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Author Topic: Sugar maple mold control  (Read 545 times)

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Offline Woodslabs

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Sugar maple mold control
« on: October 11, 2021, 12:48:13 PM »
Hi all, 

I cut up some nice sugar maple live edge around a week ago.  I stack it outside before we load it in the kiln.  I hate drying sugar maple due to the mold problems.  See pictures below.  

The mold is all over the slab with the dreaded black dots (these can discolor the wood like 1/2 a inch i have found.  I did some reading and washed both sides with a 5% bleach solution.  Currently the dots remain but they only penetrate the wood like 1/16 or a inch or so.  Will this bath solve the issue in the kiln or should i do anything else?  I don't want these to get ruined when they are in a high humidity environment in the kiln.

Also has anyone tried treating maple with a 5% bleach solution right after milling to prevent mold growth?

Lastly is there anything you can add to the kiln (gas or something) to prevent mold growth?

Any advice would be welcome

 

 

 .

Offline K-Guy

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2021, 01:01:08 PM »

I would sticker it and get some air moving over it to get the moisture off it. Heat + Humidity = Mold.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2021, 01:04:50 PM »
Bleach should retard mold, but it will do nothing for the gray stain that happens quickly in hot humid condition.  Gray stain is a chemical reaction not mold or mildew.  
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Offline jimbarry

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2021, 02:16:37 PM »
I'd also suggest using stickers that are the same thickness as the material being dried.
Jim
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Offline Woodslabs

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2021, 02:44:39 PM »
i restacked it and put 2 small fans on it.  I will give it a borax wash before they go in the kiln.  I will update once they come out in 3.5 months with the results.  I read a borax solution will work better than bleach. Also these are 2.5 thick so i hope after dressing they will be mold free.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2021, 05:40:54 PM »
Prevention is better than cure.  You should not have to use chemicals, but use of them after the fact can fix some issues, but not all.  

There are some practices that would have helped you here.  

From your pictures, the wood was way too wet and moist to stack without fans blowing on it.  Even two $20 Wal Mart fans covering the side of the stack would make a big difference.  White and Black mold can easily be prevented with airflow when open air drying.  Put the fans on the minute the stack is in place.  If you see this molds, there is a fundamental issue. You should feel noticeably cooler air coming off the downstream face of the stack, which is the coolling effect of evaporation.

Fans not only evaporate moisture, they keep the surfaces of the board cool, sometimes as much as 20F, which also helps reduce enzyme stain, which I see in your wood.  

The other thing I notice is that the stack appears to be blocked from ambient wind on both sides.  This would accelerate the mold process and retard drying.  Sometimes, even 20 yards distance to a different air drying spot makes all the difference.  The best place is on a slight hill, out of the wet, with at least 20 yards of wind reach.  

It also appears from the water stain on the edges of the stickers and boards that rain had gotten in the stack, which it a big issue when drying white wood.  Rain on maple will ruin it, even if it migrates in from the edges.  So covering the stack well is essential.  Even ground splash will ruin it.  

I noticed it looks like your stacks are either on the ground, or just off it.  There is a tremendous amount of moisture that comes off the ground and it is going straight into the stacks of wood.  A well stacked unit acts somewhat like a chimney, so if the base of the stack is wet, the moisture will be transported through the entire height of the stack.  Its like pushing moist air into the wood.  Conversely, if the stack is under a shed, on dry ground, surrounded by dry ground or better yet, concrete, or gravel and vapor barrier, then relatively dry air is being "chimneyed" through there stack, which os a much better situation.    

Mold stain will sometimes, but not always, plane out.  Enzyme stain will not, it normally gets worse deeper into the wood.

Please take these observations in the spirit of helpfulness, you asked for thoughts and options.  





 
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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2021, 08:39:53 PM »
Thanks for the advice.  My property has space issues :).  I only have this issue with hard maple.  Other species never get mold stain.  From now on i will seperate hard maple and put fans on it.  I have 2 fans running at it atm.

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2021, 08:11:50 AM »
 Bet it will still be beautiful in a more colorful, not colorless way.   



 
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2021, 05:28:06 PM »
Salt and vinegar or citric acid is how you keep mold off of food which isnt any different than a slab of maple.


Id try a test of 1:1 mix of chlorinated water and 6% vinegar with some salt in it from a pump sprayer just to see what it does.
Isaiah 63:10

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2021, 09:18:10 PM »
Chlorine and vinegar mixed produces toxic fumes. If you do that, I'd be careful and have lots of ventilation.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2021, 09:40:35 PM »
The old occurs above about 50% MC.  So, this is where you need to be careful.  If you see mold, it is also likely that sticker stain and other darkening will occur.

You mention high humidity in the kiln.  We prefer that hard maple (sugar maple,e) start up at about 80% MC.  For 4/4, 5/4we would start in the low 70% RH.  Check DRYING HARDWOOD LUMBER for precise instructions.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2021, 11:29:22 PM »
Chlorine and vinegar mixed produces toxic fumes. If you do that, I'd be careful and have lots of ventilation.
well, i make a lot of pickles with chlorinated tap water and vinegar.   maybe thats why im so off!  ;D
Isaiah 63:10

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2021, 11:57:48 PM »
Sodium hypochlorite is the active ingredient in bleach.   Mixing it with vinegar release chlorine gas.  There are about 3600 cases a year in the US concerning exposure to chlorine gas, especially around swimming pools.  Most people would not have an opportunity to mix chlorine with another chemical, as chlorine by itself is not a common household chemical.  The chlorine in water when mixed with vinegar is not an issue.

Bleach and ammonia cleaners should never be mixed.  As bleach is in some cleaner and ammonia in others, never use two cleaners together or tight after each other.  The gas released can be fatal.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2021, 02:40:22 AM »
Bleach and ammonia cleaners should never be mixed.


Yup, nasty stuff will happen, as in a cloud of toxic gas. Any chlorine residue in tap water will be parts per million, we don't worry about that. The chlorine in bleach or pool chemicals is measured in %. 

I've messed with recovering gold from E-Waste, using hardware store level chemicals. So creating a solution nasty enough to dissolve gold is relatively easy, but do it outside, and stay upwind. In a confined space it could kill you. 

We had a Hazmat call out in town a couple of months back. Shop owner had a blocked drain, and tried a chemical drain cleaner. It didn't work, so he called a plumber, who not knowing what had already been dumped in there tried a different drain cleaner. Luckily they realised what was happening and escaped in time. But managed to shut down 1/2 a block of the main street while the Fire Brigade in breathing gear ventilated the building. 
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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2021, 10:27:46 AM »
I hope the wood cleans up for you when it comesout of the kiln. My maple gets stacked on my paved parking lot which is very hot and windy. I have troubles with oak drying to fast. I built drying sheds with shade cloth on both sides to slow down the drying. We all have different issues with each enviroment.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2021, 08:43:19 AM »
I have 2 beautiful stainless steel tube heating coils that came out of the stainless steel rolloff on a hot summer day at the scrapyard.  The second i saw them i dove in to set aside before they got damaged.  

I flipped one over to look for any sign of cracked or bulged loops and the next breath i took may as well have been oxy-acetylene because it felt like a fireball in my airways.  I gagged in a panic and by the grace of God saw a little vapor wisp like youd see from a gas can in the sun.  Immediately knew it was poison in the coil and jumped over side bolting out of there for air.  


R717 ammonia refrigerant.  Lethal even outside.  If you somehow make a pickle spray that noxious youll know before it kills ya. Experiment outside and dont huff it.  There isnt enough chlorine in tap water to hurt anything. 
Isaiah 63:10

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Re: Sugar maple mold control
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2021, 09:44:37 AM »
When we see mold or mildew on wood, which are fungi that use stuff on the wood's surface for food, we know that conditions are right for blue stain fungi which grow and eat sugars in the wood.  Because the blue stain fungi are inside the wood, surface treatments applied after the blue stain fungi are inside the wood do not work well at all.  The fungicide for blue stain control needs to be applied prior to their appearance, creating a barrier to prevent the fungi from getting inside the wood and thereby blocking access to the food they need.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more


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