I've been designing and building furniture out of reclaimed 100 year old wormy American Chestnut. The latest item I built is an eight foot long dining room pedestal table. The top, four by eight feet, is glued together with one inch thick window trim I took out of the old house. (see old post).
Underside of table top
Floor joists I used.
The pedestal portion I built out of floor joists, a full two by ten inch rough cut oak timber, also out of the old house. I had removed the random width chestnut flooring, and used it to cover the floor in our new cabin. I noticed when I removed the six-teen foot long timbers that it had some termite infestation, but not enough to jeopardize the strength and looks for the job at hand. When I sawed the pedestals for the table, I placed the termite holes on the bottom so as not to be seen when the table was complete. The few holes, along with the normal defects of rough wood, I puttied to get the surface smooth. I did little to cover the holes facing the floor.
After taking the final product to the cabin, I left it alone for a week. When we returned, several nice little piles of very fine sawdust lay on the floor. Well, what do you think?
I had the timbers at my house for over two weeks before I started the job. I did not know anything would crawl out of it; or did it? I always thought termites need moisture. Dampness deep in the ground. I know they do not like light.
My question is: do these critters croak after a period of time? Or do they waltz around the house to check out more wood to chew on?