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Bug frass (Read 340 times)
 
Tony Rozendaal
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Bug frass
Mar 11th, 2018 at 2:24pm
 
I'm working on a plum natural edge bowl that has a lot of bug damage. I'm trying to pick out all the frass and leave the bug tunnels as a "feature" - I'm looking for any suggestions anyone might have for loosening the frass, which can be packed pretty tightly into the tunnels.

The best thing I have found so far is some wannabe dental picks from Harbor Freight. But I'm still wondering if anyone has run across a technique that might actually loosen the frass to make it easier to pick out.

Thanks in advance.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #1 - Mar 11th, 2018 at 2:43pm
 
Good question - is there some sort of binder that holds it together and adheres to the walls of the tunnel?  I'd think there has has to be - a larvae could not push hard enough to bind it together by compression.  Your question makes me wonder if any common solvent - denat alcohol, acetone, naptha, . . . - would soften the binder and ease removal.  I use a sharp pointed Craftsman "pick" with one straight end and one bent 90 degrees for the last 1/4", but it is very easy to accidentally damage the surrounding wood.
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Dwight Rutherford
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #2 - Mar 11th, 2018 at 5:47pm
 
I use water, it seems to soften the frass. Besides using a dental pick using a dental drill bit on a Dremel tool speeds the cleaning up.
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Tony Rozendaal
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #3 - Mar 11th, 2018 at 8:39pm
 
Thanks guys - I wondered about the water but I didn't want to deal with raised grain. Both replies give me ideas to try.
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Jurriaan Kalkman
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #4 - Mar 12th, 2018 at 7:10am
 
I use an o-ring / oil-seal pick set, which is kind of like a Texas style dental set - just bigger Smiley - and air pressure.



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« Last Edit: Mar 12th, 2018 at 7:12am by Jurriaan Kalkman »  

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Ron Carrabotta
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #5 - Mar 12th, 2018 at 7:39am
 
Tony,

I use DNA, dental picks and welding nozzle cleaning picks.

The welding nozzle picks come in a kit with various sizes and have some "tooth"

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Mike Nathal
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #6 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 7:30am
 
An engraver also works.  It adds vibration to the needle point.  I mostly use an air powered engraver, the same one i use for signing my work.  An electric engraver would probably work just as well.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #7 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 9:10am
 
I don't typically like to work with insect damaged wood but like Ron, I find Tip Cleaners work well.
Depending on the size of the bore, you can get stiff bristle pipe cleaners and even brass brushes as small as 1/8" diameter
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #8 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 9:20am
 
On a piece of wormy chestnut I used the pointy end of a compass to slowly pick the stuff out of the holes and I used the air gun to blow it out once it was loose. Took over an hour but it worked nicely.

A plus is that  seeing as how it won't hold soup, it definitely is art!!!

I'd be wary of using anything that is powered as you can too easily grind into the good wood and make a mess of it. The idea is to keep it looking as natural as possible.
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Jennifer Hasan
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #9 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 11:49am
 
I work almost exclusively with spalted wood and have found an air compressor with a small nozzle does the trick. Works amazingy well.
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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: Bug frass
Reply #10 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 1:53pm
 
I go another route. I use CA to solidify the stuff before turning so it does not come out.

Glenn J.
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