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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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Default Pigeon Poop

Couldn't find a topic to fit my question so I'm guessing the "Other" topic section might work.
My sister has a barn with lots of old barn wood stored in it. The exposed ends are covered with years worth of pigeon poop. Some 1/2" thick in poop. Anyway, I took about 20 boards or so home. I set up a saw horse outside and cleaned each board individually with a pressure washer. They actually came out looking very nice. I let them dry and then brought them into my basement for my first routing project. Building a shelf to protect a sewer line running parallel to my stairway.

The wood has a slight odor to it which got me thinking maybe I should treat it somehow. Was thinking about spaying a bleach solution to kill bacteria which may be on the wood. What I am looking for are any helpful suggestions someone might have for resurrecting this wood for safe use. There is lots of it and all sizes. I would like to use it for projects as well as some interior rustic walls.

Read somewhere about a nail scanner also. I have spotted many nails embedded in the wood that can be barely seen or not seen at all. Just know there is metal in them by probing a seen hole in the wood with another small nail. I have my first good set of router bits coming and want to protect them if possible. Guessing running into a nail will do the bit no good.

Thanks for any advice... Mike
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 08:36 AM
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Harbor Freight has a couple of metal detectors.

Metal Detector

9 Volt Metal Detector Wand

I've used the wand-type detector to successfully find nails. It's good for finding sheetrock nails and screws in the wall, too.

BTW, I've found bleach-water and direct sunlight very effective in reducing odors in old wood.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 09:57 AM
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JudgeMike, I do a lot of woodworking and have many interests as I am mostly retired. There have been some very serious illnesses vectored by Pigeon Poop. Ingestion, in some cases; can become fatal. Inhalation is where many people get infected. I am going to recommend you do your homework on the health hazards associated with exposure to this nasty stuff. There may be a way to negate the harmful effects, but PLEASE DO YOUR HOMEWORK! The CDC is based here in Atlanta and I've heard some very scary stories about exposure to that stuff! PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL !

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the warning... I will do some research before I take on any more pigeon poop wood.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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eccentrictinkerer

Thanks for the lead on a metal detector. Sounds like a cheap investment to save those expensive router bits. Reading the warning by OPG3 will slow me down a bit though. Have to investigate the ill effects of working with pigeon poop.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 07:40 PM
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JudgeMike, I've done a few minutes of homework on this topic since earlier today when I warned you. Two diseases that can be vectored via pidgeon droppings are: Histoplasmosis & Cryptococcosis - both are extremely serious health hazards. Google either disease, or visit Health problem associated with Bird pigeon control to gain further knowledge. There may be a way to disinfect the boards, but personally I have always avoided the situation entirely. Good Luck and PLEASE BE SMART & SAFE!

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 10:55 AM
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don't do it. been down the barn wood road before and it wasn't a prety picture. Opted to create our own barn wood look for the trim in a large home rather than us the barn wood that was on the barn on site. think twice!!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 02:17 PM
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If you decide you want to use the wood and you're going to paint it then try looking at Kilz sealer. It will seal in just about anything. I used it to seal backer board that had been repeatedly soaked by cat urine with great results - afterwards no smell, nothing.

They sell it at Home Depot, etc.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Bradleytavares,

Just curious as to what you mean by "been down the barn wood road before and it wasn't a prety picture". Did you have health issues, nail problems, odor???

Thanks for your input...mike

Last edited by JudgeMike; 03-06-2012 at 07:50 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-07-2012, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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PigBear,

Thanks for the advice. The odor was very slight. Had to stick my nose right up to the wood to get a whiff. And guess I shouldn't do that because of the possible ill effects. I will keep my sniffer tuned in and get it if needed though.
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