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Forum topic by ScottM posted 04-25-2017 03:37 PM 530 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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747 posts in 2750 days

04-25-2017 03:37 PM

I posted a more “indepth” story as a blog yesterday and a couple of questions were raised so figured I get a few more views and opinions about what I have.

About 3 years ago the neighbor of my mother’s bay house was trimming some trees, mostly water oak, separating their properties. I collected a few of them thinking I could mill them up, dry them, and eventually make something out of them. Well time went by and I kept forgetting to pick them and bring them home. So for the past 3 years they’ve been sitting underneath her bay house, which is about 14 feet off the ground, in the moist bay wind. So this weekend we were at the house picking up a few things and I decided to finally grab them and see what I had. Maybe just a few rotten logs infested with bugs….

So on Sunday I had nothing better to do so I started messing with them. So I figured I’d take a look and if there were bugs in them they’d go in the trash. So they’d dried quite a bit and the bark layer had mostly separated from the wood so that came off pretty easy and I kept waiting for the bugs… Never saw one. These branches are water oak just 4 to 5 inches in diameter since that was all I’d be able to get through my small bandsaw. After I pulled the bark off I noticed some dark areas on the outside of the wood. It looked strange but I decided to keep going and see what I could get from them. So I set up my bandsaw to try and split some planks.

The first cut was to try and get a semi-straight edge to run against my fence and this is what I found.

I’d read a few things about spalting lumber and it talked about rotating to keep it from rotting, etc. But these have not been touched in like three years. So I’m guessing just the constant salt air breeze off the bay did this. A blog
comment was raised that this looked more like an “ambrosia” type of affect but I don’t know if there is an ambrosia type of bug that can produce this type of product.

So what do you think this is? I know that this came from a water oak. Is this just plain ole spalting or some sort of bug?

4 replies so far

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Monte Pittman

30505 posts in 2941 days

#1 posted 04-25-2017 03:44 PM


-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View soob's profile


271 posts in 1812 days

#2 posted 04-25-2017 03:46 PM

There are some holes from bugs, but it looks like it’s just spalted to me. Very nice looking pieces actually.

If it had been that wet it would have rotted away to nothing by now.

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747 posts in 2750 days

#3 posted 04-25-2017 03:55 PM

It was in open air but protected from rain, etc. I’m sure it did get wet from blowing rain several times but the constant wind probably dried it out pretty quick. I’m not sure of the moisture content but I do have one of the low end meters on order to try and find out. It seems pretty dry…

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7582 posts in 2802 days

#4 posted 04-25-2017 05:27 PM

So what do you think this is? I know that this came from a water oak. Is this just plain ole spalting or some sort of bug?

As others have pointed out – just typical spalting. I live in the middle of an oak forest, and have a bit of water oak as well as some other species of red and white oak. I’ve never needed to ‘rotate’ the wood to prevent rotting, but you do need to keep it off the ground, as that is where rotting will happen due to the sustained moisture and lack of air flow.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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