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How to fake realistic worm holes in wood: think like a worm.

If you want to make something look older, just add some worm holes. Sounds simple enough, but there is a major difference between just poking holes in the wood and making the holes look authentic. Now that the all natural, rustic wood look is in style, even new, or at least not very old wood often benefits from more character, and I am here to show you how to really do it.

First off, let me assure you that I have a lot of experience in this field. I often build pieces that need to be "wormed up" in some regard, either to make new wood look old or to make old wood look even older. Especially on projects like beams and mantels, worm holes help add a lot of age to a piece.

Much of the wood that I use already has worm holes in it because I let the logs sit awhile outside before I mill them into lumber (sometimes even on purpose), so I have a head start, but there will still often be spots without bug holes where the wood needs a little extra love. To get things started, it helps to first look at truly worm-eaten wood. There are consistencies even in what looks to be very inconsistent patterns. One of the most important things to remember when making worm holes or using any other techniques to age wood is to really go for it. You won't destroy a piece of furniture by adding a few more holes or dents, and you can only miss by doing too little to the surface.

Often mass produced furniture will have some sort of distressing that looks like it was just phoned in. Usually, someone quickly takes a chain to the surface or pokes a few holes and calls it a day. Don't do that. Pay attention to Mother Nature's work and try to duplicate it. Here are a few principles that hold up in most wormy wood:

1.) Hole sizes vary: Even similar-sized holes are not the same. Your method for creating holes should easily produce random results.

2.) Worms tend to focus their efforts: Holes will usually have an area of focus,

with more holes in the center of an infected area fading out to fewer holes.

3.) Not all holes are perpendicular to the surface: While most holes are just that--holes, many are oblong and some are more like trails.

4.) The bugs that make the worm holes often enter around defects in the wood: Soft or punky wood, spalted wood, cracks, and sapwood are all areas that will focus worm activity. Good, strong, solid heartwood is the last area to be bug infested.

5.) Small holes outnumber the big ones: Older wood that has been attacked by multiple insects will have lots of tiny holes (1/16" diameter), some medium-sized holes (1/8" diameter), and just a few big holes (up to 1/4" diameter).

ScottWunder owns and operates WunderWoods, St. Charles, MO. Follow him at WoodworkingNetwork.com/blogs.

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Title Annotation:HOW it's made
Comment:How to fake realistic worm holes in wood: think like a worm.(HOW it's made)
Author:Wunder, Scott
Publication:Woodworking Network
Date:Nov 1, 2014
Words:505
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