Non-toxic materials

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On 9 Dec 2005 08:28:36 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com scribbled:

Maple & birch, I suspect. We make syrup out of their sap, and I have yet to learn of a maple syrup allergy or sensitivity. But beware of spalted maple. All softwoods outgas stuff that turpentine is made from, except for cedar and redwood but their resistance to rot means there is nasty stuff in them. Forget all plywoods and other laminated/composite wood products, they almost all outgas formaldehyde.
Like Andy says, use hide glue (essentially gelatin) & shellac (a food, used as a pill and candy coating) which uses plain old alcohol as a solvent.
Do a search on wood toxicity. Also, look for MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on whatever you think of using, the sheets might have some info on sensitivity.
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Woodworking
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

http://www.casanz.org.au/Documents/tech%20papers/D.%20Mesaros%20paper%20Feb%2003.pdf
Also some construction lumber is sprayed with a water repellent, or so they say.
I'd suggest you consider poplar and maple (hard or soft). Maybe aspen if it is locally available. Poplar is soft enough to be nailed, most other hardwoods will require a pilot hole for nails or screws. Shellac has a reputation for sealing in the resins and acting as a barrier to water vapor. Dunno if it would prevent diffusion of the organic solvents found in softwoods though.
I suppose you have also considered a ventilating system that would prevent objectionable materials from accumulating in the air. Probably you are mostly concerned about organic vapors, so a system that filters the air through activated carbon would be effective, if you need to recirculate the inside air for energy conservation, or to purify the outside air brought in.
You say the studio furniture will be splattered with paint. I'm curious, what sorts of paint do you use, that you can tolerate? Why not use the same paint to finish the furniture?
--

FF


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I've found some literature that says shellac sealing properties vary based on age and at the best of times it's not a 100% barrier at all. But still better than nothing.
I'm in the process of ordering activated carbon for my ventilation system, which I'm building with overkill in mind.
I use acrylic paint, also work with plaster, latex, gelatin, various stones, watercolors. I don't think artist's acrylics are a good sealer though and pretty expensive for furniture.
I'm wondering about the toxicity of PVA glue... they say children's glue is non-toxic... is it not really? Why not just thin it down and apply it heavily over everything?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The best shellac is mixed fresh (meaning within a few days) before use.

Remember that downflow is better than up or sidways flow as the flow then keeps the particles tightly packed. Activated carbon can be desorbed for reuse by blowing hot clean air through it, if expense is an issue. Be careful you don't set it on fire though.

What is the solvent used in acrylic paint? MinWax Polycrylic is a water-based claer wood finish. Those used to use some petroleum distillates (I think ethers) and/or glycols and may off-gas acetic acid or some such. as they cure.

Well I suppose it is not very hard and not very water-resistant. Shellac may turn milky when exposed to water (some say that dewaxed shellac does not) but water doesn't otherwise damage it. Wax is great for adding gloss to wood either directly onto smooth bare wood or over a finish but it is a very poor vapor barrier.
The methanol in the shellac should pretty much all flash off or outgas pretty quickly I would think. Small traces of methanol are found in wine and liquors and even canned tomato jouce. If you can tolerate those, shellac made with denatured alcohol may not be a problem. But do check the label, many manufacturers use other denaturants. At one time sulphuric acid was used but probably discontinued as it was too easy to 'renature' it by neutralizing the acid.
--

FF


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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

Water
That's what I thought. Thanks for the info.
SS
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Snip
It all depends on what you consider toxic. What may harmful to you may be perfectly safe to others. Is there a specific type of toxicity you are concerned about?
Dave
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On 8 Dec 2005 22:09:47 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com scribbled:

1. Why stain at all? Unstained wood looks better than wood with RBS -- Red Brown Sh.., (TM Larry Jaques).
2. Filler can be wood dust mixed with shellac. That's what I use often, and not for any toxicity/sensitivity reasons.
3. Pine panels can outgas nasties in the pine. they probably also use a formaldehyde-based glue, but the only sure way to know is to ask the manufacturer.
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/antifaq.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Woodworking
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Thanks for the filler idea, that's perfect!
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Fer Chrissake will you please calm down. Dingley is absolutely right. Hardwood and shellac.
J.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

[BIG SNIP]
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    --FWIW a pal of mine does these retrofits for a living. Here's a link to her site: http://www.SaferBuilding.com     --She was exposed to some nasty chemicals and is now hypersensitive. 'When live gives you lemons', etc.
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : Nihil curo de ista tua
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : stulta superstitione...
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