Salvaging lumber from submerged wood

      The best chance for salvaging lumber from submerged wood lies in cutting it quickly, and drying it slowly. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wenger

Q.
I have come across a piece of bog oak about 6-7 foot long which has been uncovered by machinery working on a bog over here in Ireland. A piece I found previously has cracked significantly and I don't want the same thing to happen to this.

A.
It is not uncommon for submerged logs to crack excessively because there are anaerobic bacteria that develop in the log, creating an enzyme that destroys the wood structure.

For best results, have the log sawn as soon as possible, into as thin of pieces as possible, and then dry the lumber as slowly as possible. Some fungal mold can be expected.

Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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