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6stringconvert
11-18-2009, 09:41 AM
Personally I'm not so keen on the look, but looks aside, is there any reduction in strength and integrity when used for a uke? I'm familiar with spalted yew, and this seriously looses strength when spalting.

6sc

hoosierhiver
11-18-2009, 09:44 AM
Considering that "spalting" is the result of microorganisms eating the wood, I would say that it is certainly possible.

Kanaka916
11-18-2009, 09:44 AM
I'm sure you'll get feedback here, but better responses in the Uke Building/Luthiers Lounge . . .

Ahnko Honu
11-18-2009, 10:38 AM
I'm a woodturner for almost 13 years, and I used to collect all my own logs for this purpose usually from tree trimmers, and Norfolk Pine, Avocado, and Mango wood were some that spalted quite readily. In fact unspalted they were very plain and unspectacular. I would leave these log outdoors out of direct sunlight and over a period of 3 to 6 months depending on species they would form beautiful dark streaks of blue, black orange which gave the rather plain light wood allot more character and beauty. Only problem was if I waited too long they would turn to punky mass of soft fiber. In the initial stages of this fungus infection the wood is still structurally strong but the longer you wait the prettier the colors and patterns but also the weaker the wood gets. I would imagine a unsound piece of spalted wood would be easy to spot when sliced thin for luthier use. Spalted wood has it's health risk for those working with it as the fungus spores in the wood dust if breathed in can cause respiratory illness. :eek:

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-18-2009, 11:04 AM
:agree:
Beautiful spalting can be achieved with mango by simply stacking the boards (un stickered), wetting it down, covering it with a tarp, keeping it warm and waiting a few months. Some forms of spalting only affect the pigmentation of the wood while other types cause damage. You should never use wood that is punky for instrument building.
It's common to treat small spalted areas in wood by saturating the area with thin CA.

johncaudrey
11-18-2009, 11:12 AM
At a guess, I am guessing laminates may be a better process where spalting occurs. Hence getting the pretty spalting effect without the detrimental effects of damage throughout the wood!
Please correct me if I am wrong!
John

haolejohn
11-18-2009, 11:23 AM
At a guess, I am guessing laminates may be a better process where spalting occurs. Hence getting the pretty spalting effect without the detrimental effects of damage throughout the wood!
Please correct me if I am wrong!
John

I had hjeard this and I bought a spalted mango pono that was stunnig even though I was scared that it was going to rot apart. I was told that laminate is a great way to go with spalted but not neccesary.

GrumpyOldMan
11-19-2009, 11:14 AM
I have almost been tempted recently by a Kala Spalted Maple Soprano, but can't really justify the expense. However I saw this one for sale on a UK website and was a bit surprised at how poor the matching was. Or am I being picky? This is a Ukulele costing over 150.

Ian.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/KalaKA-FMCbackbig.jpg

(If you can enlarge the image the matching looks quite bad, UU or Photobucket has reduced the original size).

sukie
11-19-2009, 11:22 AM
I have almost been tempted recently by a Kala Spalted Maple Soprano, but can't really justify the expense. However I saw this one for sale on a UK website and was a bit surprised at how poor the matching was. Or am I being picky? This is a Ukulele costing over 150.

Ian.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v706/Brockyman/KalaKA-FMCbackbig.jpg

(If you can enlarge the image the matching looks quite bad, UU or Photobucket has reduced the original size).
Maybe it doesn't match, but it's beautiful. I really like the looks for spalted wood.

Dave Higham
11-19-2009, 11:35 AM
Do you mean that the RH side should be a bit lower (or the LH a bit higher?).
As far as the actual spalting goes, you rarely see a match as good as that.

ukantor
11-19-2009, 12:06 PM
Lack of symmetry bothers some people more than others. My wife like things to be perfect. I find perfection to be a bit unnatural.

To me, that uke looks fine. The slight slippage gives it character. Anyway, that's the bit you hold against your body while you play it. You ain't gonna be sitting there looking at it, are you?;)

John Colter.

GrumpyOldMan
11-20-2009, 12:56 AM
Do you mean that the RH side should be a bit lower (or the LH a bit higher?).
As far as the actual spalting goes, you rarely see a match as good as that.

Yes, that's what I meant. I reckon there's about 3 or 4mm difference and that would REALLY bug me even though I wouldn't be able to see it whilst playing. Otherwise I agree with everyone else that, yes, it is a beauty.
It's for sale at Forsyths in Manchester if anyone is interested, 152.

Ian.

Matt Clara
11-20-2009, 01:11 AM
Yes, that's what I meant. I reckon there's about 3 or 4mm difference and that would REALLY bug me even though I wouldn't be able to see it whilst playing. Otherwise I agree with everyone else that, yes, it is a beauty.
It's for sale at Forsyths in Manchester if anyone is interested, 152.

Ian.

Whenever I see that I think, that would have been a good time to add an accent strip right down the middle.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-20-2009, 05:52 AM
Holy smokes, you guys are picky! That's about as close of a book match as I've ever seen with spalted wood. It's not like book matching grain patterns, that's easy if the wood is quarter sawn and your saw kerf is thin. But spalting ignores grain patterns and goes where ever it wants to.

GrumpyOldMan
11-20-2009, 07:08 AM
I don't think it's too picky. Here is a link to the page it is on. http://www.forsyths.co.uk/instruments/folk-instruments/ukuleles/kala/ Click on the pic and you will get a much larger pic. I reckon there is as much as 5mm difference and although I am not a luthier I am certain that that wood could have been matched better.
It's immaterial really to me as I have no intention of buying it but a week or two ago I might have done as it was exactly what I wanted then. That's the thing with UAS, what I like one day will be replaced by something else the next day.

Ian.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-20-2009, 08:19 AM
I don't think it's too picky. Here is a link to the page it is on. http://www.forsyths.co.uk/instruments/folk-instruments/ukuleles/kala/ Click on the pic and you will get a much larger pic. I reckon there is as much as 5mm difference and although I am not a luthier I am certain that that wood could have been matched better.
It's immaterial really to me as I have no intention of buying it but a week or two ago I might have done as it was exactly what I wanted then. That's the thing with UAS, what I like one day will be replaced by something else the next day.

Ian.

I don't think I made my point clear. What I'm saying is that the grain may match, but the spalting may not. Spalting does NOT necessarily follow grain patterns. Book matching the grain of quatersawn wood is easy but spalting may run flat across the grain. I run into the issue all the time. You do the best you can, but matching the grain is primary, matching the spalting is a secondary concern.

GrumpyOldMan
11-20-2009, 08:30 AM
Lol. To be honest with that Ukulele the first thing I looked at was the Spalting. I never even looked at the grain. Yes I gree that grain does indeed match perfectly (now I've been back for a look!) but if I personally was buying that Uke I would prefer the spalting to match and wouldn't worry too much about the grain. I personally would not buy that Uke with that much difference.

I am not saying it is wrong, just not to my taste.

Ian.

dave g
11-20-2009, 09:42 AM
Holy smokes, you guys are picky! That's about as close of a book match as I've ever seen with spalted wood.

Exactly what I was thinking - I'd be exceedingly happy with a match that close.

kluson
11-20-2009, 10:31 AM
I Have a Kala KA FMS. The Spalting on the sides is not very spectacular and almost not there on the back , but the back is a gorgeous Flame maple.
I have been well pleased with it
The one in the pic looks really pretty

RevWill
11-20-2009, 10:35 AM
If I was buying that uke I would love it and hug it and pet it and squeeze it and cuddle it and pick it and strum it and call it George.

I think it's cool lookin' as is.

Matt Clara
11-20-2009, 11:03 AM
If I was buying that uke I would love it and hug it and pet it and squeeze it and cuddle it and pick it and strum it and call it George.

I think it's cool lookin' as is.

Gosh, Will, that doesn't sound like you.
;)

RevWill
11-20-2009, 11:10 AM
I am a Looney Toons fan.

GrumpyOldMan
11-20-2009, 11:11 AM
Okay, okay. I'm being picky :confused:.
I still wouldn't buy it though. The mismatch would jump out at me every time I picked it up and I could never love it.

Ian.

RevWill
11-20-2009, 11:24 AM
Gosh, Will, that doesn't sound like you.
;)

I do foresee a spalted uke on the horizon for me eventually, and I would actually almost consider that too symmetrical to be perfectly honest.

What some people consider flaws I consider character and individuality. That's just my nature I guess.

Matt Clara
11-20-2009, 11:35 AM
Okay, okay. I'm being picky :confused:.
I still wouldn't buy it though. The mismatch would jump out at me every time I picked it up and I could never love it.

Ian.

I look at it and actually feel a dissonance in the pattern. It doesn't feel right. I suspect it's a biological thing, where some of us are more sensitive to it than others. Consider that, as social animals, we spend a lot of time looking at other people's faces. Our brains work with that a lot, and are specialized to do it. The most attractive faces are those that are the most symmetrical (and average, as it turns out, as in average eye size, spacing, placement, etc.). To some, asymmetrical faces can feel wrong, too. All this goes by way of saying, we may be picky, but it's not necessarily up to us whether we are or not. It just doesn't feel right.

I'll say again, an accent strip down the middle would draw attention away from the asymmetry, where putting them side by side can only draw attention to it.

RevWill
11-20-2009, 11:39 AM
....I'll say again, an accent strip down the middle would draw attention away from the asymmetry....

I agree. That would look very cool.

I do still have questions about how well spalted wood instruments hold up over time and whether the spalting process compromises the integrity of the wood, as well as what (e.g. CA glue) has been done to compensate for that.

(and just like that, we're back on topic!)

dave g
11-20-2009, 02:12 PM
I do still have questions about how well spalted wood instruments hold up over time and whether the spalting process compromises the integrity of the wood...

Well (again, I think), there is a fine line between nicely spalted and rotten. You've got to catch it at just the right time, and cut it and dry it when it's still structurally sound (drying it stops the spalting process).