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sime42

Attack of the WOODWORM!

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Evening all

 

So my brother and I have recently acquired a stock of nice decorative timber. This was kept by our late father as raw material for furniture making and wood turning. Most of it he got many many years ago, but over recent years I've been adding to the stock from the arising from interesting tree surgery work. There's all sorts of species like Oak, Ash, Yew, Elm, Cherry, Apple, Laburnum, Robinia, Mahogany, Cedar, Walnut .......... Some of it is 2 - 4in planks, some whole trunks up to 12in, some offcuts, some turned down blanks.

 

Its always been kept dry so no rot but unfortunately a lot of it has been afflicted by woodworm, some quite badly. Luckily most of it seems confined to the sap wood and interestingly the tougher stuff like old oak heartwood, mahogany and Robinia is barely, if at all, effected. We forced ourselves to be ruthless when we sorted through it so probably discarded a 1/3 to a 1/2 of it, a heart breaking task I can tell you! Some of it is, was, really beautiful, such as the burred walnut for instance.

 

We're intending to keep it ourselves now for future woodworking projects. The obvious question is what to do about the woodworm? How best to treat it to stop it increasing the damage to the already infected timber and also to stop it spreading to other "clean" wood. My brother seems to think that the wormy stuff should be strictly quarantined, I'm not sure how cautious we need to be. What approach do all you other keen woodworkers take to woodwormy material? What are your preferred treatments? Or should I give up now and consign it all to the log pile? I hope not.

 

This may be paranoid android but should I be concerned about the wood worm infecting structural timber in the house? The workshop is in the garage, an integral part of the house. Being 1930's ish the timber used in the building was probably not treated. How contagious actually is wood worm?

 

Ta

 

If I manage to get the lathe installed before everything is consumed and turned to dust I'll post some pictures on here in future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, sime42 said:

Evening all

 

So my brother and I have recently acquired a stock of nice decorative timber. This was kept by our late father as raw material for furniture making and wood turning. Most of it he got many many years ago, but over recent years I've been adding to the stock from the arising from interesting tree surgery work. There's all sorts of species like Oak, Ash, Yew, Elm, Cherry, Apple, Laburnum, Robinia, Mahogany, Cedar, Walnut .......... Some of it is 2 - 4in planks, some whole trunks up to 12in, some offcuts, some turned down blanks.

 

Its always been kept dry so no rot but unfortunately a lot of it has been afflicted by woodworm, some quite badly. Luckily most of it seems confined to the sap wood and interestingly the tougher stuff like old oak heartwood, mahogany and Robinia is barely, if at all, effected. We forced ourselves to be ruthless when we sorted through it so probably discarded a 1/3 to a 1/2 of it, a heart breaking task I can tell you! Some of it is, was, really beautiful, such as the burred walnut for instance.

 

We're intending to keep it ourselves now for future woodworking projects. The obvious question is what to do about the woodworm? How best to treat it to stop it increasing the damage to the already infected timber and also to stop it spreading to other "clean" wood. My brother seems to think that the wormy stuff should be strictly quarantined, I'm not sure how cautious we need to be. What approach do all you other keen woodworkers take to woodwormy material? What are your preferred treatments? Or should I give up now and consign it all to the log pile? I hope not.

 

This may be paranoid android but should I be concerned about the wood worm infecting structural timber in the house? The workshop is in the garage, an integral part of the house. Being 1930's ish the timber used in the building was probably not treated. How contagious actually is wood worm?

 

Ta

 

If I manage to get the lathe installed before everything is consumed and turned to dust I'll post some pictures on here in future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best way is to find someone with a large timber kiln and have the entire lot disinfected.  It may cause some cracking but not a lot if the timber is all dry.  It just needs cooking at 60 degrees C for 15 hours or so.

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Hi, also look into treating the timber and any other timbers with a sodium borate solution... borax, it's the been the basis of many wood treatments and other stuff for decades and the common salt is real cheap on ebay .. give it a google.

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Good idea with the timber kiln Squaredy. I hadn't thought of roasting the buggers! Just need to find one near here now though. What kind of people have timber kilns? Would sawmills or timber yards use them for seasoning wood?

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Hi, also look into treating the timber and any other timbers with a sodium borate solution... borax, it's the been the basis of many wood treatments and other stuff for decades and the common salt is real cheap on ebay .. give it a google.
Yep, I was aware of Borax as an option to consider. I know it's been widely used for a long time and has the big advantage of not being too toxic. I read somewhere the other day though that it's only effective in treating the top few mm cos it only penetrates that far into the wood anything deeper than that and it doesn't do anything.

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Best way is to find someone with a large timber kiln and have the entire lot disinfected.  It may cause some cracking but not a lot if the timber is all dry.  It just needs cooking at 60 degrees C for 15 hours or so.
Ah, I just realised;- did you mean a firewood drying kiln? 60 degrees sounds a bit high for seasoning wood.

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10 minutes ago, sime42 said:
On 08/02/2019 at 21:43, Squaredy said:
Best way is to find someone with a large timber kiln and have the entire lot disinfected.  It may cause some cracking but not a lot if the timber is all dry.  It just needs cooking at 60 degrees C for 15 hours or so.

Ah, I just realised;- did you mean a firewood drying kiln? 60 degrees sounds a bit high for seasoning wood.

Not necessarily a firewood kiln, though this might be more likely to find.  A timber drying kiln will also go up to 60+ degrees, and a timber drying kiln will be able to control the humidity to perhaps reduce damage to the timber.

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13 hours ago, sime42 said:

it's only effective in treating the top few mm cos it only penetrates that far into the wood anything deeper than that and it doesn't do anything.

Hi, yeah your probably right there...I read somewhere that the holes you see are from when the adult bugs emerge and fly off so it can be a good idea to find out if the infestation is still active....one way of doing this is to hoover up all the dust as best you can and wait till the appropriate time of year to see if more dust appears or not....I know with furniture and small stuff for instance folk inject down the holes to get the larvae, but obviously that's not practical for you,  cooking the wee buggers might be the way to go.

 

I still think a borax solution could be a good cost effective way of protecting any timbers of your property that are so far untouched.....When I mix up a solution to paint on freshly milled timber 1kg of powder dissolves into 5 gallons of {hot} water so it goes quite far. good luck.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Borax-Sodium-Tetraborate-Decahydrate-99-9-Lab-Grade-500g-1KG-2KG-5KG-10KG-25KG/321094621563?hash=item4ac2bb197b:m:mpNzfokOBvQTL1AwYsJjjnQ:rk:1:pf:1&frcectupt=true

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Thanks guys. Useful advice here. Good old Arbtalk.

I think the way I'll go is to get some Borax in to start with. It seems better suited to preventing insect infestation rather than treating existing problems. So I'll use it for any fresh untouched timber reserved for woodwork.
Not sure of the feasibility of treating structural timber in the house as the vast majority is inaccessible. But anyway I read last night that woodworm in the house is not really too much of an issue as they only go for damp stuff so outbreaks shouldn't be too damaging or long-lived. Hope that's correct! This refers to the most Common Furniture Beetle type, Death Watch is a different kettle of fish alltogether.

Ill also try to roast the wood worm buggers out of the original stuff from my father. And then maybe do with the borax as well. Just need to find a folk with a kiln now, another thread required I reckon.

Interesting stuff Borax. Lots of household uses historically. Currently in vogue for making Slime, (the kiddies favourite.) I'm very tempted to make some myself, just a case of mixing some Borax solution into some PVA it looks like from a very quick scan.

That link you added Macpherson, is for
20 Mule Team Borax. An interesting story in itself. They used to ship it out of Death Valley in 10T waggons pulled by 20 mule/horse teams!

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The common furniture beetle or to give it its latin name, anobium punctatum, will go for wood that is bone dry. By the time you see the holes on the surface will a little fine sawdust they will have been inside your timber for 3 to 4 years. I am a cabinet maker and at the first signs of any dodgy timber it gets cut up and burned in the stove. I wont even have it in the workshop whilst I am waiting on it to get burned.

You cannot make items from this wood and give/sell them to anyone as the risk of spreading it is too great and you might end up getting sued in court if someone's furniture gets infested. 

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