Dust piles

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Forum topic by jonesy604 posted 08-07-2014 04:26 PM 1091 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 813 days

08-07-2014 04:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi all. I’m new to this site. I just started wood turning and have turned what I think are a couple of great cedar bowls. I was pulled aside by my wife. She said that there was very tiny piles of dust beside the bowl. She said that she would wipe them away and the next day there was more there. I found some small pin size holes at the top of the rim of the bowl. Can anyone help me with this. I dont know what it is or how to get rid of it. Any ideas as far as microwave?

Thanks all

16 replies so far

View ChrisK's profile


1798 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 08-07-2014 05:17 PM

Some bugs will burrow into the sap wood on cedar.

-- Chris K

View Yonak's profile


979 posts in 945 days

#2 posted 08-07-2014 06:20 PM

jonesy, I doubt a microwave treatment would work but you may try putting it in your oven at the lowest temperature setting (as long as it’s over 130°) for 20 or 30 minutes. I wouldn’t let anything metal touch any of the finish.

View Ocelot's profile


1459 posts in 2062 days

#3 posted 08-07-2014 06:25 PM

You could put it in a sealed container – like a pressure cooker with the stem plugged, with some penetrating vapor-type insecticide and leave it for a week or so (outside the house). That should do it. You used to be able to buy carbon disulfide, which would do the trick. Carbon disulfide has a very low molecular weight (compared to most insecticides) which makes it able to penetrate more quickly.

Mothballs might even do it (in a sealed container).

Or methyl bromide looks like a better choice since it is non-flamable and has a lower boiling point.

I would be afraid to put the finished item in an oven since the drying might cause it to crack.


View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2100 days

#4 posted 08-07-2014 07:57 PM

I would say powder post beetles but I am not sure they go into cedar. They will do what your describing in your post. At least they do it on oak and other hardwoods. Heat is usually considered the thing. If the wood is kiln dried then it killed them at that time. If you exposed the wood to a source I guess you could get them again. I can point you to some people that have tried sealing them and putting in insecticide with little results.

View Wildwood's profile


1854 posts in 1559 days

#5 posted 08-07-2014 08:11 PM

If there is no finish on those bowls could put in regular over for an hour or two with temperature set on 140 degrees to kill the bugs. If already finished with oil or film finish not sure would want to do that. I would not use insecticide though.

Once told my wife there bugs in the bowls and going to kill them in the oven, bowls and I would be in the trash outside!

-- Bill

View jonesy604's profile


6 posts in 813 days

#6 posted 08-07-2014 09:41 PM

You guys are awesome. Thanks for the help. I hanen’t seen any bugs yet, just piles. But now I have several options to look at.

I’m loving woodturning. Going to start on a segmented piece next.

Thanks again

View jumbojack's profile


1667 posts in 2048 days

#7 posted 08-08-2014 05:14 AM

You got bugs. I have used a black plastic bag with lumber in it left in the sun for two days. Kills everything. Your bowl may not survive this treatment.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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6 posts in 813 days

#8 posted 08-08-2014 03:17 PM

Again, thanks for the help guys. I like how a new person can ask a question and it gets answered right away. Some sites set for days before anyone even notices a question. I’m so happy to be a part of this site now. Looking forward to great help and conversation.


View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2100 days

#9 posted 08-08-2014 03:27 PM

You can do a lot of things in the oven. Give the wife the okay to go shopping and have at it. I once expanded a starter ring enough to slip it on a flywheel. I set the oven at 500 deg while I ate a sandwich and it dropped right on. Bugs wont get in you cake later because you have killed them. Sweep them out and wipe it clean.

View splatman's profile


546 posts in 823 days

#10 posted 08-08-2014 09:48 PM

If you (or a friend or neighbor) get a new oven, save the old one, if you have the space and a circuit in your shop/garage/wherever for it, and save your marriage. May also come in handy for a garage/shop party. Or use a toaster oven.

View jonesy604's profile


6 posts in 813 days

#11 posted 08-08-2014 09:56 PM

I think that is what I will do. After 30 years of marriage, she allways knows. thanks for the help.


View jumbojack's profile


1667 posts in 2048 days

#12 posted 08-10-2014 02:30 PM

The nice thing about the plastic bag method is nobody gets hurt…...except the bugs.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3009 days

#13 posted 08-10-2014 07:06 PM

I have heard and used parrafin read kerosene in the usa the little buggers hate it all little infesting critters hate it.
Alistair ps best applied before turning or woodworking and left for a few days.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Terry Vaughan's profile

Terry Vaughan

40 posts in 1581 days

#14 posted 08-10-2014 07:33 PM

If I have a wormy turning blank I put it in a plastic bag, microwave it until it is too hot to touch then let it cool in the bag. I reckon the heat and steam will kill anything. Never had new wormholes appear in the finished item anyway.

View jonesy604's profile


6 posts in 813 days

#15 posted 08-11-2014 01:10 AM

I’ve had the suspect bowl in a freezer bag for awhile. The wife found more fine dust. You guys are the best for information. I may turn or sand off the finish and try some of these ideas. It’s some beautiful cedar. Would hate to lose it. Thanks all


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