coasters from spalted poplar

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Project by moshel posted 09-23-2011 09:38 AM 4200 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While helping a friend to cut his firewood, i found a branch of poplar that was heavily spalted. I took a piece home, sliced it on the BS, stabilized it by immersing few times in poly/turps 1:1 until it stopped drinking it, let it dry, sanded a bit, put a layer of poly X 10 and here is the result! I am giving it back to him tomorrow as a b-day present.

I was hoping (as the firewood pile was seasoned and the wood spalted) that it will not check. Alas, it did.

if you are trying to do that – remember that spalted dust is poisonous so take care. thats why I stabilized it but for the BS – wear a mask and use dust extractor.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

15 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7279 posts in 4235 days

#1 posted 09-23-2011 09:42 AM

Look like slices of fruit…pity it checked…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 4564 days

#2 posted 09-23-2011 09:49 AM

you can boil or microwave to prevent the checking, but it usually reduce the contrast of the spalting so i didn’t.

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View Ken90712's profile


17909 posts in 4070 days

#3 posted 09-23-2011 11:27 AM

Very cool, and nice find! He should love it.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View blackcherry's profile


3344 posts in 4704 days

#4 posted 09-23-2011 02:40 PM

Organic coasters, very cool find Moshel….BC

View jerkylips's profile


495 posts in 3451 days

#5 posted 09-23-2011 03:47 PM

from a distance, they kind of reminded me of oysters in the shells – very cool..

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3574 days

#6 posted 09-23-2011 04:20 PM

Looks very cool. I don’t mind the look of the checking—I think it adds character, but I hope the checking doesn’t compromise the structural integrity

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View DocSavage45's profile


9019 posts in 3723 days

#7 posted 09-23-2011 04:58 PM

Great pieces and I do appreciate your knowledge on spalted wood. Any larger pieces in that woodpile? Maybe a blog on spalted wood? Thanks!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4569 days

#8 posted 09-23-2011 05:54 PM

Very nice B-day present : )
You made good use of your lucky find !
Thanks for the health warnings related to Spalted wood .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3917 days

#9 posted 09-24-2011 01:20 PM

To me they look like giant Sushi. Attractive coaster, Moshel.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View matai's profile


32 posts in 3696 days

#10 posted 09-25-2011 09:08 PM

I think the checking is more of a natural feature than a defect.

-- Dave, Christchurch NZ

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4172 days

#11 posted 09-25-2011 10:44 PM

Are these consecutive slices? If so, you not only have a stack of coasters, you have a puzzle.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View moshel's profile


865 posts in 4564 days

#12 posted 09-25-2011 10:53 PM

Dave, basically you are right. HOWEVER…. when its not checked it acts better as coaster, as things tend not to spill on the table through the gap. I also like to hope that they will cause people (we,, maybe not people but fellow woodworkers) to wonder why they didn’t check.

JJohnston, true – I didn’t think of it – pretty hard one.

Martyn – you have a point there!

Thank you all for the comments!

-- The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep...

View patron's profile


13710 posts in 4222 days

#13 posted 09-28-2011 09:01 PM

these are cool moshel

and as long
as the check

is in the mail

everything is fine

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Panga Design's profile

Panga Design

117 posts in 3659 days

#14 posted 10-19-2011 12:48 AM


-- Al Carscadden, Panga Design, [email protected]

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 3241 days

#15 posted 02-08-2013 12:42 PM

I second the sushi thing! I actually thought the project was the board they were on – I was thinking ‘geez! Those are tiny pieces of sushi or gigantic coasters!’

I bet your friend really liked these!

-- Steve

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