wood gloat, or fail?

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Forum topic by JoeRPhilly posted 10-17-2012 03:11 PM 2536 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JoeRPhilly's profile


176 posts in 2764 days

10-17-2012 03:11 PM

I just got what I thought was another good deal on lumber, about 100 bf of cherry and some walnut(I think) flitches. All for $75. But, as I was looking at the flitch pieces, I noticed some insect holes. I think powder post beetles. This is the walnut with the holes:

I didn’t notice anything on the cherry, except for one board that looks damaged, but no holes.

Do you think this is an active infection? Or damage from some time ago? I know these boards are pretty old.
Is it safe to store this wood in my house with other ‘good’ lumber? Is it OK to use this wood? If infected, is there something I can do to treat the wood?


9 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117915 posts in 4189 days

#1 posted 10-17-2012 03:18 PM

I would treat it like it’s active and not store it with other wood or in your house. There is at least one thread around on how to deal with buggy wood. One way is by heating the wood .


View RussellAP's profile


3105 posts in 2898 days

#2 posted 10-17-2012 03:35 PM

If you still have any hot weather, wrap them in black plastic and set them in the sun with a thermometer. I think if you can get them to 140 for a couple hours it’ll be okay. Kiln drying usually doesn’t get that high in temp.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3737 days

#3 posted 10-17-2012 04:03 PM

Now that is a process I have not read before.. wrap in plastic in the sun.. I am going to try that.
as for the wood… man I wish I had that walnut, people love trinkets made with beetle and worm holes.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View woodtools's profile


21 posts in 2901 days

#4 posted 10-17-2012 05:36 PM

As suggested, I would treat as an active infestation. I have had 100 year old myrtle wood in storage for several years, untreated, similar in appearance and there is evidence of activity. I will also take action on these suggestions.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30505 posts in 2950 days

#5 posted 10-17-2012 06:02 PM

Heat kills. Wrapping it should work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View JoeRPhilly's profile


176 posts in 2764 days

#6 posted 10-17-2012 06:34 PM

Im in PA, no hot weather left here. And it will probably be a month or two before any real deep freezes. After reading some more, I think I’ll try Timbor or borax and wipe everything down. I just hope the buggers haven’t gotten into the cherry that I already put inside my basement. The walnut is what has visible evidence, I think I’ll keep that outside for a while. And I’ll keep a close eye on the cherry for evidence of new holes and dust. Thanks everyone!

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 3289 days

#7 posted 10-18-2012 12:20 AM

RussellAP, I am a kiln operator and this statement is incorrect: “Kiln drying usually doesn’t get that high in temp.”
It is standard practice for kiln operators to run a sterilization cycle at the end of all kiln runs. All commercial kiln units – whether conventional or dehumidification, are equipped to heat the load to a temperature adequate for sterilization and every kiln operation manual, class and seminar that I have ever attended have stressed the importance of sterilizing the load at the end of the cycle.
Some small kiln units marketed at the hobby market may not reach an adequate temp for sterilizing, but all production kilns do.
Joe – if I were you I would not treat the wood with a water based product, as it is never a good idea to rewet dried wood.
FWW magazine had an article about a home sterilization chamber built from foam insulating board in an issue about two years ago. It was simple, inexpensive and effective. As I recall it was in the December 2010 issue, or the issue that arrive around that time.
You need to heat the core of your boards to 133F or higher for a period of 4 hours to sterilize. In the summer, you can simply place the boards in the attic of your home, but at this time of year the sterilization chamber would be a better option.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3088 days

#8 posted 10-18-2012 02:32 AM

Those holes were made by ambrosia beetles. Notice the black tint to all the holes. This tree was dead before it was sawn into boards. The ambrosia beetles attacked the tree as it was dying and under stress or when it was already dead. Unlike the dreaded powderpost beetle, ambrosia beetles only live in wood with a high moisture content. When the wood dries, they are gone. They also commonly attack soft maples, resulting in a black lined hole with a blue-green stain that comes from the hole in streaks. The black lining to the hole and the blue-green stain are caused by a fungus that rides in on the body of the ambrosia beetle. The blue-green stain can look like flames. Ambrosia maple is highly desired. The ambrosia beetle holes can give the wood some unique character.

Scott, as always, gives great advice on sterilizing wood. If you only have these ambrosia beetle holes, you are OK if the wood is dried. However, powderpost beetles will infest walnut sapwood. You can tell because they will be little pile of sawdust coming out of the holes. If you see this, you must remove all the sapwood or sterilize the boards. They do not infest walnut heartwood, but they are a scourge in many other species, especially the ring porous species like the oaks, hickory, pecan, ash (Oh, they love ash), elm, persimmon, etc.

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

View treaterryan's profile


109 posts in 2899 days

#9 posted 10-18-2012 03:04 AM

Post deleted.

-- Ryan - Bethel Park, PA

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