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Thread: Hickory Lumber Question

  1. #1

    Hickory Lumber Question

    I have some hickory lumber that's been air drying outside for about a year. I milled down a piece the other day to see how it was looking and get a feel for the stuff (I've never worked with Hickory before). It seems to have white spots that become apparent as I smoothed the face of the board. They aren't voids but are definitely lighter then the overall color of the board, both sapwood and the darker heart wood. Does anyone know if this is common, any good tricks to disguise is, etc?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Tyler, Texas
    That's interesting. The only thing I can think of would be White Rot. Was the lumber exposed to rainfall while it was drying outside?

    Logmaster LM-1 sawmill, 30 hp Kioti tractor w/ FEL, Stihl 290 chainsaw, 300 bf cap. Solar Kiln

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    I've used a fair amount of pecan which is in the same species IIRC. Some portions have a very light overall color and a white spotted look; spots being about the size of dimes. I use these faces on the inside of a piece if the opposite side is attractive. If not, I cut no-show structural pieces from these parts of the material. There may be a cure using dyes or colorants but, I pretty much stick to penetrating oil/varnish mixes which darken things a bit but don't cover the natural figure so I'm no help there.
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  4. #4
    It could have dried too slow with not enough air flow. Can you post a pic?

  5. #5
    Thanks for the replies,

    I believe it dried ok, it's under an awning and all stickered up. That said, some rain could certainly have made it in during some of our windier storms, and the piece I grabbed for this test was on top.

    Maybe it's somewhat typical based on Glenn's pecan experience.

    Picture attached...


  6. #6
    You are right, that is not from drying. Looks like initial stages of a white rot fungal infection. Drying the wood stopped the process (fungus cannot tolerate drying wood).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Marietta, GA
    Honestly, that looks like tear out

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Pasadino, CA
    I've also used a fair amount of Hickory and I've seen all kinds of figure.
    Try another board.

  9. #9
    There were definitely some rotted out sections of that lumber I tossed when it was milled. Will continue to mess with it, thanks for the info.

    It's definitely not tear out for what its worth, I hand planed it, with a good sharp iron and it was actually working pretty well. Just covered in little white spots.

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