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Molded Magnolia

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I got some Magnolia that was cut about three weeks ago. I place it under a tarp and when I pulled it out it was molded on the outside. As I began to rough a bowl it appears that the mold is all the way through the piece. I am assuming that it is mold; it is a dark grey that wasn't there when I ripped the pith out.
My question " Is there anything I can do the salvage the piece?"
 
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If it's all the was through I doubt you could remove it. I'm not familiar with magnolia, being from the land of poplar and box elder but sometimes mold stains add character to a peice, it could also be a good candidate for dyeing/painting if the grey is unattractive.
 

hockenbery

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" Is there anything I can do the salvage the piece?"

It’s past it’s shelf life for being white.
I have turned some magnolia but it never developed a grey stain. Those types of stains usually do not bleach out.

great opportunity to experiment with color.

milk paint, airbrush paints, spirit stains.... lots of options

Several colors of milk paints over texture, beads, coves, on the outside then cut back with scotch brite will give you multicolored piece with some bare wood showing.
 
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Russell,
I have turned a bunch of magnolia, and have several blanks on the shelf air drying. Most of my magnolia gets the gray blush you are talking about; for some reason a few pieces remain “cream” colored. Per Hockenbery’s comments, magnolia can have some nice grain and it colors well. I dye most of my pieces and am pleased with the results. I have done a bit of painting with good results. It also textures well with wire brush, etc. Don’t be disappointed. Experiment and have fun.
Jon
 
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Like Jon said most goes gray fairly quick and is not a spectacular wood unless you let it spault. As far as covering fresh wood in plastic that can cause problems unless you allow ventilation . Plastic wrap may preserve for a short time by slowing moisture loss but also speeds decay and blackening in some woods. The best thing to do is to seal the end grain and stack it.
 
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Like Jon said most goes gray fairly quick and is not a spectacular wood unless you let it spault. As far as covering fresh wood in plastic that can cause problems unless you allow ventilation . Plastic wrap may preserve for a short time by slowing moisture loss but also speeds decay and blackening in some woods. The best thing to do is to seal the end grain and stack it.
Like GL says I only use plastic bags when I am doing once turned pieces and I can't complete them in one session and then for not much more than a day or two. As far as spault is concerned that is part of the first stage of decomposition or just rot so therefore the gray is 1st stage rot.
 
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If your spouse doesn’t mind then try tossing some pieces them in the freezer until you have time to turn it.The freezing should prevent any mold from growing. Also, if the piece gets left long enough then you will get some drying thru sublimation (freeze drying). If the wood likes to crack easily then I’ll also cover it with plastic wrap before to slow down the outside from freeze drying too quickly.
 
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If your spouse doesn’t mind then try tossing some pieces them in the freezer until you have time to turn it.The freezing should prevent any mold from growing. Also, if the piece gets left long enough then you will get some drying thru sublimation (freeze drying). If the wood likes to crack easily then I’ll also cover it with plastic wrap before to slow down the outside from freeze drying too quickly.
Interesting you mention freezing. I just watched an interview Pat Carroll did with Steve Sinner. Steve said he freezes pieces ... and added that freezing bursts the cells, turning captured water into free water that in turn speeds drying.
 
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Gerald, I don’t understand the burst cell comment. I grew up in northern Minnesota where -30 below was normal in winter with -40 occasionally. The trees all budded in the spring. If freezing bursts the cells wouldn’t the trees die? Could it happen that after a tree is cut, something happens to the cell structure? Jon
 
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Gerald, I don’t understand the burst cell comment. I grew up in northern Minnesota where -30 below was normal in winter with -40 occasionally. The trees all budded in the spring. If freezing bursts the cells wouldn’t the trees die? Could it happen that after a tree is cut, something happens to the cell structure? Jon
Well I am still in the north woods and I can understand the freeze drying and free moisture & bound moisture but the burst cell comment does not seem logical. I just did a quick review of chapter 4 of Hoadley's understanding wood and did not see anything like burst cells, therefore I would prefer to hear from a genuine wood technologist on the subject.
 

Bill Boehme

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Well I am still in the north woods and I can understand the freeze drying and free moisture & bound moisture but the burst cell comment does not seem logical. I just did a quick review of chapter 4 of Hoadley's understanding wood and did not see anything like burst cells, therefore I would prefer to hear from a genuine wood technologist on the subject.

I agree. While I can't argue with Steve that freezing rough turned pieces speeds up drying, I think his assumption about bursting cell walls converting bound water into free water, in my opinion doesn't hold water (please excuse the pun). Your example of the cell walls in a living tree during freezing weather certainly contradicts the idea of bursting cell walls ... and, besides the bound water isn't a liquid that suddenly becomes free water.

Free water in a tree is liquid water mainly in the pathway of interconnected capillaries of lumens and pits that transport water throughout the tree.
Bound water isn't liquid water ... it is water molecules that are chemically bonded (probably by weak hydrogen bonds) to the long cellulose molecules that are the main ingredient that makes up the cell walls. When drying wood, free water must be removed before bound water can be removed. Breaking the bond between the water molecules and cellulose molecules requires the addition of thermal energy which certainly won't happen by freezing the wood. Removing bound water during drying is what causes wood to shrink.
cellulose molecule.jpg
Chemical structure of long cellulose molecule chain

In hardwoods the tracheids which transport water up the tree consists of three main layers with the inner divided into three sub layers. The cellulose molecule chains in each of these layers are arranged in alternating directions somewhat like the plies in a tire which contributes to the strength of wood.
 
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Hmm, it might be that 'burst cell walls' is not the proper term. I think that boiling is supposed to do the same thing. Sinking a log in the mill pond also helps stabilize the wood so the bound water is able to get out more easily, and perhaps the same thing in a standard drying kiln. I do know that a freezer and a fridge are both dehydrators. Maybe it just creates an out of balance situation and the bound water comes out as part of the process of getting balanced again....

robo hippy
 

Bill Boehme

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Boiling softens the lignin which allows internal stresses to be relaxed without cracks developing. If we use the bundle of straws analogy, the lignin can be thought of as the glue that holds the straws together.
 
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Boiling softens the lignin which allows internal stresses to be relaxed without cracks developing. If we use the bundle of straws analogy, the lignin can be thought of as the glue that holds the straws together.
Relative to "boiling softens the lignin" that is the same thing you do to bend wood but I found out first hand that kiln dried is a bad choice of material. According to my research at the time kiln drying makes the wood bridal so it is best to use air dried or better yet green wood. The project started as 2 pair of snow shoes from kiln dried ash that resulted in split outs and even cross grain breaks. The second pair I bought a froe, got a small black ash and while still frozen split it into 8 pieces then shaped the rails with the annual rings vertical. The results proved the old methods are many times the best method.
 
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Strange thing about lignin, out at the Oregon Country Fair site, known locally as the Hippy Fair, they use lignin to seal the gravel roads, and prevent damage from the annual flooding. Works pretty well, and non toxic..

robo hippy
 
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Strange thing about lignin, out at the Oregon Country Fair site, known locally as the Hippy Fair, they use lignin to seal the gravel roads, and prevent damage from the annual flooding. Works pretty well, and non toxic..

robo hippy
That is interesting what I would like to know is how do they harvest the lignin? Maybe the Hippie's know how! @#$%^&*()
 
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Bill, I don't know the difference. I was told that lignin was what was used. Lots of lumber mills around here, and it seems to be a natural bi product some how, Maybe from the kilns?

robo hippy
 

Bill Boehme

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Bill, I don't know the difference. I was told that lignin was what was used. Lots of lumber mills around here, and it seems to be a natural bi product some how, Maybe from the kilns?

robo hippy

A kiln would harden the lignin even more than it already is. If there are any pulp mills that make paper in your part of the country, they separate the lignin from the cellulose. Also, biofuels are produced using a process that separates cellulose from lignin in corn.
 
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Lots of pulp mills here, so that must be where it comes from. I was thinking that the kilns, with the steam, would bring that out of the wood, but I guess not. A number of charcoal places too, and every thing around here seems to go to recycling. When I think of bio fuels, I think of vegetable oil....

robo hippy
 

Bill Boehme

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When I think of bio fuels, I think of vegetable oil....

If I remember correctly, the cellulose and hemicellulose are fermented to produce ethanol. I have been trying to find Klean Strip brand "Green" Denatured Alcohol, but it seems to have evaporated from the shelves. Their "Green" DNA was approximately 90% ethanol and just a few percent methanol to discourage people from drinking it. Anyway, the green DNA was a lot more pleasant to use than the regular DNA which is mostly methanol. Many decades ago the regular DNA was mostly ethanol ... just like today's recently discovered Earth-friendly green DNA
 
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