I'm planning on making a set of combs for my girlfriend, and was all set
to use cocobolo because it looks great and supposedly can deal well with
water. Then I started reading about the 'poison-ivy like' allergy
associated with the dust from this wood. I'm not worried about that
because I can deal with the dust while I'm making the combs. What has me
concerned is that she will be using the combs on her head. Is there an
allergy problem with the solid wood too? If I make her something that
causes her head to break out, she won't be so happy...
<Fix the edu for email responses...>
As they say, some are sensitive to it, the rest will become sensitive.
It's the oils/chemicals in the wood, which are made more available when
they're spread in dust. Damn good thing it isn't a manufactured product, or
we'd have endless lawsuits....
That said, her exposure will be much less than yours.
Standard tactic is to remove surface oil with a solvent like acetone prior
to application of the finish.
Wiping varnish, maybe? Lots of chemicals in hair treatments to interact if
careless. Urethane would be a good choice.
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