I have been a bit nervous about using cocobolo, because of the allergy issues I've read about, but man I love the look of it. I made sure to be careful about using gloves, because I don't want to have to stop using it. Let me know what you think, good or bad.
Thanks John, I always where a respirator when I turn, so I have that covered, and I am usually a real mess when I come in from the shop, so my wife makes sure I follow the second rule. :biggrin: these warnings are why I was extra careful with this stuff.
Awesome looking pen! I sure do love Cocobolo and the first few pens I made with it were fine. THEN I broke out in a nasty rash on arms and upper body. Of course, I made another one and the same thing happened, even after showering. So no more Cocobolo for me--sure hope you're among the lucky ones.
Another suggestion for you to consider (use what seems useful): I use a full sleeved Sorby Turning Smock, with a full sleeve shirt underneath. After any timber that may be problematic, I undress and place all clothing directly into the washer - NOT the laundry hamper! And I run a load of "turning clothes" without any other clothing in the load. This is a minor inconvenience 1-3x/week.
After battling "turning induced" dermatitis for 3 years, I am pretty careful. Oh...No serious flare-ups with this procedure; just need to maintain the lingering condition.
I suffered with a rash for 3 months after turning a pen from cocobolo so now I wear a buttoned-up long sleeve shirt and cover any remaining exposed skin with "Gloves In A Bottle". I havent' tested this lotion with some of the more nasty woods like cocobolo and lacewood but all the reviews point to this being a good preventive measure against skin irritations and I haven't had any reactions (especially on my hands which get the most exposure to saw dust and shavings) after turning cedar, camphor, ash, maple, red bay, and cherry laurel.
Glorious Pen, Dan.
Magnificent Cocobolo Blank,
Superb Fit and Fantastic Finish.
It's a shame you have the allergy, here's hoping you can control it so that you can continue to produce such Superb Pens.
I am fortunate so far, I have not had any reactions, though I have not done a lot of work with Cocobolo.
Though I have a Chef's Knife Set I am making for my Eldest Son, it has Cocobolo handles, which I have yet to Shape and Sand, so I guess I will soon find out.
Thank you everyone for the kind words, and just to be clear, I do not have an allergy to cocobolo yet, but I am trying to take precautions so I don't develope one. After this one, I want to turn the other 20 or so blanks from the same lot, and many more!
I've been using it for years. Not only does it cost less than many other woods but it also easy to turn and looks great when finished! Still one of my favorite woods and one of the woods I have made many pens! I still have several blanks. I consider myself lucky. I still remember many years ago when the salesman at local specialty wood supplier told me of the customer who decided to try it and ended up with sores all over his arms after his first use. This is why i have always been cautious. Possible toxicity is one reason I never have used Camphor wood though had chance to get the blanks. I seem to remember years ago seeing a list of the more toxic woods. Anyone know of a list? This would be good for all members to have. New as well as experienced.