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Thread: Diseased Wood Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Diseased Wood Question

    As some of you know, I recently had a bunch of trees cut down, all that were too close to the house and otherwise partly dead or very damaged. I originally wanted to try to save the lumber (6 big leaf maples + 2 firs) but after a lot of nagging by LOML, we decided against it. I didn't feel so badly when I saw how they were all diseased and discolored inside--I guess from large chunks broken off here and there? Anyway, you can see here, the weirdness:

    Look to the right, see the big dark patches?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I did notice that some of it was heavily spalted too, with the tell-tale different color lines. I wasn't sure how bad the dark parts were so I kept 3 big chunks intact and a lot of crotches. See the big piece on the right? That's about 3' across and 3' high. I also kept several slices from the bases, all about 30" in diameter.

    My question is, those dark parts in the first photo, are those wasted wood? It didn't feel soft.....Can a woodworker or turner (not me) use that?

    I didn't have any of the special sealant, so I used some leftover latex paint and painted all the open ends of whatever I'm keeping.

    Any Family Friends here that would like a crotch piece, let me know by PM. Not sure if I could get it over the border unless I take the bark off.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm always interested to hear everyone's opinion.....
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The dark-colored staining wouldn't worry me. Hard to say for sure, but it might look good in the finished piece. I'd love to try turning some of it, but I'm afraid the shipping on a decent-sized (12"+) piece would be far too expensive. That big piece sitting on the stump makes me wish my truck and I were about 1200 miles closer. I'd be there this evening.

    It's a shame those trees had to come down, but better to bring them down now than have them come down on their own some night in the rain.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    If I was 1200 miles closer, I'd be there before Vaughn and I don't even own a truck.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammad Madha View Post
    If I was 1200 miles closer, I'd be there before Vaughn and I don't even own a truck.


    That's OK, you still couldn't fit the big pieces in your car. And I've got a lift gate on the truck.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    Perhaps you two could ride together? Road trip
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post


    That's OK, you still couldn't fit the big pieces in your car. And I've got a lift gate on the truck.
    So you are going to rub it in my face. Well, that is ok as I may need your lift gate some day.
    Chinese Proverb: Man who eats many prunes gets good run for the money.

  7. #7
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    S E Washington State
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    What is the harm in keeping a few pieces to see how it turns out. You can regret you didn't keep more later.
    "We the People ......"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
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    Cynthia, The dark spots are spalting as you know. The stain is caused by the fungal colonies eating the wood. The lines are the border areas between different colonies. eventually the wood will become soft and punky so if it is still hard then you cut it at the right time. Once the wood dries it seems to stop or greatly slow down the rotting process. I think like all living things, the fungus requires water to continue its work. You can saw some really nice lumber out of spalted wood.
    I'm a certifiable tree hugger. (it's a poor mans way of determining DBH before cutting the tree down)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Cape Cod, Ma.
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    Do you know anyone with a portable saw mill? Might be worth having some of them cut into lumber in addition to some nice turning blanks. You might find some nice birds eye or curl there for future projects.

  10. #10
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    Here's the closest shot I could get with my (limited) camera.

    Click image for larger version. 

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