A client wants me to repair a classical guitar that's got termites! I told him not to bring it back to my shop, but he insists to have it repaired, and want to pay me whatever I need to.

I really don't want to have it near my shop, but on the other hand Could it be repairable? Have someone here done a work like this?

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I Felled timber onthe B.C. cost for 30yrs. & the Teredo is areal problem if the log-booms are left inthe salt-chuck for too long. If they're towed into a river like the Fraser, this seems to put the kibosh on the buggers. They create this M.O.P.-like substance to line the bore channels that theylive in in the logs. When infested timber is put thru the head-rig you want to be wearing a gas-mask. Stink like you wouldn't believe.The worms seem to prefer fir,spruce hemlock,red&yellow cedar in that order.

That is some VERY Interesting info Keith! 

Thanks for the "insiders" point of view.  It's a worthy contribution toward the understanding of the vital "first step" of the craft.

Have a great one,

Paul (:

Ok, maybe it's just me but...
If the guitar has big sound, is still relatively intact (holes aside), and playable, why destroy it? As Frank said, it would be easy to kill the little buggers- they've probably already moved on. Did you get any pics of the damage?
Uh, I didn't took pictures. The damage was extensive; imagine a lighting-storm-like figure going all around the bottom half of the sides, with 2mm holes on them (I counted 4 holes just on the right side). The caves were so big I popped one open when touching it with my fingernail. Serious structural damage there, folks.
from what I gather from the pest control guy says that termites will only transfer to objects if the Queen initiates it no Queen no nest and once exposed to sun light the mites die off quickly I was worried about a piece of lumber I brought back once and so I asked and this is what I came up with guys .

In my town there's a professional extermination company that has a sealed room you can rent to do a proper fumigation to get rid of infestations. It takes at least 48 hours in a contained cloud of poison (I think they use Vikane) for the stuff to do its job. Once it's done, the bugs are quite gone.


It's not quite as good (in an environmental sense) as the chamber I saw at the Cité de la Musique in Paris, which operates on a vacuum principle. The chamber is big enough for pianos, organs and large furniture, and once sealed inside, they very carefully drop the oxygen inside and kill whatever is living in the wood. They can also fumigate in there.


For one guitar, I'd check for a company that can do it. imagine you could also do it inside a plastic bag, but it takes a long time for the vapors of an effective poison to penetrate all the way through the neck and the endblocks. I would give a do-it-yourself approach like this much chance of success.


I'd also wonder how structurally sound the guitar is. I see violins and the like that have been attacked by European powderpost beetle larvae and they're often pretty compromised. Termites make much larger tunnels than powderpost beetles do.

I found this link on Allied Lutherie's website about filling holes in wood -


Termites were even mentioned in the article.  I'm not sure the advice will help in this case, but it still makes for an interesting read.


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