Blue Stain and Wood Grade

      Stain is a defect in wood, and lowers its grade.April 18, 2010

I just purchased what was claimed to be AAAAA Curly English Sycamore and paid a premium. After receiving and surfacing this lumber I noticed it had blue stain. The supplier said to use wood bleach and not to worry. Is this an ok solution, or would you resolve this in a different manner? I feel that bleaching lumber is unnecessary, when you have already paid for clear lumber. Any known disadvantages to bleaching sycamore in general?

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor C:
I have bleached wood using a two part wood bleach. I did not like the results - it was obvious that it had been treated. It sounds as though the vendor is overcharging for overgraded wood.

From contributor G:
Anything that the seller declares to be AAAAA must certainly be free of faults that would degrade it for real NHLA grading. (The A's system of grading is without any governing body or association, it means nothing more than the relative value placed on it by the seller backed by his word of honor. I have only seen it used by dealers in musical instrument grade woods, usually sold in very small quantities (i.e. by the board) at vastly inflated prices.

The wood you were sold is defective by any rational system and you should not have to remedy it yourself. I don't think bleaching all the natural color out of the wood to eliminate blue stain is any solution at all. You bought super prime wood, not the dead, bleached bones of such a wood.

If a wood seller wishes to engage in a trade where he sells something called AAAAA grade he should stand honor bound to take it back if it is not "super,super,super,super,super good wood". Tell him all that and see if he takes the wood back and replaces it, at no further cost to you. If he does not, then he is without honor. Take your business elsewhere. Remember to tell others about the transaction.

From contributor W:
Buying high quality veneers is always by exact image on the internet. The stained veneer should have been turned away or returned immediately.

From contributor B:
The thing is that it will not go away and is considered a defect in what should not have been classified clear lumber. If oxalic acid clears it then it is non fungal gray stain and not fungal staining. Blue stain is a fungal stain.

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