Wormy cherry boards

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Forum topic by alekhine posted 09-19-2012 08:00 AM 5216 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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50 posts in 3610 days

09-19-2012 08:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question cherry carving tool rustic wormy beetle

I have eight cherry boards that are seriously damaged by wood beetles as you can see in the pictures. They are approximately 75cm x 27cm x 3cm (30” x 11” x 5/4”), air dried for a long time. The one in the middle is that i cleaned the holes with power carving tool. It took 3 hours to clean the holes in just one board so i started to think to myself is it worth this effort.

I will appreciate if you give your opinions for any of my questions:

1- What project would you build with these boards?
2- Is it safe to bring it home?
3- Would you fill the holes or leave them open (some of the openings go through to the other side)?
4- Or would you throw all of them to firewood pile?

-- Efe Yaparoglu ,Izmir.... Not getting what u wished is a sign that there is something better behind.

23 replies so far

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 3253 days

#1 posted 09-19-2012 04:53 PM

Are they still infested? The board on your left at the top is that a worm still chowing down? I would not let any of it around my stash of good lumber. Looks like birdhouse lumber to me or something that you would make for outisde. As is it goes for weather it is worth the time or not that all depends upon you. I would not waste a lot of time myself on the holes except for some spar varnish…... You are already woundering what you are doing when you start questioning yourself. It would make for some good birhouse material and hey it comes with a free lunch for the new tenents….....

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3538 days

#2 posted 09-19-2012 05:11 PM

Clean out the holes the best you can with a dental pick, cut them in half and put them in the oven on the lowest setting you can. Mine goes down to 170°F. Let them bake for a coupe of hours. That will kill all the bugs that are living.
I would make boxes and other crafts with them. Or sell them on eBay. Wormy wood is sometimes highly sought after.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Tennessee's profile


2936 posts in 3566 days

#3 posted 09-19-2012 05:17 PM

Well, there’s wormy wood…and then there’s this stuff. I would maybe consider filling one with a thick glaze coat like Famo or something like that for an interesting side table top, but in reality, I could not use it. And the possibility of living insects in there would be enough for me to chuck it.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Mip's profile


454 posts in 3129 days

#4 posted 09-19-2012 05:35 PM

I agree with Dallas and Tennessee. Hmm, two cities. Well I’m from Detroit, so now it’s three. Anyway, clean up the lumber as best you can, stick the boards in the oven to kill the bugs, put some colored epoxy in the holes and use them for a table top. I think that would look pretty cool, especially when the cherry ages.

View KnickKnack's profile


1099 posts in 4618 days

#5 posted 09-19-2012 07:07 PM

You can’t throw them away – wood with character!
Obviously you have to get the bugs dead.
But holes that “go through to the other side” sounds interesting – enough for water to drip through? or for light to shine through?
I have some seriously wormy oak from an ancient barrel that I’ve used in a few of my projects – it instantly ages the piece by 100 years.

Your nick, by the way, honours the Grandmaster? (Who, coincidentally, died here in Portugal)

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View SteviePete's profile


226 posts in 4354 days

#6 posted 09-19-2012 08:47 PM

I have the same problem. Kept outside in its own pile—I think the ants go after them. In cherry I find it difficult to clean the holes. Pressure washer then microwave works good. I read the only sure way is high temperature. I’ll stick with wormy chestnut, wormy butternut, spalted silver maple for my “rustic” material.

Cha Cha Cha

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 4226 days

#7 posted 09-20-2012 01:49 AM

leave them rough ,put some satin spar urethane on them and they are about the right size to make a couple fishing rod racks out of.Maybe stain one darker

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3741 days

#8 posted 09-20-2012 02:04 AM

Look at my “Arkansas Cherry Table” to see what I did with some cherry that was in much worse shape than yours. My best friend has it in his log home and he and his wife love it. I would love to have that cherry and would make a dresser top valet from it. I used an air gun and dental pick to clean all the castings out of the holes and tunnels.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4945 days

#9 posted 09-20-2012 02:34 AM

Do not burn them

Sadly they are yours and not mine.

In the right hands, its worth as much as gold by weight.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 4153 days

#10 posted 09-20-2012 05:42 AM

I agree with “Moron”. I made my daughter a jewelry rack here and I have more projects in mind with the left over. Don’t go cutting it up and throwing it in the oven until your sure you have something living in it. I spent five minutes cleaning up the board you see in my project…...................

-- mike...............

View alekhine's profile


50 posts in 3610 days

#11 posted 09-20-2012 06:27 AM

Gshepherd, that is not a worm you ask in that picture:) But i am not 100 percent sure there is no beetle inside, i hope not..
Baking in the oven…? this i am 100 percent sure my wife never will let me do it. One question… How about dripping some alcohol into the holes? I had heard that alcohol kills the bugs, does it worth trying?

KnickNack, some of the holes that go through to the other side and openings in both sides are 5 mm in diameter (quite big).. And my nick you ask, yes! he was the grandmaster, one of the world champions and my favourite because of the character in his play. Last day of his life was in Estoril as you said.

Thanks you all for the comments you give,

-- Efe Yaparoglu ,Izmir.... Not getting what u wished is a sign that there is something better behind.

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3527 days

#12 posted 09-20-2012 11:32 AM

Looks a little like carpenter bee damage. If it is beetles, the kind that make those sized holes do not persist in dry wood. It is definitely not the dreaded powderpost beetles. I suspect that the party is over and the bugs are gone.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View grfrazee's profile


388 posts in 3191 days

#13 posted 09-20-2012 01:31 PM

I have heard that you can stick the boards in the freezer for a few days/weeks and that’ll kill the bugs, but I have no reliable reference to back that statement up, so take it for what it’s worth.


View jerkylips's profile


495 posts in 3621 days

#14 posted 09-20-2012 01:36 PM

”Clean out the holes the best you can with a dental pick, cut them in half and put them in the oven on the lowest setting you can. Mine goes down to 170°F. Let them bake for a coupe of hours. That will kill all the bugs that are living.”

sorry, but I could NOT bring myself to put something in the oven to kill worms, then use that oven to cook food. It would mess with my mind too much. “Is it just me or does this pizza taste a little…..wormy?”

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3538 days

#15 posted 09-20-2012 10:16 PM

Jerkylips, I have a question: Why would it bother you?

I suppose you didn’t know that federal standards for pure flour include, “No more than 30 insect parts per pound”.

Have a Great wood working day!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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