Toxic Woods #1: Importance of dust collection.

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Blog entry by Druid posted 01-23-2017 12:19 AM 2539 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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As we all seem to be using a wider variety of different wood types, I have been searching for information regarding potential problems resulting from exposure to unfamiliar wood.
During my search, I found a fairly extensive list of cautions related to different Wood Species on The Wood Database site at . . .

Dust collection adds to the cost of a properly equipped workshop, but this information should help to determine what you (and I) actually require.

Besides this important listing, I think that you will find a lot of other well presented information on this site.
Hope this is helpful.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

11 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3933 days

#1 posted 01-23-2017 12:42 AM

This is an excellent reference and really good information. Thank you so much. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3817 days

#2 posted 01-23-2017 12:52 AM

Hey John. Yes, this is an awesome site. It has been in my favorites for a long time. I refer to it a lot to get info on any wood species I use when I spin a pen, or any project actually. I like to give a few facts to the purchaser of any of my wares about the wood I use in the project. That way, I know a little about it, and so does the new and happy owner.. Thnx for posting the link…........Duh-Mee, never thought about doing that.. Sheeesh! Flat-lining again… haha

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4768 days

#3 posted 01-23-2017 01:00 AM

Thanks, John. You can’t be too careful with your health.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View BobWemm's profile


2952 posts in 2939 days

#4 posted 01-23-2017 01:18 AM

Thanks for the great information.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3808 days

#5 posted 01-23-2017 01:34 AM

Glad that this is of interest.
Another point that I should add regarding dust collection . . . Something that frequently occurs on various woodworking videos and TV shows, is that as soon as the machine is turned off, the operator immediately removes whatever type of dust protection they were wearing. Of course this is done so that we (the viewers) can understand whatever the operator is saying as part of the video, but it gives the impression that dust protection is no longer required once the equipment stops.
So, I will add a reminder that any operation that produces very fine dust, still requires wearing a mask until the air is clear.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2845 posts in 4696 days

#6 posted 01-23-2017 01:53 AM

G’day John, thanks for sharing the great site, lots of information that the day by day wood turner never thinks about.
Agree with you about taking the dust mask prematurely when dust is still in the air. Have bookmarked the site, thanks.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 1546 days

#7 posted 01-23-2017 01:59 AM

I like this comment found under sensitizer;

“If you ever have an allergic reaction to any wood that has been identified as a sensitizer, use extreme caution in handling or using that species (and related species) in future instances. Some have reactions so severe that they simply have had to stop and discontinue using certain wood species altogether. (Cocobolo is notorious in this regard.)”

This is very true. I have developed an allergy to teak.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4381 days

#8 posted 01-23-2017 02:28 AM

I’ve been working with all types of hardwoods and exotics for over 15 years and never had a problem…....until last month. When sanding a small piece of spalted maple, my hands broke out in a rash. I washed them really good a few times and the rash cleared up the next day. Last week I cut a piece of the same spalted maple with a small hand saw and my rash returned. I am giving all my spalted woods to a friend that wants them and I wont be using anymore spalting wood.

View kiefer's profile


5812 posts in 3680 days

#9 posted 01-23-2017 05:08 AM

Some good advice and caution to be followed John and I think we are all guilty but this is a good reminder that we all need but what is the solution as only so much dust can be captured and how much breathing gear can one wear for any length of time .

-- Kiefer

View Cliff 's profile


1880 posts in 2736 days

#10 posted 01-23-2017 05:09 AM

Thanks John. Great Post and Great Site….Excellent information.



-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3808 days

#11 posted 01-23-2017 08:03 AM

Thanks to all for the comments.
Here is a link to a video on how to build an affordable, yet simple, dust collector by one of our LJ members Jack Houweling.

The style of fan that he used is readily available from a number of manufacturers, and is fairly quiet, so it can be left running as long as required for it to clear the fine dust in the workshop.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

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