LumberJocks

Help! No clue what to do with my maple planks

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by imakeglass posted 03-03-2014 03:03 AM 1200 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View imakeglass's profile

imakeglass

4 posts in 1013 days


03-03-2014 03:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: maple spalting lumber drying rot thick maple

Hello all,
I recently purchased four 3” thick maple planks with the intention of making a dining room table. I was looking for as funky and weird a grain as possible, so I ended up with these planks, some of them are decaying/rotting in a way. When I join the wood, I want the surface to be as smooth as possible, but it seems like some of the rotting parts are pulling away from the wood. I have attached pictures to show you.

Is this normal? Will I just mill this back down when they’re dry? Should I be doing anything to prevent this?

Thanks a lot


16 replies so far

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1699 posts in 1422 days


#1 posted 03-03-2014 03:51 AM

Those look like bark inclusions. You could try stabilizing them, or use a thinned CA glue and then a stabilizer. Or, you could do a dyed epoxy fill and be totally set. Some copper powder mixed with a two part epoxy could look really sweet if strategically placed…

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1699 posts in 1422 days


#2 posted 03-03-2014 03:52 AM

Those are beautiful slabs by the way!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View imakeglass's profile

imakeglass

4 posts in 1013 days


#3 posted 03-03-2014 04:11 AM

Thanks! I’m really excited to use them!

I’m afraid I don’t really know how to do any of those things :s. I looked into using some kind of matte epoxy, but I’ve never like the really thick epoxy – I’m afraid with how much its crumbling that it would end up being a really thick epoxy coating. What would copper powder do?

Also, what do stabilizers do? Would I sand it or plane it and then use a stabilizer?

Thanks

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

695 posts in 3559 days


#4 posted 03-03-2014 04:14 AM

+1 for Richard, times two, they are nice planks.

I would fill with epoxy. The bark in the pics will dry at a faster rate then the surrounding wood. It is less dense. Let it dry and machine, then deal with it.

-- Nicky

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1188 days


#5 posted 03-03-2014 05:25 AM

The epoxy wouldn’t be thick on the surface, but rather down into the wood to hold everything together where the inclusions are. With a crystal clear epoxy the inclusions would still be quite visible, with something dyed or colored in any way you would only get the shape of the opening on the surface after the face is flattened.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2425 days


#6 posted 03-03-2014 11:44 PM

I cut maple like that quite often, you will definitely want to let the acclimate to your home for at least a couple of months as the wild grain will move with moisture change. The bark should all be picked out, or if you have a media blaster you can use ground corn husks or ground walnut shells to make it easier. Harbor freight has a decent one fairly reasonably priced. That wood will look absolutely gorgeous, take your time and you will be rewarded. Check out and study different fillers, they have differences and you may find just what you want with a little snooping around. Best of luck.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

22045 posts in 1805 days


#7 posted 03-04-2014 12:25 AM

I am an epoxy person. Join those bad boys sand them down and pour it with epoxy. It would look awesome.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View imakeglass's profile

imakeglass

4 posts in 1013 days


#8 posted 03-04-2014 12:32 AM

So as I understand it:

Let them dry out first for a while. After they’re dry, plane it flat and pick out the bark and fill it somehow – does anyone know a good filler? Then sand it down completely smooth, stain it (wanted it a kind of golden colour), and then epoxy it. I like the matte epoxies quite a lot.

Does that sound right?

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1188 days


#9 posted 03-04-2014 02:46 AM

If you’re looking to still have the bark inclusions visible, you can use the epoxy as a filler, just pour it in until level with the top. After it dries, it can be a little tough to work, sanding must be done carefully to keep it from melting as it has basically become plastic. You could stain it before or after filling if you go the epoxy route, before might be better as what wood under the surface and around the bark would be stain would color that wood to the same as the surface.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2425 days


#10 posted 03-04-2014 06:02 PM

For what it’s worth, you may want to try a test patch of your clear finish first, this wood will absolutely pop with tones of gold that are not visible now. Epoxy fillers are nice, they tend to be nice and clear (easier to get if it is warmed a little after mixing to get the bubbles to go away) once cured.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#11 posted 03-05-2014 01:29 AM

I have filled voids in wood with Z-Poxy I get at the local hobby shop. It is quite thin and will not give you bubbles in it.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#12 posted 03-05-2014 02:27 AM

Is this wood freshly cut? If so, allow 3-4 years for it to dry before doing your thing or you may have to do repairs later on. The wood sure looks pretty alright; take your time with it.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View willie's profile

willie

533 posts in 1921 days


#13 posted 03-05-2014 03:26 AM

I fill voids with polyester resin meant for fiberglass. I have filled large and small voids both with and across the grain and have never had a problem. It is clear enough to let you see into the void and flexible enough to move with the wood without separating. I have not tried using anything to color it or added any powders but don’t see why they wouldn’t work with this.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View imakeglass's profile

imakeglass

4 posts in 1013 days


#14 posted 03-05-2014 03:47 AM

3-4 years?? It was cut down a year ago, but wasn’t cut into the planks until 3 weeks ago.

Should I pay someone to kiln dry it? It’s cracking a little right now, but would that cause it to crack like crazy? Can they be filled?

Thanks everyone for all your help btw.

View FellingStudio's profile

FellingStudio

93 posts in 1150 days


#15 posted 03-05-2014 04:39 PM

The rule of thumb with respect to drying lumber is 1 year per inch of thickness when air drying. Your year starts at the point when the board was milled. Storing your lumber in a heated space can speed up that process, but not as much as kiln drying the lumber.

So, if you want to work on this project any time soon, you will need to haul that lumber off to somebody with a kiln.

That cracking that you are seeing right now … expect more as the lumber dries. The faster you push the process, the more the lumber is likely to crack. Part of the skill in operating a kiln is to know how fast/slow to dry lumber to minimize cracks. I would not expect a kiln operator to give you any guarantees by the way.

-- Jesse Felling - http://www.fellingstudio.com

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com