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Know where your wood has been.

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  • Know where your wood has been.

    Know where your wood has been. I would encourage caution when using dunnage. Lumber that is used on trucks, ship, warehouses or in storage yards for stacking products on. Be as sure as you can you know where it has been. A number of years ago I got very sick. I got some nice big mahogany 6x6 boards left in a truck after a delivery. The truck driver is a friend and knew I carved. I cut off a 12 inch piece and set to work on it. I used a dust mask so I did not breathe much dust. The next day My hands were swollen and red and I was having trouble breathing, to make a long story short the lumber had come off a ship from South America and they use pesticides and other chemicals band here. It turned out to be expensive scrap. Over the years I have heard stories from other carvers that had issues with dunnage. It can be good source of wood just be careful. If you’re not sure do not use it.
    We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi

  • #2
    Agreed. The further away from the source of pallets (as we call them), the more suspect they become, even from spills out of broken packaging.

    SPF pallets are made some 4 hours west of here. Nice and fresh and bright wood and clean at my house (one-ton loads of wood stove pellets.)
    They are the most crap of crap lumber. It's the mud & dirt that concerns me = the potential to damage a carving tool edge.
    Brian T


    • #3
      Good advice. My father in law built some furniture from 4X4 oak timbers used to stack steel pipe during transport. He ruined 3 sets of planer blades by the time he was done surface planing the timbers. The minute, and not so minute pieces of sharp steel that were imbedded in the timbers played heck with the blades.

      The pesticide thing is something I never would have thought about!


      • #4
        This was my first ....although I heard of it never happen to me....until yesterday.......carving away with good chisels......and hit something hard....which normally means a I hit hard and sparks fly.....darn piece of wood had metal in it. My chisel tip of coarse broke. And of coarse I am mad....

        There are lots of woods that are somewhat is nice to know which ones. Then the ones that are treated are especially bad I have heard to many horror stories....about people getting very serious illnesses from them. Always good to know what your working with and how dangerous it is to your health.
        . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di


        • #5
          I think Claude F has a list of web sites which list toxic species.

          In general, the dust is the bigger issue when compared with a chunk or chips, sitting on your bench.
          As long as you don't make dust, chips are no matter except for individual sensitivities.

          Birch and maple are the 2 woods found in the food industry.
          Probably because equally safe woods from fruit trees twist and crack beyond being useful pieces.

          Oaks, white oaks in particular, have sealed wood which has been used for centuries for wine, sherry and whiskey barrels.
          The barrel contents might be more toxic in very large quantities.
          Brian T


          • #6
            In addition, new "clean" lumber can be toxic when wood burning...
            Living among knives and fire.


            • #7
              Originally posted by robson valley View Post
              the barrel contents might be more toxic in very large quantities.
              If you're looking for me, you'll find me in a pile of wood chips somewhere...


              • #8
                The same is true with trees from around residential areas. No matter how big and beautiful they might be you'll rarely see anyone haul them away for anything but firewood. It's just not worth the price of a sawmill blade to hit a piece of steel buried deep within an old oak or walnut tree.