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Author Topic: Beech spalting  (Read 3060 times)

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Offline metalspinner

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Beech spalting
« on: April 20, 2006, 09:03:07 PM »
Hi All!
Just picked up a couple of nice Beech logs.  I would like to try to spalt them.  Should I just roll them under my tree line and forget about them for a while?  Should I seal the ends, or would that stop some enrty point for my spalting?  Should I raise them a bit to keep the critters out?  Do you think I can spalt an 8' log?  These are 18" on the small end.  The archives mention beech does not last long after it's cut.  Should this be a "quick" spalting job?
Thanks!
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline wiam

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2006, 09:27:44 PM »
I would not hold beech very long.

Will

Offline Gord From Emsdale ON

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2006, 08:38:08 PM »
I got this beech in May 05, cut it in January 06, still good lumber.

http://users.vianet.ca/g966321/images/sawmill/Beech%20001.jpg

Offline Back40x2

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2006, 10:34:54 PM »

   Metal,

     You are going to want to put it in a fairly damp spot, that is in the shade all the time!  Beech has natural tannins in it that cause it to spalt naturally once cut, but it needs the moisture content in the air to do it.  I deal primarily with spalted woods for my business and beech does spalt relatively easily.  Do not coat the ends, I repeat, DO NOT COAT THE ENDS!!!!!  This will slow it down to a near hault, and then all you will end up with is rot.  Also, just leave the logs on the ground.  One way to speed up the process is to get some horse manure if you can.  Take a five gallon pale,  fill about a quarter full with manure,  get 2 six packs(1 for you) add 1 six pack of cheap beer,  some oak or beech leaves(preferably ground up)  and about 1 quart of ammonia!  Mix all together and let set for about 3 days.  Take on top of your log and cut a line all the way from end to end with your chain saw.  You just need to break the bark and cambium layer.  I like to go about 1 - 1 1/2 inches.   Then take your mixture and pour some in.  Wait about 1 year and you will have significant spalting.  I also from time to time will rotate 1/4 turn and repeat the process above.  Helps speed things up.

Hope this helps!!!  Good luck!!!
My JD 4120 Loader/Hoe/fransgard winch, a 10,000 pound Warn winch, STIHL 460,  Timberking 1600,  Lots of logs, a shotgun, rifle, my German Shorthaired Pointers and a 4-wheel drive, is all this Maine boy needs to survive!! Oh Yeah, and my WIFE!!!!!!

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2006, 10:56:12 AM »
Thanks everyone for the reply's.

Back40x2,
that is quite a recipe.  I will give it a try.  One thought I had was to mill this to the dimensions I wanted, then dead stack this on a level base under the tree line with weight.  Do you think your recipe will give me a more uniform spalting this way?
Do you have any pics of your results?
Thanks.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Deadwood

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2006, 05:40:43 PM »
I will add my two cents, but my recipe is not as involved as Back 40. That does not mean my system works better than his, this is just what I do.

I saw my Beech into 2 foot logs, then roll them under some shade trees. I roll them over a few times a year, but as he says, after a year the spalting is just about right. Just be wary, the Spalting mekes the fibre very brittle, so sharp tooling is best to keep chip out to a minimum.

I found the shorter the log lengths, the better the spalting occurs throughout the log.

Offline Timburr

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2006, 09:33:10 PM »
Metal,

Please do not mill it first. Under those conditions you wiill have some very obnoxious looking boards. The surfaces will be open to molds, mildews and rot, instead of the desirable spalt.

Spalting works best in log form. Mycelium (fungus filament) requires bulk or 'massive' wood to function.

My method....Fell tree, convert (buck) and chuck it in a weed patch within the woods, on the ground. Lacerate the bark and cambium with a chainsaw. Diagonal criss-crosses seem to work well. But don't  'skin' the bark. It acts as a spalting catalyst. I then have a frenzy, by picking and throwing weeds all over it. And leave it for nature to take it's course.

Timing is a big gamble depending on the season and diam. of log.....some seasons develop better spalting and bigger logs take longer. I think warmth and most definitely moisture are major factors.

The best spalting I've seen is a 46" diam. beech log left for 4 year.


Wiam,   I could not hold beech very long :D ;D :D     Too heavy!! 


Tim
Sense is not common

Offline wiam

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2006, 09:24:10 AM »
I have not tried to get beech to spalt for lumber.  My experience with beech for firewood is if it sets in the woods for more than a year it is like a wet sponge.

Will

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2006, 07:55:11 PM »
Thanks, Guy's
I am going to get this project started this week.  I would like lumber lenghts, but I appriciate a good turning block as much as the next guy.  These logs are 16" and 12" at the small ends and 8' long.  Do ya'll think one spring and summer cycle will do the trick?  The concoction that Back40 mentioned is what I will try.  Would burying it in sawdust in the shade be beneficial, or just overkill.

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

Offline Back40x2

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2006, 09:26:02 PM »


   Metal,

     Just place the log in a cool, shaded, not too damp spot and follow my recipe.  I would check about 1 year from the time you do it.  To check it, just cut about 6 inches off the ends to check penatration.  That is the only downfall to the whole thing.  You waste a little bit of wood.  I just cut mine a little longer.  I will try and post some pics tomorrow of stuff I have done. 

Good luck, and If you have any questions just ask away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My JD 4120 Loader/Hoe/fransgard winch, a 10,000 pound Warn winch, STIHL 460,  Timberking 1600,  Lots of logs, a shotgun, rifle, my German Shorthaired Pointers and a 4-wheel drive, is all this Maine boy needs to survive!! Oh Yeah, and my WIFE!!!!!!

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2007, 01:24:43 PM »
I just checked the progress of the beech logs.  My impatience got the best of me. :D

I lopped off a  2' section off the smallest log then just ripped it with the chainsaw.


This is a 6" square block...




Here is another look...




This amount of spalting was only on the face of the log that was on the ground.  No punkiness yet.  I rotated the logs then sprinkled some more oak sawdust on them.  I hope that by the end of this summer, they will be just right. ;)

Here are a couple of pics from when I started this little project...

The load...




the log scored with the chainsaw...



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

Offline lmbeachy

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Re: Beech spalting
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2007, 01:53:47 PM »
I have always like beech for fire wood. Before I join this forum I didn't know what spalting was. I always cut my beech trees down and left them lay in the woods to season some so they would split better and burn better. I lways tried to get them before they started to rot. Sometimes I would see what is called spalting and kick myself for letting them lay to long before cutting them up for firewood. Oh well live and learn.
hotfoot


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