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Thread: The Dangers of our Art

  1. #1
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default The Dangers of our Art

    I'm sure, like many of you, I was bitten by the bug to build a mandolin from a kit. Far against my better judgement (and when my kids were too young for me to embark on such madness) I bought a kit and started reading in the Builder's Forum (a lot). I learned how the dust from exotic woods can be quite irritating and dangerous and I didn't even want to think about cutting shell given I can barely tie my shoes.

    Anyway, I read this article on how an artist who works with mussel shells was irreparably harmed by working with them and the dust for many years. The point is, builders, stay safe and I'm continually impressed by the effort you all have sunk into honing your skills to make blocks or dried wood and shell into these beautiful instruments.

    Jamie
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  3. #2

    Default Re: The Dangers of our Art

    There are toxic substances for sure in mandolin building material. I have a respirator I bought when I started spraying nitro a few years back. I use it when I sand rosewood or shell. I think this is more of a long term thing but you can't be too careful.
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  4. #3

    Default Re: The Dangers of our Art

    I know a luthier who developed eczema in his hands due to too much exposure to whatever he was coating guitar bodies with.

    Shell dust causing heavy metal poisoning is a new one to me.

    For some reason I thought this thread was going to be about joint pain.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: The Dangers of our Art

    I find it sad that the artist thought that just because a material is "natural" it is safe. There are lots of toxic materials in nature.
    I wonder if she was wearing any type of mask or respirator while sanding for hours on shell?
    Charley

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Dangers of our Art

    Charley, I think it's safe to assume she did not. Tragic. The pieces she made are beautiful. So many plants have toxic compounds to keep other creatures from eating them! Bioaccumulation is dangerous too. We almost lost our eagles in America from it.

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Dangers of our Art

    I remember getting the worst reaction to dust from routing out rosewood for block inlays on a guitar. I foolishly was not wearing a mask. I always wear a mask these days.
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    Default Re: The Dangers of our Art

    The term mad as a hatter derives from the tendency of folks in the profession going crazy. It would be years and years before the medical profession understood what dealing with mercury in a daily basis did to a persons body. Ancient professions like this or being a luthier come with consequences unfortunately. The blessed thing is that we have the technology to prevent a lot of the health issues without losing the art. FYI if you have ever owned a real 100X Beaver hat, you would understand what quality is.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Dangers of our Art

    'Dust' of any sort can & will enter the lungs if protective gear isn't worn. I used to be the production engineer presiding over several units at my workplace where the operatives worked with materials that produced 'dust'. If they were found NOT wearing a face mask,they'd be subject to 3 days suspension without pay - it was a matter as serious as that. For any materials that produced 'fumes' ie. resins / adhesives etc.,a full respirator was in order - if you didn't wear one,you could expect a very serious bout of ass kicking + suspension.

    I do remember Robb Brophy (Elkhorn Mandolins), explaining just how toxic the dust from Cocobolo is. In fact,Robb had taken quite hit from the stuff when building this mandolin. Dust needs to be prevented from entering your ears as well as your mouth/nose. A build up of dust combined with the natural wax in your ears, can result in a plug of gunge causing temporary hearing loss - as reported in a post on here several years back by one member. A tad gross i know,but it can happen.

    Dust & fumes are DANGEROUS !,
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