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Thread: Winter project and problem

  1. #1

    Winter project and problem

    Not sure if this falls under woodworking power woodworking or hand tool, There is a lot of each in these. But I though here was the appropriate spot.

    Here in Iowa working in a unheated shop is not a fun thing to do, So I had to switch to inside (basement work) I have been busy with finishing my sharpening station as well finally finishing some hand planes and these.

    DSC03712.JPG DSC03713.JPG DSC03714.JPG DSC03715.JPG DSC03716.JPG

    And now for the rest of the story. I bought some what I thought was Bolivian Rose from a cabinate shop out east, it was his left overs. I never had a problem with the wood what so ever. Then I ordered some Bolivian rosewood from a wood dealer for Knobs and bang I had an allergic reaction to it. And then I found out that Bolivian rosewood is not a rosewood ( rosewood look alike) but a different species. Then I bought some East Indian rosewood and never had a problem of any kind. And since I never had any problems with the first wood I bought I figured I was okay since it was not Bolivian rosewood but actual rosewood. Boy did I find out how wrong I was when I started doing the final sanding on the totes.

    Anyway I didn't have a problem until I started sanding and that was when I hade problems with making knobs, during the sanding portion of the build. This is what I have left and I will need to find someone to finish the final portion before finishing.

    Anyway I have 16 totes I need to get finished. Some of them are rough sanded with no problems but I am not planning on finding out personally which ones are Bolivian and which ones are not.

    Anyway life is interesting.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    Blog Entries
    This is interesting as most of my reaction from rosewood is on the lathe. Usually after a bit of time a slight headache is felt.

    Wearing a face mask has helped to avoid a reaction.

    Is yours a skin reaction or a reaction to the smell?

    Some sources suggest it is possible to handle rosewood for years without reaction then it can start gradually or all of a suddn.

    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    Woods of the rosewood genus (Dalbergia) are noted for producing allergies from both skin contact with the solid wood and from the dust. When I was still running Chester Toolworks I used Cocobolo, East Indian Rosewood, and Brazilian Tulipwood. All are Dalbergias and can cause contact dermatitis and/or severe respiratory problems. I always wore either a dust mask when cutting or an air helmet at the lathe. My first coat of finish was always a dewaxed blonde shellac as a sealer and base for the topcoats. Remember that allergic reactions can occur at any time even after years of using the same material without any problems.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    I just wanted to say that those look really nice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    So Cal
    Those are some nice looking knobs and totes. I too am allergic to most anything from South America or the Amazon jungle. Itís not so bad. I find our domestic woods cost less and provide plenty of beauty and satisfaction

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Fairbanks AK
    What needs to be done to the remaining 16 totes, and how big of a hurry are you in? I have lung reaction to hickory and white oak coming off the lathe already, but I got N95 masks coming out my ears.

    Can they come back to you with one coat of shellac on them or what?

    Not volunteering, asking.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Minot, ND
    Back in the 80’s I picked up some rosewood from a local cabinet shop. Some, I am sure was Brazilian Rosewood and I turned multiple bud vases from the 8/4 stock I obtained there. I also got some other “rosewood” from the same location that I made a small case from. During that process, I used a disc sander for shaping the box and had, literally, a thick layer of the sanding dust on one arm. That arm ended up with blisters over the entire area that had the dust layer on it. I also had rashes and other dermatitis over moat of the exposed sections of my body. Put me on quarters for three days. Since then I’ve been cautious about working with the dalbergias, but have not had any reactions to them since. I’ve turned bois de rose, tulipwood, kingwood, cocobolo, and blackwood, not to mention other species with rosewood in their name. I make sure to use good dust collection and typically wash after working with the wood. I love the way those woods work so hope to continue to be able to work with them. I’ve heard of the multitude of individuals that are allergic and can’t work with them at all.
    What’s interesting is the the wood that tends to bother me the most is red oak. Which I’m okay with because I’m not that fond of anyway. I just have to deal with the fact many customers don’t share my tastes, and red oak is their wood of choice.


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