Help with Ash please - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-21-2014, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Help with Ash please

Hello, I am an unexperienced woodworker, so please excuse me if my questions are obvious. I am having a problem with Ash. There are blotches and spots all over, even on fresh cuts. Anyone know what this is? I have uploaded a couple of pictures.

-Anthony
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-21-2014, 09:25 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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looks like spalt

Spalt is a fungus that has entered the tree and caused erratic staining and dark spots, sometimes very linear.




Ash may have a different coloration as the above Spalted Maple is more common.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-21-2014, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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So this is probably not safe for a cutting board?

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Spalt is a fungus that has entered the tree and caused erratic staining and dark spots, sometimes very linear.




Ash may have a different coloration as the above Spalted Maple is more common.
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-21-2014, 09:41 PM
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Ive seen spalted wood used for food surfaces... Ive not seen any scientific evidence that the fungus is a health risk.

All the same, I wouldnt go around inhaling its dust or licking its unfinished surface. In this case, I cant really say that its producing an appealing (or appetizing) pattern so I would be inclined to use a different piece of wood.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-21-2014, 09:51 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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I donno?

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So this is probably not safe for a cutting board?
Heck, mushrooms are a fungus and they taste great. Yup, some will kill Ya, so I donno?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-21-2014, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bauerbach
Ive seen spalted wood used for food surfaces... Ive not seen any scientific evidence that the fungus is a health risk.

All the same, I wouldnt go around inhaling its dust or licking its unfinished surface. In this case, I cant really say that its producing an appealing (or appetizing) pattern so I would be inclined to use a different piece of wood.
So do you lick a lot of bare wood?
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-21-2014, 10:08 PM
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so do you lick a lot of bare wood?
i was told this was a safe space!

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post #8 of 15 Old 12-21-2014, 11:22 PM
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Once the wood was kiln dried it killed what ever living fungus that might be in the wood. The spalt left over from it I wouldn't worry about it other than appearance.
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-23-2014, 01:13 AM
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Spalting softens the wood, not a bad thing when a cooks main concern is keeping knives sharp. If serrated knives are used on the board for things like slicing bread, they can eat up a softer cutting board fairly quickly. A grain or two of sawdust isn't going to cause health concerns as long as the cook knows and follows food safety rules. Microbial contamination is a much greater concern, at the extreme, causing death. As a cook, I prefer edge grain maple. The fancy cutting boards will go on display and not get used. A working wood cutting board should be washed with bleach water every day.
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-23-2014, 07:23 AM
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ash is a very porous wood, although very hard. not the best choice for a cutting board, esp end grain. ash will also feather after being washed with water.
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-23-2014, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa
ash is a very porous wood, although very hard. not the best choice for a cutting board, esp end grain. ash will also feather after being washed with water.
Feather? What is feather?

Al


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post #12 of 15 Old 12-23-2014, 09:49 AM
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I agree with Hammer1 and TimPa, maple would be a better choice. End grain ash is very porous and might harbor a lot of bacteria....
not the good kind.

"If I agreed with you, then we'd both be wrong!"
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-23-2014, 10:32 AM
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Feather? What is feather?

Al
it's just what i call it, probably not the right term. fuzz maybe?

many little hair-like things sticking up. more than usual for other woods.
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-23-2014, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa

it's just what i call it, probably not the right term. fuzz maybe?

many little hair-like things sticking up. more than usual for other woods.
Oh I see. I haven't had any call for ash so I've never experienced that. I don't do much work for hire.

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post #15 of 15 Old 12-23-2014, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joek30296
I agree with Hammer1 and TimPa, maple would be a better choice. End grain ash is very porous and might harbor a lot of bacteria....
not the good kind.
Might not be a good choice but problems with bacteria isn't one of them. Wood is not a breeding ground for bacteria like plastic. When moisture is absorbed into our wood cutting boards it doesn't support bacteria growth, it prevents it. This was studied by I think Michigan U and it was their finding wood is best for cutting boards.

I would think any end grain wood wouldn't matter much from one to the other.

Al


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