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Any Spalted Maple Experts Out There ?

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Forum topic by MonteCristo posted 06-13-2012 11:43 PM 2410 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MonteCristo

2098 posts in 1650 days


06-13-2012 11:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple spalting

Where I live on Vancouver Island, nice hardwoods are in short supply. There are softwoods galore here but Big Leaf Maple (BLM) is one of the few abundant hardwoods.

BLM can have interestng figure (eg crotches) but the wood isn’t that spectacular, unless it spalts.

But spalting is a dance with the Devil. Let it go too far and the wood is so punky (soft) that it can’t be worked.

Has anyone studied the spalting process and found out what the ideal conditions (as far as us woodworkers go) are for spalting hardwood ? The next time I cut down a BLM I’d like to try and assist the spalting process alsong if I can.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""


9 replies so far

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Dusty56

11806 posts in 3150 days


#1 posted 06-14-2012 12:07 AM

Google….. How to Spalt wood….you’ll get all the info you want and then some : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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MonteCristo

2098 posts in 1650 days


#2 posted 06-14-2012 03:03 AM

Hi Dusty56:

Yes, there is a lot of info when you search. Maybe I should be more specific and ask “Has anyone in the Pacific NW (SW BC, Washington, Oregon) tried to optimize the spalting of Big Leaf Maple ?”.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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Nomad62

726 posts in 2420 days


#3 posted 06-14-2012 03:27 PM

hi MC, I live a little south in NW Oregon, and I’ve sawn up plenty of those trees and have many more laying in wait. You are right about it’s beautiful crotch wood, but I do differ in opinion about the rest of the tree; I have plenty of 30-36” wide slabs that are tiger striped and burled, absolutely gorgeous wood. Air drying now, waiting on my kiln to get going. Anyway, spalting is a three fungi process. The first discolors the wood and opens the door for the second, which can only feed on the leavings of the first; the second fungus feeds and starts to weaken the wood, which irratates the first, which starts laying down a black barrier to try to keep the second away from its food. That is what makes the black lines in the wood when you slice it. The third can then come in and feast away, completely destroying the wood in the process. You can hurry the process along by keeping the wood in a warm, moist environment that has no air circulation; but like you know, you gotta keep an eye on it! A few months in a plastic wrap of some sort will grow the critters fast. Once spalted to your liking, you take and get it dry quickly to stop the process. Not sure of the exact number, but once it’s around 15% mc then the fungi stop. The hog in the pic will be cut up soon, I’ll post pics when I do.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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Dusty56

11806 posts in 3150 days


#4 posted 06-14-2012 07:53 PM

I thought you were looking for the recipe , MC : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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MonteCristo

2098 posts in 1650 days


#5 posted 06-15-2012 02:19 AM

Hi Nomad62:

Thanks for the info ! I should correct my opening remark to say that straight grained BLM is not (to me) that spectacular but you are right about the variants (tiger striped etc). They are really nice.

That’s an impressive chuck of BLM you posted a pix of. Where did you say you live again ? (just kidding)

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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ETHER

5 posts in 1630 days


#6 posted 07-05-2012 06:39 PM

Hi Nomad62

Monte Cristo responded to my Spalted Maple post on where to get the stuff. Do you have any slabs I could purchase?

I have a round table project that requires 6 slabs of the stuff.
I’m looking to achieve a 2” thick top using all 2-sided live edge maple slabs with some spalting (all hard clear maple I prefer, but can be soft/red maple – all 6 should be consistent specie or look like it). The other thing is that we should avoid large areas of the white spongy rot.

Generally this the list of 6 slabs:

2 slabs about 60" long 8-20” width
2 slabs
about 74” long 8-20” width
2 slabs @ about 78” long 8-20” width

I appreciate any help sourcing this stuff!

Thank you!

Michael

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ETHER

5 posts in 1630 days


#7 posted 07-05-2012 06:40 PM

The list again:

2 should be <60><78> long 8-20” width

Somehow the website messes this up for me:(

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ETHER

5 posts in 1630 days


#8 posted 07-05-2012 06:41 PM

2 slabs about 60" long, 8-20” width
2 slabs
about 74” long 8-20” width
2 slabs @ about 78” long 8-20” width

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Nomad62

726 posts in 2420 days


#9 posted 07-05-2012 10:24 PM

Yes, i can do that. Sorry I haven’t responded, been a while since I came on. I’ll PM you.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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