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Thread: Having to give up woodworking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix

    Having to give up woodworking

    Well it a tough decision and I have struggled with it for 2 year but for health reasons I have to give up woodworking. Some may recall that 2 years ago I suffered a severe allergic reaction to walnut while turning a bowl. After that I would have a reaction when going into the shop so my son totally sanitized the shop including using the air compressor to remove any dust trapped inside the machines. the next time I used to machines to make sawdust I suffered a reaction and once again my family gave the shop a though cleaning thanks to my loving wife. I stayed away from the shop for several months thinking that maybe if I let my body heal I would be OK. The doctor said that it was an alleregic reaction and might be treatable if they could come up with the type of allergy. well after some testing I started to show positive for several species of wood and the treatment for it would be costly. In talking to the doctors about it I asked why now and he just said well sometimes it happens and the walnut triggered it all. I stayed away from the shop for over 9 months and figured I'd give it one more shot. Last wed I went out and planned down some maple only in the shop for 20 minutes. with in an hour my eyes started swelling up and my skin developed a rash. It is now 3 days later and I am still suffering the effects. Benedril helps but I just don't feel like going through this every time I try to doan operation in the shop and really can't afford the cost of all the allergy testing and shots to prevent the reaction. I will continue to live through you efforts and when I can contribute but I am afraid that my furniture making days are at an end.
    "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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    sorry to hear of this don, but hey we can all give you sawdust in the web form to get your fix as needed
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Don, I am sorry to hear about your allergic reaction to wood. It must be a frustrating situation to spend years acquiring skills that you are now unable to practice. I am curious, do you think a person could still do something like wood carving (with hand tools) and not be affected? I ask because I developed a reaction to cedar after building a fence and it really only affected me when making sawdust. Working with handtools seems to eliminate almost all reactions, but maybe my allergy is only a mild case. I do worry that it could translate to other species.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Don I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. I can't blame you though, I wouldn't want to do something that gave me such a reaction either.

    Perhaps you'll find other ways to enjoy the craft, such as hand carving or something that won't kick up the reactions you get. Either way, I appreciate the fact I know I can get good advice from you're experiences.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    That is devastating news Don. I hope you will continue here to give us the benefit of your knowledge and experience. I also hope you are able to find a rewarding pass-time to fill the void.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    Sorry to hear of this Don. I'm sending you a PM.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    My heart goes out to you Don. You do the kind of wonderful work that only comes from those who truly love this craft. My thought in the past that my dust collection was "good enough" has left me with a requirement for face masks and so forth when others would be able to do without them. That is a far lesser burden than an allergic reaction.

    One day in 1991 I woke up and was allergic to milk products. As you describe, that's how it happens; one day your not and then you are. Just like that. I have learned how to live with it and carry a pen so I can inject myself if something gets by me. My freinds often make jokes about slipping me something so they can have dinner AND a show .

    My solution is to avoid all things milk. Having to avoid all things woodworking is a burden I cannot imagine. Your health must come first but this is a jagged pill to swallow. I selfishly hope that you will continue to attend and lend your thoughts and knowledge to others here on the forum. Take care and keep watching for new developments that may make a limited use of the shop a possibility in the future.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-16-2012 at 05:05 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    I don't even know what to say Don.

    That's got to be a difficult call to make.

    Like others, I hope you can come up with some sort of creative outlet.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    sorry to hear about this don, but you're a tough egg, if you can't build, you can still design so that others can build your ideas. you ain't off the hook by a long shot.
    benedictione omnes bene

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    cruddy break.
    Human Test Dummy

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