Questions Regarding Treating 3000 bf of Red Oak from Power Post Beetles

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Forum topic by JBrow posted 05-18-2016 02:06 AM 694 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1094 days

05-18-2016 02:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: powder post beetles timbor boracare oak

A few years ago I rescued a large quantity of red oak from being out in the weather at the lumber yard. It has been stickered in 3 sided shed ever since. Recently I noticed what appears to be recent powder post beetle activity. My plan is to un-stack the lumber and spray all sides with either TimBor or BoraCare. TimBor is a borate salt while BoraCare contains a borate salt plus an ethylene glycol additive to aid in surface penetration. After treatment, the lumber will be re-stickered in the shed. The product labels suggest both products are “safe” pesticides, but I am not sure the manufacturers consider milling lumber treated with these products. My questions are not fully answered on the product labels. My questions are:

1) What effect, if any, will TimBor and BoraCare have when a project is built and it is time to apply a finish? I also wonder whether the ethylene glycol additive will adversely interact with oil based finishes.

2) My second question is whether these products are safe in a wood shop during the milling and sanding? If not, what are the hazards?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

3 replies so far

View WDHLT15's profile


1786 posts in 2650 days

#1 posted 05-18-2016 11:57 AM

I spray most of the hardwood that I saw with Timbor. I have made many projects from wood sprayed with it and there is no problem applying a finish. The borate salts are about as safe as you can get. It would be a whole lot easier to have the oak heat treated to kill off any infestation, larvae, and eggs.

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

View ClammyBallz's profile


449 posts in 1311 days

#2 posted 05-18-2016 01:02 PM

Wood with an active infestation should be heat treated before being turned into furniture. The boric acid will only penetrate a very thin layer, once the wood is planed, you’ll strip that layer.

If you plan to leave the wood outside for a while, timbor would be a good start. If you plan to bring it indoors, then have it heat treated prior to bringing it in.

Boric acid is used in many cosmetics and considered moderately safe unless ingested in excess amounts. Wear a respirator while processing the wood (like one should) and you’ll be safe.

View soob's profile


269 posts in 1382 days

#3 posted 05-18-2016 08:07 PM

Consider just cutting out the sapwood and tossing it. The bugs shouldn’t be in the heartwood.

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