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 Post subject: Rosewood or ...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:54 pm 
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Location: Skagit Co WA
cocobolo, bubinga, don't know what but I bought some chunks of this wood from a buddy a while ago. Weighs about a pound/cubic inch! (just kidding) and is drop dead gorgeous. OK, I'll post a pic or two tomorrow but ...

This stuff is harder than the gates of that hot place. I've heard all kinds of horror stories about its toxicity. Assuming I have a real piece of Brazilian Rosewood, does anyone have any tips & tricks for turning it?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:54 am 
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Location: Aurora CO
I don't think that Cocobolo or Bubinga is toxic, but I know that Rosewood is. Turn fast with sharp tools and wear a resperator. I've turned some Rosewood and Kingwood. Both are beautiful in my book.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:26 am 
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You asked about toxisity and hardness.

Frank covered the toxic part.

My 2 cents on the hardness

With hard woods (like oak) you need to NOT ride the bevel so much. What can happen is the tool will cut into the summer (soft) ring and bounce off the winter (hard) ring. Resulting in loosening your teeth.

What you need to do is firmly plant the tool on the rest and gently move accross.

Hope thats what you were asking about.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Thanks Jeff, I've experienced that before and never realized what caused it or how to work it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:25 am 
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The entire Dalbergia genus - cocobolo and true rosewood included - is loaded with poisons designed to protect the tree from year-round insect assault. Bubinga darkens in the light, and is an African "rosewood" in the trade. Apparently not as horrible as the others.
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-artic ... -toxicity/

First, have some elixir Benadryl within arm's reach of the lathe, right next to the CA debonder bottle you should replace every three to four years. First wheeze or feeling of tightness in your throat turns off the lathe, takes off clothing with shavings adhering, and takes a dose of the stuff. Exit the room after cleaning off the bare skin. From then until forever, use a charcoal filter respirator when using the wood.

More common problem is dermatitis, which generally responds to a bit of topical cortisone and some of the antihistamine. Here's a good article on what to do.
http://www.woodworkerssource.com/wood_toxicity.php#

Tropical woods tend to grow at nearly the same rate year round, so there isn't usually the great difference we see between spring (rainy season) and fall (dry season) wood from temperate regions. The woods you mention are dense and hard, but not nearly as dense or hard as steel, so present your tools properly for cutting short-grained woods and you should have no real problem.


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