woodworking odors and tung oil

Has anyone ever run into a problem of odors from wood being strong enough to noticed after some time?
I use tung oil (not always but for finishing some projects so a pint lasts me nearly a year). When I am working on a project I always change from my good clothes into clothes I wear for woodworking (I work in an office where business casual means slacks and dress shirt). I also always shower in the morning before dressing for work. Yet the hypotheses at my office is that either a couple small wooden bowls are giving an oily smell 9 months after being completed that can be smelled throughout the area or the oil has gotten into my work clothes or skin. Honestly, I don't bath in tung oil. I get a little on my hands when applying it and I wash my hands afterwards. I don't drink it or use it on my hair.
I personally can't see how woodworking or tung oil could be the culprit. My office has no ventilation and the only air exchange takes place when the door is open.
I work in an environment where doors must be closed and locked when we are not there.
I previously ran a test where I removed everything from my office that was not issued to me by my employeer even the house plants. After a week the smell persisted. Then after returning everything to my office and running the AC unit (which provides only air circulation and no air exchange) 24 hours a day and even through a weekend did the smell go away. The building I'm in is nearly 100 years old and my office has no air exchange except when the door is open which I now can have open because of the smell.
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Look and see if the HVAC has an oil leak and/or where the oil is getting into the ducts somehow.
On 1 Dec 2003 13:02:04 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (william kossack) wrote:

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I've found that the smell of tung oil lingers on my hands for days, even after several washings. It doesn't appear to be noticeable by others, and I don't mind the smell of tung oil.
--Jay
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On 1 Dec 2003 13:02:04 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (william kossack) wrote:

Neither can I. My experience with linseed oil and tung oil finishes is that the odor can stick around for many days on a workpiece, or for as long as a couple of days on my hands, but certainly not nine months. Not unless you keep *pools* of oil in those bowls.
Then again, you said tung oil and I said tung oil *finish*. If you're talking about pure tung oil, then I know nothing about what it does over time.
But if the bowls are responsible for the odor, then it ought to be strongest with your nose right next to one of the bowls, and that ought to make it easy to confirm or rule them out as the source. And if it's in your clothes or skin, then the odor ought to come and go from the area at about the same times you do. Not to mention that you'd *see* the oil on light-colored clothing. Based on what you've said, I'd look elsewhere for the source of the odor.
--
Chuck Taylor
http://home.hiwaay.net/~taylorc/contact /
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I ran a test today.
After the complaint I grabbed the two bowls and took them out to my car. One was from Redwood burl that I did a year ago and the other (natural edged maple) I just finished but did not put any oil on it only salad bowl finish.
The redwood had some kind of smell on it last week kind of petrolium oily smell. When I got home I asked my wife to smell the redwood and she could not smell anything on it. My guess is the redwood had picked up the smell from the air.
The second test was to keep the AC running all the time for now on not even turning it off at the end of the day. This previously seemed to decrease the smell. The only problem is that a service guy was in the office today and looked at the unit and could not find a problem with his quick examination
william kossack wrote:

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Did you leave them out in the car for a time? Being closed, the odor would probably saturate the car in a coupl eof hours. You may want to put them in a plastic bag for a day and see if the odor permeates.

Perhaps yo should talk to your co-workerks about what they eat. Maybe the guy down the hall farts a lot ;)
Ed
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If that smell is coming from farts I shudder to think what anyone is eating. Most of the time I can't smell it because I'm in the office 8 hours a day. When I can smell it it is an oily solvent kind of smell....My farts don't smell like that so it can't be me)-!
I'm going to bag the redwood bowl this morning in a ziplock. The bowls were in the car for a good 6 hours.
The smell is possibly coming from elsewhere but nobody believes me. Even though the window can't be opened it leaks like nuts. One day when they were mowing the lawn in front of the building I had to get up and leave my office because the smell of the fumes from the mower became really strong in my office.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Never had that problem, but it reminded me of the time we put some skunk cover scent (deer hunter) on a cotton ball and dropped it down inside a door jamb of a guy's office who had cheated us out of some work... They blamed it on the ballasts in the lights, something bad in the fridge, etc...etc... Hehehehehehe we got a LOT of mileage out of that stunt...

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"solarman" writes:

You are making be go waaay back but the following actually happened while I was in high school.
These two guys, each had their own car and didn't particularly like each other.
One weekend, guy #1 came back to his car after the Friday night football game, got in it and started driving.
A few minutes later, the odor of burning Limburger cheese wafted into the passenger compartment.
Stopped the car, lifted the hood, and saw a strange substance on the hot exhaust manifold.
Mystery solved.
The next weekend, guy #2 came back to his car after the Friday night football game, got in it and started driving.
A few minutes later, the odor of fecal matter wafted into the passenger compartment.
Stopped the car, lifted the hood, and saw a strange substance on the hot exhaust manifold.
Again, mystery solved.
Nobody ever admitted anything, and it never happened again.
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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<...>
limburger cheese... fecal matter... pretty much the same substance in my book.
Years ago I was invited on a day fishing trip with a friend and his father-in-law. Their tradition was to eat Limburger cheese and wash it down with beer at the conclusion of the day - stuff smelled like sewage and tasted just as bad. I'm not a beer drinker, but I can guarantee you I downed at least one or two in quick succession after that first and only bite of cheese.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
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<snip>

SWMBO & her Dad enjoyed(is that possible?) Limburger, sweet onions on Rye bread. I finally let her talk me into taking a bite, & she near got trampled to death so I could get to the bathroom to spit it out! Think I used up most of a bottle of Scope trying to kill the taste. Nahmie
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snipped-for-privacy@easystreet.com says...

only difference is one of them is USDA approved for human consumption

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Last Xmas I made my first "real" wood project (not plywood), a kleenex box cover, for my wife. I finished it with Watco Danish oil and furniture wax. It was beautiful and i was proud of it. My wife loved it. But the first time I pulled a tissue and went to blow my nose, whew!, the aroma of the oil which had permeated the cardboard box and into the tissue was overwhelming. Now a year later the box sits proudly displayed on the nightstand, the aroma has diminished to almost nothing, but we go to the bathroom to get a tissue. Lesson learned.
Ian
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (william kossack) wrote in message

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I wonder if a coat of shellac on the inside would help seal the odor and keep it from permeating the inside box? Ed
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