Moldy Wood

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Forum topic by john_md posted 05-10-2009 04:21 PM 1578 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 3431 days

05-10-2009 04:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mold oak logs

Hi folks,

I need some help. A few weeks ago, a big oak tree at church was taken down because the roots had a disease. I was offered to take some of the logs if I wanted them, so we snatched up some pieces and I put them in my shop. The intention was to take them to a mill and see if they would mill them into boards that I could use for some projects. However, two weeks later, I now notice mold starting to grow on the logs.

Are these logs ruined? Are they salvageable? Should I still try to have these logs milled or should I donate them as firewood? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Oak Logs


9 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#1 posted 05-10-2009 05:17 PM

These need to be put into some sun

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3764 days

#2 posted 05-11-2009 03:13 AM

I’m no expert about this stuff but I think a1Jim has a good point. Sun and some air should help. But, maybe you should check around where you have these logs stored and see if any kind of mold is showing up in other places.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3674 days

#3 posted 05-11-2009 06:31 AM

I was told by a miller here in WA that mold is common on drying wood. He said to just wipe it off, I think I would use a fungicide just to be sure.

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

View JuniorJoiner's profile


486 posts in 3438 days

#4 posted 05-11-2009 06:41 AM

paint over it, then use a drawknife and get that bark off.
if you mill it soon the moisture will have more surface are to escape,should take care of your problem.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Miket's profile


308 posts in 3770 days

#5 posted 05-11-2009 06:43 AM

Wipe on some bleach.

Then wax the ends. It will seal it and also prevent it from checking.

-- It's better to have people think you're stupid rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

View saw4fun's profile


176 posts in 3338 days

#6 posted 05-11-2009 03:49 PM

Bleach would be better than fungicide as it won’t be as harmful if one of these turns into a cutting board. Are these long enough to mill? If they are, the sooner the better. Good luck!

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3363 days

#7 posted 05-11-2009 04:07 PM

It’s a very common occurrence. The Mold is a natural reaction especially in dying wood, rot, incipient decay…ect
It will however lead to Sap Stain a discoloration in the ring of sapwood around the heartwood. To prevent the sap stain (sun will accelerate the process and check the ends unless you seal these with wax, which will also keep the moisture in so….) you should probably get these milled and stickered up for air drying. The mold will not effect the heartwood, which is the part most people want to use. From what I can see the bigger chunks have some decay issues, the dark circle of wood and mold in the heartwood suggests rot. So you will have to weigh the cost of milling the bigger ones for some questionable wood. I’d slice up the small ones for fun and use the bigger ones for firewood. Other than that don’t be concerned about the mold at all.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3674 days

#8 posted 05-12-2009 03:02 AM

Why not fungicide?

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

View LesB's profile


1726 posts in 3441 days

#9 posted 05-12-2009 07:58 AM

Household bleach (diluted 50%) will take care of the mold with no toxic residue but if you don’t seal the ends with a wax sealer or they will split. If they haven’ started already. Exposure to sun will accelerate that splitting so keep them in a cool dry place. Unless you intend to cut them soon I would leave the bark on. I doubt a mill will want to work with anything less than 6 to 8 feet long. Maybe a chain saw will work for you on those short pieces.

Do you know what type of oak it is there are lots of varieties. Some dry well others tend to warp; live oak is one is one that twists, and warps. Some oak has open grain, like “red oak”, and some are are closed grain like “white oak”. Closed grain oak turns well on a lathe, and makes great cutting boards; all possible applications for those short sections you have.

Do you have any idea what you might use the wood for. Good to know before you cut it. If all else fails you have some great firewood (-;

-- Les B, Oregon

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