1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. ATTENTION FORUM MEMBERS!

    Guest, if you have not yet updated your forum bookmark to a secure log in connection, please delete your unsecure book and add the following secure bookmark: https://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php

    You can dismiss this notice by clicking the X in the upper right of the notice box.

    Dismiss Notice

Bugs in your work

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Randy Anderson, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

    Joined:
    May 25, 2019
    Messages:
    166
    Location (City & State):
    Eads, TN
    Home Page:
    I often turn some heavily spalted stuff that I find or people drop off at my shop. I'm sure you've all encountered grubs, ants and termites in spalted or aged wood that you turn. I've encountered nests of ants in crotch pieces and been covered in them along with all sorts of other critters. Sometimes I dig out the bug trail dust, sometimes I leave it and seal it with some CA. I've never had a piece I've finished have a grub or ant come crawling out after I've finished it but have come close and wondered what I would do if someone that bought one from me called to say termites were coming out of their bowl. I was about done with a piece a while back and decided to take a bit more off the bottom. Encountered a very large grub and had to go even deeper which made me wonder were there more entombed inside.

    So, anyone do anything proactively to try and clear them out prior to turning or just plow through and deal with them as you go? I have a good sized elm log outside now that had a lot of termites and ants under the bark. I scraped the bark off but sure there are more inside. The wood core is still in good shape and looks ideal for a few hollow forms. I suspect there is really nothing to do other than turn away and deal with them as you find them and hope walnut oil seals any left inside forever.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  2. Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    267
    Location (City & State):
    North Charleston, SC
    I also encounter all kinds of bugs in logs I have. I don't do anything until I cut bowl blanks. If I see ants or termites I spray the blank with insecticide, leave it overnight and then rough turn it. Even after eight months of drying I have found grubs during finish turning. My bowls are three eighths of an inch or less wall thickness. If there is anything in the walls I would see it.
     
  3. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Messages:
    486
    Location (City & State):
    Invermere, British Columbia
    Microwave em!
     
    Dennis Weiner likes this.
  4. James Richardson

    James Richardson

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Location (City & State):
    College Station, Texas
    Put some ethanol in a Starbond squeeze bottle and squirt alcohol in the holes. I finished a hollow form and the customer complained of sawdust on the counter. A small dose of alcohol cured the problem
     
  5. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,025
    Location (City & State):
    Peoria, Illinois
    Ever since I lost thousands of board feet of lumber to a huge powder post beetle infestation, I won't bring any questionable wood into my shop. It kind of takes your spirit away when you throw 2x26x120" lumber on a burn pile. I dry stacked all that lumber in a shed on my Mom's farm and went on with life. When she died, I discovered the disaster. The only two species to avoid trouble were walnut heartwood and catalpa. All that wide maple and curly wide maple was filled with holes and tunnels.
     
  6. Doug Brinks

    Doug Brinks

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    12
    Location (City & State):
    Caledonia, Michigan
    I turn lots of burls. If I have one with bugs, I put it in a garbage bag with a bag of moth balls for a couple of weeks or so. It seems to kill everything.
     
    Lamar Wright likes this.
  7. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

    Joined:
    May 25, 2019
    Messages:
    166
    Location (City & State):
    Eads, TN
    Home Page:
    The idea of microwaving did cross my mind so might give that a try. Guess would not know if it fried em but a bit of insurance for a short time in the microwave. I bet someone somewhere has a detailed video and chart on how long to zap it per wall thickness, species and potential grub size - kidding of course but always amazed at what you can find on YouTube. I do try to be careful about what I actually bring into the shop and let sit. I vacuum up after I process the log to a blank if I know there's bug activity but no way to be 100% when dealing with a log that's been on the ground for a while.
     
  8. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    635
    Location (City & State):
    Jasper, Alabama
    Hello Randy........... Like Glenn does, I Microwave my spalted wood that may have worms/termites or any other bugs. I have a rather large microwave that I can put a 16 inch log in. I also inject liquid sevin in the worm holes.

    So far I haven't had any bug problems.....What I do is when I find a nice piece of spalted I first fum-agate the log with liquid sevin and store it in my outside wood pile, then when ready to bring a piece of the log into my shop I cut it 16 inches and then Microwave it. Hope this helps. Happy turning!
     
  9. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

    Joined:
    May 25, 2019
    Messages:
    166
    Location (City & State):
    Eads, TN
    Home Page:
    Sometimes you get lucky. Got three good sized spalted but firm elm blanks that will be good for hollow forms. The bugs were content to be just under the bark layer so no holes or activity into the stock. Tree blew down in the wave of wind and rain we got here in Memphis from the remnants of hurricane Laura last week. Had been dead a while so saved me some trouble.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. John Tisdale

    John Tisdale

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location (City & State):
    Dallas, TX
    I found some termites in a rough-turn a few months ago - a friend suggested putting in a plastic bag with mothballs. Made sense but I first googled and found the following:
    Termites have been using their equivalent for years. According to researchers, a species of termite fumigates its underground nests with naphthalene, the active ingredient in mothballs. ... The fumes are thought to keep away the termite's natural enemies such as ants, poisonous fungi and nematode worms.

    Who'd athought termites can make napthalene.
    Instead I put a few gallons of paint thinner in a contractor bag and left in the sun for a couple of days.
     

Share This Page