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Thread: LN Plane tarnish

  1. #1
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    LN Plane tarnish

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep my LN planes from making such a mess of my hands?

    This is after a few (too many) hours of using my 60 1/2R:

    Attachment 12921

    At first, I thought it was the paint coming off the top of the plane, so the other night I took the plane apart, soaked the base in lacquer thinners, and stripped off all the paint from the outer edges. That didn't help...

    Once I realized it was the brass that was tarnishing my hand, I tried to wax the brass. All that did was make a different colored mess in my hand:

    Attachment 12922

    So, is this a problems others have? Short of shooting the brass with lacquer, which I'm not excited to do, does anyone have any suggestions/ideas? Or is this just an added benefit of "dragging my knuckles"...

    Thanks...
    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  2. #2
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    You're sure it coming from the brass? What kind of wood are you planing? I've never gotten that unless I'm planing something with tannin in it like oak, mahogany etc., but my hands look just like that from the tannin.
    Last edited by Doug Shepard; 09-25-2007 at 03:26 PM.
    --------------------------------------------
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  3. #3
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    Marty, body chemistry is a funny thing. Some will have that reaction with brass, some will have a similar reaction with aluminum, etc. If I stay in constant contact w/brass long enough, it will oxidize on my hands as well. Lacquering it will only prevent it until the lacquer wears off. Sorry, but I don't have a good solution for you.

  4. #4
    Doug's suggestion hits with me. That is exactly what my hands look like after a day handling Oak in warm weather. Obviously for me warm weather is a bit of a rarity though

    If its not the timber, is it worth trying some kind of barrier cream on your hands?? I know you need to make sure that they don't end up greasy but it may be worth a try.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shepard View Post
    You're sure it coming from the brass? What kind of wood are you planing? I've never gotten that unless I'm planing something with tannin in it like oak, mahogany etc., but my hands look just like that from the tannin.
    Doug,

    I'm taking a break from more planing, and thought I'd take a minute to update this thread. I paid more careful attention to what parts of the plane I was grasping and now realize it's NOT the brass that's doing me in. The parts of my hand that are, once again, turning that lovely shade of black are only in contact with the iron on the top of the plane.

    Interestingly enough, I'm planing Mahagony. Perhaps you're onto something...tannin, huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Burt View Post
    Marty, body chemistry is a funny thing. Some will have that reaction with brass, some will have a similar reaction with aluminum, etc. If I stay in constant contact w/brass long enough, it will oxidize on my hands as well. Lacquering it will only prevent it until the lacquer wears off. Sorry, but I don't have a good solution for you.

    Billy,

    I figured lacquer was only a temporary solution at best, which is why I didn't want to try it. But now I'm wondering if I would have wasted my time, give what Doug says about tannin...

    Oh well, I just have to clean my hands often until I'm done with this phase of the project.

    Thanks guys!
    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  6. #6
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    Ian,

    I'm also thinking that Doug's hit on it.

    What I find interesting though, is that the only parts of my hands that are affected are those that are in direct, prolonged contact with the iron of the plane. My left hand, which is constantly holding the parts being planed, is completely clean.

    Must be some weird chemistry with the tannin and iron...

    Oh well...
    - Marty -
    Fivebraids, Inc.
    When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there’s no end to what you can’t do…

  7. #7
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    Tannin & oxides of iron & body chemistry who wood have thunk it.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  8. #8
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    If it's sort of a dark purplish brown, it's probably the tannin. The bad news is that it dyes your skin so you're stuck with it for a couple of days. I find it worse with red oak, but mahogany has it too and I know there are other woods escaping me at the moment.
    --------------------------------------------
    Link to my ongoing ClearVue DC Install on CV's site: http://www.gallery2.clearvuecyclones...s-Mini-CV1400/

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Walsh View Post
    ...Must be some weird chemistry with the tannin and iron...:dunno....

    Marty -
    Tannin is very strong in Oak and present in lots of different timbers. I also use Western Red Cedar which has some tannin but nowhere near the quantity in the Oak. Tannic Acid is the reason that it is important/vital not to use standard steel (ferrous) fitiings with Oak/Cedar. The chemical reaction makes a nasty stain and corrodes the steel real fast. On wood the staining can usually be dealt with by applying some Oxalic Acid but on fingertips you have to wait for erosion to take its course

    Interesting to do a quick google on tannic acid and iron - this was one of the easier to understand results http://www.phytochemicals.info/phyto...annic-acid.php)

    Oh, and its probably worth making sure that you clean the planes well at the end of the session. Processing lots of Oak is one of the reasons that none of the cast iron tables on my machines are nice and shiny (coffee cups are some of the other reasons).
    Last edited by Ian Barley; 09-25-2007 at 06:32 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Walsh View Post
    ...What I find interesting though, is that the only parts of my hands that are affected are those that are in direct, prolonged contact with the iron of the plane. My left hand, which is constantly holding the parts being planed, is completely clean.

    Must be some weird chemistry with the tannin and iron...
    Marty,
    Think about what happens when wet iron gets on red oak. ...Or if you use a non-galvanized nail on oak. The oak turns black, right?

    What's happening here is that small - minute, even - amounts of iron from the plane are being oxidized by the sweat on your hand, and the tannin in the oak is reacting to it.

    The other hand - that's only holding the oak steady - isn't in contact with the iron, so there's no reaction.
    Jim D.

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