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Toxic woods revisited.

Toxic woods revisited.

Post by bscofield » Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:12 pm

How come on sites like this:

some of the woods commonly used in pipe extensions are listed as having some serious toxicity problems?? I’m looking specificaly into: Cocobolo, Rosewood, Olivewood, Purpleheart.

I wonder at their ratings and then see that Oak has an irritation level worth mentioning on there too. am i just reading this wrong?

Also, anyone ever use Ironwood? Is it safe?

Post by RadDavis » Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:25 pm

I could be wrong, but I believe that it’s the dust from these woods that can be toxic. You should wear a mask when working them.

I don’t think there would be any danger of toxicity in smoking a pipe that utilizes these woods.

As I said, I may be wrong.

Post by jeff » Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:52 pm

These woods are indeed toxic. However, as Rad pointed out, this is most likely a warning for those who are working the wood, not those who will be using it. It is less likely that the oils in the wood are topical irritants than it is that they are lung irritants.

You might ask, though, if the previous statement does not make the problem that much more poignant for those of us who make pipes, considering we are, by definition, inviting the smoke, and by logical extension, the oils, into our internal systems. You will find that most pipemakers prevent the possibility of this (the jury is still out on whether it is actually harmful for the wood to be in contact with the heat and smoke) by utilizing a false mortise made of briar for the shank extension and of the stem material for the stem decoration. So, in effect, the woods in question are merely decorative rings that never come into contact with the smoke.

I hope that this helps.

Post by ToddJohnson » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:06 pm

I know Neil actually smokes a combination of Cocobolo and Ironwood dust in certain pipes, so it must be perfectly okay

Post by bscofield » Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:34 am

ToddJohnson wrote: I know Neil actually smokes a combination of Cocobolo and Ironwood dust in certain pipes, so it must be perfectly okay

You think the outcome on neil’s brain is OK?? 😯

Post by Nick » Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:02 pm

Post by Tyler » Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:52 pm

ToddJohnson wrote: I know Neil actually smokes a combination of Cocobolo and Ironwood dust in certain pipes, so it must be perfectly okay

I am QUITE certain that one should not use Neil’s smoking esperiences as a basis for what is OK to smoke! 😯

Post by ArtGuy » Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:57 am

Cocobolo is indeed toxic and I have been told by a product designer here on campus that you cannot use it,say, to make anything that is eaten off of.

Olivewood on the other hand, they make wooden salad spoons out of it all the time. I have one that I have been using for years now and except for the occasional eye twitch I seem to be just fine :whistle:

Post by achduliebe » Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:00 am

Looking at the picture you have of yourself on your web site, I would say it is more than the occasional eye twitch! 😯

“You should never fight, but if you have to fight. fight dirty. Kick ’em in the groin, throw a rock at ’em”

Post by bvartist » Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:15 pm

I am just curious, but would it be an option to use woods that do have some toxicity levels more as a stem inlay rather than a shank extension?

What I had thought of trying(when I get to that stage of pipemaking) is using a cylinder of contrasting wood bored out through the center slightly larger than the tenon size wanted on the stem, turning down the stem to the length and diameter desired for the inlay and tenon and epoxying the wood inlay to the stem itself. Wouldn’t that eliminate any possibility of the smoke contacting the suspect wood on the pipe? Or would that leave the tenon on the stem too weak?

Post by Nick » Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:02 am

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