spalted maple


Does anyone have any experience with spalted soft Maple. I can get some rough cut air dried stuff, and I thought it might make an interesting contrasting wood for a project that I plan to otherwise make out of cherry and possibly white oak. I've never built anything with constrasting woods before. Does this sound like good choices to get a pleasing contrast? What is Spalted Maple like to work with? Any comments would be appreciated.
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Cherry, yes. Definitely yes. The contrast between cherry and maple makes for beautiful pieces. They go very well together.
White oak, I'm not so sure about. There's a huge difference in grain appearance, as well as in color, between oak and maple. IMO, it looks best when the woods contrast in color, but resemble in grain. E.g cherry or walnut, paired with maple or birch, but not with ash or oak IMO.

As long as it's sound and not "punky", it's just like working with maple that isn't spalted.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Lots of "soft maple" types out there. Most common commercial in the east is A rubrum, which spalts toward gray, with fairly large brown heartwood lagging behind. In my experience, there is very little contrast between the heartwood and something like cherry. So I'd look at the boards and choose those with a minimum of heartwood, which is going to take a long time to spalt anyway. You can then resaw and book the heartwood if you can't get enough boards of pure sapwood. Works well, save where you can actually see the white rot areas, where the lignin has been eaten away. It's lignin that makes it wood rather than straw.
NB - if you're a molds allergy guy, protect yourself. There's plenty of mycotoxin in the wood. Spores in the bark, if bark's still there.
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[...]

Disadvisable because the fungi in the wood make the dust even more harmful than that of sopund maple.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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I have used spalted maple for quite a few projects, with great results. Tung oil brings out the color and features beautifully. Depending on how it will be used, a top finish is useful.
When selecting the wood, look for some that is still hard and dense. Spalting is an early element of decay, so don't try to use wood that is light in weight and too far along. You show good sense in approaching the dust problem.
I built my grandson a toy box with spalted maple panels and cherry frame and top. The color contrast was very nice. It will pair up with other woods, too. Try small test pieces finished as you will do to see what you will get. Have fun. Good luck.
Steve

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