Unusual ambrosia fungus blue fir slabs are molding - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 06-20-2016, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Question Unusual ambrosia fungus blue fir slabs are molding

First off, I'm a totally newbie. I love wood, but I'm just learning... My grandpa made everything he needed for himself and I was too young for him to teach me before he died, so I just decide I'm going to make something and then I learn as I go... I'm handy with tools, good with math, and I have a good work ethic, so I do alright. I'm in the Pacific Northwest.

I bought these slabs that are so beautiful- 2" thick fir with live edges and the sapwood is blue and purple. This is from ambrosia beetles. They cultivate a blue fungus in the sapwood to feed their larvae. It's very rare that they are in fir (they prefer pine and are the cause of "denim pine") and usually the wood they get into is degraded beyond beauty or usefulness, but these planks are lovely. I bought them with the intention of making myself a dining room table and matching bench. Two of them are about 20"-22" wide and I plan to take one edge off each of them to join them for the table. The other is about 17" (plus a little more including the edges) for the bench.

I didn't realize that they would have special issues, being green. I can air dry them (as I've learned one ought to with slabs to avoid splitting in a kiln); I have the time and patience and space. But I am anxious about the mold.

The areas where the ambrosia fungus was flourishing in the sapwood are blooming on the slabs as they sit to dry. I think (hope?) that there will be less and less of this as the wood dries. The dehumidifier seems to be helping too.

Here are the questions on my mind, and I won't be surprised if no one really knows as this wood seems rather rare. Will it hurt the wood if I just let the mold bloom and run it's course until the wood is dry enough that the mold simply dies? Will it hurt ME to have this mold bloom in my work space? Will the beautiful blue/purple staining be harmed if I spray with bleach water? Is the color in the wood from the live fungus or is the wood actually stained?? The seller made it seem like the latter is the case, but I am anxious about it now that I am seeing that the mold is alive and well. Perhaps when it's dead, the beautiful color goes away too?? There is probably nothing I can do about it if that is the case. But I don't think that's the case...

Any thoughts and advice are welcome. I feel very foolish for having been taken in by the beauty of the blue veins and the story of the wood without knowing enough to confidently handle the wood the way it needs to be handled to maintain the unique beauty.

Sorry I don't have photos! My phone/camera is broken!!
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post #2 of 2 Old 06-20-2016, 04:49 PM
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Welcome to the forum...Sorry...I got nothing on fungus ..
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air dry, bleach, denim, mold, slab

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