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post #1 of 6 Old 01-19-2020, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Question Newbie questions

Hey there!

First off a little bit of background: I've always wanted to work with wood but didn't have the chance until now (no space, no money). I only have basic handtools and some handheld power tools, which should be enough to start the obsession

I've received a lot of wood as a gift from my grandmother that was from her late husband (mostly European oak, European walnut, and ash). He worked in a veneer factory and often bought or received scraps and leftovers. This wood is over 40 years old and as you could imagine it has some wormholes, especially walnut.

My first question would be how to "fix" worm holes? I'll attach a picture of a planed piece of wood which contains some. I hope it's not a hopeless cause because the wood is really beautiful.

The next question would be regarding some slabs. I've also got a really nice slab of European walnut that is around 2.5cm thick (1 inch) but is cracked in the middle and severely twisted. What would you recommend to do with such a piece or what would you do if you received it? (see attached picture)

I also have a huge oak slab that is around 10cm (4 inches) thick, 5.5 feet long and a bit more than 3 feet wide. Is it possible to have it respawn at a sawmill? I'm thinking of making a dining table out of it that is 2 inches thick.

Many thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-22-2020, 01:15 PM
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Hello Jack,
First of all, I hope there are no worms there anymore: )) to make sure, it would be good to inject borate (gelatinous concoction) that kills the insect by penetrating the wood fibers.
Actually it really depends on what do you want to use it for, maybe you do not need to fix them but use them to give the wood some rustic look? You could build some really nice furniture with an authentic "old" look.
If you go for "fixing" then epoxy can help here to fill the holes.

Another obvious but labor-intensive way is to cut damaged parts and replace them with the same type of wood.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-22-2020, 03:15 PM
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There's really nothing you can do about worm holes. I have filled small ones in walnut with tinted epoxy, but those are pretty large there.

Yes, the slab can be re-sawn - if - check with the sawyer depending on the mill it may not be long enough. You can book match the two sections to make nice table. I suggest you put the them in stickers and allow them to acclimate for a while (1-2 months) before milling.

On the twisted slab, again, not much you can do about it. My suggestion is to simply break the slab apart in two along the fault line, then you may be able to dress the two boards into usable lumber.

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-23-2020, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply.

Unfortunately, I think there are still worms in there. I was thinking of using the wood for some cutting boards, small boxes and various accessories like coat hangers.

Would putting the small piece of wood into the oven kill the worms? Also would it damage the wood?

Regarding the slabs, I'll ask my local mill if they could do it. And I'll cut up the walnut and see if I can get any useful parts from it.

Best regards
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-24-2020, 04:36 AM
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Not from personal experience, but people do use heat treatment against worms;

You will need to reach an internal temperature of 135 f throughout the wood;

For that, probably you'll need to heat the air in the oven up to 155 - 160 degrees.

How effective will this be? Hard to say.

Good Luck
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-24-2020, 05:47 AM
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I bought a house knowing it had woodworm.
I burnt a few ridden shelves and injected every hole I could find under the floor, in the roof and anywhere else. I kept vapor strips in the loft and under the floor to kill any flying beetles. No new holes or dust appeared.
Our buyers when we sold had the property treated by a specialist company.
My reasoning was that if the building had not fallen down already, then unlikely to do so.
Of course in the US you have termites to contend with.
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beginner, slab, walnut, wormholes

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