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
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.
335 Bedell Road
Montrose, PA 18801
Copyright © 1996-2016 - WOODWEB ® Inc.