How much can you trim 4x6

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Forum topic by Rwndy posted 01-23-2022 02:28 PM 445 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 1072 days

01-23-2022 02:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: 2nd post about worm hole 4x6

worm hole oak My question is. I’m out of wood for my dining room table to make the legs. I’m using oak that’s been in the barn for years and has worm holes thru out. I love this wood but I’m out except for some 4×6 . So can I plane these down to 2 3/4”x 2 3/4” and taper these without them bowing or twisting. Thanks
This is dead winter so the worms are out of the wood , my main concern is will they twist or bow , or is a solid leg better than glued legs ?

6 replies so far

View ibewjon's profile


2939 posts in 4252 days

#1 posted 01-23-2022 02:52 PM

Post a picture. You may have powder post beetles. The beetles and worms survive the cold inside the wood. (Mosquitoes survive temps of 60 degrees below zero in the arctic and come out when it warms.)

View PCDub's profile


397 posts in 1703 days

#2 posted 01-23-2022 03:26 PM

Ditto powder post beetles. They persist without proper heat or borate treatment.

View RClark's profile


291 posts in 3644 days

#3 posted 01-23-2022 04:50 PM

First order of business is to ensure the wood doesn’t have an active insect issue (powder post beetles).

Next, since the wood has been cut and sitting for many years, it’s likely as stable as it is going to get. If it was me, I’d look to resaw it, avoiding the pith, and then mill it to size.

The grain will give a good indication of stability. If it’s straight grain and no pith, then I think you’re OK with single large pieces for the legs.

-- Ray

View LesB's profile


3471 posts in 4902 days

#4 posted 01-23-2022 06:35 PM

Agreed on making sure the beetles are gone otherwise you may be inviting them into your house to work on other furniture. Best way I know is to heat the wood to about 140 degrees for several hours and the easiest is probably wrapped in clear plastic and put in direct sunlight on a hot day. I would do it a couple of times.

Other than that do you have another purpose for the wood? If not what do you have to loose by trying?

-- Les B, Oregon

View splintergroup's profile


6950 posts in 2682 days

#5 posted 01-23-2022 08:18 PM

I’m with Ray on the prep and initial cuts. The potential for the beetles is always a worry.

I’d get the initial parts cut a bit oversized so you can tweak out any small deviations that happen after letting these cutouts acclimatize for a week or two.

You can “cook” the parts for beetles after cutting, less mass to deal with.

View Rwndy's profile


20 posts in 1072 days

#6 posted 01-24-2022 02:26 PM

This wood was put thru a kiln process a couple years ago. Then plastic was laid on the ground and the wood put back in the barn, restacked and stripped . So I’m pretty sure the process has gotten rid of the beetle worms. I’ve planed almost all of it and haven’t seen 1 post beetle , just holes. My main concern was if I could plane the 4×6 down and use the 2 3/4×2 3/4 pieces left and then taper the legs down without worrying about them bowing or twisting.

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