Is there a way to see if your wood is rotten?

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Is there a way to see if your wood is rotten?

Postby BAZINGA_3201 » March 18th, 2013, 5:59 pm

During the regionals competition, the wood on my boomilever failed, so is there a way to detect if it's rotten without testing it?

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Re: Is there a way to see if your wood is rotten?

Postby jander14indoor » March 18th, 2013, 7:37 pm

Not really, no, unless its got obvious discoloration, fuzz growing etc.

But why wouldn't you test your wood before you build? How to do it non-destructively has been talked about on this list many times. And once you've built it, as long as you keep it someplace dry and out of the light (UV radiation isn't good for much of anything, but you don't need to be a fanatic about it) it is VERY unlikely to rot before a contest.

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Re: Is there a way to see if your wood is rotten?

Postby isaysroar » March 19th, 2013, 9:09 am

What if it was 1 piece of wood was rotten on your Boomilever? And you tested the model before and it worked really well. Then you made a new one so that it could be brand new for the competition. Then you find out once you test it at the competition that the 1 piece of wood that you used was rotten from the start? :|
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Re: Is there a way to see if your wood is rotten?

Postby isaysroar » March 19th, 2013, 9:11 am

What if it was 1 piece of wood was rotten on your Boomilever? And you tested the model before and it worked really well. Then you made a new one so that it could be brand new for the competition. Then you find out once you test it at the competition that the 1 piece of wood that you used was rotten from the start? :|
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Re: Is there a way to see if your wood is rotten?

Postby jander14indoor » March 19th, 2013, 3:19 pm

Rotten wood will have mechanical properties far below un-rotted wood, so of course your boom won't hold as much load.

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Re: Is there a way to see if your wood is rotten?

Postby Balsa Man » March 20th, 2013, 6:34 am

OK, I can't resist.....rising to the bait.

The whole question of "rotten" wood is, with all due respect, silly.
First, the odds of getting "rotten" wood from any commercial outlet are.....remote.
Second, if somehow you were to have a piece of "rotten" wood, of course you're going to be able to see it.
Third, what is much more likely, but also easy to see if you just take the time to look is "obvious defects- major grain issues/differences, discolorations. If you can see....possible issues in a piece of wood, you obviously don't want to use it.

The reason "the wood failed" is because it wasn't strong enough. Without any more detail, who knows why - did wood of the same size 'work" before?; was the density the same as what had worked before?
As Jeff notes, there's been a lot of discussion on evaluating/checking/testing/selecting wood on this board. Also a lot on forces at work, sizes and densities that may work, or do work. Well worth reading.....
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Re: Is there a way to see if your wood is rotten?

Postby YuiLover » April 3rd, 2013, 11:01 am

if it smells its probbly rotton
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