Wood is a natural product and as such it will change with the environment. Spalted maple wood is one of those products that change in appearance over time due to the fact that spalting occurs from fungus spores in logs, which can be seen when you examine close up. In this wood, the process occurs on an accelerated scale.
If you have a piece of spalted maple wood furniture, it is likely to be heavy due to all the different layers of fungus (spalting) that are created. The weight that comes with wood furniture can mean that it may become unstable over time and need stabilization.
What is Stabilized Spalted Wood?
Wood stabilizer refers to the process of modifying (softening, hardening) wood by making it stronger and less prone to changes in humidity.
Wood stabilization is made up of hydroscopic cells that are responsible for absorbing or expelling water according to the level of humidity surrounding them.
In this sense, this wood is particularly susceptible to changes in humidity, because the fungus creates a liquid that will, in turn, encourage more growth.
Here’s How to Stabilize Spalted Wood?
Listed below are the steps you need to follow in order to stabilize spalled wood:
1. Check for Spalting and Pore Size
Use a magnifying glass to check whether or not the wood has begun to spalt. If it has, your best bet is to take it into water and stain remover so that you can remove any extra growth of fungus.
2. Prepare Wood Surface Properly
Wash the surface with a jet of water, and let it dry. Prepare the wood base by sanding well in order to get rid of any roughness and debris from the surface.
3. Apply a Water Base Polyurethane
Apply an oil-based polyurethane over the wood using a brush or roller in thin layers. The amount of coats you will need to apply is up to the manufacturer’s requirements.
4. Apply a Wood Sealant Over Top
Once that dries, apply a sealer over top in order to give it extra protection, being sure not to miss any areas. Let dry for at least 24 hours before using or moving into storage. Additionally, you can use a Vacuum pump for the dry process.
5. Inspect the Product
Inspect your product before using it for any purpose, closely looking at both sides and the bottom of it in order to make sure that no fungus spores have taken hold. If they have got a wood vacuum chamber, then you will need to repeat the process again.
If you follow these steps, your wood furniture will be stabilized.
What if Spalted Wood has not Been Stabilized Yet?
You can still act to prevent fungus from growing by storing the piece in a humidity-controlled environment that is kept at around fifty percent humidity and below seventy degrees Fahrenheit.
This means using an airtight Minwax wood hardener plastic storage container and regularly checking the moisture content or fungi of the wood. Checking with a hygrometer will tell you whether or not humidity is too high, and you can pop the piece back into its container to lower humidity if necessary.
Sometimes there isn’t much you can do when it comes to stabilizing wood unless it has already been stabilized in some way. It is vital to keep your wood furniture away from moist conditions, making sure that it’s completely dry before storing it or transporting it.
One cool thing about wood furniture is that when you see the layers of fungus growing over time, you’ll be reminded of its history and how the wood has gone through a lot of changes in order to get to where it is now.
It may be a bit more difficult and time-consuming to make sure that burl wood furniture stays dry, but the beauty and history that comes with stabilizing wood makes it totally worth it.
The Benefits of Furniture Made From Spalted Wood
Spalted maple wood furniture is a beautiful thing that is quite elegant and will last for years if properly cared for.
This wood has a very organic appearance because it has been exposed to the elements and contains many “eyes” that have been formed by open cracks in the spalting layer.
When veneers are cut in cross-section, wood also has a great deal of visible contrast that can be aesthetically pleasing to many people.
The unique aesthetic appearance of wood hardener is what makes wood so appealing to furniture makers and some musicians who make instrument necks from this type of lumber.
This wood can be difficult to move, so bracing the bottom and sides will help ensure your furniture lasts for many years to come.
How Long Spalted Wood Last?
Spalted beech wood is a beautiful thing, but it needs to be treated with care from any kind of fungi. A lot of people are interested in stabilizing wood, and the answer is quite simple.
The most important thing you can do for your wood furniture is to make sure that they’re completely dry before you put them into storage or transport them any great distance from their original location.
This wood is often very heavy, so stabilizing the piece with braces on the bottom and sides will help ensure a long lifespan.
Remember that moisture or fungi cause punky wood to expand and contract over time. In order to prevent this from happening, make sure that the surface is well-primed before applying your finish of choice.
Also, you should not use white spirit-based varnish or filler. You need to keep it away from Direct Sunlight or extreme heat.
Please Take Note of the Following Warnings
Always wear protective gear, including disposable gloves and safety glasses. Wear a ventilated mask when working with spalting agents to avoid breathing in harmful particles.
Always work in well-ventilated areas or outdoors to minimize exposure and encourage drying. Keep away from children, pets, and food sources until the project is fully dried and ready to be used.
One of the main reasons people want to stabilizing resin wood is they plan on moving it from its original location or don’t have a climate-controlled workspace available to keep their piece safe until they can use it.
Keeping the piece in mild temperatures will help encourage drying. This might mean letting it sit in the garage or on a covered porch.
Sunlight and high humidity can cause serious damage to spalted wood, so do not put pieces anywhere they might get wet.
In conclusion, spalted wood is a beautiful thing for special needs. We hope this information helps you stabilized wood. Remember that stabilization treatments should not be considered to replace proper drying or curing procedures when using new or reclaimed lumber.