Spalted Maple

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Forum topic by coachmancuso posted 558 days ago 719 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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257 posts in 558 days

558 days ago

I am new and have never worked with spalted maple. I am going to make a band saw box with it what should I know about the wood before I start?

-- Coach Mancuso

10 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13741 posts in 965 days

#1 posted 558 days ago

Can be pretty awesome looking. Other than that it’s just maple. Be sure to post it.

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

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1041 posts in 647 days

#2 posted 558 days ago

I second what monte says. It’s a beautiful wood, we look forward to seeing what you come up with.

View lew's profile


9992 posts in 2382 days

#3 posted 557 days ago

Don’t know if it is true or urban legend but they say the spalting is produced from mold/fungus and some folks have allergic reactions. I don’t take any chances and wear a respirator when turning and sanding it.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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257 posts in 558 days

#4 posted 557 days ago

Lew that is what i heard too. Does anyone know if this is true?

-- Coach Mancuso

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5286 posts in 1225 days

#5 posted 557 days ago

It would be best to have at least a dust mask, it is a fungus. Better safe than sorry on this one.

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2094 posts in 815 days

#6 posted 557 days ago

I have turned a lot of spalted maple and haven’t noticed any particular health issues. When dried, the fungus is dead as a door nail, but I guess the residue could be an issue. The big thing with spalted woods is that they can vary wildly in hardness throughout the piece, especially if the spalting is well advanced. Sometimes beautiful pieces are unusable because the wood is so soft and crumbly. I use a respirator when sawing/sanding; a good idea whether the wood is spalted or not.

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

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14721 posts in 2303 days

#7 posted 557 days ago

Just like hantavirus and allergies; depends on you and your susceptibility.

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

View Picken5's profile


118 posts in 1319 days

#8 posted 557 days ago

I agree with the others—spalted maple can result in some beautiful projects. I’ve heard the same about personal allergies to this. It’s never been an issue for me, but it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

View mbs's profile


1435 posts in 1567 days

#9 posted 557 days ago

Another thing you should know is spalting is in some stage of decay. You may hit a very soft, punky section that isn’t stable at all. I spent 4 hours this weekend cutting out some spalted walnut from a chair seat because it wasn’t hard enough and kept getting damaged. You can help firm the soft areas up with minwax wood hardener. I think turners use super glue but I’m not sure.

Years ago I made a head board and foot board of a bed out of spalted maple. I made the panels first because I wasnt sure what their finished dimension would be since the wood has a tendency to fall a part. Overall, I lost a couple of inches of material and had to make up for it by making bigger rails and stiles. I think I have some pics in my projects.

There are articles on making your own spalted wood. Basically need to bury wood under leaves and mulch in a dark moist environment and let them sit for a while.

Good luck.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View coachmancuso's profile


257 posts in 558 days

#10 posted 557 days ago

Thanks everyone for your help I will give it a try this weekend. I will let everyone know what happens and how the band saw box turns out

-- Coach Mancuso

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