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Molded Magnolia

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Larry Yancey, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Larry Yancey

    Larry Yancey

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    Location (City & State):
    Richmond, Va.
    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?"
     
  2. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

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    Location (City & State):
    Bashaw, Alberta
    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.
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  4. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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    Location (City & State):
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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
     
  5. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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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.
     
  6. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    Location (City & State):
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    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.
     
  7. Karl Loeblein

    Karl Loeblein

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    Location (City & State):
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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.
     
  8. GRJensen

    GRJensen

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    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.
     
  9. Jon Minerich

    Jon Minerich

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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
     
  10. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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  11. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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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.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    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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