Messages Archive

Subject:
A caution about lye

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Lye rapidly attacks protein. While loosing a bit of skin would not be troublesome, eyes are another matter. Lye is one of few chemicals that will quickly and irreversible result in eye damage. Wear excellent eye protection when using it and it might not be a bad idea to have some means of immediately irrigating the eye available should there be an accident.

While on the topic of eyes, I once got to participate in treatment of dichromate in someone's eye(back when it was not encumbered by government regulations). Apparently it is painful for it took two of us to subdue the person enough to pry the eye open to irrigate it. The reflex is to slam the eyelid shut. It might take some exceptional discipline to self treat an eye assault.

In my testing on mahogany, lye resulted in the least light fast color. Again, for permanence pigment stain is best, with premetalized dye next best.

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