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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, New to the forum, i'm venturing into the world of the unknown :) I have a large amount of silver birch and what I believe to be yellow / dark birch. My question is this, some of the silver birch planks are spalted and i'm looking to seek advise if they are usable or should be binned. I'm planning to build a wooden racing bike ( no puns please) and wanted to see if its a viable use as the spalting is in essence rot, although the unique nature of the spalting makes the shapes and colours a good use.

your input please
 

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not for the bike..
won't do stress well..
but..
there are a million other uses for it...

and welcome to forums N/A...
 

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HI Carpatha,
Welcome to the forums... how about editing your profile and letting us know your first name?
When you start building that bike, please start a thread on it...that's one I'd love to follow.
 

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David
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Welcome to the forum! And I'll also ask that you complete your profile with your first name and location. This just helps us to help you. We're looking forward to seeing the bike build - sounds interesting. And yes, by all means keep the Spalted wood for another project. Or even better, send it to me and I'll use it for a worthwhile project! :wink:

David
 

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Spalting is and form of wood coloration caused by fungi. Although primarily found in dead trees, spalting can also occur in lining trees under stress. Although spalting can cause weight loss and strength loss in wood, the unique coloration and patterns of spalted wood are sought after by woodworkers.
 

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Hey, Carpathia; welcome!
Has the lumber been milled, and dried already? The wood turners here would love to get their hands on your spalted stock;
small box makers too.
(No. Even normal sized woodworkers make 'small boxes'... ;) )
 

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You might use it as an inlay on the bike to add some pop to good structurally sound wood.

Or like some of the others said you could just send it to me, I''l pay the postage!
 

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I would also don't use it for anything under heavy stress. However, it depends on the level of decay as to how much the strength has been compromised. You can spalt your wood on purpose. I found out by accident. I took some fairly freshly milled white birch and covered it with planer shavings to help it dry more slowly. I didn't know at the time that I had a leak in the roof directly over the pile and it got wet and stayed wet for about 2 months before I found out. The wet and dark conditions caused the wood to spalt but I caught it in time to keep it from decaying very much and the wood was still very solid.
 

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Using it in a bike doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Welcome, great starting off question!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
hi all, Thanks for the input. It more or less confirmed my thinking that it wasn't a structural item. However its all dried and milled 20mm boards circa 750mm long. Not been through planer yet so rough sawn.
will put that on the maybe use later pile, unless anyone local wants to use. Can upload pics if needed (if a newbie account is allowed :)

I'm also looking at other woods of comparable density and strength for the project. I'm thinking maybe Maple, Beech, oak?
 

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Peter as long as the photos are in your hard drive and not on a sharing site you have to link to you can post them. When you start a thread you'll have that option and also if you use the advanced reply option.

A word of caution here. Wood has defects in it and not all of them are easily seen such as grain angling towards the edge of a board which makes for a weak board. About 20-25 years ago I remember a story on the news about a rider in Vancouver Canada who was riding a new carbon fiber bike in traffic. One (or both) of the front forks failed and the rider lost control and was struck by a car. He's a paraplegic now. You want to find wood that will accept deformation and spring back rather than fail. Some woods would be too brittle so do your research on which woods are available that fit that criteria. I know that several hundred years ago the wood of choice for making longbows was yew because it fit those criteria.
 

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Ross
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Welcome to the forum Peter.
 
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