Since I haven't seen any posts for almost a month, I thought I'd test post
with a somewhat-woodworking-related post.
In building a small hobby box, I was routing a narrow rabbet in what I
thought was small cut-off of clear fir from a previous project. Some of the
sawdust blew into my face. Within seconds it felt like my mustache was on
fire, where the dust mixed with sweat. I cleaned it out well but the
burning sensation took over an hour to fade. Over the next few days I had
blistered like chemical burns I have had before, but just in the middle of
The wood itself appears very light in color with hardly any grain visible.
It is very soft, a little harder than spruce, but it holds an edge as well
as maple. It has no discernable odor (or my sniffer is shot).
I cannot find any other scraps with this appearance and I am stumped on
where it came from and what it is. I have some mahogany, eucalytus, cedar,
fir, SYP, maple, and brazilian rosewood in the shop, but again it does not
look exactly like any of these. And I've been covered in sawdust from all of
it at some point, without any similar reaction.
Has anyone else had any skin reactions to particular woods? Did I get a
piece of chemically treated wood?
knowing nothing about the origin makes it real hard to tell
and even if you know a little about it that might not be enough
i have some wood that sounds like this and i do not know the species
i rescued it from the dumpster
i am pretty sure that it is tropical and i have not had any sawdust from
it on my face
some of this wood has stain on it and some of the edges have glue
i think this wood was from a mass market cheap piece of furniture
like a wardrobe or bench seat
this wood could be from china but china imports massive raw materials
from all over so it could be from anywhere
I don't know if this is the wood that you were using but my wife is
allergic to Cedar. We first became aware of this one Christmas when we
decided a cedar tree would be better that the white pine or spruce we
normally get. By New Years when we take our tree down we were quite
aware of the problem, and had isolated it to the tree.
You may check it if you can find some cedar and carefully test it. If
you are allergic, the next time time you unknowingly get involved with
it, it could be much worse, and life threatening.
Rosewoods are dangerous in general. They are rated quad "+" meaning
Protect yourself when drilling / turning and sanding.....
Many woods have various poison elements. If the site isn't available
I can provide more info.
On 9/16/2015 8:30 AM, ScottWW wrote:
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 8:57:25 PM UTC-5, Martin Eastburn wrote
The only wood I've ever had adverse reactions to was catalpa - salvaged a l
og, had it milled. It's a weak lumber, very soft, porous, but has a nice
brown color. Made a few small projects: For me, the sawdust caused a bur
ning sensation of the eyes, nose and throat. Hands-on handling or that dir
ect contact had no ill effects. I haven't researched catalpa's toxicity.
I'm at a loss to proffer a definitive cause for OP's reactions.
Catalpa around here is for fishing 'worms' it attracts caterpillars....
The other use is hand carving in blocks. It is so soft and pure it
carves easily to learn with or make a few.
I'm in East Texas
On 9/17/2015 7:40 AM, Sonny wrote:
On Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 10:25:46 PM UTC-5, Martin Eastburn wrote
Martin, I'd thought you were in the New Orleans area. Must be another Mar
Yeah, I recall collecting (long ago) catalpa worms for fishing. Hardly an
y more trees, around here, anymore, for the adult moths to lay their eggs,
hence fewer trees have worms, these days. Seems, individual trees are so
far apart from each other, the moths don't/can't find the isolated trees, f
or laying their eggs. Also, insecticide usage plays a part in reducing th
e number of adult moths.
I had two. One was blown over onto the house so it had to go. The
other was smashed up in an ice storm. So a friend got the wood from one
of them. I could use it now - starting to get into carving.
There are a number of Martin names - first and last. Lions Lair is the
name of our homestead. :-)
It was the name of the Student Union building at the university we both
graduated from almost 50 years ago.
On 9/18/2015 9:42 AM, Sonny wrote:
Much more up-to-date chart here:
FWIW, I doubt the problem here is a rosewood, since the OP
said the wood in question is "very light in color with hardly
any grain", and that doesn't come close to any rosewood, all
of which are dark and have distinct grain.
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