Through what can only be called a “fortunate accident”, I find myself with a nice supply of spalted maple. Knowing that spalting is caused by several different types of fungi, however, I’m wondering if I should use any special precautions in working with it.—Bill Douglas

Dave Emerson replies: Spalted wood creates probably the most dangerous dust in wood working. The organisms that create the spalting remain alive and if you breathe enough of the dust sufficient amounts of them end up in your lungs to kill you. There’s no cure.