Creating Spalted Wood.

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Blog entry by Karson posted 09-18-2008 03:55 AM 6648 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I received an e-mail from Harold and he referred to making spalted wood by putting beer on it and putting it into a bag and let the spalt happen. He suggested replenishing the beer every couple of weeks.

Since I don’t drink beer, I wondered if there was a different recipe.

I found this in WoodCentral. It sounds very promising. Still needs some beer but only once.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

13 comments so far

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4174 days

#1 posted 09-18-2008 03:59 AM

I’d be interested in how ths turns out. If you have an extra beer when you are done, I’d be happy to take it off your hands.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4218 days

#2 posted 09-18-2008 04:04 AM

Fascinating Karson. I just scrounged some free maple and apple wood today in between appointments. I’ll have to give it a whirl. You know your a Lumberjock when you pull up to a crew cutting trees in your BMW, get out wearing a suit, beg for free wood, and load it up in the car. The looks and comments I get are priceless. Thanks for the blog.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4047 posts in 4515 days

#3 posted 09-18-2008 04:25 AM

Karson, there was a big article in a recent FWW on how to make your own spalted wood. Can’t seem to find it at my finger tips, but she forages for deadman’s fingers and other wood rot bacteria (you could use sawdust from a piece of air-dried spalted wood as the innoculant) and then puts it in a bag with moist vermiculite.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4657 days

#4 posted 09-18-2008 04:38 AM

—hello Karson; ....on one of my much earlier blog//stories I also mention the beer and plastic bag trick. I picked that one up from a wood-turner at a show once….although I’ve not tried it.

The recipe I use is patience + time + the four seasons = spalted wood//spalted maple….I’ve also talked of this one in some of my blog//stories. What it comes down to, is letting the wood sit outside un-covered, over the four seasons a bit and yes the winter snow does help in this recipe. I don’t worry any-more about the time factor as after one starts doing these processes over the years and then keeps them going every year after….one all-ways has dried and cured wood and spalted wood.

Maple from my experience is the easiest wood to spalt, although birch will spalt….but can go punky sooner. Apple wood spalts with nice texture and character and oak is much harder to spalt.

If you have more questions ask and I’ll answer away….if not tonight, then tomorrow night. Maybe I should look for the blog recipes….but since I’m over 300 blog posts at this counting, where do I start….LOL. And remember, you don’t have to drink the beer, since thats what the wood is going to do….

Thank you.

-- --frank, NH,

View ben's profile


158 posts in 4321 days

#5 posted 09-18-2008 04:41 AM

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4851 days

#6 posted 09-18-2008 05:12 AM

Thanks Ben.

I noticed something different on this article. The notice on the bottom that the article is not suppose to be copied or distributed.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4165 days

#7 posted 09-18-2008 05:27 AM

Karson- Thanks, this is really interesting. I had never really thought of any way to speed up the process. I don’t drink, either, but I confiscate it often- then shoot it on the range at home. Maybe I can put some of that to better use. Thanks for the info.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 4298 days

#8 posted 09-18-2008 05:57 AM

One of the popular turning woods locally is the Norfolk pine and many of the tuners here locally have there own spalting solutions although the technique has been in use almost since green wood turning really took off in the 1950’s, some of the solutions are alittle exotic but they do get some dramatic effects surprisingly quickly.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View Grumpy's profile


25526 posts in 4302 days

#9 posted 09-18-2008 11:03 AM

Interesting process Karson. I will be interested to see how it works out.
Steve what a waste, how about sending some of that beer down under. Then again I don’t drink much beer these days so fire away.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4356 days

#10 posted 09-18-2008 05:35 PM

I spalt alot of lumber (in the log) I tried these concoctions years ago on smaller pieces…I got white rot/dry rot not true spalt. Too much mess for the end result and waste of perfectly good beer IMO, not to mention wood. I prefer Franks method, let mother nature do her thing and be patient, you will be rewarded.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4430 days

#11 posted 09-20-2008 01:45 PM


Man, I really screwed the process up. I put the wood in a plastic bag, and drank the beer while I was waiting.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View DavidH's profile


519 posts in 4194 days

#12 posted 09-26-2010 11:20 PM


I was wondering if you ended up trying this recipe (or another) and your success with it?

-- David - Houston, Texas. (

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4851 days

#13 posted 09-27-2010 03:46 AM

I’ve not tried any recipies, except leaving the wood in the wood pile.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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