Bunya pine work #3: Grant's Bunya pine Some horrid discoveries have been made

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 12-02-2019 08:46 AM 642 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Grants Bunya pine Pt 2 Part 3 of Bunya pine work series Part 4: Grants Slab The Final Solution »

OK today I decided to do some exploratory surgery on the large slab this time.

Now this slab is almost 4m in length so my track saw was too short to fit I resorted to using my truing timber piece in two distinct setup cuts.

Both live edges showed sign of insect infestation so they were the first to go.

I chalked two lines on the edges to be trimmed and initially set to work with my modified track saw then used a hand saw to cut the live edge free.

This proved to be a bit of a waste of time and energy so dusted off my bigger circular saw and used itto do full thickness cuts.

This is the results on the first edge trim.

Not good to say the least.

The second edge was not much better.

However upon finishing I found the remains of some unwelcome lodgers.

Upon closer examination I found the missing section of larvae

Tthe larvae was originally alive and that poses a definite risk.

So I brought out my compressed air gun and started pressurising areas in the sides, this in turn uncovered exit holes throughout the complete width of the slab. (see notes below confirming)

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OK looks to be working again so lets continue.

After seeing the exit holes I wanted to do some cross cuts to expose how much penetration damage there was.

So I marked out an area the would do least damage, right across a knot section.

This revealed the following results.

There didn’t appear to be any damage and the rough sections you see aligned with the knot sections.

Finding this promising but unusual I decided to do some more cuts

Here is cross cut No 2

The massive infestation is back.

So Cross cut No 3 is conducted.

Same disappointing result.

So it was time to pack up. This is what remains of what was a 4M slab!

Between us that’s completely ruined the slab for its intended use.


Insect infestation is still active.
Can it be used?
For furniture no
As a complete slab yes on condition its outside and on metal legs and expect to see Frass appear over time,
it may not and if not great.

Notes below:-

Eggs are laid in cracks of susceptible timber and larvae hatch in a few weeks.
Larvae burrow long distances and only the larval stage destroys timber.
Tunnels run with and across the grain, giving a honeycombed appearance.
Tunnels are packed loosely with frass (cigar-shaped pellets of chewed wood when magnified).
Rubbed into the palm of the hand, the frass is fine and gritty, quite different from the frass of the powderpost beetle, Lyctus, which is soft and silky.
Frass can be ejected in small amounts through flight holes.
Before pupating, the larva moves closer to the surface and constructs a pupal chamber.
Larvae usually take 3 years to develop.

Under no circumstances can it be fitted to any timber structure without effective heat treatment (as Dave has already indicated.)

Is it the same for the rest?

Using the analogy where there is smoke there is fire the assumption would have to be yes.

A disappointing result.

Further work? yes

When I get keen again out with the Table saw and do some exploratory ripping, and do some frass tests, but I am not expecting any miracles. I am also intending to thickness a few sections with exit holes to expose the pupal chambers, purely for interest only as they are most evident in the smaller slab I worked.

If any body knows Teds contact details I will arrange him to come collect them and let him experience Anthony’s 410 at the same time!

Other than that it stays outside where it is. As there is a NO Vacancy sign on the timber rack at the Bates Hotel for it !

Hey LBD whats this about being in QLD?

-- Regards Rob

8 comments so far

View anthm27's profile


1818 posts in 2190 days

#1 posted 12-02-2019 09:07 AM

Thats not good Rob,
Um , is there anything alive inside? Or all long gone??

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View robscastle's profile


7878 posts in 3284 days

#2 posted 12-02-2019 09:54 AM

found one that was alive and expect more upon ripping a few pieces.

There are some obvious damp patches I saw, and they would only be damp in there for one reason.

-- Regards Rob

View crowie's profile


4571 posts in 3031 days

#3 posted 12-02-2019 10:05 AM

Rob, Could you spray the whole slab with say a crawling insecticide then river resin it to seal it??
Just a thought, though a lot of work if the timber is as bad as the photos & your notes indicate…

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View anthm27's profile


1818 posts in 2190 days

#4 posted 12-02-2019 10:13 AM

Yep, Ted needs a good dose of the 410 shotgun, Tipping he,s no good for farm work either.
As for LBD, I wondering how many shot gun weddings hes had???

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7439 posts in 1662 days

#5 posted 12-02-2019 12:32 PM

Sorry to hear that Rob, but better than finding them after they’ve infested other wood.

On the other hand, this gives you an excuse to build a nice big kiln out on the farm, perhaps?

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View pottz's profile


16813 posts in 2064 days

#6 posted 12-02-2019 02:29 PM

thats a real shame but what can you do,firewood at least.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View robscastle's profile


7878 posts in 3284 days

#7 posted 12-02-2019 09:38 PM

When we first saw the stack and the obvious damage on site we agreed if the timber was beyond help it would become BBQ fuel, so although disappointing not a complete loss work effort wise.

-- Regards Rob

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2931 posts in 2143 days

#8 posted 12-03-2019 09:56 AM

If you treat it with resin, you;ll wind up with some very interesting living history. That’s what I’m thinking. Like fossils in amber.

-- Mark

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