Controlled spalting

      Is it possible to control spalting to produce unique turning stock? June 20, 2000

Q.
There was some talk earlier on spalting and leaving the logs on the ground. Can spalting be achieved after the log has been sawn?

A.
Sure -- just leave the lumber in a very warm, humid location -- in the woods!
Gene Wengert, forum moderator



I've made some tests to control spalting. Here's where I am:

Logs on the ground for 2 years with some sawdust over them (to protect from excess cracking and to increase humidity). Maple: super. White birch and bass: too long, too much lost. Beech: on the way.

The bark has to stay on, to avoid deep surface cracking, so place the log where it won't be in the way. I've tried to make some chainsaw scratches on the bark of white birch to force water into it, so the figure is not concentrated at the end of the log. It didn't help. Need to do some more testing.

My best results have been with sugar maple and negundo (or Manitoba) maple, producing bloody red streaks.



The red is probably from a fungus in the Fomes genus. Fomes ignarius causes red in aspen poplar, and the large conks on the outside of the tree.

Remember that many people are allergic to the dust from spalted wood. Perhaps it is an allergy to the fungus.
Gene



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