Is there a way of making spalted hard maple? I have a log with big hunters spikes in it (never had any luck getting them out) and it is probably well stained by now. If I could get it to spalt, I could chainsaw it into chunks for wood turners.
Find a cool shaded spot and let it sit on the ground. Cover it with sawdust and keep it moist (not too wet). I can't tell you how long it will take. It will only spalt at temperatures from 60-90 degrees. Itís tricky to catch it just right before it rots. I haven't tried to do it on purpose, but get a lot by accident. Check it after about 3 months.
I found some nice spalted maple at a friend's house, grabbed a few chunks, and 2 months later I went back to get some more--all of the remaining log had rotted. There is a very fine line between great spalting and rotten wood.
Comment from contributor A:
I took a piece of 8/4 silver maple, 20"x12", and on June 10 put the maple in my backyard under some very large pines. I laid a bed of wood chips from my dust collector system, watered them lightly from a watering can, laid the maple down and covered with the chips, again sprinkling them with water. The chips are black cherry, walnut and white oak. I never added another drop of water to heap all summer. I pulled them piece of maple out this week, on Sept 10 and let it air dry for five days as it was soaking wet. I brought it in and put it through the jointer and planer to check on the results.
I was quite pleased with what I found actually. There were no definitive black pencil line marks that were present on the edges but the entire piece was well colored with purples, yellows and greens. I think the piece was well on its way to becoming spalted but with the temps dipping to single digits at night and about 20 degrees Celsius during the day I figured the process was going to slow considerably.