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New Member In Need Of Some Advice


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Hey all, I was a member a few years ago and 1 computer tower ago. Lost my info so I've rejoined. I am a mod/admin over at the Reranch forum and have lurked here for a long time and must say that you guys have done some amazing stuff and have some great resources here.

Anyway, I've recently purchased a beautiful bookmatched set of spalted maple boards and need to stabilize them. I've been doing a lot of research on it but not much info on the proper stabilizing solutions, mostly I get conflicting suggestions. I know it is toxic and a respirator is amust when cutting and gloves are necessary for handling it because of the fungus and rot. So far the best thing I was able to do to keep it from curling was sandwich it between hardwood boards and clamp them down. The wood was pretty spongy at first receipt but since the clamping water has been pressed out and I have them in a very warm and dry place. I have a moisture meter on order now and I know I need to keep about 6-8% moisture in the wood but need a suggestion in stabilizing the slabs so they can be cuttable w/o crumbling like blue cheese and so it will not deteriorate in the future. One respected RR member suggested the use of a water like consistency CA or epoxy made by West Sysytem and I was wondering if there were others here that have used spalted maple and have any suggestions/advice for a first time user.

I thank you for any help and I'm glad to be a part of the forum again.

BTW, shout out to marksound for the brilliant suggestion of posting my questions here again. :D

Edited by Joeglow
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welcome joe.

i've never used spalted before, but you should pm drak. he is the MASTER of spalted tops. i'm pretty sure he uses CA to stabilise it, but talk to him first.

cheers

darren

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i have never worked with spalt..but i think by far ca would be the way to go...it is thin enough that it just goes all the way through everything...i think it would penetrate spalt easily...

but yes,drak is the man on toughening up punky wood...and i am 90-100% sure he uses ca to do it...that man looooves the super glue

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+1 re Drak. I know I have read posts on this forum by Drak describing how he uses CA on spalted wood. It might be worth a quick search.

Sounds like the piece you have is pretty spongy. Drak also advises that spalt, in addition to soaking up CA, will soak up tone as a guitar top, so its best to take that into account with a really soft piece.

Good luck!

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i have never worked with spalt..but i think by far ca would be the way to go...it is thin enough that it just goes all the way through everything...i think it would penetrate spalt easily...

but yes,drak is the man on toughening up punky wood...and i am 90-100% sure he uses ca to do it...that man looooves the super glue

Thanks guys, I've heard that Drak is da man too and I am supposed to ask him but I figured I should reintroduce myself before I start to pick a mans brain for advice. Heh heh :D

What type of CA does he use? A specific brand that he prefers and any technique on how he spreads it over the wood would be awesome. I'm going to have some time off here for a couple of weeks as I will be a proud dad agin of my first baby boy on Thursday so after next week I will be home and when nappy time is around I would like to get the wood setup for laying it on top of some mahogany,walnut or Koa - not sure which yet.

Thanks for the quick replies.

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What type of CA does he use? A specific brand that he prefers and any technique on how he spreads it over the wood would be awesome.

I'm pretty sure that type of info is already in threads on this forum.

Congrats on the new addition!

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by memory....he uses "hot stuff"(red?)and he spreads it out with a playing card...

drak can tell me if i am wrong

i use business cards and i use stew mac ca

This sounds like the same method as grain filling using epoxy. I have filled mahogany with epoxy before using those fugazzi credit card that come in the mail with great success but that just filled the pores and then I needed to sand the epoxy from the surface real well. I thought the viscosity of the epoxy that I should use was water consistency. I know that the regular epoxy is much more gummy or gooey for lack of better terminology and won't really seep into the wood.

I did a search and found a thread where Drak says he uses a CA to seal his wood but there isn't any outlined technique discussed. I just really have a beautiful bookmatched set with some tiger stripe in it too and really don't want to ruin it by being too hasty and not really following a proper procedure. That, and it was pretty expensive so I really don't want to toss money away.

And yes, the piece I have was really spongy when I got it but like I said I clamped the 2 boards in between a 3 hardwood boards and then set that on my workbench. My shop is climate controlled and I keep it pretty warm, 70 degrees. The other day when I removed the clamps, the hardwood I sandwiched them in had an apparant water stain from the boards and the boards were considerably stiffer and drier feeling.

Here's a pic of what I have. I plan to use a hardwood like mahogany to combat the tone absorption of the spalt maple and a possible ebony or rosewood fretboard.

7f91_12.JPG

Thank you again for your helpful advice.

Edited by Joeglow
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nobody goes through evey thread...(i used to but don't anymore)

i think drak prefers the finishing section...

seriously, poster....send a p.m. to drak and ask him for his suggestions.he is very helpful

Or maybe he's waiting for people to do an actual search for once.

One search for 'spalt' by 'drak' gives a thread titled "CA Method". How more obvious is it?

Click Here

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nobody goes through evey thread...(i used to but don't anymore)

i think drak prefers the finishing section...

seriously, poster....send a p.m. to drak and ask him for his suggestions.he is very helpful

Or maybe he's waiting for people to do an actual search for once.

One search for 'spalt' by 'drak' gives a thread titled "CA Method". How more obvious is it?

Click Here

:D I actually did a search for spalted maple and not CA method. My bad. Thanks for the link and everyones help. I have to get used to your forum layout and members again.

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I did a spalted top for a doubleneck, used Zap-A-Gap CA from Michael's craft store. It comes in 1/2-oz bottles, water-like consistency, I used 6 but you can probably get away with 4.

I actually jointed & glued the top down and trimmed close on the bandsaw before starting the CA. You don't want to sand the wood first by hand or with an orbital sander, as the wide variation in hardness will cause the punky areas to erode much faster than the hard areas, and you'll make big valleys. A thickness sander is OK if you have one.

Spread it liberally, you want to apply as much CA as the wood will drink up (which is a lot with spalt), work quickly and try to wet adjoining areas before it starts to set up; with these little bottles, you can't really spread it out over a large area instantly. Work the end grain at the edges as well. The punky areas will soak up more than the hard areas, you can wipe off from hard to punky regions. Rubber gloves, a respirator, and a good stiff breeze, is a must if you want to keep your skin & eyesight and not choke on the fumes.

Once it's dry & hard after a couple of hours, level with whatever grit you need to remove any bandsaw marks etc, how aggresively you sand really depends on the quality of the initial surface you're starting with. Watch carefully as you sand, if you go through the CA-stabilized layer and into punkitude, don't go back over it until you've filled it again with CA and let it dry. I went through 3 or 4 fill-sand cycles before I had everything level and all the pores filled.

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Also, remember that if you're soaking stuff through (it drinks lots), do not ever accellerate it with special products (water does the same thing, conincidentally), and let it dry for at least 24 hours before working it. It may be superglue, but it will take quite a while to harden up FULLY. You can apply/move the stuff around with rubber gloves on, just don't ever let your finger stop moving or it will stick. I prefer to go through a few cycles, letting the first 'soak up' dry well, for at least a few hours (preferably 12-24) before adding more. It's not like I'm really ever in a hurry when building, though...

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