April 3rd, 2012, 01:56 PM
I had a birch blow down on my outhouse last week.
Turns out the entire tree was infestated with rot fungus.
Any sane member of the community would lament the possibility of not having to dig a hole in the ground for regulating the bowels, but as a member of TDPRI my thoughts were "Could this be spalted wood?"
This is a picture of the stump
and this is a section at the top of the tree
It's cut up in four 10' sections and stacked at the moment.
The black lines haven't developed yet (if they ever will) but how should I cultivate this wood to get the best spalt?
How long should it lie outdoors before sawing and drying?
Is this even the right type of fungus?
The wood is still hard, it haven't gone punky yet.
April 3rd, 2012, 03:34 PM
I've heard from wood turners that covering the bowl blanks (basically large cylinders) in a pile of leaves for a year will encourage the mold to grow and spread. You might be able to see the black line (mapping) on a cross cut, but it is more obvious when it is cut in a lengthwise direction (because that the direction the fungus migrates). Just my 2 cents.
I did have a gorgeous bowl roughed out of plain variety hackberry, and I wrapped it in the shavings and placed in a plastic shopping bag. I had every intention to get it finished the next weekend - but it was 2 months before I got to it. The pure white nothing interesting going on wood had turned into a gray mold infested blank. I had to wear a face mask and breathing mask to get rid of the mold, but the bowl turned out very pretty.
April 3rd, 2012, 08:43 PM
Looks like quilted birch. You'd have to saw it to prove it though, but those rings are wonky.
April 3rd, 2012, 09:23 PM
I make spalted all the time. Just leave it on the ground outside for about a year or so. Not something you can rush through.
April 3rd, 2012, 10:05 PM
You've recieved good advise all around so far. The grain looks interesting enough that I would saw a slab or two off of the butt log to verify the figure. If quilted, saw into quality lumber, maybe saving one of the four logs to experiment with. I've spalted many logs & it can be a fine line between beautiful spalting & just rotten wood. Timing is everything. Spalting is the first stages of deacy as the White & Blue molds begin to comsume the carbohydates in the wood. The black line occurs when two White mold colonies meet, not like each other, they produce a chemical barrier between the two colonies creating the much admired inky lines. The molds & sufficient moisture must be present in the ground the logs rest upon or be introduced. Brown Rot mold is the bane of deliberate spalters. It can be a roll of the dice but, can yield some lovely wood. Good luck & let us know how it turns out sometime next year! Cheers!
April 4th, 2012, 02:38 AM
Ok, don't do squat for a whole year and then check it out.
I think I can manage that :smile:
I'll cut of a chunk of the stump and slice it up, I'm going to dig it up anyway. It's bound to be some burl in it which could be interesting with all this rot thing.