Smelly lauan

      The Wood Doctor is quizzed about bad-smelling lauan in a commercial bar. Diagnosis: anaerobic bacteria. Prognosis: terminal. Prescription: replacement. 1998.

by Professor Gene Wengert

We built a bar for a restaurant - lauan ribs,lauan ply and bending ply, p-lam interior, with foam padded vinyl exterior. The problem is that the owners are saying it smells like someone threw-up on it. The bar has been in place since Apr. The odor has been narrowed down to the lauan. Any thoughts?

The odor is caused by anaerobic bacteria that were in the living tree or that developed because the logs were stored in stagnant water. It is a well known phenomenon. The bacteria create fatty acids while they are alive (they are dead now) and then these acids turn rancid. With moisture, the smell returns. There is no cure other than replacement. Do you want more detailed information about this or is this enough? I could talk about this for an hour or more!

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

Click on Wood Doctor Archives to peruse past answers.

If you would like to obtain a copy of "The Wood Doctor's Rx", visit the Wood Education and Resource Center Web site for more information.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Lumber & Plywood: Storage

  • KnowledgeBase: Primary Processing: Lumber Grading

  • KnowledgeBase: Wood Engineering: Wood Properties

  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article