Cedar dust – beware!

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  • #122328
    johnstodden
    Participant

    Paul always makes a point of stressing how hand tools create a much pleasanter environment than machine tools – less noisy, dusty, dangerous, etc. and of course he is right.

    But the other day I was badly caught out. I found an old piece of lebanon cedar in my loft where it had been stored for 40 years, so was bone dry. I cut a piece off to make the bottom of a small dovetail box and planed it to thickness.

    I remembered lebanon cedar as having a beautiful scent, but this piece just smelt dusty.

    Overnight I developed a sore throat which I initially thought was a cold coming on, but it did not develop, and I realised it was caused by dust from the cedar.

    I started to wear a dust mask when working it, and will not use it again!

    #122332
    Salko Safic
    Participant

    Welcome to real woodworking, as you see in some of Paul’s videos the dust from Oak doesn’t seem to agree with him, as for me the Australian ceder causes severe itchiness and tightening in the chest btw that’s that bloody timber I didn’t know the name of for the last two years. Anyway none of that stops me from working wood mind you once I use it up I won’t be buying it again. People react differently to various species just stay away from what’s causing you harm.

    https://journeymansjournel.wordpress.com
    The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK
    (Hand tool only woodworking magazine)

    #122333
    Eddy Flynn
    Participant

    i agrre work with the material that doesnt have any harmful affects (to you) i bought a hardwood some time last year called Wawa and it made my hand and arms itch for hours , needless to say its still standing in the corner of the shed come to think of it, it would be nice to use for a contrast in the coasters that i’m going to make out of walnut ,time to get the gloves out, waste not want not it’s only an itch.

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
    ,

    #122334
    Salko Safic
    Participant

    I’ve never heard of wawa

    https://journeymansjournel.wordpress.com
    The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK
    (Hand tool only woodworking magazine)

    #122335
    Eddy Flynn
    Participant

    its a very light coloured hardwood i bought some offcuts from a coffin maker ,i think he used it for mouldings .

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
    ,

    #122336
    Salko Safic
    Participant

    I was reading today a book called wood in colour that’s where I saw that Australian Ceder, I did come a cross some light coloured timber that used by coffin makers.

    https://journeymansjournel.wordpress.com
    The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK
    (Hand tool only woodworking magazine)

    #122339
    George Bridgeman
    Participant

    Interesting to hear. Thanks for the story. If working the wood is only going to give you problems it can always keep you warm for an evening!

    Some woods cause reactions in some people. I’ve heard of woodworkers developing allergies after years of working with it. I think it was one of the guys working for Two Lawyers Toolworks.

    I’ve been working some yew recently and have read stories about how it’s a toxic wood that can cause a whole mix of issues so I was careful when working it. Dust mask when using the band saw, washing hands after finishing in the shop, etc.

    George.

    "To know and not do is to not know"

    #122340
    Frank Joseph
    Participant

    There are a number of woods that can cause health, problems some very bad. The AAW and a few other sites have lists of these woods with cautions and notes about certain health issues. Most are rashes or respiratory problems. Walnut is one to be careful of.
    Frankj

    In South Jersey the good part of New Jersey, USA.

    #122341
    Frank Joseph
    Participant

    Wawa is a American indian word it means (by lake) is one translation of it they can have more than one. The wood was most likely white Birch. Its a thin tall tree, the wood is offten used for molding
    Frankj

    In South Jersey the good part of New Jersey, USA.

    #122342
    Eddy Flynn
    Participant

    thanks Frank, trust me to like walnut i’ve only used it for a cane but it was nice to work with .

    Eddy .. Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
    ,

    #122384
    Salko Safic
    Participant

    I purchased a nice long 2″ thick walnut two weeks ago I still haven’t tried it yet but I’m hoping it’s going to be easy to work with. Expensive it is I just hope I don’t have to do with reversing grain and all. My God I have bought so many various beautiful timbers in the last twwo weeks many of them I’ve never used but I doubt I’ll be adding anything else to my list. They shoud work out fine and just stick to what works. Aah what range would I have if I were only a millionaire.

    https://journeymansjournel.wordpress.com
    The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK
    (Hand tool only woodworking magazine)

    #122400
    dborn
    Participant

    @salko American black walnut? If so, you will love working with walnut. I have a bunch in my pile and it planes very well. I don’t think I had any with reversing grain.

    Aspen and merianti are the two woods that upset my respiratory system. Aspen it’s like birch and merianti is a Philippine cedar tree. I would imagine all woods in the cedar family are harsh on a majority of people’s respiratory system.

    #122401
    Salko Safic
    Participant

    We call your walnut American Walnut because we also have Queensland Walnut but it’s light in colour, I am looking forward in working with it. For now I have to get through the Tasmanian Blackwood which is very similar in appearance to your wlanut but it’s also alot cheaper and is the reason why I bought it. It planes ok but does have some reversing grain to tend with which is always a pain. However once I get through it I will purchase only American Walnut and pay the extra. One major reason is that I have to go through piles of timber to get similarity in colour as tas blackwood isn’t consistantly dark like walnut.

    Pencil ceder also causes respiratory issues so I suppose your right ceder in general is a problem.

    https://journeymansjournel.wordpress.com
    The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK
    (Hand tool only woodworking magazine)

    #122402
    Dave
    Participant
    #122674
    alan
    Participant

    Throat cancer was very high among the mahogany furniture makers in the East end of London.The new health and safety acts made work shops much safer.

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