Lumber & Wood Videos

Cutting Your Own Spalted Lumber From Logs

Woodworking on it's own is a joy, but when you can work with different kinds of woods, it makes the woodworking even more pleasurable. There are all sorts of different kinds of "figured woods" available like burl, tiger and curly woods, swirls from knots and branches, fiddle back and quilting, birds-eye and much more. Typically these woods are much more expensive than plain wood because they are much more rare so they are used on smaller pieces like special boxes for keepsakes and jewelry, musical instruments like guitars and banjos as well as for around picture frames and other smaller type wooden objects.

Another kind of ornamental wood is something called spalted wood which occurs when the wood is allowed to become wet for a somewhat long period of time and fungus invades the wood and begins a rotting process. In this rotting process the the wood and the fungus combine to often make different colorations inside the wood that is called spalting. In it's early stages the spalting can produce an amazing color with the wood, in it's later stages the fungus can affect the wood so much it that it can become too far rotted and unusable.


In this video we have left the logs to dry slowly for several months and now that they are down to 14% moisture content it's time to cut them into usable planks and let them finish their drying process ...

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Using Winding Sticks to Check Wood Warps

I'm not sure if anyone really knows where or how winding sticks came into being, but I would be willing to bet it was in ancient boat building. Boat builders use all sorts of tricks to figure out the best angles, curves and lines on boats and to do this they need to start with straight lines, which is where winding sticks would be helpful.
Winding sticks are used to help show where boards are warped or twisted and the way they work is simply to set them up on a board which is lying on a flat surface, then sight down the tops of the 2 sticks. If they line up perfectly, the board is flat, if the sticks are uneven, then the board is warped.

Oddly enough, it is boards that are only slightly warped that are the hardest to determine and this is where winding sticks really shine. Boards that are wildly warped are pretty easy to see, it's the ones that "look" flat that can be challenging ones to work with.

In the past winging sticks were useful to a woodworker or carpenter who was hand planing boards to make them flat, and that really hasn't changed, only now we often use machinery to make boards flat, and winding sticks are still useful in ...

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Finding Exotic Spalted Wood

One of the joys of woodworking is being able to work with all sorts of different woods, and with woods that have different figures within them. I never get tired of looking at all the different designs and shapes that are comprised of different figured woods. It's almost like looking at clouds, they are all different, the beauty of wood, is they don't change like clouds do, they remain constant.
One of my favorite woods to work with is SPALTED wood. This kind of figure can occur in any wood and is basically caused by a fungus that invades the inner tree and in so doing leaves a path of lines and color changes that can bring out a very unique beauty to woods. It is far more noticeable in lighter color woods but can also occur in dark woods.

Spalting is the first breakdown of the wood fibers. It is where wood rot begins and if it is allowed to go too far, the spalting becomes rot and when rot goes far enough it can actually crumble and eventually would disintegrate and become part of the earth again ... 

Read more: Finding Exotic Spalted Wood

Tips for Buying Lumber

lumberNormally I would publish an article that relates to the video posted here that would include details not covered in the video. This time we are only going to publish a link to an excellent article that is posted on the West Wind Hardwood website entitled The Art of Buying Lumber by Dick Burrows.

It is far more detailed and extensive than what I can publish and is a great resource for people who want to get the best value and products from their wood purchases. Click HERE for that link, it will open in a new window, and don't forget, they do Ship Wood so if you are looking for something special to highlight a project or add some special detailed woods, send them a request for quote on some wood delivered to your door ...


As more information or links come along that relate to this topic, we will publish them also. Until then, our thanks again to West Wind Hardwood for giving us their time and expertise to help all of our viewers become more knowledgeable in their lumber purchases.