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Thread: is this a dumb idea?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    is this a dumb idea?

    So we are having very unseasonable weather here in central / western NY. Yesterday as my son was coming home from school he put his hand on the front door and said this is really hot. I took one my Covid-19 purchases (instant read thermometer) and the surface of the door was 168F. It was hot enough that my wife's Easter sign had parts failing due to the glue not adhering. The door faces south east and the storm door is double paned.

    I have a few pieces of white oak that I really would like to sterilize, just to be sure as I bought of off CL.

    Is this a dumb idea or more specifically will this accomplish what I am attempting to do?


    lumber1.jpg

  2. #2
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    Only one way to find out. My guess is it will crack. When drying wood the EBAC charts I follow allows a maximum temperature rise of 25F/day until you get to set point. Cooling down is limited to 40F/day. White oak cracks just looking at it to long. I'm not optimistic you will accomplish what you want w/o damage to the wood. An easier and less risky way would be to put the wood, stickered, in an enclosure of insulating foam panels along with an oil filled radiator heater and fan. Leave the fan on the whole time. Heat it up no more than 25F/day to 135 - 140F, hold for 12 hours, then cool down no more than 40F/day.

    John

  3. #3
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    Why do you want to sterilize the wood? Are you making tongue depressors?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bukovec View Post
    Why do you want to sterilize the wood? Are you making tongue depressors?
    If you use enough AD lumber you'll know why.

    John

  5. #5
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    Sep 2014
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    Showing my ignorance here, but I also wonder why. If it's because of Covid, I wouldn't worry about it after it's been sitting around for a few days - and I'm someone who worries about Covid. If he wants to kill worms or something - I can't help there.

  6. #6
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    Yes, it's about killing bugs. AD wood can sometimes be infested with PPB, moth larvae, etc. Commercial kiln dried lumber has a sterilization cycle at the end that heats the wood up above 135F which will kill any insects, etc.

    John

  7. #7
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    If your technique works you might be shocked when you put that board on your table saw. Hopefully it won't shoot back at you like a bullet but its possible.
    BTW I heard that a couple minutes in direct sunshine will kill the virus.

  8. #8
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    Sorry...should have been more clear. I had a small stack / 4 slabs (isolated) in my garage of WO slabs. There is clear evidence of PBB i.e. piles of saw dust mounds and / holes. Before turning into supply for firepit, I was curious if there any home made saving / sterilization techniques. Post has nothing to do with virus. I did dry one as picture was shown and board checked and basically cracked in half. Decided not worth any further effort and turned into chunks for firepit.

  9. #9
    When I hear guys talk about sterilizing with kilns they're usually bringing the kiln up to 160 and holding it for 24 hours to ensure the core of the wood gets hot enough. I also suspect it won't get as warm in there with the oak since it's lighter than the door and will reflect more heat than the door. I don't think the high temp will penetrate deep enough to kill much.

    Alan

  10. #10
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    Brian, I think that you will be disappointed with the results, for two main reasons. First, you may end up with a MC% delta from side to side that will result in cupping or wood movement. To minimalize this risk, turn the board every hour so that a different face it towards the sun.

    Second, you may end up with surface checking.

    Third, I don't think that the sun exposure will be adequate to heat all portions of the board to 133F or greater.

    There was an article in the November 2009 FWW magazine about a simple, home built sterilization chamber. If you'd like, I can send you a copy of the article.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Lafayette, CA
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    Maybe it's just me, but I don't recognize the abbreviations here: AD, PPB. Sorry: I type with all ten fingers.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Jones 5443 View Post
    Maybe it's just me, but I don't recognize the abbreviations here: AD, PPB. Sorry: I type with all ten fingers.
    Generally with woodworkers AD = Air Dried and PPB = Powder Post Beetles. Ten fingers or two, abbreviations save time, most of the time.

    John

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