Spalted wood

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Democritus

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Hi Guys,
I been given some badly spalted (beech?).
It’s very punky. I’m a bit unsure whether to use it. I have turned spalted stuff before, but not as punky as this stuff. I note that Richard Raffan says that he will never turn spalted wood because he doesn’t want a fungal infection. Has anyone ever experienced chest infection/illness following turning spalted stuff?
D.
 
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Wearing a good quality face mask or a respirator should be good protection from any released fungal spores and allow you to real those interesting patterns the fungus produces.
 
As above, use a good face mask. If it's soft you can harden with CA glue, I usually rough out close to what want then saturate the whole thing in CA and leave it for while then take light cuts to your finished shape, it might take several applications of CA depending how much material you need to remove to get past any tear out but I find it's worth it, once to final shape I usually saturate again before sanding so that I don't remove the soft areas faster than the stable areas, you can get a super glossy finish this way too.
 
Thanks for the advice, guys.
The wood is a fairly big piece, probably making a 10 inch bowl. I think a lot of CA glue would be needed to treat all the punkiness. Using cellulose sealer sounds a bit easier and more economic. Would the sealer need thinning or should I just slap it on? Then do I turn a bit, apply more sealer, turn, more sealer, and so on?
D.
 
Another thought. What about wood hardener? I’ve read somewhere that it works, but should not be used on anything that might come in contact with food. Is that right?
D
 
Admittedly, not a bowl but this Spalted Oak box had about 10 coats of sanding sealer applied to it, sanding/ flatting down between coats before a couple of coats of Microcrystalline wax.

20220204_133100.jpg
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20220204_133112.jpg
 
Thanks for the advice, guys.
The wood is a fairly big piece, probably making a 10 inch bowl. I think a lot of CA glue would be needed to treat all the punkiness. Using cellulose sealer sounds a bit easier and more economic. Would the sealer need thinning or should I just slap it on? Then do I turn a bit, apply more sealer, turn, more sealer, and so on?
D.
I use it as the club used it - diluted 50/50. Just soak well, leave for a few minutes and turn through it with a very sharp tool, then apply again. I always have some to hand, unlike C.A.
Wood hardener is exactly that - you 'll possibly find it too hard to turn through cleanly. I've used it but not for turning.
 
I use Ronseal wood hardener occaisionaly but the problem I find is that it rapidly clogs up the sand paper even after leaving it for a week to dry.
 
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Thanks for the advice, guys.
The wood is a fairly big piece, probably making a 10 inch bowl. I think a lot of CA glue would be needed to treat all the punkiness. Using cellulose sealer sounds a bit easier and more economic. Would the sealer need thinning or should I just slap it on? Then do I turn a bit, apply more sealer, turn, more sealer, and so on?
D.
You can also make your own using alcohol and clear shellac crystals (unwaxed) both freely available and food safe. You can mix to your requirements and the product is definitely food safe (it is used to seal confectionery)

Plenty of YT vids showing how to mix.
 
Thanks, guys. I’ll give it a go with the sealer.
I let you know how it goes.
D
I’d recommend Smith’s CPES. A friend cut ‘tiles’ from salted beech and used CPES to harden them. This was for his kitchen floor. Very successful. I’ve used it to harden up some slightly rotted windows - worked a treat.
 
I’d recommend Smith’s CPES. A friend cut ‘tiles’ from salted beech and used CPES to harden them. This was for his kitchen floor. Very successful. I’ve used it to harden up some slightly rotted windows - worked a treat.
is there a UK supplier for this?
 
Eye wateringly expensive 😩

you could also wipe on epoxy resin to harden the surface or a 50% solution of a solvent based varnish with white spirit would soak into the more porous spalted areas and harden them up.
 
Hi Guys,
As promised, here’s the bowl turned from the very punky wood. I lost a fair bit turning it, and even then you can see the extensive rot that caused a good deal of chattering. I’ve no idea what wood it is.
D.
 

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Hi Guys,
I been given some badly spalted beech. It’s very punky. I’m a bit unsure whether to use it. I have turned spalted stuff before, but not as punky as this stuff. I note that Richard Raffan says that he will never turn spalted wood because he doesn’t want a fungal infection. Has anyone ever experienced chest infection/illness following turning spalted stuff?
D.

I have no wish to disagree with such a distinguished turner as Richard Raffan but Dr Sara Robinson, who is a Professor of wood anatomy who specialises in spalting specifically states that it is a fallacy. She has done a number of Youtube videos on the subject.
- (19m 48s)
- (16m 42s)

Well done with those bowls. Nice job.
 
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