May sound silly, but it's a concern... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-08-2008, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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May sound silly, but it's a concern...

I have a question, although it's a little late to ask it. I have been woodworking ocassionally my whole life. Recently I've become interested in building primitive cabinets. So, after making a few calls I was able to locate a farmer willing to part with old lumber from his farm. I removed weathered lumber from the sides & floor of a old corn crib, took it home, and started cutting. Half way through the project I realized I had completely ignored something... the wood from the sides of the corn crib were weathered to a silver gray color. The floor however, was a well worn brown (dirty) on the surface, and underneath was black. All of the wood was completely dry. My concern is if the black is mold. And the concern of health problems that could arise from sawing (and breathing) it. I know you may not have an answer to this, but I was wondering if there are others out there that build with reclaimed wood and have any experience with this black discoloration. (and hopefully ease my mind!)
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-08-2008, 10:52 PM
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Being an experienced woodworker...as I hear you are...all I can say is...please whear a resperator or dust mask!!! Rick

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post #3 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, that's right... everyone should use a mask or
respirator... now, does anyone have experience with reclaimed wood and discoloration?
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 09:03 AM
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Yah...it really depends on what you`re using it for. George Frank has plenty of advise on finnishing wood, cleaning wood, dying and fumigating. If you`re conserned about mold...I would not sand it...I would scrape it and then wash it with water and a stiff brush. If you can find his book on wood finnishing...it`s great information. He`s not much into stain! Rick

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post #5 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 10:44 AM
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Sawing, and sanding operations on lumber with mold will put mold, and mold spores into the air. I think generally speaking, people are overly concerned about mold as it is all around us all the time, the problem comes when the mold and mold spores are concentrated in a tightly closed up home. Assuming you are following proper woodworking procedures and materials handling such as using a good dust mask, and dust collection with fine filtration, either by shop vac with a HEPA filter, or a 1 micron or less filtering dust collector, you will be fine. But remember, when you leave the shop, you take bits of dust with you.

As your high school phys ed coach should have told you, HIT THE SHOWERS! And get your work clothes into the wash with some expediency...

I would not hesitate to work on wood that has been molding, or otherwise had a fungus growing on it. That is how spalting happens...

You could try killing off the mold with a bleach water spray prior to working the wood, that will end up raising the grain, and potentially bleaching the wood though.

As far as reclaimed lumber, I am sticking with discarded furniture. I find a lot of oak, and pine waterbed frames being discarded around my area, they keep me supplied...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 02:02 PM
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If that particular lumber is important for you to use, just have it checked to see what it is. It may be harmless.






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post #7 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies... The wood in question, as I mentioned before, came from an old corn crib. The underside of the floor (which was about a foot off the ground) was black. It's possible that being exposed to the ground and never seeing sunshine just makes wood age this way. I have noticed that most old wood from barns etc. smells musty when cut or sanded. Maybe just holds the smells of the farm.. I dunno.. Thanks again!
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