Resawing Your Own Logs - Dealing With Termites & Other Bugs

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 05-07-2014 01:00 AM 2886 views 1 time favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7064 posts in 2336 days

05-07-2014 01:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: termites wood termites wood control resaw logs tip

The title pretty much sums up my concerns. While I have been WW for ~4yr I only now just started resawing my own logs for usable wood.

Question for those who have ACTUALLY dealt with this,... How do you control for the eventual termites, probably wood termites, that show up in your new stack(s) of logs that you resaw?

Please, I only want to hear from those who deal with, or have dealt with, termites, and NOT those who have never eaten dirt as a kid, nor eaten supper as a kid without washing your hands. I am looking for day-to-day tips on how to control these critters that out-number us on the Planet.

Should I remove all bark when resawing green logs for stickering?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

42 replies so far

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2387 posts in 2969 days

#1 posted 05-07-2014 02:01 AM

I just use a bug killer spray, comes in a 1 gallon and came with it’s own trigger pump spray gun. I don’t know what it is but you can always find the stuff at Home Depot, Lowes. I never bothered with bug control until I was slicing the log. Then you see the bugs running and just squirt them and they die. I would leave my logs outside of the shop until ready for cutting. I never bothered with removing bark. If you are able to get a good slice on one side the log, you can turn the log so slice is down and then you have a decent straight line to work with.

I just resawed on a 20” powermatic bandsaw so our experience is not major, but we have resawn a decent amount of our own Mesquite in the past with that bandsaw. I have a future acquisition in the plans for a low end mill for slicing medium sized logs / Mesquite.

Have fun slicing. Actually it was never all that fun for me. After you have sliced logs on a 20” bandsaw for 8 hours a day for a week, it gets a bit old and wearing :)

-- .

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2112 days

#2 posted 05-07-2014 02:02 AM

Mike, Termites do not live in the wood. They live/nest in the ground and move back and forth from the ground nest to the wood via mud tunnels they construct for that purpose. Termites should not be a problem once your wood is sawed and stacked (unless you stack it outside). There are other wood chewers that can infest wood but they all leave as the moisture content drops. Powder post beetles are the exception as they will infest dry wood.

As far as the bark is concerned, removing it will eliminate some of the wood chewers and will help the drying process. I tend to remove it if it wants to come off easily. Otherwise, I leave it.

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

View Handtooler's profile


1360 posts in 1554 days

#3 posted 05-07-2014 02:07 AM

Mike, Termites are subterrainean and as such must return to the earth at least every 12-14 hours. The swarming adults cause no harm and will die soon. It’s the larva that eat wood something terrible. They build tunnels from the ground as high a 4-5 feet sometimes in damp climates. The tunnels must stay moist. So since you are stacking your fine lumber for air drying and stickering it, If you will lay a piece of polyethylene or polypropalyene sheeting or a tarp down larger than the stack and weight it down with bricks or such then place you supports down then stack above, they will not be able to tunnel up tpo the stack and attack your wood. Lawn and garden centers also carry approved water based solutions to spray if you find tunnels and infestations. Questions? Ask and I’ll try to help

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

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Shawn Masterson

1295 posts in 1371 days

#4 posted 05-07-2014 02:59 AM

I am very interested in the responses you get. My sawyer stack in the edge of his woods, and has never had a termite problem. I have seen PP beatles. The only wood he has problems drying outside are maple and poplar. Mostly maple. I really hope more people chime in.

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5678 posts in 908 days

#5 posted 05-07-2014 03:09 AM



-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7064 posts in 2336 days

#6 posted 05-07-2014 10:59 AM

What I’ve seen a couple of are black, cylindrical, and less than 1/8in long. Wood termites vs your normal ground dwellers?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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105 posts in 1013 days

#7 posted 05-07-2014 11:19 AM

They could also be bark and/or ambrosia beetles based on your description. If so, as the wood dries, they will not find it appealing. Also taking the bark off would help. BTW, I’m an entomologist who deals with wood boring insects. If you post a pic, I’d be happy to identify it for you. Here are some pics of bark and ambrosia beetles I poached from the web.

-- Marc -- Worcester, MA

View TravisH's profile


438 posts in 1357 days

#8 posted 05-07-2014 11:35 AM

Ok by no means an expert on the subject but have used some logs off and on. I usually strip the bark as it just makes it easier for me to see any insects (most I assume are innocuous). I usually do a light spray of Sevin bug killer and repeat applications if needed. Usually the first spray will get rid of any bugs, if any. I do a follow up spray if needed but usually not the case. I keep a closer eye on the wood initially for any signs of frass but if stickered properly with proper air flow never had any issues.

I never have had any wood come in with any heavy bug issues and am not certain off all the bug species encountered.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7064 posts in 2336 days

#9 posted 05-07-2014 12:16 PM

I think Bugnurd has it! Thanks!

I have only seen two of them, one at a friends wood pile where I got the logs, and one in my shop after resawing. I immediately squashed the one in the shop, so no pictures sorry. These were single bugs, without any large scale damage under the bark as your image indicates. The Chinaberry I am currently resawing has very thin bark overall

Will continue to check as I continue to resaw. I will probably also go ahead and resaw down to eliminate the bark, from here moving forward.

Again thanks.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Handtooler's profile


1360 posts in 1554 days

#10 posted 05-07-2014 12:21 PM

Where’d ya find your Chinaberry? My grandmother had the only one I’ve ever seen and as kids shot the green hard berrys in out slingshots. It was about 20 ft high with a trunk of about 6-7”. I understand the wood is particulary extra fine for orintamental use.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

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1565 posts in 1898 days

#11 posted 05-07-2014 12:23 PM

You need Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate. It comes in a pesticide product call Timbor. Google the label.

You can also get it in a product used as a fertilizer supplement to add the micronutrient boron. It is called Solubor. Google the label. You will see that they are both 98% Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate. Same stuff except Timbor costs three times as much as Solubor.

Mix 5 to 7 pounds of Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate to 5 gallons of water. Best to mix and let sit overnight for the best dissolution of the powder. Using hot water will really help the powder dissolve.

You can also go the the AG Fertilizer Co-op or store and buy a solution of 10% boron. This is also used to mix in fertilizer tanks to add boron. You need to mix 28 ounces of this 10% liquid boron to each gallon of water and spray on the lumber. This is the equivalent amount of boron as 1 pound of Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate powder dissolved in 1 gallon of water.

With any of these products, spray all 4 sides of the boards till saturated. I spray all the hardwood lumber that I saw on my sawmill with the Solubor. I use a 25 gallon ATV spray tank with a diaphram pump that runs off a regular 12 volt battery or battery pack. 5 gallons of spray will treat about 250 board feet of 4/4 lumber (250 square feet).

Solubor pray solution will cost about $1.00 per gallon if you mix 1 pound of powder per gallon. Solubor costs about $50 for a 50 pound bag.

The 10% boron solution will cost about $2.00 per gallon of spray.

Timbor spray solution will cost about $3.00 per gallon of spray.

This will control attack by bark beetles or powderpost beetles or termites. If the bark beetles like the ambrosia beetle are already in the lumber, they will leave as the lumber dries, and the spray will kill them when they tunnel out.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile


7064 posts in 2336 days

#12 posted 05-07-2014 12:24 PM

Russell, I got the Chinaberry off of a friend in Austin. “Blackie_” had already cut it into shortened logs and stacked in his back yard. He seems to be a wizard at finding local exotic woods that are being cut down.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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7064 posts in 2336 days

#13 posted 05-07-2014 12:46 PM

Thanks Danny. Looks like several good solutions.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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4527 posts in 1935 days

#14 posted 05-07-2014 01:21 PM

Mike, looks like you got a good wealth of info here, I really needn’t respond, only to catch a ride on the same page as everyone else here, Termites need moisture to survive, and as Andy mentioned a lot of the beetles use the bark as a starting point to borrow into the wood so by removing the bark will help in that area, if your left to storing your stacks outside might lay powder or 7 dust something like that around that area and on the wood, also might try putting a few sheets of black plastic to help keep it nice and toasty under the plastic.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View HorizontalMike's profile


7064 posts in 2336 days

#15 posted 05-07-2014 08:21 PM

Well, I took the first bit of advice to remove the bark. Chiseled off the already cut boards, then I got to have some fun! I dug out one of the antique draw knives I picked up in a grab bag of tools for $30, sharpened it and went to town on another log.

It took me less than an hour to remove the bark and I do have to say that it was easier than I thought it would be. It also made it much easier to mount securely on the resaw sled. This log was just over 29in long and over 12in in diameter on one axis. So, I laid that axis horizontally… something HorizontalMike knows how to do ;-) Anyway, this was probably about as large as could be handled with this sled. Was quite the challenge.

BTW, I lost my rear back thrust bearing on the BS. I had just repacked these guys just a few weeks ago. FWIW, I think with all this 12in width resawing in short order takes its toll on these thrust bearings. I still have a few left, but at less than a buck apiece, I think I will order another dozen to have on hand before I run out of my current supply (3 or 4 left).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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