Treat wood rot

by Steve
(Hampshire, UK)

treat wood rot

treat wood rot

treat wood rot
how to treat wood rot

Hi, I hope someone out there can help.

We have a wooden sculpture of great sentimental value, made 8 years ago from marine ply and painted.

Sadly at the base, although above ground, some fungus has started to take root. I know my mushrooms and this is "Jews ear" fungus.

We are trying to save the sculpture. I have removed the sculpture and scraped away as much of the rot as i can with a chisel and wire brush.

I have also applied some treatment to kill the fungus and now leaving it to dry out. The base fixings you see in the photo seem secure at the moment. Not being any good at carpentry, my research tells me we can probably repair and paint with epoxy, but I am worried about whether the fixings are already compromised by the fungus. In which case, perhaps the only other option might be to slice off the affected section, make good with new piece of wood (it must be restored to the same dimensions), screw through, and paint over.

Pictures attached...please any advice most welcome :-)

Comments for Treat wood rot

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Jul 08, 2017
How to treat wood rot
by: Gary

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the question and sorry to hear about the condition of your sculpture, it sounds as though it means a lot to you all.

Looking at the pictures I have repaired timber that has rotted worse than this so stay positive I think you can salvage it.

I would also unscrew the stirrup that the sculpture stands on. Then drying everything out is definitely the first step, I would also scrape out any loose and already lost timber scraps immediately. I would keep removing dead or rotten timber until I get to good hard timber.

Depending on how much rotten timber needs to be removed will govern whether or not you can get away with resin or would need to scarf a new piece of timber in.

There are tips here for treating the fungus prior to replacing any timber removed to make sure it doesn't come back or remain inside after you have repaired the damage

If scarfing a new piece of timber in, you would need to clear a clean flat surface in order to join the new piece onto with maximum surface contact. It is really difficult to give instructions as every scenario like this is different, safe to say though that any experienced carpenter should be able to help you with this. There are some examples here whereby they have used expanding foam also when joining the new timber that would glue and also fill any gaps at the same time.

You could also use the resin to level out after having scarfed the timber in any gaps etc. and then use an orbital sander to clean it all up.

When replacing the stirrup which is housed into a routered out section, use the longest screws you can get with the correct sized heads.

Finally, be sure to rub the whole thing down and coat with marine grade or yacht paint to give the sculpture the best possible chance of surviving the elements going forward.

Good luck, let me know how you go?



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