Sunday, 18 March 2018

Spalted beech planks from logs

This lovely stuff is spalted beech. The beautiful veining is created by fungal colonisation of the fallen logs. As the fungus grows through the log, it changes its colour. I believe the very dark regions are the boundaries of a fungal colony and that there may be more than one type of fungus in different parts of the log.

Apparently spalting can occur in various woods, but it is most common in beech.

These slices are the beginnings of planks, I made last Autumn.

The planks were cut from these logs. You can see the white bloom of fungus on the end.

Here is one of the logs in my shed. I'm just about to clamp it into the bench vice.

I don't have a bandsaw for ripping logs, so I cut these planks by eye, using a chainsaw. Note the faceguard, ear defenders, gloves and leather apron for safety (although bare arms is possibly not the recommended protection for using a chainsaw - don't try this at home, kids!)

The fungus highlights the separate heartwood (inner) and sapwood (outer)

I use this cheapo electric chainsaw from Screwfix. Nothing fancy, but it is good enough for the occasional use I give it. Being electric, you can us it in the shed without worrying about fumes or storing petrol etc.

When cut this log had been standing in the woods for at least a year, possibly longer. It was very wet.

The cut planks were stack with spacers and left to season outside in one of the outbuildings.

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