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Thread: Green wood end grain sealer iTree Saver Brand vs Anchorseal vs Anchorseal 2

  1. #16
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    I just went out to the garage and looked at a log I had used Anchorseal 2 on last fall. I noticed some end checks early this spring, but now I see the whole log has split all the way down. So not happy with it.
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  2. #17
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    This discussion is burdened by the lack of a single definition of success. Some are using end sealers in the context of wanting things to dry; others are trying to prevent drying. These two goals have different requirements and the same product will not be the best for both.

    *All* coatings have some degree of permeability. Unseasoned exotic blanks come dunked in heavy paraffin wax. They dry very slowly, but they do dry. Woods that are sensitive to fungal degrade may rot before they dry, but many of the common exotics have rot-resistant heartwood and it's not an issue. Many exotics are also very dense, and moisture moves very slowly within them, which requires that moisture loss from the surface is also slow.

    Appropriate permeability of a coating is inexorably tied to the environment the piece is in. If I cut a 2.5" green maple spindle blank, I could leave it completely uncoated in 85% relative humidity and it would not check. I could coat only the ends if it's held at 60% RH (summer RH in my shop), but I have to coat both the ends (preferably double coat) *and* the sides if it's held at 30% RH (the RH in my shop in the winter).

    Different wood species have different drying characteristics, so species is an important determinant of what process will yield acceptable results (even though I make several generalizations in what I'm writing here).

    When end coating logs of any size in the round, no end coating will hold them indefinitely. Even if thick paraffin wax is used (about the tightest end sealant commonly available), the log will eventually split because of differential tangential and radial shrinkage. This is why you see the consistent advice to split logs in half for long term storage, to relieve this stress and make longitudinal splitting avoidable (though drying rate still has to be controlled).

    Wood checks because it can't withstand drying stresses. Assuming that a piece doesn't have a boxed pith, knots, or tortured grain, checks arise because the outer portion of the piece drying too much faster than the interior. The exterior is shrinking but the interior is still swollen and the outer part splits to relieve the stress. This process is governed by two things; the speed at which water leaves the surface of the wood, and the rate that water moves within the wood to equilibrate the moisture content throughout the piece. Loss from the surface increases with temperature and decreases with humidity. Movement inside the wood is primarily a function of temperature. This is why lumber kilns operate at high temperatures and high humidity. High temps accelerate water movement, but heat alone would speed loss from the surface and create checking. To combat this, steam is injected to increase humidity and slow surface water loss while keeping a high rate of internal moisture movement. Though drying in a shop environment is at lower temperatures, the same principles are involved. Because we generally don't control humidity, we instead use sealers to slow the surface loss rate.

    I've used both Anchorseal I and II extensively. I don't think there's any question that a single application of Anchorseal I is less permeable than Anchorseal II. If you're trying to retard drying (e.g., trying to keep green turning blanks from end checking so they're intact and green when you turn them), I think it's a better choice (though if the blank is stored in a fairly dry environment, you need to coat the sides as well as the end). If you're drying bowl roughs, I think Anchorseal II may be better *because* it is more permeable; in this case you want the blank to dry, you just want it to slow it enough to prevent checking. But the adequacy of Anchorseal II for this purpose is still tied to the RH the piece is held in. If RH is too low, you can still get checks with Anchorseal II. In the summer, I can leave an Anchorseal II-coated bowl rough out in the open shop air no problem. In the winter (low RH), I need to slow things down further and do that with putting the blanks in paper bags, double bagging if I've got reason to worry about the wood hanging together. The thickness of the wood is an important variable, because of lengthens the moisture gradient from inside to out. If you turn a thin bowl, it can dry without coating because the moisture doesn't have to move far (and the wood is probably a little more flexible because it is thin).

    Another important distinction between Anchorseal I and II is their base, solvent for I and water for II. I prefer using Anchorseal II where it's adequate because of the water cleanup. A quick swish in warm soapy water is all it takes. I have a cheap 2" brush that I use over and over. In fact, if you accidentally let Anchorseal II dry on the brush, hot soapy water will restore it well enough. Anchorseal I requres aggressive solvents for cleaning and, as a result, I usually choose to throw away the applicator.

    As a water-based wax emulsion, Anchorseal II does not apply well over a fully dry coat -- it's fairly hydrophobic once dry and the second coat will tend to bead. A second coat, if desired, should be applied before the first is fully dry (e.g., 15 minutes, longer if humidity is high). Also, don't stretch Anchorseal coverage by brushing it out aggressively -- increased coverage just means decreased effectiveness in retarding water loss. The goal is to get lots of product on the piece, not to make a can last longer. As thick as it will go without dripping is the goal.

    I've not worked with the PVA-based sealer, though this discussion spurred me to order some to give it a try. I have to echo what someone else said, that simultaneous claims that it both accelerates drying and better limits checking are suspect in principle. I'm not trying to deny anyone's experience with it, and am anxious to try it myself, but given the processes that govern wood drying and wood failure, it is very difficult to rationalize how this happens. It's like saying the slowest runner will win the race; it can't be true unless there are additional variables not in evidence.

    Best,

    Dave

  3. #18
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    Dave, thanks for the enlightened discussion. I'll just mention that there has been mixed advice here about whether to keep logs whole or cut in half.
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  4. #19
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    Anchorseal - my experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    Dave, thanks for the enlightened discussion. I'll just mention that there has been mixed advice here about whether to keep logs whole or cut in half.

    I suppose there will always be controversy about wood sealers. I personally will not use latex paint after reading a study that showed how ineffective it was at slowing down water evaporation. I have no interest in dealing with the mess of white glue. I do get a few drops of Anchorseal on my concrete floor on occasion but the floor has never been slippery. I generally set a piece of plywood or thin slab of hardwood on the bandsaw table, workbench, or handy stool, paint the blanks over the board, and stack the blanks on the board.

    Years ago I bought a 55 gal drum of Anchorseal, the original formula before Anchorseal 2 was marketed. I've processed and dried many hundreds of turning blanks and have had very few failures with blanks and protecting log ends from checking. I dry blanks indoors in my heated/cooled shop.

    I later talked to UC Coatings about the difference and got the impression the two types were quite similar and for my use, drying blanks for woodturning and coating the ends of logs at the sawmill, the original recipe was just fine. I bought the "winter" formula and use it all year, indoors and out. I understood both are water based with no solvents. They said the 2 also had some polymers. They said the 2 might be a bit better for drying exotic woods but either would work on exotics or domestic logs.

    Looking at their web site, both list basically the same thing but Anchorseal 2 specifically mentions exotics wood and deck boards. Besides that, the lists of what they are good for and what they contain are similar. Apparently they are both water based and neither contain solvents. What I don't see listed is the surfactant added to lower the surface tension and keep the emulsion from separating, probably similar to what I buy by the gallon to add to herbicides when spraying fields.

    ANCHORSEAL® Classic is a premium wax emulsion end sealer
    https://uccoatings.com/products/anchorseal/

    Water based
    Non-hazardous
    No solvents
    Available in summer and winter formulas
    Soap and water cleanup

    ANCHORSEAL® 2 is a hybrid of plant-based polymers and wax
    https://uccoatings.com/products/anchorseal-2/

    Water based
    Non-hazardous
    No solvents
    Available in summer and winter formulas
    Soap and water cleanup


    One thing I always do which gives me a thicker coat without the beading problems mentioned of applying multiple coats: I pour about an inch or two in a plastic coffee can and leave the lid off for a few days. This lets some of the water evaporate and makes the stuff go on a lot thicker with a single coat. I apply with a cheap disposable paint brush from Home Depot, a 2" in the shop and a wider brush for logs. I have never washed the brush and have used the same one for years - if it gets gummed up with dry Anchorseal I simply brush it back and forth a couple of times on the lip of the coffee can. I actually keep two coffee cans with their own brush so I can let one thicken so it will be ready when the other gets low.

    I'm still using the last few gallons of the 55gal drum from at least a decade ago. I can't remember when I bought it but I sold a LOT of it to turning club members at what I paid for it - $6 a gallon, I think it's more now but haven't checked for a long time. I'll probably buy another 55gal drum in a few months - a wood-dealer friend told me the UC Coatings distribution center is just up the road from me and it's cheaper if you pick it up rather than pay for delivery. He said he takes a trailer and gets at least 6 drums at a time. What I got came in a plastic drum and included a nice valve. I made a support from wood to hold the drum horizontal, off the ground enough to put a container under the spout. BTW, I've seen and heard of several woodturning clubs that buy it by the drum and sell to members - that way is a LOT cheaper than from the wood working stores!

    BTW, coating the blank for success is almost an art. I always coat the end grain of a square or rectangular blank but often coat the sides, "depending". Too much to get into here but things like figure, species, suspected stresses, orientation of the rings, proximity to juvenile wood, heartwood/sapwood boundaries, and hunches based on experience come into play! I should do a video on drying blanks someday.

    Stan, from my experience and that of several experts, including the "other" John Jordan (the famous one): keep the log in the shade off the ground and keep the length as long as possible. The ends will dry and check but are easily cut away to good wood. I seal the log ends but the the other JJ doesn't - he just cuts off 6", throws it away, cuts a turning blank, then turns it. The worst way to store green wood is in short, firewood size lengths. If at all possible, cut the log sections through the pith to minimize severe cracking from drying stresses (as per the T/R ratio) If I have to store short sections for a short time, I'll seal the ends, stand them vertically on a piece of plastic or plywood, each on top to protect the one below, then cover the top one. This has worked very well. Note that all storage works better in the cool months and the dead of winter. The worst is hot, dry summers, especially with light-colored woods prone to fungal stain (holly, maple, etc). Another time-honored method of long-term storage is "ponding" - totally submerge the log in fresh water - it will stay good inside for years or even decades.

    JKJ

  5. #20
    This is what's left of 9- 25 yr old Bradford Pear trees the power company cut down in front of my place over a year ago. ( they said they were a hazard). Anyway, I've got a bandsaw on order and when it shows up I plan to cut what I can out of this. I was thinking about using a bonding agent for concrete/mortarfrom lowes or home depot. The stuff I think is basically elmers glue...$16 to 17 bucks a gallon. What do you guys think of using something like that?

    28EA7A3E-3BA0-4116-B481-0E652D1B14FF_1_201_a.jpg

  6. #21
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    When this thread started I was really sold on the PVA based Tree Saver green wood sealer from Craft Supplies. I want to say that's because it was a brand new product and I had talked to Kirk DeHeer from CS about it. Kirk tested it for a year before CS started to sell it and he had such high praise for it that so did I.

    So I bought a 5 gallon bucket of Tree Saver. PVA means glue based which means STICKY and THICK. It sticks to your hands, brush, everywhere, and is a royal pain to clean up. The directions say use warm water but regular water also works. It's just a pain. Use disposable brushes and throw them away when done. I had to cut the bristles down on my brush to help apply it's so thick. It drips EVERYWHERE and takes DAYS to dry. I've always used a drop cloth under my waxed items until they dry. With Anchorseal I wait overnight then collect the pieces and take them from the garage to basement. With Tree Saver most of the product will be dry the next day but there will be big puddles on my drop cloth that are a gooey mess to try and wipe up and days later still haven't dried. With Anchorseal I never got dripping and if I did a quick wipe with a paper towel cleaned it up.

    It got to be such a pain to apply Tree Saver (because it's so sticky) that I bought a 5 gallon bucket of Anchorseal to use on bowls, and reserved Tree Saver for spindle blanks that I could dunk the ends instead of brush. I dunked the end and used an old credit card to wipe excess off. This worked OK but there is still a lot that drips all over. I never have this problem with Anchorseal because I can easily brush it on.

    It can take me a while to use up a 5 gallon bucket. I've had Anchorseal for several years and had no problems. Imagine my surprise when I opened up the bucket of Tree Saver to find black mold on the surface. I don't know if it has a shelf life or if maybe dunking blanks in the bucket caused some kind of reaction, but each time I went to use it I had to skim mold off the surface. What an even bigger sticky mess that was. It was on the bucket side walls too but I didn't try to clean that up. I had about 1/2 a bucket left of Tree Saver and went to use it one day. There was so much mold and it was so gross I put the lid back on and threw the bucket away. It was such a sticky pain to apply and clean up that it isn't worth it to me. I'll never use it again and will stick with Anchorseal.

    Did Tree Saver work? My first batch of 11 bowls resulted in 10 out of 11 splitting and cracking - violently I might add. I've never had a bowl split apart like that before. It was like the bowl was pulled apart and you could see the fibers being pulled. I talked to Kirk who suggested stirring it, that some of whatever might have settled to the bottom of the bucket. I bought a paint stirrer that you put in your drill and that seemed to help. Tree Saver does dry hard, not waxy, but I've never had a problem with Anchorseal making my floors or anything else slippery (I wax bowls, not the floor). I think (?) Tree Saver might dry bowls faster than Anchorseal but I'm in no hurry and have hundreds of bowl blanks to pick from.

    I tried Anchorseal 2 and had poor results, like 50% loss. I went back to the original formula Anchorseal and am back to 1% loss if even that much. I do not put on two coats because you can't wax a waxed surface. Maybe if I tried a 2nd coat 15 minutes after the first coat it might work but who's got that kind of time when you're waxing 50 items at a time? I don't really have a need for 2 coats anyway as 1 coat works.

    The original Anchorseal and AS2 are both water cleanup, not solvent. I've been using the same Anchorseal brush for years. When I'm done I wrap the brush in a piece of Saran (plastic) wrap. The bristles might harden but as soon as you start using the brush again they soften right up. I also buy the winter formula of the original Anchorseal and use it all year round.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Duckworth View Post
    This is what's left of 9- 25 yr old Bradford Pear trees the power company cut down in front of my place over a year ago. ( they said they were a hazard). Anyway, I've got a bandsaw on order and when it shows up I plan to cut what I can out of this. I was thinking about using a bonding agent for concrete/mortarfrom lowes or home depot. The stuff I think is basically elmers glue...$16 to 17 bucks a gallon. What do you guys think of using something like that?

    28EA7A3E-3BA0-4116-B481-0E652D1B14FF_1_201_a.jpg
    Might work fine. Other effective things people have used, some quite messy: roofing tar, several coats of oil-based paint, heavy gear oil or grease, aluminum paint. Could be a good chance to test several types of sealer!

    When sealing wood that has been around a bit it's best to cut away any end checks which have formed. Cut back to good wood then seal right away. Some types of wood survive rapid drying better if you can cut down the pith with a chainsaw - since wood shrinks about twice as much in along the rings compared to in the radial direction, this lets the half shrink and warp without splitting. (You don't actually have to cut it into two pieces, just a single slot cut down one side from the bark to the pith is enough.) This can especially help with larger diameter pieces.

    The plastic wrap will help slow down moisture loss but unless it has airflow from bottom to top there is a risk of holding too much moisture and accelerating fungal growth and discoloration. Some species are worse about this than others, don't remember about bradford pear. The pile should be kept in the shade if possible to avoid making an oven/uncontrolled kiln!

    Regardless of all this, be advised that chunks of wood from some individual trees and/or parts of the tree can crack more or less than others of the same species. Cherry, for example, has the reputation of sometimes starting the check and crack when freshly cut while you are standing and watching! However, the trees are all different. I had to take down a big cherry once that simply refused to crack. I left one piece outside in the sun and it still hadn't cracked after several years. Other big chunks I stuck in storage and the are still solid years later. So for any particular chunk, YMMV!

    BTW, they were right to cut it down. The Bradford Pear craze has municipalities and individuals removing them now. They tend to be weak where branching and large limbs can easily break with snow or wind or looking at them crosswise. But get all you can, I love turning and carving it!

    carved_bowl_IMG_4195.jpg

    JKJ

    JKJ

  8. #23
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    I need to own up to unintentionally spreading some misinformation (well dated information anyway) about the two Anchoseal products. Long ago, when there was only one Anchorseal product, it was solvent based. Since there became two Anchorseals, I've only purchased Anchorseal II and I wrongly assumed that Anchorseal I was the original formulation, but apparently they're both water based now and the solvent-based product has gone the way of the dinos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    I'll just mention that there has been mixed advice here about whether to keep logs whole or cut in half.
    I'm not sure of the sources of the two perspectives, but again, the context and the goals are important. Logs will store in the round for a long time before they split, but they will split eventually if they dry. How long depends on where they are stored, as that affects the rate of moisture loss. If they're stored in a dampish shaded area, they may well rot before they split. The ends will probably check if they are uncoated, but many just accept that and plan to trim off the checked ends before taking their blank. An advantage of storing in log form is that you have fewer cut ends. If you cut the log down to blanks, you have lots of cut ends that have to be sealed. Basically, the "store in the round log length" approach deals with the issue by allowing end wastage and slowing drying rate by keeping the log somewhere where the surface drying won't be too serious. But surface checking is more than possible when storing log length. Here's a pic of a maple log with surface checking, in this case accelerated by bark that got knocked off by the de-limber -- but it will happen under bark too.

    Capture134.jpg

    If stored log length in the round, the long term outlook is one of two things: 1) it rots if held wet indefinitely; or 2) it surface checks because it eventually starts drying out. The goal is to use it before either happens, and the rate of rot is very species dependent. Maple can discolor in a couple months in warm weather (won't be unsound, but will start to stain). Walnut heartwood will last wet for many years (though the sapwood may not).

    The advantage of cutting the log into blanks is that you can allow the piece to begin drying, and if you control the rate, it will last indefinitely. If you control the moisture loss rate well enough, it can go completely dry without defects (this will take years for a bowl blank to go completely dry, but you can do it. Cutting out the pith is required to relieve shrinkage stress and the associated longitudinal splitting. Sealing is generally required because you've eliminated your waste allowance by cutting it down, so you have to seal it to slow drying enough to avoid checking from moisture differential. Per this overall discussion, how well you have to seal it depends on the conditions it will be dried in. The lower the RH of the storage environment, the better it has to be sealed. There is no one formula that works for everyone because the storage conditions everyone uses vary a lot. That's a big reason why you see conflicting reports of what works and what doesn't. As I said in my previous post, the same treatment that will work for me in summer (shop RH relatively high) will not work for me in winter (low RH). Also, you can still have rot problems if you have to seal it so tightly that it rots before it dries (or you use it). If I take uncoated green maple blanks and put them in plastic feed sacks, they won't check, but they will mold/fungus/discolor. If I seal them, sticker them, and throw a burlap moving blanket over them (retards but does not preclude air circulation) they will keep a long time without discoloring. Another aspect of cutting down the pith is that the cut face is now subject to fast moisture loss and then checking, so if you're storing blanks that way, best to seal the cut faces. Bark retards moisture loss but you can get splitting under bark; if it's a blank I care about and may be storing for a long time, I'll pry the bark off and put sealer on the wood underneath. Long grain loses moisture more slowly than end grain, so you generally don't have to seal the long grain parts of a blank as tightly as end grain.

    Pat Scott, if neither sealer is working for you, it suggests to me the biggest issue is not the sealer, but that the place you are drying the blanks is too warm/dry (low RH), so much so that neither sealer can slow drying enough. I don't know if you put your sealed blanks in paper bags for drying, but that would be my suggestion. The paper bags work by reducing air circulation and creating a higher RH environment inside the bag than in the room air. If you're already bagging the bowls, then try cutting a paper grocery bag into an open sheet, wrap the bowl in that like a Christmas present, then put the wrapped bowl into an intact paper bag, fold over the top and staple it shut.

    A final important consideration is that bowl roughs need similar air circulation all around them. If bowl roughs are nested on in another, then drying is uneven and you can get cracks regardless of the sealer used. Imagine the bottom bowl in the stack; it has free air circulation around the outside, but the inside is facing the bottom of another (wet) bowl, so the inside doesn't dry at the same rate as the outside and it cracks. The opposite is true for the top bowl in the stack. In the middle, you have bowls where the rim has better air circulation than the interior. All of these raise risks of cracking because not all parts of the bowl are drying evenly.

    Regardless of the sealing/drying methods used, failure (cracking) rate is dependent on wood species and the grain in the particular piece. I've never gotten a redbud rough to dry without really extreme deformation and cracking. If the rough is cut close to the pith, even if the pith isn't actually included, the tight curvature of the grain can encourage cracking, especially in fruitwoods (cherry, apple).

    Best,

    Dave

  9. #24
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    Dave, well thought out and written, as usual!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mount View Post
    ...If I take uncoated green maple blanks and put them in plastic feed sacks, they won't check, but they will mold/fungus/discolor. ...
    I found this out once and had such spectacular spalting I've been doing it on purpose to try to recreate the spalting! Long ago I cut a small green maple bowl blank and wrapped it in plastic wrap to keep it wet overnight. I got busy or something and completely forgot about it until years later. It was completely dry by then and a variety of incredible fungus had grown on every surface. Cutting into it I got some of the best spalting I've every seen - not the usual black zone lines on white as much as some great areas of color, greens and browns, some tinged towards the red.

    This is a distinctly unprofessional cell phone picture of an egg I turned from the some of the wood and a slice cut off the face of the blank. I suspect Dr Spalt could tell which fungi were present!

    egg_spalted.jpg Fungi_on_spalted_wood.jpg

    After seeing that I wished the blank was bigger! I've got several plastic bags with blocks of maple sitting in a corner of my shop now, fungus growing on the surfaces. For the first month or so I poured a bit of water inside to provided moisture since I didn't wrap each block tightly as I did in the accidental experiment. Looking forward to cutting into some of these one day. I realize the spalting result will be luck-of-the-draw but I figure if I do enough of these some of them may be good!

    JKJ

  10. #25
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    Hey John--

    Since I have maple logs by the cord, I often save more pieces for turning than I get to, and have had many get funky in a feed sack while waiting for the turning that never came. Maybe I need to not be so anxious to pitch them, that's some pretty nice stuff you have there! I have to confess the inside of those bags is often so funky I mostly want to just get it out of the shop.

    There is often a blackish mildewy coating on the inside of those "overcooked" bags after I've dumped the blank out. I wonder if that can serve as a seed for "artistic fungi" if you re-use the same bag. I've seen mention of people doing intentional spalting, but I've not done it myself, I've only used spalted pieces nature delivered on its own.

    Best,

    Dave

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mount View Post
    Hey John--

    Since I have maple logs by the cord, I often save more pieces for turning than I get to, and have had many get funky in a feed sack while waiting for the turning that never came. Maybe I need to not be so anxious to pitch them, that's some pretty nice stuff you have there! I have to confess the inside of those bags is often so funky I mostly want to just get it out of the shop.

    There is often a blackish mildewy coating on the inside of those "overcooked" bags after I've dumped the blank out. I wonder if that can serve as a seed for "artistic fungi" if you re-use the same bag. I've seen mention of people doing intentional spalting, but I've not done it myself, I've only used spalted pieces nature delivered on its own.

    Best,

    Dave
    Dr. Seri Robinson was the guest at out last club meeting—she’s a spalting guru. I won’t even try to start on what she presented, but definitely some science available. She has no love for unknown molds…beyond her allergies and risk of contaminating her cultures, but I’d be like John and turn it! I’ve got to remember to pick up a copy of her “Spalting 101” book. Fascinating stuff!
    earl

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Might work fine. Other effective things people have used, some quite messy: roofing tar, several coats of oil-based paint, heavy gear oil or grease, aluminum paint. Could be a good chance to test several types of sealer!




    JKJ

    JKJ

    ...Anyone who ever worked with roofing tar knows the first thing to do is pop the lid and wipe some on your forearm and pants just to get it over with!

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mount View Post
    Hey John--

    Since I have maple logs by the cord, I often save more pieces for turning than I get to, and have had many get funky in a feed sack while waiting for the turning that never came. Maybe I need to not be so anxious to pitch them, that's some pretty nice stuff you have there! I have to confess the inside of those bags is often so funky I mostly want to just get it out of the shop.

    There is often a blackish mildewy coating on the inside of those "overcooked" bags after I've dumped the blank out. I wonder if that can serve as a seed for "artistic fungi" if you re-use the same bag. I've seen mention of people doing intentional spalting, but I've not done it myself, I've only used spalted pieces nature delivered on its own.

    Best,

    Dave
    I'd probably brush off anything on the surface and cut away some of the wood with a saw to see if the inside was changing.

    There were some posts here a few years back from a gentleman who had a "spaltiing farm". I can dig out his posts if interested. Basically he stood log sections on the bare ground and waited. After "some" time (months? there is the art or magic) he would cut off some of the end to see if spalting was proceeding. Reported good results. I've tried this a few times and sometime I got excellent spalting, sometimes nothing, sometimes I waited too long and got punky rotten wood. I guess the trick is having a LOT of sections cooking at the same time.

    As for the funky bag, if it turned out the piece inside had spalted nicely then yes, I'd suspect you have a good starter brew. Otherwise I might simply hose out the bag and start again. I understand there are fungus spores everywhere, in dirt, leaves, etc, so putting some handfuls of such in the bag along with some moisture might work.

    I forgot, have you read Sari Robinson's books on spalting? She has some great info and sources where to procure certain spores for specific colors.

    BTW, if I don't make myself use it in the next year I think I'll send you my favorite piece of spalted dogwood I got after digging up a stump in a neighbor's yard, a nice multi-sphere sized piece. I've also got more birch, beech, hackberry, maple, and some unknown spalted woods. The second picture is spalted hackberry, all from the same log.

    Spalted_IMG_20170118_132621.jpg spalted_Suggs.jpg

    JKJ

  14. #29
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    294
    Wow, nice looking stuff John! Hackberry must spalt well. A wood supplier I buy wood from occasionally just put up a bunch of spalted hackberry blanks that are in a league with yours in regard to the intensity of the spalting. I was tempted, but have resisted thus far. I need to turn more of what I already have, not the least of which is in the John Jordan big box o' fun.

    You shared a smaller piece of that dogwood -- nice stuff. What you sent me still had good integrity despite the spalting. One of the things I've encountered with much of the spalted maple I've found is that it often has some spots in which the decay is advanced, and those spongy spots often take up oil do a degree that they kind of get dingy looking in the finished piece. I experimented with spray lacquer to see if I could kind of go over the top of the soft wood -- I had some modest success with that, though you've got to want lacquer as your finish. Thin CA glue seems to seal some of that wood without too much darkening, in some cases anyway.

    The spalting is tiny, but this week I did cut apart a piece of maple that had been waiting patiently for me to cut it up, and it turned out to have better figure than I was expecting. The vast majority of maple crotches I've cut up have included bark in the middle instead of having nice knitted feathering. I probably shouldn't have cut this one in half, but so many times I've invested a bunch of effort extracting a turning blank from one, only to hit voids in the middle. I decided to cut this one in half to save the anguish and found that it was in good shape except for a small inclusion and I probably shouldn't have cut it. But the two pieces are still pretty hefty, tapering from 4" to 6" on the face showing, and both around 4" thick. And getting back to the subject of this hijacked thread, I need to decide how to seal and dry them, or if I should rough them green first. I haven't really decided what they want to be when they grow up. . .one probably needs to turn into a sphere of course. . .

    Capture135.JPG

    Best,

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Mount; 09-01-2021 at 10:28 PM. Reason: typo

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    11,176
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Mount View Post
    ... One of the things I've encountered with much of the spalted maple I've found is that it often has some spots in which the decay is advanced, and those spongy spots often take up oil do a degree that they kind of get dingy looking in the finished piece. I experimented with spray lacquer to see if I could kind of go over the top of the soft wood -- I had some modest success with that, though you've got to want lacquer as your finish. Thin CA glue seems to seal some of that wood without too much darkening, in some cases anyway.
    Fantastic flame in maple! I almost always dry before turning unless I need to make a large bowl for someone or unless I'm afraid the process of drying the thick blank will cause it to self destruct. In that case I sometimes seal and check the blank every few days. If I see warning signs developing I might give up and turn it some to remove stress then reseal and try drying further.

    I've tried a number of things on punky wood but the very thin Hotstuf CA glue works best for me. I used two or three bottles on one 14" bowl that had great figure and spalting but was widely soft and punky. I used a lot of CA on this little piece, less than 2" high I think, from a piece of wood a gentleman sent me that I really wanted to use effectively. The decay was so bad that big chunks would come out with a fingernail. I applied CA before almost every cut to keep chunks from tearing out. I was pleased with the result since in the end even the softest sections were hard and clean.

    LiquidAmber_IMG_5849.jpg

    JKJ

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