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Wooden sleigh runners

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Ellen Paul 8 months ago.

  • Author
  • #139753

    Ellen Paul

    Our historical society recently received a donation of two 7′ wooden sleigh runners. They had been stored in various locations of the donor’s including a basement for a number of years. We are more than a little leery of bringing them into our museum space because of the danger of pests or molds. Is there some kind of prophylactic treatment we can apply before introducing them?

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  • #139755

    Meg Newburger

    Hi Ellen,
    If you want to make sure there are no insect issues you could try anoxia, a procedure that kills insects by the removal of oxygen. This can be done with oxygen scavengers like “Ageless”. You might need quite a few packs for something as long as the sleigh runners. Here are a couple of links.

    Best wishes,
    Meg Newburger

    Solutions – Oxygen Scavenger Treatment

  • #139756

    Ellen Paul

    Dear Meg,
    Thank you very much. We’re investigating. Sounds like just the thing.
    Ellen Paul

  • #139757

    Marc Williams


    As a conservator who has examined and treated dozens of sleighs, I have never seen runners such as the ones you show. Could you explain a little more about them? The wooden portions are huge by normal sleigh standards and the iron runners are extremely thin but unusually wide. Are these folk-made runners for some other purpose?

    It appears in the photo that there is some fungal decay of the wood. Is the wood painted? Are there any exit holes from powder post beetles or other insects? If you have not done it already, I would start by HEPA vacuuming them. This would remove dirt and mold that may be present. Be careful around the fungally-decayed areas.

    If you can provide any more information, I may be able to give you some more specific advice. Also helpful would be higher-resolution photos. If the limitation is this forum, feel free to email them directly to me at


  • #139759

    Ellen Paul

    Thank you, Marc. I can tell you that they were found in an old house and were probably custom made for a specific purpose. They are being housed offsite at the moment and I will get back to you after a more careful examination.

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