View Full Version : some dry-rot in my timbers

01-22-2003, 08:14 PM
i have a pile of white oak big timbers that i bought for building a 24' cutter. they came from a pile of huge logs that were cut to quarter and halves and sat for a while, mostly because they were too big for their regular production stuff. most of the pieces are clear and good condition. but two of them have some thing that looks like dry rot, i'm not sure. its at the surface, mostly near the outer bark and goes to about 1-2" deep so far. its turned almost bright white with a tint of yellow from the linseed oil, some spots just black (but i heard that might be from the tanic acid in white oak which makes it black ?). the rot runs about 2' long and mostly at and edge.

if i have a piece that is 9"x12"x 10', i will only need about 5' out of that timber, is it safe to cut out the bad part and still use the timber ? or a 12"x18"x 12' that has only a tiny bit right at the corner where it will be sawn off anyways. is there a chance of it "infecting" the good timbers while sitting there until spring ?

don't even try 'its all bad, i'll come and take it all away for you' line smile.gif

01-23-2003, 12:20 AM
>If your lumber is allowed to dry at this point it will not continue degrade. It will stabilise. I think a lot might depend on how far along your decay is. Is it soft or punky? If it is just discolored, don't worry about it...unlesss it is being used in a cosmetic local. If it is soft in any way, cut around it.
Sounds like it is only the sapwood that has been effected. I beieve the decay resistance of WO sapwood is not nearly as great as the heartwood.
If you are to use this material under the water line, I would remove the obvious area (there are lots of folks with a solid opinion on this I am sure)
If it is to be used in a finished dry state, go for it. I use a lot of materials that are well into the intitial stages of decay...some can be quite beautiful....as long as they are sound.
The tanic acid in oak can cause discoloration if presented with other things> I have a buddy who leaves black finger prints on fresh planed oak. Standing water will cause blackness as well.
BTW, as far as I am concerned...ain't no such animal as dry rot....you have to introduce moisture to create rot.

01-23-2003, 02:53 PM
well, the area in question, there are two, one soft, the other still hard as the oak around it but seems a little porous. the porous area is hard and almost white. i have PLENTY of wood to cut around to avoid any area that seems remotely questionable.

are there any spores that can infect the remaining good wood later ? or the good wood that it is sitting next to (ie. "contagious") ?

Allen Foote
01-23-2003, 04:06 PM
You are right to be concerned about this. The LAST stage of dry-rot, is the stage we recognise (softness and total breakdown of the celulois fibers). If it was my wood....I'd cut 8-12 inches away from the decay and THROW THE REST OUT. Otherwise I might be tempted to use it. One of the things I've seen, is the water in the oak migrating to a dryer piece of wood sitting upon the oak. Such as stacking planks with pieces of pressure-treated between, removing the pressure treated pieces and seeing a discoloration.....HOWEVER those discolored areas are NOT soft nor punky.

01-24-2003, 02:35 PM
here's a pic of a 3" plank. this is an extra piece, its not going to be any where on the boat.


here's a close up of the bright white/yellow area.


this is a big 12"x18" x 12' piece. its alot longer than what i need, so cutting this little edge off is not a problem. i just want to make sure the rest will be safe to use.


this one is a 9"x12" x 12' that has about 2' long infected area on the surface.

so, i plan to cut out the area about 12" beyond the rotted spot. then treat the cut area with some antifreeze.
any suggestions ?

01-24-2003, 06:39 PM
oh, thanks !


right above the cord is the infected area

right above the 9x12 on the wood is the infected area.

Allen Foote
01-25-2003, 01:23 PM
Use the wood but treat it with a borate solution. theChemist should be able to hook ya up with the specifics. I believe he had posted on borates before.