Turning Archive 2005

Walnut Toxicity Revisited Question?

Barry Irby
>About a week ago posted asking a question about walnut toxicity versus the chance it was a piece of river birch. Shavings had gotten under my watch and inflamed my arm. It is still not healed, but the information has subsided. Yesterday I went back to finish the project. I was more careful, did not wear the watch, used a higher quality paper mask, ran the DC during sanding, etc.

The place under my watch is better, no further reaction, but my nose gave me a fit. Must have sneezed fifty times last night and it ran and ran. A small amount of blood. Got a headache. (Rare for me)

I have worked with walnut a lot over the years. My son and I joke about "blowing black" after turning it. Never had a reaction before either on my skin or in my nose. The mask, DC, air filter are all better than ever before.

OK, I'm finally to the question part. This wood I'm turning is part of a commission. It was short logs about 15" long and 16" in diameter. It has been sitting around for years and is weathered and badly checked and cracked. It was sitting on a farm at the base of a silo when I went to pick it up. I'm chain sawing it into blanks, trying to rescue any that is mostly sound and making stools out of it.

I just turned a large walnut bowl last week and had no adverse reaction. My question is, what do you think the chances are the wood has been sprayed with something like weed killer or bug killer? Could I be reacting to something on the wood, not the wood itself?

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