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Author Topic: Cooking Pecan  (Read 5596 times)

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Offline WDH

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Cooking Pecan
« on: June 28, 2015, 08:47:08 pm »
No, not cooking with pecan, but cooking it.  To spalt.  I let some lay around too long a couple of years ago.  When I sawed it, I found it riddled with black lined ambrosia beetle holes and some light spalting.  I went ahead and air dried it, then kiln dried it.  A customer saw it and wanted a coffee table, so I made one out of it.  Turned out very beautiful in my opinion.  There is a thread on it here:  http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,82809.0.html.

Now, I want some more, and I want to do it on purpose.  I cut some pecan logs back in late winter and let them lay for about three or four months.  Hopefully the ambrosia beetles are having a party.  I piled the logs kinda willy nilly, and covered them as well as I could with wet planer shavings a few days ago.  I am hoping that they will "cook" in this Georgia sweltering heat.  I can already see some fungal fruiting bodies on the ends of some of the pieces.  Plan is to leave them "cook" through the Summer and Fall and open them up late in the year.

So, I need the benefits of y'alls experience spalting wood.  Not just spalt, but I want the ambrosia beetle holes too.  What has worked for you?

 

 

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Offline Den-Den

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2015, 08:56:51 pm »
I have encouraged spalting in short sections for turning blanks.  I do it in a shady spot, rake the leaves away from a spot, put the log section on end and put the leaves and a little dirt on top.  As long as it is wet and warm, spalting happens pretty quickly.  Your method should also work, I would recommend cutting a cookie off an end fairly often to check on progress.  Timing has not been very predictable for me and spalting becomes rot if left too long.  If you do cut off a cookie; cover the end back up afterwards so it does not dry out.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2015, 09:23:10 pm »
I am pretty sure that the beetles have had time to get into the wood and do their thing in the four months prior to covering the logs with the wet shavings.  I wanted to give them time to get in there. 
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Offline gfadvm

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2015, 09:34:22 pm »
I don't see much Ambrosia Beetle activity here. As far as spalting, my hackberry spalts beautifully just leaving the logs on the ground for 6-9 months before sawing. Getting the bark off seems to cut down on the longhorn beetle tracks.

Offline bkaimwood

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2015, 08:25:44 pm »
From my minimal experience, the rougher the surroundings, the quicker and better the effects... Dump some hot garbage in there, and water it!!!
bk

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2015, 09:04:47 pm »
If I want something to happen to something I want,it happens pretty quick and the out come is not good. But if i want something bad to happen to something good and I want it to look good,the out come is still not good.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2015, 09:40:52 pm »
the rougher the surroundings, the quicker and better the effects...

 :D :D

These surroundings are pretty rough.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2015, 09:00:15 am »
And I thought this was going to be a discussion about peecan pie. :(
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Offline LittleJohn

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2015, 10:42:33 am »
And I thought this was going to be a discussion about peecan pie. :(
..me too  :( :(  So disappointed


But I am interested in the process of spaulting logs

Offline bkaimwood

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2015, 08:27:35 pm »
I knew nothing about spalting a year ago, but learned alot about it in the last 6 months...I just had a pile of logs I had no time to get to...staged in the worst possible manner...on the ground, in a low water table area, with a seasonal high water table, with lots of hot gargage floating about, as mentioned...sawed one of said ambrosia maple logs today, ambrosia of coarse, some quilting, and yup, spalting......39" log, 16 slabs, some freeform pieces with great figure, and some boards...
bk

Offline Raym

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2015, 05:31:56 am »
When spalting wood blanks for turning, they get covered with shavings and then soaked with beer and covered with plastic. Should get some beautiful spalting in a matter of months.
Not sure if the beer brings more to the party but it seems to help.....
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Offline WDH

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2015, 07:17:38 am »
Maybe I should cover my pecan with plastic.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2015, 07:19:51 pm »
Soaked with beer?
Alcohol abuse.
Maybe beer in its used form would work?
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2015, 04:45:35 am »
Logs seem to spalt more thoroughly and more quickly if you fell the trees in early summer.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2015, 07:07:24 am »
I wonder if a watched log won't spalt, sorta like a watched pot won't boil (old saying)?
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Offline Raym

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2015, 08:39:15 am »
I don't see any reason you couldn't saw first and then cover with wet chips and cover with plastic. At least this way you could see the face of the boards for the level of spalting you want. I received 2 large silver maple logs that I may slab and try.
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Offline bkaimwood

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2015, 06:36:07 pm »
I would think raym, that if you did it that way, you'd just end up with moldy, ruined, stained slabs...there's something about opening a log up that changes the dynamics of everything... But I don't know, never tried it...but I'd think someone here has, and will share...
bk

Offline jim blodgett

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2015, 10:12:17 am »
When you guys say "spalted", are you talking specifically about black line spalting? I have worked a fair bit with spalted maple out here in WA, and often run into people who have a different idea of what constitutes "spalted".

I am curious what is considered "spalted" in other species, geographic regions.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2015, 12:10:13 pm »
Jim
What are the "different ideas" of spalted in the PNW?

I'd think "black line" would be a good bet for spalted.
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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2015, 12:34:41 pm »
Interesting idea Danny, I thought about doing something similar with maple and covering it with leaves.
 I'm watching with interest.
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Offline jim blodgett

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2015, 05:41:03 pm »
Jim
What are the "different ideas" of spalted in the PNW?

I'd think "black line" would be a good bet for spalted.

Yeah, I pretty much think that's the best spalted gets, those super dark lines, almost as if someone drew them with a fine tipped ink pen...India ink black even.  When it is really special it almost looks like an antique map in a fantasy novel or something.

But then when I look on craigs list, or even websites advertising "spalted maple"  I often see staining or discoloration, but very little (often no) black line.

Makes me think maybe it's me who has the wrong word attached to the characteristics I call "spalted".  Or maybe it's a continuum, with the black line at a certain point in the process?  Heck if I know. But I know that black line is hard to come by, whatever it's called.

Offline Raym

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2015, 06:28:49 pm »
Jim
What are the "different ideas" of spalted in the PNW?

I'd think "black line" would be a good bet for spalted.
I agree that spalted can mean many different things but for me if it doesn't have the black lines it doesn't have much value.

 
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2015, 07:30:36 pm »
I wouldn't let CL make too many definitions for me, as almost anything goes there.  ;D
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Offline jim blodgett

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2015, 08:57:38 pm »
Nice, Raym.  That looks like the spalted big leaf maple we cherish out here.

You turn that by any chance?

Offline WDH

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2015, 10:01:29 pm »
I am aiming for the black line spalting with some color, too. 
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Offline Raym

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2015, 06:08:21 am »
Nice, Raym.  That looks like the spalted big leaf maple we cherish out here.

You turn that by any chance?
Yes....funny story, my mom had two large silver maples thatwere taken down that we're in a utility easement and I had the contractor leave the butt logs (30") for me to harvest for turning stock. I brought the pieces home and walked around them for about a year before I gave up on time and was going to move them to the burn pile.
I made a cut with the chainsaw and realized what was inside. Needless to say I spent the next 2 days cutting and sealing wood. I ended up with more than a truck load of large turning blocks....beautifully spalted?
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Offline jim blodgett

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2015, 09:23:06 am »
Ryan

You said "...beautifully spalted?".

For sure.  And beautifully used as well. Very nice.

Offline WDH

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2016, 08:14:11 pm »
Well, I decided to saw the  smiley_devil today to see how the spalting has come along.  This is one coyote ugly pecan log.  Has been sitting since April of 2015, part of that time covered with planer shavings in the hope of getting it to spalt. 

 

 

Here is one of the first boards off the cant.  I am sawing this wood at 1 5/8" thick for table tops and coffee table tops and sofa table tops, etc.

 

 

Not too bad.  Some nice color, but not many black spalt lines. 

 

 

In the center of the log, believe it or not after 15 months, the wood looked too fresh for my taste.  I guess that I need to let these logs "cook" a bit longer  :).

 

 

Where is the spalt when you want/need it  ???

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2016, 09:27:53 pm »
On a log that you don't want it to be on.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2016, 07:09:34 am »
Exactly.  I believe that burying the logs in the planer shavings did not help the process like I anticipated that it would.  It may have actually impeded the process somehow.  Oh well, back to the  smiley_devil drawing board.
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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2016, 11:41:05 pm »
Interesting result.  I would not have thought this. 
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Offline 5quarter

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2016, 08:19:43 pm »
Danny...Arky used to roll his logs under the trees and spray a bottle of colt 45 over them and cover the logs up with brush, leaves weeds or whatever. once in a while he'd water them down if he thought they might be getting a little dry. He'd set them up in the spring and saw them in the fall and nearly every one was spalted to the center. I don't know if he did Pecan, but he did do alot of sycamore and hackberry.
   I picked up a large chunk of Hickory once at the log dump that had been buried underneath a small mountain of logs and debris for years. it was heavily spalted right to the center and 100% solid...so I know it can be done.

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Offline WDH

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2017, 09:11:45 pm »
Status update.  It has been two years since I began this spalting experiment.  A couple of months ago, I sawed all the remaining pecan logs that I had set aside to spalt two years ago.  When I sawed them, I concluded that I had waited too long and the wood was no good.  Still, I stickered the wood and let it air dry for a while and just finished kiln drying it.  Yesterday, I began to plane the wood because a customer wanted some for a rustic table.  It turned out better than I initially believed that it would.  Here are the boards that the customer picked out for the table.

 

 

Yesterday, another customer came by and saw me planing the wood and bought two bookmatched 9/4 slabs that were 5' long and 19" wide for a desk top.  Here is one of the slabs:

 

 

Another pic of one of the 5/4 boards:

 

 

I consider the experiment a success.  I am going to do OK with this  ;D.
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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2017, 11:18:42 pm »
Looks great.  Is the wood still solid?
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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2017, 07:06:20 am »
Yes, much more so than I thought when I handled the boards off the mill.  After laying so long, there were more deep end checks than normal, plus, pecan is bad to end split anyway ( smiley_devil).
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Offline grouch

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Re: Cooking Pecan
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2017, 03:13:11 pm »
Could it be that your planer shavings made the whole pile act as a compost heap and overheated the little buggers?
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