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MHansen

woodworm - how can I be sure it's inactive?

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So are you saying that there aren't any Cremonese instruments with wood worm damage?

I only brought  up the point because pictures of the Andrea Guarneri tenor show that it has been eaten up by the woodworms, but it was interesting to see what else was brought up in the mean time.

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Curiously some wood seems to be unattractive to worm when they are looking for a home, but they will eat through anything when its time to leave.

This is certainly what I see with this fddle - the end end block is swiss cheese and the ribs are collateral damage.

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If you really want to be sure, the only non poisonous method is fumigation with a non toxic gas. They remove the air and put a non toxic gas in its place for three or four days. This leaves no residue on the violin and is guaranteed to kill any insect infestation without damaging the instrument. When I buy old wood I always have it treated in this way. There are companies that do this for people that don't want their furniture or antiquarian books treated with poisons. The only drawback to this system is that the treated items are not immune to immediate re-infestation. However, as has been indicated, if the instrument is kept warm and dry you should not be troubled with re-infestation. 

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Interesting.  I was just asking myself where one found a radiologist who would blow the heck out of your fiddle with x-rays.

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If anyone has access to a gamma-ray food sterilization set up, that would do the job and probably be a salable service.  One wonders if any wood suppliers are already doing this.

 

X-ray machines with the dosage to kill insects aren't going to be easy to come by, most bugs can take a lot of rads.

 

Some decades ago, there was some success in sterilizing soil with microwaves before planting crops. 

 

It would seem much easier to me to put the offending violin in a trash bag inflated with nitrogen or carbon dioxide, and leave it for a month or so.  This works on fleas, etc., in textiles..

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For treating lumber there are kiln treatments that can be used kill lichtid beetles in all stages of life which I beleive includes the powder post beetle. Basically you heat the wood to about 130 degrees F and leave it for four or five days. Details can be gotten from the US forest service tech people. However, I'd be very concerned about doing this to a complete instrument as I'm pretty sure there would be damage. Perhaps it could be used on a dissassembled instrument if done under carefully controlled conditions.

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On 2013-03-30 at 0:17 PM, Roger Hargrave said:

If you really want to be sure, the only non poisonous method is fumigation with a non toxic gas. They remove the air and put a non toxic gas in its place for three or four days. This leaves no residue on the violin and is guaranteed to kill any insect infestation without damaging the instrument. When I buy old wood I always have it treated in this way. There are companies that do this for people that don't want their furniture or antiquarian books treated with poisons. The only drawback to this system is that the treated items are not immune to immediate re-infestation. However, as has been indicated, if the instrument is kept warm and dry you should not be troubled with re-infestation. 

So if I use an Oxygen absober something like this.... 

https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/oxygen-absorbers-pack-of-100/6000189653084

Would that work similar to the non toxic gas?

 

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On 9/12/2017 at 2:10 PM, Mat Roop said:

So if I use an Oxygen absober something like this.... 

https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/oxygen-absorbers-pack-of-100/6000189653084

Would that work similar to the non toxic gas?

 

Perhaps if you first put the wood in a vacuum chamber along with the oxygen absorber. Maybe a heavy duty plastic vacuum bag could function too. 

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As the problem is related to an assembled instrument, a vacuum bag would do a great job of compacting it for storage.  A chamber should be OK, although I don't like the odds of finding one big enough and cheap to operate for an extended period.

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7 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

As the problem is related to an assembled instrument, a vacuum bag would do a great job of compacting it for storage.  A chamber should be OK, although I don't like the odds of finding one big enough and cheap to operate for an extended period.

An assembled instrument would be bad in a vacuum bag. But billets and slabs of tonewood would work I imagine. Save the chamber for the finished instruments. 

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Definitely go the full time on gas processing. When I was doing repairs in a lab, I had a cockroach in a vacuum system for eight hours. I didn't get it much past 10^-3 tor because the insect was out-gassing.  When a professor came in and saw that I had the vaccum system working he told me to clear it because he needed to use it. I said, "It hasn't worked for three years and I am still testing to see if it stays stable. He said "You are torturing a bug. I have a use for it that will do for the test."

The cockroach showed no signs of having been damaged from it's ordeal up until the moment the professor squashed it.

 

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I heard there is a company in Prague (Czech republic) that offers gamma-ray treatment to kill all buggers in historical furniture... Something like that would be safer than any home recipe.

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