Using fungus to make your own spalted woods

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Forum topic by MikeCWB posted 07-21-2009 09:47 PM 1768 views 2 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2667 days

07-21-2009 09:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

Hi everyone,

I was digging through the archives of Industrial Strength Woodworking online and stumbled across an article about spalting your own wood. I’ve always really liked the look of spalted wood for decorative projects, and was wondering if anyone had tried doing the process themselves?

Here's the article about spalting your own woods.

If you’ve tried it, did you use similar techniques as the ones used in the article? Do you have any other processes you use to speed up the fungus?


10 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3002 days

#1 posted 07-21-2009 09:51 PM

I can tell you I did read somewhere if you try this with dried wood i.e kiln dried it doesn’t work.The wood has to be fresh of the tree seemingly, anyway I also was told a can of beer in a plastic bag get’s things off to a good start.It might be worth trying a brew or concoction of your own making adding a little beer and see.Their is plenty of information out there if you seek.So have fun and keep us informed as I too would like to try this regards Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2703 days

#2 posted 07-21-2009 10:27 PM

Alistair, are you just looking for an excuse to open a can of beer again. LOL


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3002 days

#3 posted 07-21-2009 10:28 PM

who me hick I am nevr ever ofisher policemaaan dlunkypooo.No Kent I am strictly Morphine total.with the occasional drop of tea to wash it down.LOLAlistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View DrDirt's profile


4133 posts in 3159 days

#4 posted 07-21-2009 10:37 PM

Sara Robinson did a FWW #199 article on Spalting that had more details in it.
Also she has started an online how to – explaining some of the different fungi and the colors they produce, so there is some more detail than the ISW article includes. have a look here -

I have not tried spalting myself. In the FWW article – she mentioned that you can spalt Kiln dried wood. Kiln drying does kill all spores etc in the wood, but in these DIY processes you are reintroducing new live spores and moisture so it does work but is slower than air dried wood.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3130 days

#5 posted 07-21-2009 11:55 PM


-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Catspaw's profile


236 posts in 3232 days

#6 posted 07-22-2009 12:18 AM

I cut maple…I leave it on the ground….it spalts. Mother nature knows how to do it already. Why re-invent the wheel.

Besides…it’s really hard to herd those fungi and get them to do what I want.

-- arborial reconfiguration specialist

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#7 posted 07-22-2009 02:53 AM

does it only work in Indiana Catspaw?

-- Custom furniture

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3322 days

#8 posted 07-22-2009 03:40 AM

...No that is the way we do it in Illinois too Jim.

View MikeCWB's profile


3 posts in 2667 days

#9 posted 07-24-2009 12:06 AM

Hey, thanks everyone for your advice (and yes it would hurt me to spend a beer on this project, but the prices we must pay for woodworking…)


View Roper's profile


1370 posts in 3130 days

#10 posted 07-24-2009 12:28 AM

and remember to be careful with spalted wood, you don’t want to be breathing in any of that fungus when you cut the wood.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

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