Ronn W

Spalted hackberry

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My local Wood craft just got a pallet of spalted hackberry some is highly spalted and look fantastic.  Colors vary from yellow to brown to grey to black with touches of purple. Varying widths up to about 12".  I resisted the urge since I am not really in the mood to make another box right now.

But I keep thinking, "What else could I make with it.  Any suggestions?

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First, we need pictures! Second, since when does a woodworker need to have a specific project in mind to buy more wood?

Door panels/drawer fronts for a wall cabinet?

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Ronn W, what was the price on the spalted hackberry? It takes around one year on most logs.

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3 hours ago, JohnG said:

First, we need pictures! Second, since when does a woodworker need to have a specific project in mind to buy more wood?

Re: Pictures: If I go back soon, I will get a pic.

Re: more wood: Touche'

52 minutes ago, Spanky said:

Ronn W, what was the price on the spalted hackberry? It takes around one year on most logs.

It was $10.50/BF.  Expensive to me.

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16 minutes ago, Ronn W said:

Re: Pictures: If I go back soon, I will get a pic.

Re: more wood: Touche'

It was $10.50/BF.  Expensive to me.

Ok, at 10.50/bf I’d probably want to have a specific use in mind. 

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I agree with @JohnG and @Ronn W. Although this is really neat looking wood, it will work in only the right applications. Too much can be overwhelming and look just plumb nasty. 

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I like "spalted" wood, but it reminds me that it's in the rotting process. And, I'm unsure of it's longevity. 

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1 hour ago, RichardA said:

I like "spalted" wood, but it reminds me that it's in the rotting process. And, I'm unsure of it's longevity. 

It's my understanding that the fungi responsible for spalting stops breaking the wood down under a certain moisture content, something like around 20% and kiln drying kills most of the fungi. But you are right that it's a little counter intuitive to build with partially rotted wood. 

To me spalted wood does well as door panels or in small pieces as was mentioned before. I think it's always nice to have some on hand for that special project.

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40 minutes ago, Bmac said:

It's my understanding that the fungi responsible for spalting stops breaking the wood down under a certain moisture content, something like around 20% and kiln drying kills most of the fungi. But you are right that it's a little counter intuitive to build with partially rotted wood. 

To me spalted wood does well as door panels or in small pieces as was mentioned before. I think it's always nice to have some on hand for that special project.

True. Spalting is any coloration caused by a fungus. It can happen in living trees or once they have died/fallen. Sometimes heavily spalted wood is spongy and needs stabilization, but that is not always the case. You can produce spalted wood by keeping it wet and letting it sit. If you let it sit longer you get more spalting but you also get softer, more decayed wood. If you dry and mill the wood earlier in the process you get spalted wood that is still structurally sound.

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I know this isn't going to be a mainstream opinion, but I don't like spalted wood.  Not that fond of ambrosia, either.  The good news is I won't be buying any so that will keep the price down for other folks.

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