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I’ve got a river table I’m working on made out of MonkeyPod and black epoxy.

I’m sanding it and noticed that there are blotchy looking areas. (I’m calling them blotchy, I don’t know what they are.)

No stain or wax has been applied to the wood.

I wet it before these photos so they’re more visible in the pictures.

My question is, are these supposed to be there? If not, how do I fix them?

picture 1

picture 2

  • It looks like that is the nature of the wood many of the tropical hard woods seam to have this. I have several unknown tropical hard woods that have similar "blotches" – Monte Glover Jan 2 at 3:21
  • Hi welcome to SE. It's hard to be sure from photos (and I'm not sure if having the wood in front of me would help) but while some of it appears to be just the nature of the grain/figure in the wood the slightly 'cellular' character remind me more of spalting. It's possible the wood was subject to fungal attack during life or after felling and this affected the structure in certain areas, enough for the wood to be more absorbent, which does seem clear in the photos — particularly the second one where the wood has dried out partially but those areas are still damp. [contd] – Graphus Jan 2 at 8:11
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    If this is correct I don't think there's any actual fix I'm afraid, i.e. you can't hide it entirely. The best you can hope for is to minimise the visibility, for example by using a finish that doesn't increase contrast, although that's not ideal in other ways. It's a bit of a nightmare to be faced with this sort of thing at this stage in a build! Do you have any offcuts you can run tests on? If not hopefully the same problem is visible on the other side so you can experiment there. – Graphus Jan 2 at 8:16
  • BTW even with the splotches, the top is stunning! In my book it is the nature of the wood expressing itself. – Ashlar Jan 3 at 14:39
  • It is what it is. Seems quite attractive to me. – Greg Nickoloff Jan 13 at 18:33

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