Interesting find

Forum: Wood & Lumber

Found this on the beach. It’s interesting so I took it home. It’s full of sand and I’m not sure how to get rid of it. I might not be able to use it because of the sand. It’s also pretty fragile because it’s kind of rotten. Who knows how long it’s been floating around like that.

Anyway, it’s drying out in my garage. If I can get the sand out, I’m thinking about slicing it up and making a box out of it somehow.

Tags: driftwood

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14 Replies

Madts ...

Cool. Hope to learn more

—Madts

Chris Tasa ...

think i would let dry clean out as much of the sand I could with a air hose. then thin out some resin may be add a blue tint and fill the voids.

stabilize it some then you could mill or turn it and it would have a nice translucent blue in the voids

Jack ...

Good find Brian. Do you suppose once it is out of the salt water and begins to dry it will deteriorate faster? Interesting.

Brian ...

I don’t think it will deteriorate faster, but it’s already rotten and very fragile. It was very heavy when I first picked it up. Now that most of the water is gone it’s very light weight and wherever I grab it, it gets crushed a little, the way any rotted wood does.

Using epoxy to fill the voids to stabilize it is not a bad idea. But then I would need to finish/smooth the pieces somehow after slicing it up. It’s that even possible? Can it be sanded?

I was thinking of slicing it first and then using it as a decorative outer surface on a box. So if I can get 4 thin slices, I’d be happy. Man, it would really be fragile then. I think I’d have to finish it with epoxy.

Chris Tasa ...

yes can be sanded and buffed to a glass finish

Brian ...

Ok thanks. That’s good to know.

David A Sylvester ...

Minwax makes a product called wood hardener we sometimes use this on windows that we repair that are somewhat spongy or rotten it turns the word into a hardened state and makes it easier to repair

Brian ...

I never heard of that before. It sounds like a very volatile varnish. For this I’d have to soak it somehow to get it in to ask the little tunnels. I’d probably need 3 or 4 cans. $$$ but it’s an excellent idea. Maybe I can figure out a recipe using something cheaper. Of course, letting it sit and soak and dry out for a long period is no problem. It appears the minwax product is aimed at painters that need to finish a job quickly. I’m under no time pressure. It can dry a year if it needs to.

shipwright ...

Are you sure it’s rotten? Teredos (who almost certainly are your sculptors) live in salt water and salt water isn’t where you usually find rot.

MsDebbieP ...

I’d love it “as is” — seal in the sand!!

a1jim ...

Very cool find Brian can’t wait to see what you do with it.

Brian ...

It’s definitely rotten. It’s very fragile. Every time I pick it up, I have to be careful not to crush it further. It feels like rotted wood.

I just looked up teredo. Wow that is one nasty critter. I assume it’s fairly well controlled, or I would have learned about it a long time ago. And the photo in Wikipedia looks exactly like what I have. Plus, not shown in the photos I took is the center. There is some sort of bolt hole that passes through and it looks like there’s tar around it. I read that creosote is what they use to protect against this scourge. Looks like it didn’t work completely in this case. Although the small area around the hole/tar is intact.

shipwright ...

The basic control of teredos is fibreglass and steel boats. If you have a wooden boat in salt water they are still the scourge they have always been. Good bottom paint, well maintained is necessary.
Look up System Three S1 Sealer. It will harden you piece right up.

Brian ...

Will do. Thanks!