I bought a beautiful piece of spalted maple on ebay; 8" x10"x5".
It is treated with anchorseal and has been air drying for one year.
My moisture meter shows that the heaviest spalted areas are 16% moisture,
and the firmer spots are 8%.
I am not quite sure what anchorseal is, but presume it is a waxy material to
How do I proceed with this to use it for turning?
Just leave it alone for a few more years?
Rough turn it and let it dry out before finishing?
Or something else?
Anchorseal a indeed a waxy product made to seal green wood to keep it
from drying too quickly, starting all the bad things that happen when
If you are actually reading 8% anywhere, it is certainly stable enough
to turn. I turn some of my stuff that is literally cut from a tree
days before I get it on the lathe. I have turned long enough to
realize, you are going to lose a piece here and there, so I don't
sweat it. I remember when I started a few years back, losing a piece
to cracking and warping was devastating. Now a piece of maple,
cherry, mesquite, oak, or whatever I am turning goes in the smoker if
it is beyond saving, and I don't give it another thought.
I rough turn my pieces to about 90% of their shape and thickness.
Then I label a bag with a date that I did it, and pack the piece in
its own shavings. I close up the bag, leaving a couple of air holes,
and put it on the shelf for a three or four months, then pull it out
and finish it.
With the turners I know, they all bat about 50% on their accelerated
drying methods. Some like the LDD (liquid dish detergent) soak
method, other alcohol, some bag like me, some paper bag with no
shavings, and on and on. A lot depends on your wood and you climate.
It will require your experimentation to figure out which works best
A nice piece of wood like that needs a little planning. Could you cut
it so you actually got two bowls out of it?
A word on finishing spalted material. One of the joys of spalted
stuff is the ink lines. If you use some high solvent sealers (like
shellac) you will blur those lines. Some oil finishes will as well,
and your spalted material will only look muddy. DAMHIKT.
Try building a couple of light coats of your finsh before you start
building if you finish on the lathe.
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