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Purple stains/fungi/major problem HELP!!!

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Forum topic by Jaketheturner posted 03-27-2015 05:06 PM 901 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jaketheturner

3 posts in 619 days


03-27-2015 05:06 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Recently, I had a buddy fall a large walnut tree. I processed it and rough turned about 50 bowls. Another fella gave me a chunk of what may be chestnut. Not a big chunk, enough for 2 bowls. After I turned a bowl, I noticed dark blue/purple staining on my tooling, lathe, and myself, hands mostly. Thought this was weird, but thought little of it. I was in the process of rough turning several bowls, and when I went to seal them, I noticed purple staining forming on all of them. Kind of blotchy, kind of a polkadot effect. These formed after sitting for about 1 hour. I thought maybe my hands were dirty at first, and maybe through my handling of the other bowls I got them dirty. Not the case. I turned off the staining, sealed them with end sealer and went to bed. The next day, almost all of the wood in my shop had these purple stains forming.

What the heck is this?!! Help!!


11 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1597 days


#1 posted 03-27-2015 09:36 PM

Not sure if dealing with fungi spores or tannin stain! A picture would help.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/techline/blue-stain.pdf

-- Bill

View mdennisusa1's profile

mdennisusa1

38 posts in 1615 days


#2 posted 03-27-2015 11:54 PM

The tannin in Oak always turns my hands a purple color when I handle it. More so if it’s green wood. White Oak seems to do it the most. You can’t wash it off afaik but it will wear off in a day or so. I believe it’s harmless.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2152 days


#3 posted 03-27-2015 11:57 PM

Fresh cut walnut always stains my hands and it won’t come off with soap, mineral spirits, or Fast Orange hand cleaner. But it wears off in a few days.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1192 days


#4 posted 03-28-2015 04:26 AM

Get a lemon cut it half, then rub it on your hands. Stain should disappear. You could use bottled lemon juice too.

Can’t help you with the wood, other than let it dry, and hope you have enough thickness to turn it off. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

271 posts in 763 days


#5 posted 03-28-2015 04:53 PM


The next day, almost all of the wood in my shop had these purple stains forming.
- Jaketheturner

That sounds strange. I have had, like others, stains from wood but it always looked more black than purple to me.
By “all of the wood in the shop” are you including woods not handled or just the items you were working with?

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

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Jaketheturner

3 posts in 619 days


#6 posted 03-28-2015 06:28 PM

Items that I was working with. 5 big rounds that I haven’t turned yet.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1597 days


#7 posted 03-28-2015 09:38 PM

I tried to find purple stain on freshly cut Chestnut & Walnut and could not find any information, did see several pictures of blue stain on Pine! Not uncommon to see blue or black staining on wood where I live at certain times of the year or as logs on the ground decay.

So think you are dealing blue stain from spores looking at the picture. I have had black minor staining on some Poplar bowls turned several years ago, that did not affect the bowl.

So do not know if can turn that stuff away we see. Not sure where you live, but think will be better able to tell once moisture content (MC) drops below 20%.

Spores come from both ground and some are air borne and continue to grow until remove one of the four things that supports growth. So let air circulation help evaporate moisture in the wood. Once wood gets to EMC for your area try final turning.

Since never seen anything like this before please keep us posted on your progress!

-- Bill

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Jaketheturner

3 posts in 619 days


#8 posted 03-29-2015 02:34 AM

Thank you everyone. Got it solved. I sanded a tool post I made in the shop. The metal dust is what caused it. I took a handful of metal grindings and sprinkled it on a wet log end, and the next day….presto!! Purple wood. I’m very glad this is not a fungus. I talked to someone else and they said it would turn away on the final.

Jake in Abbotsford

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1882 posts in 1597 days


#9 posted 03-29-2015 11:10 AM

Thanks for the update and happy problem solved!

-- Bill

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

625 posts in 1414 days


#10 posted 03-29-2015 12:36 PM

Interesting problem and great detective work!

I guess this should be a reminder to everyone that we should be as careful about metal dust from grinding or polishing as we are about wood dust. If it made it across the shop to contaminate your wood, it was in the air to breath and on your clothing.

View splatman's profile

splatman

558 posts in 861 days


#11 posted 03-30-2015 03:04 AM


I took a handful of metal grindings and sprinkled it on a wet log end, and the next day….presto!! Purple wood.
- Jaketheturner

If you want Purplehart, but cannot afford it, or cannot get any, you have found the solution. Only question is, does your purple-stained wood really resemble purpleheart?

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