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Author Topic: Fungus in Lumber  (Read 2407 times)

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Offline Axe Handle Hound

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Fungus in Lumber
« on: December 17, 2011, 11:38:49 pm »
 Has anyone ever run into lumber like this before?  The board in the photos is a piece of white oak that is pretty well filled with what I assume is fungus.  I noticed it right away when I cut the lumber and figured it might not make anything useable, but the log was really heavy and we'd just finished rolling it onto the mill so we cut it up anyway.  The wood is dry and relatively solid and the fungus doesn't appear to have spread since I cut the boards.  I'm wondering if anyone has tried making furniture out of wood like this and if so, how did it work out?  I haven't spent any time applying test finishes yet, but I'm thinking the fungus might make for an interesting look....or it could just make for a lot of wasted time and regret.  :-\



  

  

 

Offline LeeB

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2011, 11:55:56 pm »
The wood will be weak and won't finish evenly. Basicly, it partially rotted and then dried out enough to stop the prosses.
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Offline hackberry jake

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 12:06:45 am »
I've ran into that before. Let it draw moisture again and it will start growing mushroom looking growths. I've just seen it on sapwood though. Looks like that might be heartwood.
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Offline ladylake

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 05:51:44 am »
 Right half rotton.   Steve
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Offline redbeard

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 08:46:56 am »
Actually there is a market for spalted wood I sell alot of alder and maple. Or at least use too sales are down right now. I will let logs sit and rot and try to get the spalt to go the total length of log.   

   This is some Alder and when things were going good in the cabinet bussines this stuff was a good seller.. there is alot of info on this subject and I like to mill logs like this to capture something different. Gerry Oak that is native to my area it looks like petrified wood when it is spalted. SPALTED sounds better than saying the word rotten wood. You can obviously tell the difference if you can scratch it out with your finger nail or poke through the board its to far gone. Also climate can have alot to do with how logs will decay I live in a wet climate so it would also depend alot on that.
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Offline Tree Feller

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 10:04:30 am »
Looks like white rot fungus.

While some types of spalting can be spectacular, that example you posted is not what I would call desireable.

Even the more attractive spalted wood should not be used in structural applications but only in areas of little stress...like a door panel.
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Offline SPIKER

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 10:22:19 am »
I have/had a large black cherry come down, was still alive that was filled like that.   it was left in the woods and is a nice mushroom log now.   Not that I would have milled it as it was on the edge of the woods with barbed wire in the but, though it broke off at the top row of long ago embedded barbed wire.

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Offline LeeB

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2011, 10:38:06 am »
The above wood is not what I would call spalting. White oak rarely spalts and when it does so it is only in the sapwood in my experiance.
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Offline taw6243

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2011, 12:26:32 pm »
Called white speck fungus, I looked it up bruce Hoadley, understanding wood has a article on it at the address below.
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Offline Axe Handle Hound

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2011, 12:40:55 pm »
White rot/speck fungus...hadn't heard of it before.  I am familiar with spalted wood and I would agree this isn't really spalted.  The fungus is present equally in the heartwood and the softwood and while the wood is definitely softer than white oak should be, it's still solid enough to hold up to milling.   

I might try finishing a couple of test pieces just to satisfy my curiosity.  Otherwise there's plenty of room in the woodbox. 

The tree was alive yet when I cut it down and from the outside I couldn't see there was anything wrong with it.  I know the homeowner was sad to see it go, but in hind sight it's probably a good thing we cut it.  It was a big tree and was leaning right towards the front of his house.

Offline mandolin

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2011, 08:07:54 pm »
I saw a lot of oak to use in my shop and have run into this many times. When white oak is like it this it is pretty much useless. The problem is that the fungus specks will absorb a lot more stain and poly or lacquer than the surrounding wood and result in dark spots. I usually just throw it away or give to somebody to burn in the fireplace
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: Fungus in Lumber
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2011, 09:03:39 pm »
Axehandle... Actually That stuff is still plenty strong. use it as you would any Oak. You can remove the fungus from the surface with a scratch pad or nylon cleaning brush and some Acetone. White oak does not take stain any way and the color of your sample would look very nice with a clear coat only. I've seen it often in oak and once in some very old Walnut.
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