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Wax falls off of log dowel plugs

 
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I have been having this problem with my logs: the wax seems to fall off of the dowels that I have pounded into the logs. I put it on hot and melt it into the space. When I check a few months later, most of the wax has gone. I have noticed some slugs trying to eat off of the dowels. Any ideas here, people, on how to keep the wax staying on the dowels longer?
Thanks
John S
PDX OR
 
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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The only thing I have noticed is that a little hotter soaks in better. We use an old crock pot to melt wax in and even though on low melts it...the high setting works better. This may be because it is usually a cool day when we plug. I also found that although the dauber will hold enough wax to cover several dowels the wax cools some and doesnt soak in as well after three or four daubs. The last two years we are using Field and Forest's wax which is softer than the scrap candle wax we had used for years. Our original guidance came from a local candle maker.
Wax falling off of the plugs hasnt been a problem for us although I'm not sure it matters after the logs are several months old. I have noticed bits on the mushrooms sometimes. I wonder if the slugs have more to do with it than after the fact? We noticed something had been chewing on our tags over the winter.
I am soaking a few logs this week...cant wait for some shiitakes.
 
John Suavecito
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Thanks Judith,
You gave me a great idea. Usually, I'm putting the wax on one log, and I notice that while I'm doing that, the wax gets cooler and even visually solidifying. I was just thinking that if I had two cans, I could rotate them, and put one back in the hot boiling water while I'm using the other. I think I'll try it next time. I used to let it cool too much and then have to wait while it was reheating. I'll let people know how it works. I don't want to spend many days waxing my logs, so this might help.
John S
PDX OR
 
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Location: Southwestern Virginia
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John,
I'm a newbie to fungi but ordered some plugs and got my first logs going last week. I did not have wax to plug the holes, so I improvised with some wooden 5/16 poplar dowel rods. I just cut into small pieces with pruners and tapped in with a hammer. Don't know if this is acceptable or not. Every how-to source says wax or styrofoam plugs. If anyone on the forum knows if the wooden dowels won't work please post and I can drill them out and get some wax.

 
Judith Browning
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Michael Yates wrote:John,
I'm a newbie to fungi but ordered some plugs and got my first logs going last week. I did not have wax to plug the holes, so I improvised with some wooden 5/16 poplar dowel rods. I just cut into small pieces with pruners and tapped in with a hammer. Don't know if this is acceptable or not. Every how-to source says wax or styrofoam plugs. If anyone on the forum knows if the wooden dowels won't work please post and I can drill them out and get some wax.



Michael, I don't know the answer...but I thought the purpose of the wax was to keep the plug from drying out and to prevent contamination by other fungi. I suppose a wooden plug could do that but it might also draw away moisture from the plug. I hope someone can help you out. For a number of years we used left over candle stubs...I tried to get white and unscented candles from the thrift store. We melted them all down in a crock pot and they worked just fine.
...and welcome to Permies!
 
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Well, Sepp Holzer doesn't use wax, far as I know. He conducted a class at the workshop in California, and the holes were plugged by whittled branches that were then cut off. No wax or sealing, and apparently it works for him.
 
Judith Browning
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Victor Johanson wrote:Well, Sepp Holzer doesn't use wax, far as I know. He conducted a class at the workshop in California, and the holes were plugged by whittled branches that were then cut off. No wax or sealing, and apparently it works for him.



I am glad to learn this. I'm not sure I could whittle 1500 plugs though...we do about forty logs every two years. Do you remember what the gap was? We are drilling to a depth where the dowel plug is just less than flush with the surface so not enough space for anything. Was he plugging shiitakes? Thanks.
 
Victor Johanson
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Well, we used spawn that looked like sawdust. I guess you could just drill deeper for plugs. We did several kinds; I think shiitake may have been one of them. I'm sure dowels would work just as well as hand whittled sticks.
 
Michael Yates
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Location: Southwestern Virginia
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Judith & Victor
Thanks for the responses. WOW, I was on the same wavelenght as Sepp! There may be hope for me yet.


 
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