Turning Archive 2005

Help with really punky wood *PIC*

Dominic Greco at home in Richboro, PA

You gotta' help me out here people!

I just cut up some silver maple that had been laying in my wood pile for a year or so. The log had some mushrooms growing on it. So I knew that the wood had to show some spalting. However, when I cut it opened, I was amazed at the amount.

I cut up several blanks for bowls and a bunch of pen and bottle stopper blanks. When I went to rough out a bowl from the big blank, I was confronted with some of the punkiest wood I've ever seen! I ended up chucking it into the wood chip pile (as you can see from the background of the photo). I was heartsick. This wood is really quite beautiful and could have been a very cool looking bowl (and for those purists in the audience: I realize that there are flat spots on the profile. I stopped before totally shaping it.)

This was yesterday. And every time I walked by that trash can, that beautiful (yet awfully punky) blank would taunt me. I finally decided to ask the group here what they thought and to see if there was some type of treatment I could use on this wood to make it "turn-able".

If I remember correctly, you can soak a punky, roughed out blank in a solution of white glue and water. I don't know the water to glue ratio, or if I have even stated it correctly. I was wondering if any one else might know. I'd like to know what kind of regimen you've used.

I've also heard of some type of liquid (maybe "Pentacryl" or "Polyall"?) that is used to stabilize punky wood. I'd like to hear from those of you that have used it.

Thanks in advance!

See ya around,


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