Spalted maple??

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Forum topic by Jim55 posted 05-08-2018 09:34 AM 513 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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184 posts in 2669 days

05-08-2018 09:34 AM

I live in the upper part of East Texas. Maples are not generally thought of as common to east Texas though some are known to reside in the central Texas Hill Country. That is why I thought it odd when I saw an add listing maple wood, free for hauling it off. So I grabbed it.
It turned out that lightning had taken down one branch of a forked tree. It also turned out that the homeowner had already cut and stacked the fork sometime previously.

In any case I took it. I’m still not sure what to do with it or if it is even actually Maple. Varieties of red and sugar maples are actually indigenous to East Texas I found after Googling the question.

So, what is it, really. I put a chunk in my lathe and found that it turns nicely. It also is pretty thoroughly spalted. I am not much of a turner however though this might be a good time and reason to learn. Anyway, I posted pictures of one piece I turned just to see how it would look.
Now, I just saw another topic where a fellow was selling boards of this stuff. I can turn what I have into slabs or thin boards the length of what you see. As for veneers, all I have to cut with is a 14” band saw so whatever can be done with a resawing blade is the liimit of what I can do.
I am new to posting here though I’ve been a member a while and I have had some trouble posting images so if they are someat messed up, please bear with me!

Now, if this stuff does have any value, how do I determine it’s worth or “fair pricing.”*
  • By “fair pricing” I mean somewhere near the middle of high & low. Where I get to make a little profit but nobody get’s gouged in the process.

3 replies so far

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1107 days

#1 posted 05-08-2018 11:30 AM

Looks like red maple to me…we have a lot of it around here. Also looks like a really good find for spalted wood. You typically only get a portion of the tree with spalting, looks like every piece has it in this one. As I understand it, the spalting occurs from a fungus in the wood as it begins to rot. Hard to tell from photos, but yours don’t look bad at all. Sometimes you catch it late and the wood starts to get soft or corky. It is still usable, but most people will say it needs to be “stabilized”. They pull a vacuum on it and infuse the wood with either CA glue {super glue} or epoxy.
As far as value goes, it’s really worth what some one is willing to pay…you have to find that person. Someone who uses and will buy a lot of spalted maple will probably try to beat the price down over this. “It’s not worth much because it has to be stabilized” is what you might hear. What I have seen it used for most is things like game calls and knife handles. Red maple is one of the softer maples and they will try to beat it down for that too, but if you’re going to “stabilize” it with glue then what difference does it make? Red maple also has a lot of brown heart wood that is not as desirable as the clear white part. All of the spalted wood I see for sale is always on ebay. The wood with the curly or “fiddleback” figure and spalting is worth the most.
Personally, I’d keep it and use it myself…you just never know when or even if you will see more of it, especially in Texas. Good luck.

View Jim55's profile


184 posts in 2669 days

#2 posted 05-08-2018 12:50 PM

That’s a great reply and thanks! I will keep ans use some of it for myself but, it will go to rot before I can use it all myself so I might as well profit some thereby.
Thanks again!

View Ripper70's profile


1368 posts in 1512 days

#3 posted 05-08-2018 01:50 PM

For determining “market value” of oddball items, eBay is your friend. Search whatever you’re trying to make a determination on and then choose to view “Sold Items” along the left hand margin of the browser window.

Of course, in your case, there are factors involved like length, thickness and aesthetics that will have allot to do to determine the “value” of the lumber.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

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