What's the best way to cut spalted boards?

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Forum topic by michaelinthebasement posted 10-25-2015 01:53 AM 923 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 1398 days

10-25-2015 01:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple spalting milling

I recently had the good fortune of my neighbor having the misfortune of half of a tree falling down. That prompted him to have the remaining half(the still living half) taken down. I was able to secure for myself some of the better quality portions of the main branching limb, about 14” in diameter. Upon crosscutting into reasonable straight sections of around 30” long, I noticed the signs of spalting on the end grain.

I have never even seen spalted wood in person before; only in photographs. But with so many fine examples of spalted works here, I am hoping someone can help me out. So my question is: How best to slice up these logs to make the most of the spalting? My first thought to cut the wood would be to get as much nearly quarter sawn boards out of it as I could. But if I have primarily straight grain, will I just have black lines running parallel to some of the grain? And I think this wood is maple. At least that is what the neighbor said. Any advice would be appreciated.


5 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


10834 posts in 1756 days

#1 posted 10-25-2015 02:06 AM

You never know really as far as how far the splaying will go

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1760 posts in 2458 days

#2 posted 10-25-2015 11:15 AM

I can tell you that it’s somewhat of a hit and miss thing. The spalt may only be in part of the piece you are cutting. You might get an indication from the end grain.

This article [link] by Colin Knecht probably answers any question you can think of on the subject. There’s a video in the article too!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View michaelinthebasement's profile


28 posts in 1398 days

#3 posted 10-25-2015 05:40 PM

Thanks Dave. That article is very timely and that looks like the definitive answer.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2960 days

#4 posted 10-26-2015 12:57 AM

I saw a lot of spalted logs on my mill and have seen very little difference in appearance between QS and flat sawn in terms of amount of spalting exposed to view. The flatsawn closest to the bark will usually have the most spalting (at least in the hackberry and maple I’ve sawed).

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View rwe2156's profile


3277 posts in 1750 days

#5 posted 10-26-2015 04:06 PM

I would either find a sawyer or split it and resaw on your bandsaw.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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