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old maple and zinc compatibility

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Forum topic by kblagrandeur posted 09-26-2014 12:49 AM 971 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kblagrandeur

6 posts in 807 days


09-26-2014 12:49 AM

Topic tags/keywords: maple zinc metal ph compatible wood hardwood compatibility rustic modern question

Hi all, am planning to cover a 1930s Maple table top with zinc, but want to be sure the two are compatible (that the zinc won’t corrode). I can’t find anywhere if they are, or what the PH is for maple. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.


16 replies so far

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Dark_Lightning

2635 posts in 2577 days


#1 posted 09-26-2014 02:01 AM

What do you mean? How is the zinc applied? I can only picture galvanized sheet metal or chain link fence for examples of zinc.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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kblagrandeur

6 posts in 807 days


#2 posted 09-26-2014 11:12 AM

I plan on using sheet zinc (Mil Spec A-18001K alloy) applied with an adhesive. Zinc distributor told me that some woods are not compatible, but that he wasn’t sure about maple. I did some research and found that zinc is not compatible with wood that has a PH less than 5.

I don’t know the PH of maple, or if the PH of an old maple table is different than new wood.

I attached a picture of an example table.

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mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#3 posted 09-26-2014 11:22 AM

I would think it doesn’t matter since the adhesive (assume it is contact cement) will provide a barrier between the wood and zinc.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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kblagrandeur

6 posts in 807 days


#4 posted 09-26-2014 11:26 AM

Yeah, exactly what I thought, but the distributor says there’s still a corrosion risk with incompatible wood.

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mahdee

3555 posts in 1235 days


#5 posted 09-26-2014 12:33 PM

I doubt it. I can see if it was oak or walnut and the table was made for outdoors but regular humidity indoors won’t bother it especially since the entire furniture wood content is sealed; no interaction occur. He probably thought you are going to nail it directly on top.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1764 days


#6 posted 09-26-2014 12:37 PM

I’d remove the maple and replace it with plywood. Save the distressed maple for another project.

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crank49

3981 posts in 2439 days


#7 posted 09-26-2014 12:50 PM


I d remove the maple and replace it with plywood. Save the distressed maple for another project.

- dhazelton


That sounds like a good plan to me.

But, I doubt the old Maple would hurt the zinc either. I saw this on a comment on another forum.
“As a rule of thumb, the lighter-colored the wood, the lower the tannin content. Oak, walnut, cherry, and mahogany, have higher tannin levels, while maple, birch, and aspen rank low in tannin content and acidity.”

Fresh Red Oak would be an example of a wood I would expect to eat the zinc.
I’ve seen how it corrodes nails in barn wood.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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kblagrandeur

6 posts in 807 days


#8 posted 09-26-2014 04:21 PM

Thanks, all, for the feedback! Table will be indoors (picture was just an example of a zinc-topped table) and is solid maple.

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2285 days


#9 posted 09-26-2014 06:03 PM

Not sure about maple wood, but google reveals that maple syrup has a pH of about 5.15 and sap has a pH 6-7.3. These may not reflect the actual numbers for the wood, but suggest to me that it’s unlikely that the wood is more than slightly acidic.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#10 posted 09-27-2014 08:06 AM

If you could get enough of the wood to soak it in water for a few days to create a liquid solution of suitable strength, you could place it on a piece of ziinc and see if there is any reaction. I think a large puddle of water on a piece of zinc plate would be enough with careful observation. I’m no chemist, but I believe if it is acidic, it will give off tiny hydrogen bubbles.

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

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mrg

659 posts in 2467 days


#11 posted 09-27-2014 02:16 PM

Here is a PDF that may help you decipher if zinc is going to corrode. A quick read shows that the Ph balance drops in wood as it dries. Also check the library for the Encyclopedia of Corrosion Technology.

-- mrg

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kblagrandeur

6 posts in 807 days


#12 posted 09-27-2014 08:36 PM

Thank you for the thoughtful responses!

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EPJartisan

1116 posts in 2593 days


#13 posted 09-28-2014 05:08 PM

This made for a fun sunday morning quick research.. what is the PH of maple wood.

The Iranian Maple is 4.2.
Found that Sugar maple requires a soil ph of 5.5-6.8 for best health… and maple sugar has a PH between 4.8-5.5.

Found a great research article CORROSION OF METALS BY WOOD but it does not include the ph of maple.
and here is a article with a section all a bout Zinc: “Corrosion of Metals in Wood Products”.. but no mention of maple.

Ahh and now my brain hurts a bit…. hope this helps.. I found it very enlightening. thanks for the question.

-- " '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."

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EPJartisan

1116 posts in 2593 days


#14 posted 09-28-2014 05:09 PM

oops sorry for the repeat there, mrg :)

-- " '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."

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kblagrandeur

6 posts in 807 days


#15 posted 09-28-2014 07:52 PM

Thanks for taking the time to research! I found some additional references, and combined with everyone’s input, it seems that the project has a fairly low risk, at least as far as corrosion is concerned. Never covered a table with zinc before, so there are definitely other risks :)

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