Sunday, October 22, 2006

Hardening spalted wood

Spalted wood often looks very nice and can become the focal point of a decorative turning. The down side is that the spalting process often goes a little too far and the wood fibers become too soft to cut and finish cleanly.

The answer to this problem is to apply some sort of chemical treatment to the punky wood. Penturners might use thing cyano-acrylic glue, but on larger projects this might get quite expensive.

My favorite treatment is acrylic floor polish. I use Future Premium Floor Finish. Typically I will rough turn small items like bottle stoppers and weedpots and leave it in a jar full of floor polish for a day or so. Once the wood has been dried it can usually be worked just like normal wood. On larger pieces with patches of spalting the floor polish can be brushed on to the spalted areas. Keep the rotted fibers wet until no more polish will soak in.

Other products are available that have been specially formulated for the task. The Rockler Woodworking Blog recently reported on a two-part epoxy product suitable for Strengthening Spalted Wood and offered some advice regarding staining and finishing after use.

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Categories: finishing, wood, spalting

Rot fix Wood Restoration and RepairRot fix Wood Restoration and Repair
The name says it all: Rotfix is a low-viscosity epoxy wood restoration system for use on rotted, dried-out, or spongy wood.

Rot fix Wood Restoration and Repair

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good news for woodturners working with spalted wood (especially in Canada). PolyAll 2000 is once again available. I don't mean to sound like an advertisement, but when PolyAll 2000 was taken off the market 3+ years ago (for reasons still unknown) I hunted high and low for an acceptable substitute, to no avail. Thankfully, it's back. This is a 2-part epoxy which, when first mixed, has a viscosity lower than water and easily seeps into punky wood. Three minutes after mixing, it goes rock hard. I have several unfinished spalted-wood bowls and platters that I can now finish. Check out their website at
No affiliation, just love the product.

Ken Waller
Kingston, Ont