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Wooden planes and wormholes

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Forum topic by RobS76 posted 08-15-2019 01:05 AM 346 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RobS76

4 posts in 382 days


08-15-2019 01:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wooden plane wormholes powder post beetle question

I’ve been shopping around for some wooden planes. I have seen a few various molding planes that showed a few to a lot of wormholes. This got me thinking/worrying.

Should I be worried about bringing powder post beetles into my shop through buying an infected plane? If there is a chance of introducing PPB to my shop, can I sterilize the planes in a toaster oven? Say maybe 175f +/- for a day or two?

Anyone have any experience or heard of tools infecting a woodshop?

thanks,
Rob


10 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

19295 posts in 3022 days


#1 posted 08-15-2019 10:01 AM

You can use an oven. 140-150 degrees for about 2 hours will do it according to my research.

Freezing will do it, but it need to be a quick freeze, so a normal house hold freezer won’t do it.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

10437 posts in 1593 days


#2 posted 08-15-2019 02:04 PM

Are these new or vintage planes? I find it hard to imagine that in either case you are likely to get any with active PPBs. If they’re vintage, they would have either died out or destroyed the wood by now and if they’re new and produced commercially, it’s almost certainly kiln dried wood.

That’s just my initial thoughts but, like Don said, 140+ degrees F in an oven for a couple hours should take care of any that are there.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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RobS76

4 posts in 382 days


#3 posted 08-15-2019 02:54 PM

Thanks Don.

Ken,

I was thinking more along the lines of vintage “barn finds.” But… New or old, if stored in a barn or shop that has PPB’s couldn’t they become infected? Then I buy the tool, bring it home, throw it on a shelf next to my lumber pile. Later I find piles of saw dust everywhere. This was my concern.

I tend to over think a lot. I tend to worry about the “What if” and try to plan accordingly. So if I could sterilize the potential problem before hand and not suffer the consequences later, I would be happy.

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

112 posts in 56 days


#4 posted 08-15-2019 05:04 PM

You may find some guidelines if you search for “heat treating pallets”. All kinds of insects find their way into pallet wood so they are supposed to get heat treated prior to export.

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HokieKen

10437 posts in 1593 days


#5 posted 08-15-2019 07:04 PM

You may be right Rob. I was assuming that PPBs wouldn’t make a new home in already dry wood. But, now that you mention it, I don’t know if that’s true or not.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Eric's profile

Eric

63 posts in 692 days


#6 posted 08-15-2019 09:11 PM


...I was assuming that PPBs wouldn t make a new home in already dry wood. But, now that you mention it, I don t know if that s true or not.

- HokieKen

I used the google, here’s the University of Wisconsin perspective:
“Many times the Powderpost Beetle (Lyctidae) enters lumber that is stored or cured. It later emerges afterward. Old wood antiques are frequently attacked by these beetles. Hardwoood floors such as ash, hickory, oak, walnut and cherry are frequently attacked. These hardwoods that are damaged have starch-rich sapwood and are large-pored.”

-- Eric

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MrRon

5631 posts in 3698 days


#7 posted 08-15-2019 10:34 PM

I would put them in a microwave (metal removed) on high for a few minutes.

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RobS76

4 posts in 382 days


#8 posted 08-15-2019 11:44 PM

It kind of makes you think twice about bringing a barn find straight into the shop. I have bought lumber at estate auctions. But I check it over pretty good. I never thought about infected tools before. At least until I started looking at old molding planes, and seeing some with bug damage.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19295 posts in 3022 days


#9 posted 08-16-2019 10:20 AM

Keep in mind the holes you see are exit holes. I’ve yet to understand that, but all reliable sources agree with that. They also agree that these buggers can remind dormant for 35 years.

I have a $19 toaster oven in my shop. It’s handy for tempering my knives and killing bugs in wood.

Most reliable sources also agree microwaves are unpredictable. And freeze thaw cycles work, but not in a normal freezer. Remember it gets pretty friggin cold for pretty long durations in parts where these pest live.

Yes, I’ve done some research. I buy and sell planes from time to time and don’t want to be responsible for infecting anybody’s shop or home, including mine.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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HokieKen

10437 posts in 1593 days


#10 posted 08-16-2019 02:59 PM

Well dang. That gives one a whole new cause for concern… At least the frequently attacked woods are the ones I use most often :-/

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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