Yep, there's a new kid in town, and he goes by the name of "Puffdaddy". They say he's a nice guy with a heart of gold, but has rather porcine eyes, with eyelids blooming overnight that droop over much of the eyes by the break of dawn, and puffy bands under his kind eyes...
Yo, word, dawg! Uh, I mean 'wood', dawg! My current crop of flutes (+20) uses over a dozen different types of wood, most of them unmatched 'orphan' pieces that are perfect for half-pipes.
It's not unlike the mystery game "Clue"...for within those woods lies at least one suspect that possesses highly irritating dusts that warranted a visit to the doctor to get relief. "I think Mr. Child did it, with a wooden half-pipe as the weapon, in the carport area last Wednesday." Game over, I win.
It's been 5 years since I discovered I canNOT work with Lacewood or any of the Australian silk woods/silky oaks. I wear a top-notch respirator at all times, which you MUST do when working with any wood dust. But the harder thing to grasp is how simply microscopic dust can get on your skin, and within hours set up 'shop' creating really irritating whelps and rashes over large areas on my body. And these hombres can cause irritation for 3-4 weeks!
So, which would is the culprit? I had to go dig online, as most of these woods I work with a lot without a problem. There are several good sources that list toxicity and irritant levels of various woods, and one that landed in the 'extreme' category was anything Rosewood....
Above is the only Rosewood I've worked with before (Honduran Rosewood), but all I did was use a jointer on it and the planer to get it's box-shaped step. I have yet to touch it further...and yet my symptoms have worsened over the past few days. Could that early exposure have a really long lag time before becoming a big problem? Dunno.
The other potential culprit I've not worked with in several years...Cape Beech, from Africa. It has the snake-skin like reys in the wood, a lot like Lacewood...but they are continents apart and unrelated. I can't remember if I had a problem with it earlier or not, but I have handled it the past few days and dealt with a lot of its dust...
It will make a gorgeous flute no doubt, but that particular species is hard to find information on, especially as it relates to dermal reactions.
Whatever the case, I need to finish off the flutes, so will wear long-sleeve shirt and pants and take a shower as quickly as possible once I'm done. I went to a doc-in-the-box today ( one of those 'minute-clinics' at a CVS pharmacy) as the flare-ups were getting to be a bit too much to handle, with no relief in sight. Nothing that a good 2-week dose of prednisone won't cure, so I'm looking forward to the relief.
Oh, and by the way, Zorro ain't got NOTHIN' on me!