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Forum topic by MarkTheFiddler posted 04-20-2014 01:23 AM 942 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MarkTheFiddler's profile


1945 posts in 1056 days

04-20-2014 01:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I believe these pallet slats are Jatoba. Any other opinions?

I’m worried about bringing this wood into my shop. One of the planks has played host to a bunch of critters. Should I just wave this wood on it’s merry way to the fire pit? Any advice would be appreciated. I’d kind of like to use this wood on general principal.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

22 replies so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8154 posts in 2920 days

#1 posted 04-20-2014 01:40 AM

Resembles Jatoba… hard to say for sure… could be red’er…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Ocelot's profile


857 posts in 1506 days

#2 posted 04-20-2014 01:46 AM

Jotoba is very dense. If you measure and weigh a board, you could calculate the density and see if it is in the ballpark. I think 52lb / cubic foot from my memory.

Now I looked it up and found 56 lb/cf

View Tedster's profile


2305 posts in 1079 days

#3 posted 04-20-2014 01:54 AM

I would burn anything with critters in it, especially if it’s the small amount your showing just cut that piece off and get rid of it. Inspect the rest closely and likewise discard any that is not clearly free of pests.

-- I support the 28th Amendment.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


1945 posts in 1056 days

#4 posted 04-20-2014 01:54 AM

Brilliant idea! I’ll give the density measurement a go tomorrow. For now – I’ll just report – Very hard and very heavy.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


1945 posts in 1056 days

#5 posted 04-20-2014 01:57 AM

Thanks Ted – That one get toasted. It’s perforated down the length with holes. Too bad through – nice grain.

I’ll inspect the rest carefully.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Tedster's profile


2305 posts in 1079 days

#6 posted 04-20-2014 02:38 AM

I compared a piece of Jatoba to your photos…. hard and heavy, seems like Jatoba to me.

-- I support the 28th Amendment.

View Buckethead's profile


2922 posts in 737 days

#7 posted 04-20-2014 03:01 AM

Can you not spray it for bugs? I like that piece the best, but would hate to bring critters into the lair.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View J's profile


48 posts in 1015 days

#8 posted 04-20-2014 04:14 AM

Hey Mark,

I have some left over pre-finished Jatoba flooring and what you have there looks like a match to me. I made end table skirts from my leftovers; pre finished is very hard on blades and sand paper. The end grain turns out very porous, but side grain can look amazing when finished. I hope you find a good use for your wood.

View Mario's profile


118 posts in 2264 days

#9 posted 04-20-2014 04:31 AM

Looking at the endgrain, long streaked grain, and the fact that it is readily attacked by bugs looks more like banak than jatoba. Jatoba is very dense and heavy, diferent color, banak is widely used for pallets down south.

View watermark's profile


448 posts in 811 days

#10 posted 04-20-2014 05:40 AM

You could bake the one with the bug holes to save it either in your oven or black plastic bag in the sun for a couple of days would probably get it hot enough to kill the little buggers. I personally like that look, here is a pic of some Mango the bugs got to before me, but some poison and my solar kiln took care of them.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View Tedster's profile


2305 posts in 1079 days

#11 posted 04-20-2014 06:17 AM

well, I have to backpaddle on what I said earlier, and agree the wood is worth saving. In my suggestion to cut it off and burn it, I was assuming it was just the end of one board that shows infestation. But I agree the bug-eaten wood does have a nice look. Even a small scrap can make a nice box top or small plaque. I have some wormy Panga-Panga that I treasure, and have been using bits and pieces for small projects for years. It’s beautiful stuff.

-- I support the 28th Amendment.

View WDHLT15's profile


1301 posts in 1344 days

#12 posted 04-20-2014 03:58 PM

The bug holes you see are from ambrosia beetles. They create black lined holes due to a fungus they bring in on their bodies when they infest the green wood. They do not infest dry wood. As the green wood begins to dry, they leave the wood. They are not like powderpost beetles that infest dry wood.

The ambrosia beetles that attacked your wood are now gone. Except for the black lined holes that they make, they are harmless. I would not treat the wood any further if this is the only sign of insect attack. Some people call this character.

Powderpost beetles, the really bad boys and girls, make holes that are not black lined, and all the tunnels are filled with frass (chewed up sawdust). The holes/tunnels in a powderpost beetle infestation are not open or black lined like you see in ambrosia beetles.

I think that you have evidence of ambrosia beetles, so except for the black lined holes in the wood, you are good to go to use the wood.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


1945 posts in 1056 days

#13 posted 04-20-2014 04:18 PM


Thanks for the advice on the critters. I’m pulling that piece back out of the burn pile. I’ll keep it separated in the meantime even though I really give a lot of credibility to Danny. I’ll just be doubly OCD about that slat. I’ll also use the garbage bag cooking method to be certain.

Mario, I think you are on to something. The pallet skids are made from a much lighter colored wood. They are riddled with those same holes. They are very soft and lightweight. The grain is very much like the Jatoba in places. It might very well be the banak. Since there is not much useable wood on those skids, I’m not even going to bother with it.

Thank you all very much!

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Ocelot's profile


857 posts in 1506 days

#14 posted 04-20-2014 07:07 PM

You used to be able to buy carbon disulfide (colorless volatile liquid), which you could use with short pieces like that by putting the wood in a sealed container with a little carbon disulfide in a metal pan. After the stuff has evaporated it penetrates quite well. Still, I think you’d have to leave it for awhile. Then, vent outdoors (and don’t breathe it!).

I bought a pint of it in a drugstore 40 years ago for a few dollars. Now, if you can get it at all, it’s $$$.


View Dark_Lightning's profile


2053 posts in 1977 days

#15 posted 04-20-2014 08:35 PM

Ether would probably do the job as well. Think automotive starting fluid. It has the downside of high flammability, which is also an upside if you want to kill some bugs. Definitely an outdoor activity, away from a source of ignition. Just box the plank into a container, spray to saturation and close the container.

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