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Thread: Wood allergies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Wood allergies

    Well it looks like I won't be making any Shaker furniture. I do believe I am allergic to white oak.

    Had a friend come out yesterday and use some tools. I just sat around and watched. Well the dust from the stuff tore me up. Eyes were nearly swollen shut this morning and they itch like crazy. Benedryl is my friend today. I can't understand how white oak did this but red oak doesn't .

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
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    I've been reading a lot about this lately because I have a lot of allergies and I'd like to avoid being sensitized to any potential wood allergies. It turns out that it's hard to predict which ones will bother you, but some are notorious for causing problems. I found this website helpful.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
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    Get an allergy test Steve. I thought I was alergic to cedar after ending up in the hospital with my neck swollen and not being able to breath. Turns out after the scratch tests that I'm not allergic to cedar at all. Actually no woods just certain grass's. They have no idea what the reaction was to the cedar was or maybe it was just the dust.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I forget which one, but my dad had an episode where some wood dust nearly put him in the hospital. Of course he was using a belt sander without a mask at the time, but still...

    Pays to be careful..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    Well Steve, I am alergic to walnut but not all walnut. I have worked with walnut in the past and never had a problem, turned a bowl for my niese and woke up with the worst 9and only ) alergic reaction of my life. Doctors used the sawdust from my shop to confirm. It took more then beneidril to make me better, need some perscription stuff.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Southwood View Post
    Well it looks like I won't be making any Shaker furniture. I do believe I am allergic to white oak...
    Well, the Shakers did make a lot of stuff from cherry, too.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    I mostly see shaker furniture made from pine, maple or cherry.
    I have noticed that I need my inhaler at night after cutting cherry on my TS or using the router on it.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    cedar will get me going and walnut dust has made me sneeze but i have never had trouble with white oak steve i agree yu need to get a scratch test.. they use WO for alcohol because of the nature it doesnt cause flavor changes and is more water proof in the kegs.. so i would lean to something else gettin yu going..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Catalunya
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    Apart from whatever allergies one may suffer some woods and their dust are toxic.

    Iroko for instance, I used it on my coffetable and I almost could feel myself choking, curious enough, when I used it again a few days later all the bad symptoms didn't reproduce , and I sanded it by hand so maybe I was de-sensitized instead of sensitized
    Best regards,
    Toni

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    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

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