or are there other methods to remove this? I have sanded, and it doesn’t help at all.

9 replies so far

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 2718 days

#1 posted 09-29-2011 02:26 PM

After doing the crime scene investigation,
it looks like someone may have set a messy bottle of chainsaw oil or 2 cycle engine oil on the slab.
It is very rectangular in shape, and being an end grain slab, it would have sucked up the oil in the same pattern.
Sap or pith would be more of a dispersed pattern.
Not sure how to fix that : )

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2073 days

#2 posted 09-29-2011 02:59 PM

I would attempt to put some baking soda on there with a little water and let it dry completely then scrape it off. if its oil some of it should be pulled up…works on stone counter tops i don’t see why it wouldn’t work here…but just to be safe i would try it on some scrap wood to make sure it doesn’t make it worse.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4408 posts in 3384 days

#3 posted 09-29-2011 06:07 PM

Acetone or lacquer thinner will dilute the oil (if that is what it is). May take several applications and then a “wash” over a bigger area to even out the blotch.


View Jacob Lucas's profile

Jacob Lucas

100 posts in 1855 days

#4 posted 09-29-2011 06:31 PM

Bill, I’ve tried rubbing the spot with Mineral spirits and found no change in the way it looked, I need to get a better picture of it because the spot looks a drop of water hitting a windshield.. it comes to fine points. I’ve even tried sanding it wet with Mineral spirits, it’s just wierd because when the slab was milled it was rough of course, and the spot wasn’t really noticeable until I sanded it down. I would think if someone had set an oily container on top that you would be able to see it pretty easily even on top of the mill marks.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2381 days

#5 posted 09-29-2011 06:57 PM

I couldn’t imagine any liquid getting all the way thru the wood in such a manner, I would bet it is just an anomoly (sp?) of the wood, probably a stain from the bugs’ activities. You didn’t mention which type of wood it is, but if it is maple or cherry then I would gamble a bit more. Its getting more pronounced as the wood dries makes sense. Sap or pitch may be present in cherry, but not maple, and would be in blobs or chunks more so than a stain like look.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Jacob Lucas's profile

Jacob Lucas

100 posts in 1855 days

#6 posted 09-29-2011 07:29 PM

Sorry about not mentioning the species, I’ve been working with it so much I think everyone can tell what it is through a crappy cell phone picture ahaa, Its Mesquite

View childress's profile


841 posts in 2965 days

#7 posted 09-29-2011 09:30 PM

There are no resin canals in hardwoods, so there is no resin (pitch) in them. Only a few varieties of softwoods have that…. And since it’s in the heartwood, it’s not sap. Sap conductivity is only prevalent in the sapwood, hence its name. This might be some sorta gum duct, but I’m not an expert with mesquite. Also, mineral spirits is pretty weak, try acetone.

What are you using the slab for?

-- Childress Woodworks

View Jacob Lucas's profile

Jacob Lucas

100 posts in 1855 days

#8 posted 10-02-2011 05:35 AM

So I tried the Acetone, still nothing. Ugh! Any other ideas? Im starting to think it has something to do with the bugs also Nomad.

View EPJartisan's profile


1116 posts in 2549 days

#9 posted 10-05-2011 04:19 AM

I’d need a close up picture, but it looks like a rot or fungus because it follows the growth rings.

-- " '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."

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