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tim

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I have been making a small bench/ table over the last few days as a small valentine present for my beautiful wife - without whom I would have been unable to start my furniture making business.

I had planned to make the whole thing out of oak but at the last minute decided to use a piece of walnut for the stretcher. It was a waney piece which obviously needed to be sawn and planed big style before use. However, the sap wood is full of live worm :shock: :cry: :cry: which I can't believe is good news. Worse still is that it was close to the oak I bought at Ledbury (see Keith's thread) which was wormy - I'm imagining some cross contamination. This wormy oak is now outside and the wormy walnut sap/ bark wood has been burnt.

Anyway, my concern is that in my woodstore I have c £1k worth of timber - sycamore (ripple and clear), ash, oak, beech, walnut and maple - not a gloat or drive by but basically I'm very concerned about the bloody worm!!!

What do I do - go through every piece? Is there some form of airborne preventative/ treatment or is the odd wormy, sappy bit okay?

I don't mind pulling the whole lot apart but I do wnat to know that wahtever I do i can get rid of the worm - let alone prevent it from getting into the house :shock:

Any help gratefully received.

T
 

Aragorn

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I can understand you concerns!
Forgive my ignorance, but please can ou tell me what to look out for with worm, and how you know it is active.
If I've got a wormy piece stacked amongst my stock, I guess this is bad news?
 

Manny

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This may or may not be relevant.
I bought some sawn sappele that turned out to have a few worm holes. I spoke to the merchant and they assured me that kiln drying would kill off anything, so i am using it.
I would also be interested in how you can tell if wormy timber is active.
 

tim

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You can tell its active mainly by finding moving worms in the holes when you open the wood up. :shock: :shock:

If the wood has been stored still (or is a beam etc) then small specks of sawdust below are a giveaway as well.

I sadly (like Alf in another thread) planed though a whole pile of them!! :evil:

Cheers

Tim
 

Alf

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I've been reading up on this a bit, and this is my understanding of the little blighters. Please do correct me if I've made a boo-boo.

How d'you know if the worm is active?
Slicing one in half is a good indicator... Also tell-tale piles of gritty sawdust near the suspect area - erm, actually woodworm "waste product" I believe. Here's an interesting tip I found:

First things first - is your woodworm active? If you are not sure then do the following test. During the emergence season, use a flour and water paste to attach tissue to affected areas and monitor for holes appearing. The greater the number of holes the larger the infestation is likely to be, no holes, very small or old infestation.
Not a bad basic guide to the little critters here. Damp timber seems to be their preferred grub, so if your wood is dry it's likely to be inactive. However I don't think you can assume kiln dried means the wood worm is inactive; if it's MC has gone up again then I assume it's still just as tasty to them? I dunno; my own woodworm encounters have all been with air-dried wood, I do know that.

The key thing to remember is the holes are where the beetles have exited. They're gone, off to find pastures knew for the next generation. If the wood is dry you shouldn't get another visit 'cos mummy beetle will be looking for somewhere damper and juicier. That's the theory anyway... Of course there's always the possibility of a nasty surprise when it turns out there was worm in the wood before you even had it and suddenly you find flight holes in your completed work 4 or 5 years after you made it, even though it's now as dry as a bone. DAMHIKT... :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

The Restorer

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Woodworm - No.2 enemy of the antique (after the owner :shock: )
Walnut is one of the worms favorites. You need to be looking at removing as much of the sapwood as you can before storing it.
You can get emitters for your wood store although not too sure from where or how well they work (could try rentokill)
Oak should only again be affected within the sapwood (heartwood tends to be too hard).
All you can really do is check every piece of wood that you collect. You're looking for pinholes approx 1.5 - 2mm ish. These are the flight holes of the adult beetles (normally seen in about May time and accompanied by very fine fresh sawdust (fras) around the hole). Live worms are found in a similar way to finding them in apples, you cut your way through and find half worms :eek: . Any timber you cut away due to contamination should be burnt (or you could take it to the local tip and spread it around a bit)
Woodworm is not like a plague in that it spreads around all of your wood in days (you're looking at months or nearer years) if given a choice they like wood that easy to chew on i.e. soft, sappy, wet.
Main thing is to check the wood before you buy it
Steve.
 

Woodythepecker

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I am far from a expert in these matters but as far i know there are 3 types of woodworm in the UK.

The first one is the "Longhorn Beetle" which is not very common in the UK and as far as i know only attacks softwood. The trouble with these shits are that they often go for roof timbers and as such they can cause structural damage.

Another type is the "Deathwatch Beetle" and this one has an expensive tastes and will mostly be found in hardwoods such as Elm, Beach, Ash and Oak, that is not to say that it will not infest softwood too.
This one will only be found in damp places, or where the timber is suffering from wet rot.

The most common one is the "Furniture Beetle" who much prefers softwood to hardwood. It too prefers damp conditions and will often be found in the timber of old houses, especially in the roof space and floor boards/joists.
You can tell when you have the furniture beetle because it leaves tiny holes about 1 to 3mm wide and there is often little piles of dust. These are flight holes.
After the adult beetle has laid its grubs they can be inside the timber for anything up to 6 years before it exits. When it exits it does so to mate and the cycle starts all over again.

Tim, that is a lot of timber to lose. If you suspect you might have woodworm i would certainly check it all, if only to ease your own mind.

Manny i am sure that your timber merchant is right and if the klin did not kill the woodworm they cannot survive in timber with anything less then a moisture content of 11 degrees.

Regards

Woody.

EDIT. It appears that as i was writing my reply so was Steve.
 

Keith Smith

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I was actually going to say this is a can of worms then thought better of it :lol:

You have to laugh or cry when you get worm I must admit I do get some pleasure from slicing the heads off the things.

I get two types of worm here longhorn and furniture. They both prefer the softer sapwood and appear to only be in the air dried timber I have. I think the process of kiln drying kills them but once out of the kiln the wood is open to attack again.

I am not sure if there is a definite limit below which worm won't infect timber but I have found worm in some pretty dry wood and in centrally heated homes so I wouldn't be too complacent.

There are two ways the worm spreads, the first when it turns into a beetle and flies off laying eggs the second if you place to boards against one another then the worm can easily move from one board to the other. This normally makes a mess and is easy to spot as they will happily eat away long trenches where the boards meet.

If you have some valuable timber air drying and find worm in it it is probably worthwhile getting it kiln dried as I understand treating it while the wood is very wet is relatively ineffective.

I got some oak boards out from the loft yesterday to make a linen press and found worm in one of them. I have a dilema now as I can't treat the timber then use it in furniture to store clothes.

Yes I really enjoy cutting their heads off :twisted:

Keith
 

Aragorn

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Thanks everyone for the info. Didn't realise there was so much I didn't know about them!
 

CHJ

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If it is valuable Timber and you have doubts about worm you could try using something like this (water based) It is ideal for treating sheds and roof spaces to deter the home loving beasties.

http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro ... 0&id=12848

Of course the moisture content is going to increase somewhat.

It may be better than burning it.

I would be interested on "the professionals" views on treating wood stock in this way.

I have just had to burn the complete (Circa.1930's) furniture contents of a bedroom from a centrally heated house that was so full of worm that you could see through the 3/4" wood. They seemed to have devoured all the Glue first, including that bonding the plywood and dovetails.

Edit:
Main timbers were Beech and Oak all infected as secondary to Plys and softwoods.
 

RogerS

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Tim

I was just wondering what Pugh's view might be were it known that they were selling infested wood at their auctions? Have you approached them ? Compensation? Just a thought

Roger
 

Adam

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CHJ":3pafnjcq said:
They seemed to have devoured all the Glue first, including that bonding the plywood and dovetails.

Edit:
Main timbers were Beech and Oak all infected as secondary to Plys and softwoods.
I'm sure I've read they used to use some kind of blood products in glues many years ago - and these are particularly attractive to worm - so old plywood can be very susceptable.

Adam
 

tim

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I was just wondering what Pugh's view might be were it known that they were selling infested wood at their auctions? Have you approached them ? Compensation? Just a thought
John

Interesting thought - I hadn't thought about that. I imagine that their response may well be along the lines of 'caveat emptor' which is I think probably fair enough. At least if I tell them then maybe they will check future stocks more thoroughly and prevent someone else having a bonfire.

That said, would Keith's dog have got such a great kennel if not for the worm?

Cheers

Tim
 

RogerS

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I dunno. I can imagine that poor dog lying there with its' paws over its' ears - desperately trying to get some shut-eye when all it can hear is the 'chomp-chomp-chomp' of the sitting tenants in the roof :p
 

Keith Smith

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I think for £28 I did OK even with the worm, the reality is that a lot of the timber sold at auction has something wrong with it that is why it is being auctioned. If I had used softwood it would have cost me double so no complaints as you say caveat emptor.
 

tim

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£28? £28? :shock: I got my 3 or 4 cuft for £25 :D :p

As you say Keith -softwood would have been twice as much - I think even if was firewood (which It won't by the way) it was a pretty good deal.

T
 

radicalwood

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Hi Tim,

Sorry to hear about the critters, was the walnut also the stuff you bought from the action? Have not seen anything in the ash as yet think I might give it a check over this week just in case.

All the best

Neil
 

tim

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Neil,

No that walnut was from another source - but it was quite close to the oak in the store :evil:

Cheers

Tim
 
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