Spalted Maple

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Forum topic by woodbutcherbynight posted 02-19-2013 03:59 AM 1399 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4827 posts in 2432 days

02-19-2013 03:59 AM

Someone gave me 4 sticks of spalted maple some time long ago…... Present day I am looking at it wondering how it might look as a pen. My issue is that this is a lightweight and soft wood. To get an idea of how soft I made two pen blanks, one of this spalted maple and one from cheap white wood #2 from the box. The white wood turns better, much better. If you so much as breathe with sandpaper in your hand, 800 grit, it comes off like I used a chainsaw it sheds worse than a long haired dog in summer. Anyone ever used this with any decent results? I even tried to glue some harder wood alongside and turn that, terrible vibrations as the harder wood touched blade. As I have zero money invested other than my precious time I hav no issue using this as starter for the next bonfire but on the off chance it is usable, HOW and for what? (other than firewood)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

6 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4758 posts in 2375 days

#1 posted 02-19-2013 05:30 AM

You’ve got to stabilize it first.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3198 days

#2 posted 02-19-2013 10:32 AM

Use super glue. the thin stuff and soak it good before turning it.

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2158 days

#3 posted 02-19-2013 02:27 PM

I have turned several spalted wood pens and can say not all spalted wood worth the effort. Definitely need sharp tools and light touch while turning spalted wood. Having said that many people apply CA glue as they turn. I have used CA glue & saw dust to fill chip that fell out while turning.

Spalted wood reaches a point where only way to really turn it is stabilizing it or send it off for stabilization. For more info on stabilizing check out library at:

They sell wood hardener products have never used due to cost and not sure how affective they are. Think stabilizing better op, but if interested check out Minwax Wood Hardener or stuff called PC Products Wood Repair sold at lot of big box stores.

-- Bill

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2272 days

#4 posted 02-19-2013 03:21 PM

Here is a rifle cartridge pen I used spalted maple for. Finished with CA. I think it looks pretty nice


View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2212 days

#5 posted 02-19-2013 07:25 PM

I think the trick with spalted wood is to only use wood where the spalting process hasn’t got to the stage where the wood is too soft. I have tried using wood that had really soft parts to it and usually regretted it.

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

View ghost5's profile


302 posts in 1955 days

#6 posted 02-19-2013 11:57 PM

I have a bunch of spalted maple here and i used Wood juice to stabilize it before working it. I stopped trying to turn it and just use it for flatwork and inlay now.

-- Tommy,

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