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Thread: Spalting Wood

  1. #1

    Default Spalting Wood

    Last week at out guild meeting; the guest speaker was Seri Robinson. Seri is the only person in north America to hold a doctrine in bio-science; spalting. She did her theses on spalted wood, and is currently working as a funded researcher within bio-art at the university of Toronto. She collaborates with both scientists and artists in the development and utilization of spalted wood. Her research in fungi has brought forth a number of interesting developments.

    This has to have been the most interesting meeting at the guild since I started. Seri is also very good at giving a presentation. If you can get a chance to hear her speak, I believe you will find it much to your appreciation. The samples that she had at the meeting were just unbelievable; and all were home grown in her lab. She also had a great talk about the DIY home spalting.

    The following is an address to her home page; I have not had a chance to give it a real good look over, but it does seem like there is a lot of information. Seri also writes a web column for fine wood working........ Oh and she does turn too......... Woman of my dreams !

    http://www.northernspalting.com/

  2. #2
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    Atikokan, Rainy River District, Ontario.
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    just what you thought :^')

    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_ToyGuy View Post
    Last week at out guild meeting; the guest speaker was Seri Robinson. Seri is the only person in north America to hold a doctrine in bio-science; spalting. She did her theses on spalted wood, and is currently working as a funded researcher within bio-art at the university of Toronto. She collaborates with both scientists and artists in the development and utilization of spalted wood. Her research in fungi has brought forth a number of interesting developments.

    This has to have been the most interesting meeting at the guild since I started. Seri is also very good at giving a presentation. If you can get a chance to hear her speak, I believe you will find it much to your appreciation. The samples that she had at the meeting were just unbelievable; and all were home grown in her lab. She also had a great talk about the DIY home spalting.

    The following is an address to her home page; I have not had a chance to give it a real good look over, but it does seem like there is a lot of information. Seri also writes a web column for fine wood working........ Oh and she does turn too......... Woman of my dreams !

    http://www.northernspalting.com/
    I didn't meet her personally, but knew about her, she is a member at Sawmillcreek, and has come on and answered some of the ??? about spalting.
    I really liked how she buried these scaremongers that would make you believe the wood fungi would kill if you didn't be very careful, it went something like "the spalting and other fungi live and use wood sugars and lignin, and cellulose, they aren't about to become carnivores and eat flesh and bones".

    Wood and wood dust can be harmful, so dust collection and air filtering is a very good idea.

    I'm sure it was an interesting evening for anyone that has some interest in this subject

    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo

  3. #3
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    Just north of Chester Nova Scotia
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    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    Thanks for posting this Brian. Impressive works.
    Steve from Chester NS

  4. #4
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    Feb 2006
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    Saint John, N.B.
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    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    I have heard nothing but great reports about her sessions, I wish she gave them in this part of the country. Heck we don't even have a club around here or a group that are interested in turning. Seems to me in the past I read an interesting article she wrote in a magazine. Sounds like a very clever lady.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    Thanks for the Info Brian, I want to try somme easy to do spalting.
    I have some maple chunks stuck In the damp ground,Thats a start for me.
    Dan From Rockwood ,Ont.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    Seri was kind enought to come out and present to our club in Durham region a short while ago, great presentation, she is very knowledgable on the topic. To Leo's point, it was interesting to lean that fungi or mold is not harmful. Brian, thanks for posting
    Rob in Whitby,ON

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Baldwin View Post
    Seri was kind enought to come out and present to our club in Durham region a short while ago, great presentation, she is very knowledgable on the topic. To Leo's point, it was interesting to lean that fungi or mold is not harmful. Brian, thanks for posting
    I'm not too sure about mold not being harmful.....Mold can make people and animals very sick
    Last edited by Daner; 11-27-2010 at 01:22 PM. Reason: spelling
    Dan From Rockwood ,Ont.

  8. #8
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    Bill

    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    I'm not about to stop taking safety precautions when dealing with spalted wood or wood with bark on it.

    Here is a document describing spalting from the US Forest Products Laboratory:

    http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/te...alted-wood.pdf

    Here is an excerpt from the above document:
    Caution
    Although the white rot fungi responsible for the decorative appearance are not pathogenic (a health problem), there might be some molds associated with the spalting process that could cause allergies in people. It is also possible that some pathogenic molds, such as Aspergillus fumigatus (responsible for .farmers lung.), might be present, so it is always a good idea to work in well-ventilated areas.



    Richard Raffan says in one of his books that he stopped turning pressure-treated and spalted wood years ago because they affected his breathing.

    We are exposed to lots of hazards when turning and dust in various forms is a major one. IMO spalted wood may not be a major hazard but it shouldn't be ignored either.

    billh

  9. #9
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    Randy

    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    Thanks for links Brian and Bill . Precautions are a good thing .
    "Control, control , you must learn control ". Yoda

  10. #10

    Default Re: Spalting Wood

    It was a great presentation, and she was very vocal on the safety side.

    Like everything though there is a context to some of her statements.

    She pointed out that to normal healthy people, the spalting fungi was not a harm, but there are people with alergeries or who may develop sensitivities to the fungi, but these people are also likely to be sensitive to wood dust as well.

    There are molds that grow on the wood that are bad for you, but they do not spalt, so she did point out that out. She pointed out that you'll likely be more harmed by the wood dust you will have ingested if you do not wear breathing protection, then you would be by the fungi spores as the fungi spores are around us all the time.

    She showed some great shots of various colored spalting. There is a pink stain fungi that can produce a similar coloring as Manitoba Maple, but it does not fade over time with UV light. She talked about an entire process of "bleaching" the color from the wood with a white rot fungi, and then come in and introduce the coloring fungi if you were looking for color, or two equally strength destructive fungi that will create zone lines. The zone lines are actually the areas where the two different fungi have met and the lines are the resulting defensive reactions. The zone line fungi move through the wood in one direction and the coloring fungi move through another, very enjoyable discussion.

    Her lab is apparently available at U of T for visits and they may have some spalted wood for sale there as well. Industry is trying to work on finding ways to induce "controlled" spalting so that they could increase the value of there product.

    I have posted links to her web site and blog on the GHWG web site under the links section.

    Lloyd

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