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Old 20th Aug 2017, 6:52 pm   #1
JayBee66
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Default Woodworm damaged cabinets

I have a number of radio finds with cabinets covered with woodworm holes.

The electronics and cabinet furniture are all intact so getting the radios working again should not be a problem.

But what is the consensus with regards to the cabinets? The cabinets still have strength but the hardwood and veneers are pock marked.

Many of the veneers are either loose or rotted at the edges.

I am wary of both introducing anything into my home that has had woodworm in it and putting too much work into anything that will not look pleasing at the end. In other words, something with so much repair that it no longer looks vintage with replacement or heavily repaired veneers or hardwoods.
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Old 20th Aug 2017, 7:32 pm   #2
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

I've had plenty of radios with woodwormed cases; as a hardcore "function-not-appearance" type I've extracted the working-bits from the worm-riddled legacy carapace and hooked them up to a modern speaker/cabinet.

Some would consider this heresy. But I think it's better to continye using a radio outwith its original housing.
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Old 20th Aug 2017, 7:36 pm   #3
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

The woodworm and eggs are probably dead, especially if the cabinets have been treated with woodworm killer (insecticide). Recent flight holes look very light coloured and fresh. The wormies mature into beetles and emerge in the spring, so that will be when you will know for sure.

Don't be too worried about woodworm infesting your house from an old radio, even if they're still active. They don't like modern building and furniture materials and painted surfaces. It takes many years for an infestation to build up, so you will have plenty of time to deal with any problems. If you're particularly worried, keep the radios sealed in bin liners from March to June. If there's no evidence of munched up wood by the summer then they're dead.

There are lots of different ways to repair woodworm damage depending on your attitude and skill and how bad the damage is. You can do anything from rubbing a bit of brown shoe polish into the holes to completely reveneering the cabinet.
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Old 20th Aug 2017, 8:10 pm   #4
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Accept them as " patina " or try to fill and blend in with oil paints.
Alternatively if not a rare set. accept them and recover the cabinet in vinyl wrap to "up size" it.
A total matt paint job in colour paint can look great if done well.
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Old 20th Aug 2017, 8:45 pm   #5
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

You have to be careful with wood treatment fluids these days. I haven't bought any recently, having stocked up with the old formula solvent-based Cuprinol 5 star just before it got banned, but for traditional plywood (other than marine ply) plywood you really do need to use a hydrocarbon solvent-based product. No only does it have superior penetration than water-based products, but water-based products can result in delamination and warping of plywood when drenched sufficiently to treat an infestation properly. The last time I looked, the Rentokil stuff was still solvent-based.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 9:30 am   #6
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

I enquired at the local National Trust property on how to kill woodworm and they recommended to put the cabinet into a deep freeze for a week or two. Luckily my neighbour had a big empty one.

About 40 years ago I had a clock repaired and the case was treated with straight paraffin. It was given an 80 years guarantee and no worm has shown its presence yet.

I have some old woodworking tools and I soak the handles with 50:50 boiled linseed oil: white spirit. When set, the oil improves the strength. This is not a quick solution, several months in the shed may be needed. I have also squirted PVA glue into a sickle handle to strengthen it. This is not likely to kill the worm but a short time in an oven will sort them out.
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 10:35 am   #7
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Paraffin/kerosene was a traditional woodworm treatment before modern insecticides became available. It does work, but makes the wood highly inflammable and is very smelly.

The freezer treatment kills any worms and beetles, but not always the eggs which can survive prolonged subzero temperatures (it's how they survive a cold winter in the wild).
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 2:13 pm   #8
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

I have a large can of complete wood treatment which I have applied to a cabinet, and up to now it has been very successful. The holes have been filled with plastic wood filler. Will let you know about the manufacturer of the wood treatment fluid.
The problem now is how to disguise the filled in holes.
Cheers
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 5:37 pm   #9
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Quote:
The problem now is how to disguise the filled in holes.
Liberon do a range of different coloured waxes for filling worm holes. Google "Liberon wax filler stick"
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Old 21st Aug 2017, 9:03 pm   #10
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

I must admit to using the paraffin treatment a couple of times. I paint it on liberally (outside), a couple of times, on the inside absorbent surfaces. It doesn't seem to harm the finish. There is the satisfaction of seeing a couple of grubs emerge after half an hour. Left for a day or three in a warm ventilated place I didn't find it smelly afterwards. I am not keen on pesticide based treatments.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 12:13 am   #11
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Hi All,

I paid for the cabinet of my Cossor 54 television to be repaired by using wax that was mixed to be a perfect colour match. Re-veneering was not really an option because a single piece wraps all the way around this deep cabinet, making it very hard to do.
Yes, you can still see the holes from some angles, but they look a lot less unsightly and it also helps retains some of the set's history.

BTW, I used a Ronseal woodworm killer aerosol on this set and it was very effective. However, this was a few years ago and the formula may have changed since then.

Cheers
Andy
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 11:22 am   #12
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Just had a look at the usual suppliers ( Screwfix, Toolstation) and it seems that only water-based woodworm treatments are now available from them. My local Robert Dyas shop did not have any Rentokil woodworm treatment on its shelves, and a brief on-line search indicated that most suppliers are showing "out of stock". I did eventually find Rentokil's web pages with product information, from which it appears that the domestic stuff is also water-based now, although both solvent-based and water-based products exist for professional use.

http://www.rentokil.com.jm/about-rentokil/sds/ woodworm at end of list.

Looks like in future the DIY-er may have to rely on traditional treatments such as paraffin for treating traditional plywood. I note that the packaging of some of the current products refers to the product being suitable for treating floorboards and "traditional" furniture, and the picture on the tin shows traditional solid wood (not plywood) furniture being treated. I haven't actually seen any warning advising against the use of water-based products on plywood, but my experience with pre-war plywood is that getting it thoroughly soaked with water is definitely not a good idea, and a thorough soaking would be essential to penetrate deep into the wood.

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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 11:37 am   #13
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

You don't actually need to saturate the wood completely. The worms chomp their way to the surface when they're ready to transform into beetles, and any insecticide (or paraffin) there will kill them. It just might take a few years for them to all die off.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 1:12 pm   #14
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Quote:
You don't actually need to saturate the wood completely. The worms chomp their way to the surface when they're ready to transform into beetles, and any insecticide (or paraffin) there will kill them.
Yes and no. When they are ready to turn into beetles they leave the wood anyway so killing them then doesn't achieve much. They will carry on eating and weakening the wood up until that point. I would prefer to kill them asap.

Here in France it was still possible to get solvent-based stuff the last time I looked but it's aimed more at the professional market.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 1:17 pm   #15
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

That's a fair point. It depends if your primary objective is to prevent any further weakening of the wood, or to prevent the infestation spreading to anything else.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 2:20 pm   #16
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Some guff:

http://buildingpreservation.com/inde...tion&Itemid=85

Whatever fluid you use you need to apply plenty of it if you want to kill them when either chomping their way in or chomping their way out, it's all about retention of the active ingredient(s) I spent years sawmilling and having timber treated, it was CCA pressure treatment back in the day, retention of the correct minimum amount of salts was very important for successful treatment.

Also, so far as I'm aware water or solvent based won't penetrate lacquer/varnish very much....

Lawrence.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 4:21 pm   #17
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

I guess the solution (pun intended) is to otain whatever the active ingredient is in dry form, and dissolve it in a non-aqueous solvent. I haven't looked, although I do have a tin of treatment somewhere, but suspect that a fairly common insecticide is used, particularly as there aren't that many licensed for public use these days.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 4:34 pm   #18
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

I think domestic woodworm killer is just permethrin in a solution nowadays, so you could probably make your own from aerosols of fly spray.
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 4:55 pm   #19
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Water mixed stuff is boron based.?
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Old 22nd Aug 2017, 4:57 pm   #20
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Default Re: Woodworm damaged cabinets

Vac Vac treatment plants were solvent based back in the day, as opposed to water based for the CCA plants, not that I'm recommending.

Lawrence.
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