Spalted?

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Lenny

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Jan 6, 2009
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Searsport, Maine
Spalting is a form of wood coloration caused by fungi. As the tree starts to rot the cell structure is changed forming some very cool coloring effects. The secret is to find some that hasn't gone so far as to be useless.
While spalted maple and birch is very common where I am, I have purchased some spalted Hackberry, Cinnamon, and Crabapple from different members here, and they have been some of the most desirable blanks/pens I have made. People seem to be drawn to them immediately!
 

meucci2009

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Nov 24, 2009
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Kaplan,louisiana
ok thats kinda what i thought it was, so I have a pecan tree that got killed 3 yrs ago by lighting, its still standing but has mushrooms and other fungis growing on it, should i be cutting it down and using it , also a lot of branchs on ground
 

Longfellow

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Apr 6, 2005
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St. Cloud, Fla.34769
Spalted

This is an example of Spalting. This Pecan
 

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Rick_G

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Nov 30, 2007
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Bothwell, Ontario, Canada.
ok thats kinda what i thought it was, so I have a pecan tree that got killed 3 yrs ago by lighting, its still standing but has mushrooms and other fungis growing on it, should i be cutting it down and using it , also a lot of branchs on ground

Yes. Also look at the crotches of the branches you will get some nice grain patterns from there.
 

MesquiteMan

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Oct 18, 2005
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San Marcos, TX, USA.
This is a pretty interesting fact regarding the typical black lines associated with most spalted wood:

Dark dotting, winding lines and thin streaks of red, brown and black are known as zone lines. This type of spalting does not occur due to any specific type of fungus, but is instead an interaction zone in which different fungi have erected barriers to protect their resources. The lines are often clumps of hard, dark mycellium, referred to as pseudosclerotial plate formation.
Zone lines themselves do not damage the wood. However, the fungi responsible for creating them often do.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spalting
 

meucci2009

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Nov 24, 2009
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Location
Kaplan,louisiana
ok, I will try to cut some of it this weekend if i can find a chain saw .what type of wax should i be using to protect the ends from cracking will parifin wax work i have a couple of lbs of that
 

Lenny

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Jan 6, 2009
Messages
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Location
Searsport, Maine
ok, I will try to cut some of it this weekend if i can find a chain saw .what type of wax should i be using to protect the ends from cracking will parifin wax work i have a couple of lbs of that


That's a question I have wanted to ask myself. I was planning on using anchorseal, but I'm also curious what others have to say on this...???
I have some burls I should cut up ... should I then coat all four sides as well as the ends? :confused:
 

MesquiteMan

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Oct 18, 2005
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San Marcos, TX, USA.
Anchorseal is made specifically for sealing wood so that is my first choice. I have a sawmill and have a lot of logs out back. I did a little experiment and used a number of different things all at the same time. On some logs, I used cheap latex paint, on others I used cheap oil based paint, and on the remainder I used Anchorseal. The Anchorseal logs were in MUCH better shape than any of the others. I will only use Anchorseal now.

The idea is to seal the END GRAIN so if you have a burl with grain going in all directions, you may want to seal the whole thing. If you do this, however, the wood will not be able to dry out since all of the paths for moisture escape are sealed off. The reason to seal end grain is so that the moisture will not escape too quickly there which is the path of least resistance. Leaving the face grain unsealsed still allows moisture to escape but at a slower, more controlled rate.
 
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