Bowls Bowls Bowls

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Project by Bob A in NJ posted 06-16-2007 04:13 AM 2309 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here a are few of the bowls I’ve been making. Didn’t want your guys thinking all I can do is flatwork! Granted these are simple projects but I have not turned for years and these are starter projects.

These are some of the exotics. Spalted maple, brazilian rosewood and african cocobolo. I learned the hard way that cocobolo is HIGHLY allergic stuff!! 4 days after making the bowl,(bottom right hand side) I got a rash which I thought was poison ivy. Turns out, (pun intended) it was the cocobolo. The rash was on my face, arms and hands. It stayed on my hands and between my fingers for about 4 weeks. Athough absolutely beautiful, easy to work and turns great, I’m staying away from it.

The hobby is fantastic and I find it a great way to wind down at the end of the day.

-- Bob A in NJ

11 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4394 days

#1 posted 06-16-2007 04:16 AM

I got a rash similiar after the second time. No problem the first time but the second. Look out.

I was making pens. and then I made a clock base. That was the one that got me.

Never again.

JockMike2 had a problem with spalted wood. Read his info on it. It almost did him in. Lungs, eyes etc I believe.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4030 days

#2 posted 06-16-2007 04:18 AM

The cocobolo bowl sure turned out nice, though! So did the others.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4071 days

#3 posted 06-16-2007 04:37 AM

Sweet turnings Bob! Beautiful woodworking art.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4060 days

#4 posted 06-16-2007 08:05 AM

Very nice bowls. I’ve worked with cocobolo many times and have never had a problem – but I think I’m going to make the last time I used it the last time, not worth the risks. Too bad – it is one of my favorite species.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4154 days

#5 posted 06-16-2007 01:42 PM

it’s so beautiful..
definitely sounds like a dangerous wood to work with .. and possibly to have sitting around your house.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4091 days

#6 posted 06-16-2007 03:07 PM

I’ve not had any problems with Cocobolo yet. Knock on my workbench. Hopefully it stays that way. It turns wonderfully.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1229 posts in 3993 days

#7 posted 06-17-2007 04:51 AM

The way I discovered COCOBOLO was highly alergic was when I visited the New Jersey Woodturners monthly meeting. One of the members told me something I’ll never forget…. “There are 2 types of people, those THAT ARE allergic to cocobolo and those that WILL BE allergic to cocobolo”.

It’s a good thing I attended this meeting , otherwise I’d still be wondering why I had a rash. After some research, I discovered the oils in the wood and the saw dust is what causes the rash. The wood itself, especially after it has a finish on it is harmless. The wood turns fantastic, I’ve never seen anything like this before. After taking it to 400 grit, the wood looked like it already had a poly or wax finish. Almost a plastic looking object.

I still have about 10 bowl blanks. If and when I tackle this again, I’ll be sure to use long sleeves shirt, gloves, dust mask and keep the dust collector on the whole time.

-- Bob A in NJ

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3999 days

#8 posted 06-17-2007 05:02 AM

I sometimes get batches of Spanish Cedar that makes my nose run the whole time im around it. The only wood ive ever had a reaction to. Sounds like cocobolo is the wood version of the poisonous puffer fish.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4305 days

#9 posted 06-17-2007 01:32 PM

They are beautiful. I’m partial to the spalted Maple. Thanks for the warning…last thing I need is a 4 day rash!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4133 days

#10 posted 06-18-2007 01:26 AM

Bob -

I assume these are some of the bowls that got you distracted! Very nice.


View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4240 days

#11 posted 06-19-2007 04:38 AM

Spalted wood is made with fungus, and can get in your lungs and eyes, It took me about six weeks to completely get it out of my eyes and lungs and I’m still having problem with my lungs, I have a Drs appt. tommorow cause I’m coughing up lugies the size of baseballs. It is not pretty, the doc wants me to quit woodwork, I told her to remove the lungs. She got the point. jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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