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Author Topic: Spalting Lumber  (Read 4177 times)

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Offline metalspinner

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Spalting Lumber
« on: April 19, 2022, 10:02:14 PM »
My decades long quest to find the perfect spalted sycamore and spalted beech logs have driven me to turn to science rather than an alignment of the stars or just plain old luck.

My son, Nick, gave me this book for Christmas last year. This book gives exacting conditions, recipes, environmental factors, and fungal species requirements to spalt many lumber species. Thankfully, Nick is smart enough to help me with the science part.



 



Tissue culturing is one of his hobbies. He likes carnivorous plants and orchids the most. But he has dabbled in many other species, too. And, he has always had great interest in fungus and mushrooms.
Here are just some of the test tubes of stuff he has growing in his room.



 




 



He sent away for the inoculum that we were the most interested in. These two species create black zone line decay (xylaria polymorphia) and green zone line decay (chlorociboria aeruginasens).



 




 


Right away, Nick got to work creating Petrie dishes with the inoculum. And I called @Teenswinger to place my order for QS Sycamore and Beech, both sawn to 8/4.

Here you can see him going through the steps of making up the petri dishes. He uses agar for the base media, I believe. Everything is put through the pressure pot to sterilize it.



 








Here he is saying something profound enough that I thought a picture should have been taken. ::) :D




 




He then inoculates the dishes with the fungi in his Laminar Flow Hood. Can you believe he found this thing on Craigslist? I think he was 14 at the time. We drove all the way down to Georgia to pick it up. The LFH recirculates air through a massive HEPA filter giving him a sterile environment so as not to contaminate the media or dishes.



 





 




 




 



And a few weeks later, here is the result! A perfect bloom of chlorociboria aeruginasens.



 



Here is the tray of dishes today. The white dishes are xylaria polymorphia (Dead Mans Finger) and the black dishes are chlorociboria aeruginasens (Elf Cup).



 



He also has a gallon or so of liquid culture of each species. Maybe we will go into business?!?

Anyway, today is the day! I picked up a trailer full of sycamore and beech this morning from Teenswinger.




 



I will try to spalt long boards (7) and short boards (2 3). For the long boards I made this container from foam board and plastic wrap. The shorts will go into these totes. The containers dont have to be air tight, but I may need to add water to maintain the high moisture content (30%) so they need to hold a bit of water.



 






 






 



Everything is loaded into the containers. You can see the gaps between some of the boards. This is where we place the tissue cultures. And because we had so much liquid culture, we splashed that on the top of each layer. She says to do that is a low percentage success rate, but we had it so we did it.



 




 









 





 



The book says 12 weeks to inoculate with a 75% success rate using this method with a spalt percentage of 20% on and throughout the lumber. Somebody set an alarm for mid-July!
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2022, 11:22:17 PM »
Wow.  

That is a step or two up from just sitting logs out for a while. 

Im looking forward to July and seeing the results.

Very cool.

Offline Andries

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2022, 11:22:49 PM »
Unbelievable!
Good work you two, and well written up too.
I felt like I was back at work in the research lab, but this, this has SUSPENSE!
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2022, 03:29:37 AM »
Cool 👍

Offline tacks Y

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2022, 08:06:22 AM »
Amazing, How old is your son?

Offline K-Guy

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2022, 08:11:38 AM »

Very interesting!! I definitely am looking forward to seeing the results.

But I wonder if you have raised a mad scientist that will use plants to take over the world!!  smiley_jester
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Offline WDH

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2022, 08:20:11 AM »
Chris, this blows me away!  I have relied on blind luck, full moons with dancing wood nymphs and fairies, but have never resorted to chickens yet.  Now you show me this.  You two are "Mad Scientists" material for sure ;D
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2022, 08:32:45 AM »
tacks Y,
Nick is 22. He graduates this May from UT and begins a Research Assistantship in Chemistry at UNC in June a four year program ending with a Doctorate in Chemistry. His goal is to be a medicinal research chemist. 

Its been a running joke for years that his chemistry lab (his bedroom) would be ground zero for the end of civilization or the cure for cancer. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2022, 08:38:26 AM »
Because my foam container is under 8 long, we had lots of shorts  around 2 long. So, we just filled up totes with the wood and Petrie dishes. 
I can really see a sales/marketing opportunity for you wood guys. Upselling otherwise unusable shorts cut from low grade lumber with value added processing. And it uses green lumber!
But, lets not get ahead of ourselves.  We need results first. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline rusticretreater

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2022, 08:39:58 AM »
Have you picked out a site for his hidden lair to be used in the next James Bond movie?
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Offline olcowhand

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2022, 08:47:18 AM »
This is Great stuff! I've done very well with Spalted Beech in my Projects, but it has always been happenstance. I can't wait to see the results.

 
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Offline boardmaker

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2022, 09:10:38 AM »
This is really cool.
Can't wait to hear the results!

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2022, 09:14:13 AM »
Jostled my memory back to a Fine Woodworking article from a long time ago on spalted wood. What little I've had to use was hard maple and apple, both of which spalt nicely but always by chance, sort of, in my case. 
I have a maple logs lying in the woods since last summer, just maybe it's got some magic fungi on it at work?  :D

One our youngest sons (a twin), a Chemical Engineer, lives in Knoxville, TN now (which he chose over AL recently based on his new venture company) and is the guru of a startup company, energy related/plant based, plastics company there, as we speak. Just putting a bug in your son's ear toward yet another chemistry work field, Engineering. My sons area of specialization was atmospheric then worked in energy a good while then directing energy research, now novel plastics production. Feel free to msg me for more information. 

Like others here, I'm anxious to see some boards.  
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Offline rusticretreater

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2022, 09:15:32 AM »
This has got to be the most interesting thread I have read on the forum.  I already ordered the book!
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Offline trimguy

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2022, 09:21:46 AM »
Very interesting, but way above my head . 

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2022, 09:51:31 AM »
OOOH this could be good. Currently I have a few ash trees laying in some very moist areas, hopefully I can get them to spalt and not just rot.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2022, 10:08:53 AM »
The book is very well written and I recommend it. The author's research is spalting fungi in wood and she is also a woodturner. It is written in a very practicle way.

The biggest take away I have from reading it is that competing fungi lead to wood rot very quickly. If you can eliminate the competion by overwhelming the wood with the fungi you desire, then your chances go up.
"In the wild" spalting have potentially hundreds or thousands of competing fungi and not neccisarily the ones you want. And with the wrong (or right?) conditions, things get out of hand quickly.

She also outlines four methods to spalting. Each method removes variables from the previous method to better control the outcome. The "Rustic" method is the first one most of us use. Just stack it outside and forget it.

The one I use here is the third method "The Scientific Warehouse." The biggest difference to the fourth method (Tightly Controlled) is that I didnt sterilize the wood or containers prior to loading. So there are probably other competing fungi in my stacks, but hopefully they will be overwhelmed by the chosen fungus in the petri dishes.
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2022, 03:45:35 PM »
Subscribed...  popcorn_smiley the suspense is killing me already xD 

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2022, 04:54:37 PM »
This puts everyone to shame who has ever answered the question of how do you get logs to spalt.
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2022, 08:42:28 PM »


The optimal temp ranges for this spalting fungus is between 75-80 degrees and about 80% humidity. 
But how will I be able to monitor that??
I found this Indoor/Outdoor thermometer set on Amazon. It comes with three outdoor units. 



 

I placed numbers 1 and 2 into the large container. One on each end. The third one I put into one of the totes. 

And here is the reading tonight. 🤨

 
 The orange indoor temp is the ambient air in the garage. The othe three are the sensors in the containers. 
I need to get the temp up! We had a cold snap the past several weeks and the wood did seem kind of cool to the touch. 
Im wondering if a couple of heating pads will move things along??


I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2022, 09:45:20 PM »
Seris knowledge of spalting in lumber is amazing. I went to one of her spalting workshops years ago. Looking forward to see how your lumber turns out.
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Offline tyofwa

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2022, 01:51:38 AM »
Good stuff, watching this thread closely.  I follow @redbeard 's recommendation for spalting.  Cut in ~8' lengths, leave out in Western WA weather until the bark falls off, then mill and kiln dry.  

Given the results, if he's wrong, I dont wanna be right.  :-)



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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2022, 06:23:58 AM »
Well, I had to reply to see the results in July.  ;D
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2022, 09:33:54 AM »
Yesterday I put a couple of heating pads into the insulated box. They turn themselves off after 2 hours. Im hoping this will help to raise the temp in there. 



 


 

You can see that the third sensor in the plastic tote is already at the ambient room temp. 
But I think this big pack of lumber will take a while. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2022, 08:53:16 PM »
Nick came home this afternoon to help me move a couple things. And before he left, he wanted to take a peek inside the totes. 
I wasnt expecting anything, but

  8) 8) 8)



 

That white is across a 6 wide board face about 20 long!
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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2022, 07:05:52 AM »
I just got a brain cramp. Really looking forward to the results.
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Offline aigheadish

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2022, 12:44:36 PM »
Well, this is a fascinating experiment that already seems to be moving along quickly! Thanks for sharing!

I don't know a thing about spalting other than it looks cool, so I'm learning a lot. Your simple idea of heating pads is great! I'm currently trying to figure out how to keep some epoxy warm enough to cure over the course of 24 hours, heating pad may due the trick!
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2022, 06:04:52 PM »
I don't know a thing about spalting other than it looks cool, so I'm learning a lot. Your simple idea of heating pads is great! I'm currently trying to figure out how to keep some epoxy warm enough to cure over the course of 24 hours, heating pad may due the trick!
Ive put my workpiece on trestles with blocks each side of it then boards across the blocks, and draped a tarp over that all like a tent. Put a little space heater on low under the piece/between trestles and you can bring the temp up hugely, easy to overcook it even. Not very efficient but I've had epoxy pieces that need to get done before and that's how I've done it.

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2022, 08:42:54 PM »
 popcorn_smiley

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2022, 06:55:33 AM »
Thanks JoshNZ, I'm sure I have a heater of some variety around that could accomplish that, and my project is a golf putter head, so quite small and should be workable.
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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2022, 05:07:48 AM »
I have the book, interesting read it will be fun to see how these turn out
 I spalted some sycamore, left sitting at the bottom of a wood pile for about 6 years, I thought it would be rotten. It was soft in a few spots but made some nice slabs. I will have to get some pics. 

Offline wesdor

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2022, 06:58:43 PM »
I took a class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking with Seri Robinson (author of the book). She is a wealth of knowledge and perhaps THE authority on Spalting in the world. 
If you are really interested in the topic I believe she teaches a course every summer at Marc Adams, located just south of Indianapolis.  Well worth your time to get first hand information if you want to Spalt wood. BTW- as part of the course you get lots of inoculants and Petri dishes. 

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2022, 11:23:32 AM »
Thanks, wesdor,  Ill check it out. 

Running the heating pads really helped to get the temp up in the big box. I just turned them on a few times a day. The pads have an auto shut off after 2 hours. 

Here is the display after a couple of days of not running the heating pads. Im hoping I got the core of this wood up to within the ideal range. 



 
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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2022, 08:34:59 PM »
This will be great to come back to in July!
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Offline D6c

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2022, 06:26:19 PM »
Now if he can patent a method to cultivate morel mushrooms he'll make his fortune....

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2022, 06:31:30 PM »
Things are moving along, I guess. Every exposed board is covered with mycelium and every board is stuck to each other in one solid block. 😆



 
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Offline jimbarry

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2022, 06:57:35 PM »
And here I thought sorting and putting them in a pile off to the side was a good idea.  ??? ;D


 

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2022, 07:45:28 PM »
That's my method too Jim, but your pile is nicer looking. These are a pile of white birch (right?) that I just brought home a few weeks ago. I moved the big pile behind the barn. 



 
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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2022, 08:19:21 PM »
That's my method too Jim, but your pile is nicer looking. These are a pile of white birch (right?) that I just brought home a few weeks ago. I moved the big pile behind the barn.


(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

White birch can produce some really nice spalting. 
This chunk of birch 


 
got sawed down into thin bits


 
to make bits like this 


 
and then sit air drying for a year or so


 
to produce little projects like this 


 
and this


 
It's always a treasure hunt for each log. :) 

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2022, 09:00:18 PM »
Treasure indeed!!!

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2022, 09:55:32 AM »
I see here there are people who are doing or trying to do things I try very hard not to do.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2022, 11:45:16 AM »
I snickered at the last post, as I resembled it. For years I would push beyond tired if I had a maple log hit the yard. Just to make sure that it didn't grey stain on me. Always tried to saw them within 24 hours of hitting the yard. One day it didn't work like that and it took a month or so to get to it. The grey stained maple sold for more and faster than the white maple I had. It took 4 years to sell the last maple board that wasn't stained or spalted. Now I don't even saw them until they been on the yard for at least 6 months, maybe longer.
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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #42 on: May 31, 2022, 08:55:21 AM »
customsawyer- That makes me feel much better about my piles... Granted, I don't have a mill so I'll just go hit it with the chainsaw mill when I get the gumption but I've let stuff sit out there for a while. I've got nothing in any of it, really, so it it goes to rot it's no big deal, but it'd be cool to see it opened up with all kinds of interesting patterns and stuff. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2022, 08:45:36 PM »
These 'doing it wrong' specialties cause alot of trouble for me. People arrive with rotten logs [that where no good any how], branches from walnut take downs, crotches etc. I wish some of you guys that like this stuff where near by so i could send it to you.  Having this stuff in my yard can not be tolerated as it brings more of the same. If someone brings me a piece of a tree [that I can hardly dog] and i saw it for them someone will catch me doing it and go get more or the act will be photographed and put on face book. did I mention I hate smart phones?   Spalted  or half rotten wood also most times attracts the wrong customer.

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2022, 09:33:51 PM »
I had a girl bring me a big ugly to live edge saw into table slabs.  While I was sawing she was making video content.  As usual when I got about half the slabs sawed I tilted the log up so the slabs slid off into the loading arms.  At that point I stopped and she got some great video of colorful and spalted slabs.  That night she put the video on FB and IG, of course she had about a gazillion followers.  I got all kinds of calls, texts, and IM's.  It would have been quite lucrative except for one thing......I would have to put up with customers!  I passed. :D

At 73, its lots more fun doing what I like to do, when I'm in the mood to do it. :)
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We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #45 on: June 01, 2022, 05:09:49 AM »
It's kind of like the pecan that we slabbed at the project. I can't remember how long that log has been on my yard but it sure had some folks looking for a bottle of water to give it something to drink.
I don't like cutting lumber from firewood anymore than anyone else.
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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2022, 09:56:08 PM »
I don't have any "wrong" customers as long as they show up with money and give it to me. ;D  
I don't have any "wrong" logs if they are sawable and sellable.  
Bills to pay, things to sell, I sell customers way they want to buy, not what I want to sell them.  The quicker they buy it, the faster I don't have to look at it anymore.

  
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Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.  So dont burn the cookies.

Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline caveman

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2022, 07:15:46 AM »
I'm probably going to unintentionally offend someone with what is coming.  This pertains to spalting to some degree but really to the rot and carpenter ant damage to cedar slabs and some red oak slabs, which for us are mainly laurel and water oaks.

A good bit of what we sell are live edged slabs.  Most of the folks who buy them find us on CL after reading an ad we try to keep posted.  There seems to be a direct correlation to the number of tattoos a customer has with the slabs that appeal to them.  We've had folks come up with tattooed eye lids and they just gravitate to the wood with what we'd consider has more defects.  The clear, nearly perfect slabs/wood does not typically interest them.

One woman, who became one of our best customers, until she moved out west, did a lot of wood burning and epoxy projects for customers of hers.  She was covered with tattoos, cussed like a pirate but she took and paid well for pieces that nearly hit the burn pile and turned them into items that others would pay good money for.

If the same things appealed to all of us, this life would be boring.

On another note, when we get sweetgum logs, we try to let them sit around until they spalt.  I'll occasionally go out and cut a thin cookie off of the ends of the logs looking for the ink line and to insure they have not gotten soft.  They seem to dry a lot flatter than sawing slabs from fresh sawn sweetgum logs.

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2022, 07:23:58 AM »
Yes, sweetgum logs behave better if they age on the yard for 6 months or so. 
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2022, 07:53:56 AM »
There are two distinct type of customers we get, and we carry two distinct types of wood for the same species, to a degree.  One type is high quality lumber, and the other type is "high quality" and character grade, spalted, and cracked live edge slabs.

Here is an example, we have a pallet of 8/4 walnut live edge slabs right next to a pallet some of the best, straightest super premium 8/4 walnut in the country, either from us, Pennsylvania or Missouri.  This pallet is zero knot, 100% heartwood one face, hand faced dead flat, then run through our flattening planer.  The best of the best, or at least the best we can do.

The pallet of live edge slabs is right next to it, 3 feet away, is from knotty, hollow, even lighting struck trees, ones that "need" butterflies, epoxy, etc.  All our 8/4 walnut is priced the same per bdft, so price has no bearing on what the customer buys.  The cost of a live edge slab, based on bdft is generally in the $450 range, so buying one is a significant decision.

Our sales, week to week, of super premium 8/4 walnut boards almost exactly match the sales of 8/4 live edge, "character" slabs.  You'd probably spit coffee on your computer if I told you how many we sell every year, but just one customer last week, who owned a slab table business, bought 3 slabs for about $1500, and used the pallet of high grade walnut lumber as a place to stack them as he loaded them into his truck. :D

We do the same with hard and soft maple, poplar, and pine.  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.  So dont burn the cookies.

Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2022, 08:13:20 AM »
How long ago was it when the "character" wood was being thrown away or burned or whatever? It seems like the live edge trend has been happening for a while now and the same with the epoxy trend. It's hard telling (to me anyway) when a trend is no longer a trend and is all part of the deal. Sounds like a great option to sell wood that would have gone in the burn pile. 
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #51 on: June 02, 2022, 08:53:30 AM »
My comments are based on long experience of sawing, stacking and selling in my little world. It has not been a hobby for a long time. If some one is getting married or something and wants 'cookies' and I see a cedar log that is bad I will grab a chainsaw and do that and give them away just to get back to work. Saw logs rot and I always have them. They must be cut and dried, yesterday. I created a monster and letting dreamers hang around does not work when the gen set is burning diesel at todays prices. In spite of my bad attitude there are enough customers who put up with me and many have become friends.

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #52 on: June 02, 2022, 08:54:07 AM »
Its plain and simple. Look at crafted pieces of character wood and then plain wood. There is no comparison where people gravitate to. With all the different epoxys and color pigments there is some incredible stuff out there and thousands of dollars people pay for it. People been saying the slab trend was a fad. That was years ago. Its still going 

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #53 on: June 02, 2022, 11:05:09 AM »
When the generator is burning fuel there aint no yakking, its all doing, 100% with you on that!  Especially these days.

I guess what Im saying is if there is a way to cater to both types of customers, with both types of wood, and not waste time doing it, then that is a good thing.

I personally dont think live edge or spalted wood is just a fad, I thinks its just a different style of wood for a different style of customer.  

No different than some people want top of the line factory vehicles off the showroom floor and other people want highly customized street rods or antique cars. 
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.  So dont burn the cookies.

Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline Larry

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #54 on: June 02, 2022, 11:45:51 AM »



I bought a whack of mostly low grade but larger walnut logs last month.  The first thing I did was to make a log sort.  Most of the logs with two faces went to 8/4 grade lumber.  Since the logs were bigger the rest went to 10/4 live edge. 

I was a little disappointed at my grade yield on the 8/4 but its usual for thicker stuff.  I imagine most of it will go into chairs and benches.

Live edge will mostly go for tables.

One fatal flaw in my scheme.  After kiln dry it will again be sorted......and I keep the very best for myself! :)

Larry, the wood hoarder.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline mudfarmer

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #55 on: June 02, 2022, 07:00:36 PM »
A wise man told us one day that -we are not our ideal customer- (poorly paraphrased) I think some others are saying similar here. Thinking on it we had some excellent clarity regarding things we thought would work well but didn't and vice versa.

Always love to see quality outlets for ""low grade"" logs, it is often the only incentive that gets them cut and out of the woods to grow ""better"" trees  :)


Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #56 on: June 02, 2022, 09:03:17 PM »
Members; Please understand that I don't condemn whatever others do with wood for fun or profit. People think logs have to be dried and have branches attached to make crafty things I wish they had never seen. When I tell them I don't have time to saw it they want me to by it!  I get no satisfaction from constantly telling people no. It is frustrating. To turn the cheek and do it anyhow just brings more. Actions speak louder than words.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2022, 04:20:51 AM »
It doesn't just apply to when the generator is running. I have made customers wait several times when I'm running the planers. I don't know this for a fact but have always heard that it cost more to start up my electric motors then for them to run for 15 mins. Normally I can finish the pack I'm working on in that 15 mins.
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2022, 05:42:15 AM »
No way can that be true lol I heard that about fluorescent lights (and I don't think that's true either) but not motors. The math doesn't add up

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2022, 08:47:30 AM »
I know the amp draw is a lot higher at start up then when running. 
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Offline aigheadish

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #60 on: June 03, 2022, 09:15:24 AM »
It does make sense that start up is rougher than running. It's a lot easier to push a car that's already moving than one that is stopped. I assume the same is similar for big cutting blades or spinning things. Basically (and I don't really know anything) the power has to overcome the torque needed to move something, then it just maintains. Similar to a car running on flat ground at 60 mph uses much less fuel than starts and stops through town.
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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #61 on: June 03, 2022, 09:53:40 AM »
There is a startup surge when power is applied to a motor. Part of that is overcoming inertia and a large part is a result of applying power to an inductive load. There is a brief requirement for almost twice the running current, but its very short and doesnt add up to the 15 minute thing. The 15 minute rule has been around for a long time, especially for fluorescent lights, but its bogus. Sort of an urban myth really.  On the other hand, there are lots of other good reason for Jake to finish what hes doing before dealing with interruptions. 

BTW, there are special breakers (slow-blow) for motor circuits. Aigheadish probably doesnt really need one of those slow-blow breakers though. He may need to replace his breaker if it has been tripped a lot. Breakers get tired.  Just following the basic requirements for supplying power to a load will take care of the problem and make the welder happy.  Sounds like hes got some family members who can advise him on that. 

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #62 on: June 03, 2022, 02:08:01 PM »
Sometimes I need a slow blow fuse when the generator is drinking 10 gallons an hour and the customer wants to revisit how thick he really wants the wood.  

YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.  So dont burn the cookies.

Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #63 on: June 03, 2022, 08:54:55 PM »
If you are buying 3 phase around here it costs more to start than run. Single phase, if you can use it, is cheaper because no demand charge. Because of this you have to generate your own 3 phase power in most cases as the motor starting is just another pint of diesel.

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #64 on: June 04, 2022, 03:57:08 AM »
That just can't be true. Based on our numbers here in NZ it costs about 16cents to run a 400V motor at say 4A with a power factor of .8 for 15 minutes.

If your motor took 1s to wind up it would have to draw over 4000A average for the second, to cost the same. You'd have bigger problems than your electricity bill if there were anything to the 15 minute vs starting myth

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #65 on: June 04, 2022, 06:56:09 AM »
Like I said I don't know as I'm not a electrician. Btulloh was kind enough to point out that it was just a myth. Which I greatly appreciate. Now I won't cringe every time I push a start button. I know that both of my bigger planers won't let the feed motor start until the top head has reached full speed. On the Pinhero it has what is called Star Delta motors which make them different in some way (read first sentence) and are not very common in my neck of the woods.  What I do know is after you pay a large chunk of change for the equipment, getting 3ph power, 2 drop down transformers, blower system, and duct work I don't enjoy turning it off every time someone wants to know if I have any scrapes for free.
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Offline Machinebuilder

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #66 on: June 04, 2022, 11:58:46 AM »
the Star/delta motor is used to reduce the starting current.

in 3 phase a star (wye) connection starts the motor and after a set amount of time it will switch to a Delta connection.

It's a less expensive way to have a soft start.

I've only seen it on bigger (35hp and up) motors. An easy way to tell if the motor can be used like this is look in the Connection box and there will be 12 wires (for a 230/460V Motor). The control cabinet will have a couple additional contactors used to do the switching.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #67 on: June 04, 2022, 01:38:29 PM »
Back to spalting.

I have a good friend that works in my shop a couple days a week turning on the wood lathe.  She specializes in spalted, knotty, and generally junk wood.  I put aside interesting wood to spalt.  The trouble we have is the wood does not spalt completely or it goes past the spalt stage into the rot stage where its worthless to turn.  Wasted time and material.

This is some soft maple I set aside in the garage last fall to splalt.  The lines are ok but its a little past the spalt stage into the rot stage.  Made it near impossible to get super clean cuts with the bowl gouge so she will have to do lots of sanding.  These two have been soaked with sanding sealer to stiffen the fibers so they can be sanded cleanly.







A little science into spalting wood would be a huge benefit.  May have to get an appointment with Dr Spalt. 

MS, hows the experiment progressing? 
 
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #68 on: June 04, 2022, 02:38:38 PM »
Larry, the last time I checked, all the surfaces were covered with mycelium and the boards were all stuck together. So, its going ok, I guess?? :D
Im in Texas this week but am anxious to check when I get home. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #69 on: July 23, 2022, 04:49:16 AM »
We must be due for an update on this  smiley_roller

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #70 on: July 23, 2022, 05:24:16 AM »
Josh,
Nick was back in town this past weekend and we took a peek inside. 
Every board is stuck together with mycelium and we needed a spring bar to pop a few apart. 
But what we could see didnt look like much yet. I think the cold wood/weather early on got us off on a slow start. 

Ill get a few pics of the small
Containers when the sun comes up. 

Lets see what it looks like by Labor Day. (Early September)
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #71 on: September 23, 2022, 05:27:42 AM »
Oh, yeah, I kind of forgot about this project! 
But yesterday I went in to take a peek. 
Heres a look at two of the totes



 



 



 

Ill bring a couple of these to
The shop today to run through the planer for a better look. 
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #72 on: September 23, 2022, 05:39:45 AM »
Very cool !! Looking forward to it 👍

Offline boardmaker

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Re: Spalting Lumber
« Reply #73 on: November 07, 2022, 02:13:23 PM »
Any updates?
Wondering how the pieces you ran through the planer turned out?


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