buggy wood

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Forum topic by Danpaddles posted 11-18-2012 11:28 PM 1183 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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573 posts in 2553 days

11-18-2012 11:28 PM

I was given some wood this summer, it came out of a steel barn, had sat there for maybe 20 years. We picked thru and found boards we thought were okay, I knew there was some rot, in places the boards would just crumble.

Got it home, set it on saw horses in my carport. Fast forward to now- thought I better look a little closer at what I had, and figure how to get it out of the weather. Rumor has it we will have snow again this year! I took one board, planed it down, and found little holes. Very little- about 1/16 in diameter. Some dusty tunnels are showing up too.

I figure, maybe powderpost beetles. I have not seen anything living in it, just the evidence. It looks like it is in the whole pile.

This wood is VERY dry, the landowner (classic hoarder- he had crap all over the place) estimated it had been 20 years since he had put the wood in the shed. He had to take off a section of the steel siding to get in. The entrance was piled up with junk.

Are we getting a picture now?

Do those beetles ever die on their own? Give up and leave once the wood is past a certain age?

I do not have access to a kiln. In fact I hate the idea of working with this wood in my shop, I have some very nice boards (aside from this Summer’s “find”) that I would hate to lose. Then too, the shop was masquerading as a two car attached garage when I moved in here. Certainly don’t want yucky beetles in the house framing.

Some of these boards are pretty nice- it is all cherry, walnut, and maple. I have two walnut boards that are over 18 inches wide! But I think I may have some very very nice campfire wood on my hands. The boards are all on the thin side, rough cut on one side. I planed one out to about 5/8 inch before it was presentable.

Thoughts or suggestions from anyone who has dealt with this? Any professional opinions? I could cut this down to size for some trinket boxes, and bake the wood in the oven. But the saw dust would be in my shop (my house keeping is terrible). I’d be willing to give it away, if anyone wanted to stick it in a kiln to insure the bugs would die. I guess I could look for a chemical treatment, but I can not raise much enthusiasm for that idea either.

scan attached.

-- Dan V. in Indy

5 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3212 days

#1 posted 11-19-2012 01:17 AM

Well, I have come cherry with those little buggers in it.
My understanding is the hole they make is to get out of the wood after the eggs hatch.
So, if you have holes the varmits have already come out and found another hatchery.

I’m planning to make a little kiln/heater to roast my boards before I use it to make anything from it.
Only reason I havn’t already done it was a little issue with having no job for a period of time.

View WDHLT15's profile


1797 posts in 2717 days

#2 posted 11-19-2012 04:17 AM

After they hatch and reach adulthood and emerge, they can lay eggs and re-infest the very same board that brooded them. I hate them.

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

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2537 days

#3 posted 11-19-2012 02:31 PM

Thinned linseed oil is supposed to kill powderpost beetle larvae, so that may be an option. But to treat the whole pile with it may be pricey. You could always build a piece of furniture and then treat it to save on the oil. There’s also a product called Timbor, which is basically boric acid powder (when I lived in NYC in the 80s everyone used to buy boric acid in quart sized squeeze bottles to squirt under baseboards in hopes of cockroaches going elsewhere). You can buy it online and mix it with water and apply with a pump sprayer. It basically clogs up the digestive system of critters who ingest it. That may warp your boards though…

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2553 days

#4 posted 11-19-2012 06:14 PM

Timbor might work. Yes, they may get wet, but they are some warped anyway. I just don’t want to keep infested boards around. Seems like asking for trouble.


-- Dan V. in Indy

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3199 days

#5 posted 11-19-2012 10:16 PM

Hardwood beetles won’t eat softwoods, so unless your home is framed in oak (wouldn’t that be fancy!) you should be okay. Small holes like that are usually powder post beetles alright, and that is a big concern. Timbor or any other borate related product will work ok, but only on the surface; it is meant to join in with a woods current moisture level when wet, not dry, and it won’t sink in as well. They just love dusty shops, so if that is the way it’s gonna be I’d say get the marshmallows (beer for me,lol) out and have a campfire.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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