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Hi All,
I just finished assembling my new Woodpecker Router table with a DeWalt 618 router. I have also bought quite a few samples of exotic woods for me to start playing with my new toy, but I have a concern.
I have seen many, many articles about one exotic species or another with caution notes about the toxic dust from cutting or the danger of the dust or splinter on your skin, etc., etc. I'm too old to remember all the different woods that need cautionary cutting and handling so does anyone know of an article or pamphlet that would show each with the different cautions required for each species?
I am already cautious about the use of goggles and face mask but I am concerned about woods that need those extra measures of safety when working with them.
Thanks in advance for any assistance.
 

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Hi George

I already know from personal experience that teak and sw. mahogany don't agree with me. Also that spalted timbers can give me extreme respiratory problems. There are a couple of good sources on the net, this leaflet has a list of timbers which can provoke a reaction on page 4 (including speciaes normally only seen in plywood) whilst this site contains a comprehensive list of "suspect" timbers

Regards

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi George

I already know from personal experience that teak and sw. mahogany don't agree with me. Also that spalted timbers can give me extreme respiratory problems. There are a couple of good sources on the net, this leaflet has a list of timbers which can provoke a reaction on page 4 (including speciaes normally only seen in plywood) whilst this site contains a comprehensive list of "suspect" timbers

Regards

Phil
Phil,

Just looked at your suggested items and they were exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks very much! I'll hang those in my shop for quick reference whenever I'm thinking of buying some exotic or are about to work with one. Thanks again for the helpful input.
 

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Western Red Cedar, over time, can cause nasty allergic response. Drove a lot of shinglers and lathers out of the trades.
 

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Theo
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Actually almost any wood, if not all, can be toxic to one or the other individual. Including woods such as pine and maple. Some people a certain type of wood won't bother at all, the next guy in line it will cause all sorts of problems to.

There is tons of info out there on-line. All you have to do is a simple search, using something like 'toxic woods' as a search subject. One or two of the South American woods can be even deadly to a human, if not treated properly and on time - these woods are not normally harvested, and if they are, special precautions are taken.

My preference anymore is wood native to my state, and that is the only wood I buy anymore, except for plywood; I'm not sure if plywood trees are native or not.
I particularly love popular wood. Free wood is always popular, no matter where it comes from.
 

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Theo is right. There isn't any wood dust or wood product dust that is benign. They can all cause problems. Use a dust mask and dust control with all of them.
 

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goggles and face mask
Hearing protection?
To follow the thread, I have found that it is an advantage to wear a quality mask or respirator when doing any kind of woodworking. I build custom fishing rods and the cork dust can be powder-fine with fine sandpaper. DC is a must, also.
 

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Theo
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As someone has already mentioned, its not so much about specific wood dust being a problem, its pretty much wood dust in general.
Some are much worse (I have a bit of Greenheart kicking about upstairs and noticed its dust is one of the worst) than others but none of them do you any good and are best avoided via dust masks, or air fed masks in some cases.

Its one area where the good old handplane comes out well as it doesn't raise dust.
 

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Another factoid to make you think:

Red Cedar.

Green/wet Red Cedar, it is acidic enough to eat away carbide teeth. Sterite teeth, even though not thought of as "quality" are preferred because they are not eaten away by this.

Dry/seasoned Red Cedar, the acidity goes down enough to use carbide teeth, although it is still somewhat corrosive.

Dry red cedar shavings, even though known to repel insects, when used undiluted as animal bedding has been known to eat away and burn the soles of horse's and canine's feet. If used in animal bedding, it is usually diluted by using a small portion of cedar mixed with a larger amount of fir or pine shavings.

That is also why the dust from Red Cedar is known to be a respiratory irritant.
 

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I don't care for any wood dust and use a respirator 75% of the time, but learned the hardway recently with working Western Red Cedar. Not sure it's toxic per say, but it sure messed up my lungs and sinuses for a week or two and I don't have a single allergy and rarely get ill, sick, etc. WRC is just a nasty dust for some reason.
 

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I would refer you to a thread and its first post by Curious George on Toxic Wood, on 10-10-2008, that includes a .pdf of toxic woods.
 

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Hey I just want to say. I work in a lumber yard we use rough lumber from poplar red oak white oak to sapele we also make s4s surface all 4 sides. And I have sign on my wall saying.
CAUTION wood dust my cause cancer and other heath issuse. but none use use a mask cause i find them uncomfortable.
I'll try to take a pix of the sign.
None of the lumber we use bothers me, we had a few guys that couldn't touch spanish ceder.
 
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