Hi all, I hope nobody minds if I use this forum for some basic product research for a product that doesn't exist yet.
How much would you pay to be able to spalt your own wood as a DIY project, with a 3 month time frame?
* 10 square feet of wood coverage
* product can be applied to green or rehydrated wood with rough/sanded finish
* product is applied easily like a paste, like "finger paints"
* project is stored in moist conditions, above 50 degrees for 2-3 months during spalting process
If you could literally take 10 sq feet of cheap "value wood" pine from the hardware store and induce spalting to produce bleaching/zone lines/coloration,
If you could take a debarked piece of green wood and spalt it,
If you could take a finished item with a rough/sanded finish and spalt it,
what would you be interested in paying for this product? (treats 10 sq feet of wood in a 3 month time frame)
Dustin Rhodes wrote:
- Shelf-stable, long lasting in the can(or alive/regenerative);
- no VOC or other toxic chemicals;
- can't decrease the integrity of the wood(if used correctly);
- can be used on ANY wood species;
It's alive. Unknown storage characteristics, lasts at least 3 months unopened.
No toxic chemicals, I've eaten it. (Working with spalted wood, the finished product, poses its own unique risks for immuno-compromised individuals. Basically use breathing filters around wood dust.)
Spalting is wood rot, that naturally decreases structural integrity of wood, which is somewhat controllable by timing the length of the spalting process - spalted wood should not be used as a load-bearing material.
There are multiple spalting fungi for every wood species.
Dustin Rhodes wrote:I'd be willing to pay a fair bit for it
Well, two bits is $.50 where I'm from... Are you sure you wouldn't go any higher?
The following I am including not as a potential user, but because you said this was research(and I love business research!)
Can those multiple fungi be mixed together in one can for sale, or would you have to release each one separately, each with a separate list of the wood species you can use it on?
Would a store-bought humidifier in a regular room be enough to keep the moisture level up, or does it need a more serious protocol(plastic wrap, misting, etc.)?
For me, value would start high (say $20 for 10sqft) , then decrease by how much the following criteria are increased:
- How much work it is to use(10min setup and application, or 1 hour, etc),
- How long I have to wait to make a profit(3 months, including a trip to the kiln to dry it, is a long time for most hobbyists)
- and how much my profit is increased by using spalted wood vs, normal grain. (This is the key figure, and it's variable, and who knows by how much?)
Something else you have to figure out: can people keep your fungus and grow it themselves, cutting you out as their supplier? Can your fungal strain and/or process be patented?
Will you cause an ecological disaster if your fungal strain escapes a controlled setting and starts infecting wild trees, outside it's native zone?
All this aside, it has the potential to be an amazing product, and I hope you succeed!
Experimenting and growing on my small acre in SW USA; Fruit & Nut trees w/ annuals, hoping to get Chickens, rabbits, and in-laws onto property soon.
Long term goal - Furniture & Luthier Stay-at-home farm dad.
Dustin, I can't answer all of your questions at this time, but I do sincerely thank you for your replies and input. Typically you want to use these spalting starters like finger paint, under clean conditions.
Regarding safe handling, release, etc, I can say that I'm proud to be permitted and fully compliant with USDA APHIS permit requirements for shipping these fungi to 48 states. Full standard instructions will include double bagging for disposal. There is no release when instructions are followed.