spalted walnut

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Forum topic by wlojr posted 06-11-2012 11:44 PM 4173 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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68 posts in 2392 days

06-11-2012 11:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: walnut spalted lumber

I have a piece of spalted walnut, I have never worked with this kind of thing on the wood, one side has some missing, what do i need to do to stabalize this, should I plane this board, it is close to 1” thick and what kind of project should I use this for?

12 replies so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3162 days

#1 posted 06-12-2012 01:05 AM

I have had pretty good luck with the Minwax wood hardener for this kind of thing.. 1” is kind of thick for a lot of things but I’d be hesitant to resaw it.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View wlojr's profile


68 posts in 2392 days

#2 posted 06-12-2012 09:37 PM

Hi Lis, can you plane the wood after you use this hardener?

View BenI's profile


333 posts in 2354 days

#3 posted 06-13-2012 01:55 AM

For my last project there was a decent sized hole from a missing knot. Wouldn’t have mattered much except I needed a screw to go into the board thru that void. I ended up using regular epoxy since it was on a side that wasn’t going to show and didn’t matter if it was obviously not wood.

As far as planing after using it, just my opinion but I somewhat doubt that you’d be able to because it seems to cure much harder than the wood around it.

I remember reading somewhere that people have added charcoal dust to the epoxy and it gives it a (in their words) jet black look that enhances the knot.

Hopefully my rambling will be of some use to you. Good luck with the fix and planning for a project.

-- Ben from IL

View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3301 days

#4 posted 06-13-2012 03:26 PM

I have never seen spalting in walnut before. How cool. Is it really that much softer than the rest of the board. With Maple, there is not much difference between them, but in dogwood there is a lot and the spalted areas can be chipped out with a finger nail.. I guess I have nothing to give for advice, other than decide how workable the spalted area is and how much you have to work it. Myself… if it was remotely close to the same hardness as the rest of the board, I would re-saw and edge glue to make a panel, or make a great box of some kind and stabilize it prior to finishing. Yet if it was my board… i would hold on to the thing for the next 10 years in the ever growing “unusual woods” collection of my workshop. LOL

-- " '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."

View wlojr's profile


68 posts in 2392 days

#5 posted 06-14-2012 12:12 AM

it seems about as hard as the rest but it is missing a chunk where it is dark part is

View clrcopy's profile


43 posts in 2268 days

#6 posted 12-06-2012 01:40 AM

Saw this when I googled walnut bark. I have some pieces I picked up and have never seen anything like it, nor can I find anything online. It’s walnut, and it looks as if the bark was planed down to create this cool pattern. Most of it is almost as hard as the wood itself. I quickly sprayed urethane over the one piece that is darker to see how it would look and WOW. My thoughts are to make a jewelry box lid out of it and the rest being just walnut. I did plane the edges and cut it down to the size I want with no flaking or other issues.

Any ideas of what I need to do to protect it from possibly falling apart in the long run? I’ve seen a few things, but just wondering if anyone has seen this and worked with it before.

Thanks in advance for any help :)

-- Doug Rowan, am I working the wood or is the wood working me!

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3753 days

#7 posted 12-06-2012 01:52 AM

It seems I heard Charles Neil say he soaked wood in his blotch control for a couple days and then let it dry . after that the wood was harder and easier to work with out it blowing up or tearing out. I’m sure he would answer if you asked him directly

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View clrcopy's profile


43 posts in 2268 days

#8 posted 12-06-2012 02:07 AM

Cool, thanks for the info. Funny thing is the bark is about as tough as the wood. Some of the edges are a bit soft, but I’m trimming most of those off, and the main parts are tough. Planed, and table sawed just fine. Just want to make sure as it’s for an indoor project that maybe it might change. I do think this wood has been cut for years. The guy that I got it from has had it in his building for over 5 years, and he bought the place from a woodworker. So who knows how long it’s been cut. I have about 30 board foot of it all in total.

the design is amazing, doesn’t show as much in the photo as it looks in person. The coated piece really pops, even though I just did a quickie on it.

Thanks again!

-- Doug Rowan, am I working the wood or is the wood working me!

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2462 days

#9 posted 12-06-2012 02:13 AM

I just cut up some spalted maple for a glue-up. I’m going to turn it into a clock blank for one of my projects. I added a board of red oak and walnut top and bottom with 4 3/4 spalted maple pieces in the middle.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View clrcopy's profile


43 posts in 2268 days

#10 posted 12-06-2012 02:17 AM

I LOVE spalted wood. Funny story when I first started, I was buying a bunch of poplar from a guy and he threw in about 100 bd ft of this poplar that was all purple, black lines, etc, said it was moldy and bad, but if I wanted it, I could have it. I didn’t know what spalted was, I took it because I thought it looked cool and I could make some smaller boxes, etc out of it. Anyhow, I get home and start googling it, and come to find out it was called spalted, and it was worth way more than regular wood, lol. It had a really bright purple color to it, with really good lines. I’ve only run across that color one other time and it wasn’t near as vivid.

-- Doug Rowan, am I working the wood or is the wood working me!

View WDHLT15's profile


1786 posts in 2652 days

#11 posted 12-07-2012 04:02 AM

My experience is that spalted walnut is 1” away from rot. It does not spalt well like maple, sycamore, and beech.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3913 days

#12 posted 12-07-2012 04:30 AM

There are very liquid epoxy products on the market that will take care of your spalted walnut. You mix in a catalyst and just apply it on it. Keep letting it soak in until it begins to puddle up. Let it soak in more and keep doing it until it won’t take any more. It will truly stabilize the wood so it can be workable.
One thing for sure is you need to actually build up the strength of the spalted area or it will basically dissolve like sawdust.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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