What is Splated Maple?

Just saw the back cover of Feb 04 FWW. There's a stereo cabinet by Gary Upton that uses splalted maple. I looked "spalted" up in Websters and I did a google search -- I was not successful in finding what the word spalted menas or in how to make spalted maple -- or maybe it grows that way -- I don't know.
It certainly was strinking, though!
Anybody know about this stuff?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Tips_for_creating_spalted_maple.html It's a fungus of sorts. Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Natural spalting is usually caused by mold, fungus, insects or disease in a tree or log ... some folks cause it to happen by leaving logs, or future turning blanks, in places that are conducive to the growth of the mold or fungus for a few months.
Spalting makes wild, and often pretty, dark colored streaks in the grain pattern.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/18/03
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Isn't it when a paintball company uses maple as a feature in their course and then it get "splated" by paintballs?
Oh....you meant "spalted".... That's the result of the natural decay process. You have to catch the wood just at the right time and it sure is pretty!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
New question on spalted wood. Is there such a thing as spalted oak? I ask because I have some oak that has some very dark (black) figuring in the grain. I am wondering if this is also spalted wood. Sure makes a pretty contrast tho'. Thanks for any information. Larry
<snip>

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
larry in cinci asks:

Could be. Most non-durable woods will spalt, in varying degrees of attractiveness. Maple's very light color makes it an obvious feature when the rot darkens around the edges. Spalting is usually a light brown color darkening to brown. Not always, though. White oak is less likely to spalt, because it is fairly durable. Oak has a heavy load of tannic acids, too, so if the mineral inclusions from the soil include ferrous types, that black may be from iron in the wood...or it might be from someone wiping the wood down with 0000 steel wool and cleaning it carelessly.
Charlie Self
"Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal." Alexander Hamilton
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Larry,
For some reason, I can't see the original post, so I'll reply against yours.
Spalting occurs naturally when timber has been felled and the butts left to lie. We've all seen felled trees on the forest floor which have lain there for years, with fungus growing on it, particularly on the cut surfaces. Well, it's this fungus (or the tendrils thereof - forget the proper term) which causes spalting. This can be as little as dark lines running throughout the butt, so that when the butt is cut open they show up as a fantastic irregular tracery, particularly on light woods, such as beech, maple, sycamore etc, almost like a blue-black pen drawing. In a more advanced state, there may be areas of the timber with large variation in colour.
The fungi which cause spalting are kin to the fungi which cause dry rot in timber, and timber which is spalting, is, in effect, decaying, and you have to catch it at the right stage. Too soon and there won't be much of a pattern; too late and the structure of the wood breaks down and you're left with mush.
Spalting relies on the timber being wet, typically above 22-25% MC - lower than that and the fungus won't grow, again a bit like dry rot. You can cause spalting to occur by bagging your green logs in impermeable plastic bags and leaving it for a couple of years. I've had this happen accidentally. To stop the spalting process, you simply dry the timber - well, maybe not so simply, as there are umpty-ump methods for drying timber in the round, all of which attempt to dry the timber throughout, without it shaking, ie developing large splits.
Timbers which are resistant to fungal attack don't spalt easily, but even oak can break down in time. If you DAGS using "spalted oak" as your keywords, you'll find a lot of woodturning sites, which showcase this timber.
Because of the decaying nature of the timber, it can be structurally weak, so you wouldn't use very spalted wood in a load-bearing capacity. The old chippies used to call it "doaty" timber. Don't know where the term comes from. It's much used in turning, but again, it's apt to fly off or break up on the lathe if it's far gone, and the dust from it is reputed to be pretty bad stuff to breathe. Because of its often crumbly nature, it can be difficult to get a good finish. You can get stabilising compounds which firm up the crumbling portions.
HTH
Frank

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 20 Dec 2003 23:26:40 -0500, "larry in cinci"
Ummm......
In general, no. Oak is full of tannin, and not much wants to eat it. The benign little spalting fungi that will happily do beech and maple in their delicate fashion just can't hack it.
Anything hairy-arsed enough to deal with gobbling up bitter old oak is probably going to ruin the cell structure of the timber in doing it. It's "spalted" in the end, but it's also a rotten spongey mush and useless. I'm not sure which rot it is, but our usual oak rot is a soft white sponge that starts in the sapwood but then works inwards. Completely useless.
One fungal infection that is interesting in oak is "brown oak". This is caused by the beefsteak fungus (hepaticus), a large bracket fungus that's known for its oozing red flesh if you cut into it. This turns the whole trunk an even dark brown colour (a bit like ammonia fuming). If the fungi are there long enough, the whole trunk comes out quite even and the timber is highly prized. Small infestations can be just a little streaky.
-- Smert' spamionam
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.