First and Last Time with Sycamore.

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Project by ErikF posted 09-02-2012 11:17 PM 2361 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a coffee table I finished up recently. I used roasted maple, sycamore, and cherry to complete this build and I am sad to say I will never use sycamore again. Some of you may have seen the forum topic I started about wood allergies. The sycamore kicked my butt, I am still not fully recovered after a week of medication and no work. I finally felt up to sanitizing the shop yesterday and am hoping I won’t have a second round allergic reaction. Thanks for looking.

-- Power to the people.

14 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7064 posts in 2839 days

#1 posted 09-02-2012 11:27 PM

Well, the table looks nice. Sorry to hear about the problems.

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2517 days

#2 posted 09-02-2012 11:34 PM

Looks great!

Keep up the good work,

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4258 posts in 2802 days

#3 posted 09-02-2012 11:42 PM


Do not give up on it my friend, almost all woods have a toxicisty to them. I have to ware a Air Fed resperiator and long sleeves and gloves when turning on the wood lathe or doing flat work, however, I will not give up on the wood or woodworking.
Just make sure you are wearing all the safety equipment.
I now also have a blood issue with working on woods and other things, but I always wear breathing gear.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View ErikF's profile


623 posts in 2484 days

#4 posted 09-03-2012 12:01 AM


Thanks for the encouragement. If I ever decide to work with sycamore again I will be taking some extra precautions to ensure much less exposure. It sounds like you have had more than one negative reaction to certain woods and its nice to read about someone dealing with it successfully.

-- Power to the people.

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3928 days

#5 posted 09-03-2012 12:43 AM

May I ask what your symptoms were / are from the Sycamore ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Benboy's profile


105 posts in 2502 days

#6 posted 09-03-2012 12:47 AM

I have never worked with Sycamore. Is it that nice of a wood that you would miss working with it? I am not sure that I have species specific allergies but I am very allergic to dust so I have to wear a respirator for sutting and sanding and finishing…

-- If I can't make it, I probably don't need it.

View ErikF's profile


623 posts in 2484 days

#7 posted 09-03-2012 01:01 AM

I really do like the figure you get with sycamore and would like to use it again for some other projects. Not sure if I would risk it again or not.

My symptoms were similar to major poison ivy exposure. My entire face and neck were swollen, eyes could barely open, my arms were about %75 covered in a rash as well as most of my torso and back. Really the only place I didn’t have a breakout of some type were my shoulders and legs. I wear a mask and goggles when i’m in the workshop…didn’t help me this time around.

-- Power to the people.

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3928 days

#8 posted 09-03-2012 01:28 AM

WOW !! That sounds pretty nasty…thanks for the warning ! Your table came out nice as well : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2429 days

#9 posted 09-03-2012 04:49 AM

Looking at some online stuff about sycamore, it sounds like it’s not known to be “toxic”. Did you find out if you are one of the unlucky ones or is it actually more toxic than some of us think ?

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View ErikF's profile


623 posts in 2484 days

#10 posted 09-03-2012 01:40 PM


I am still not sure exactly what went on with the allergic reaction. I did some online research as well and didn’t come across any similar stories or warnings besides that the pollen can irritate people. I am still planing to test some sawdust on a piece of tape after everything is completely healed…the doctor also sent me to a blood lab to have some type of test done to see what I am allergic to. Who knows what they will find.

-- Power to the people.

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2648 days

#11 posted 09-03-2012 02:23 PM

Well…...the table turned out absolutely beautiful. Are you allergic TO sycamore or does it just bother you when you work it?

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2431 days

#12 posted 09-03-2012 07:10 PM

beautiful table turned out very nice.hope you recover soon.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3044 days

#13 posted 09-03-2012 08:20 PM

Sorry to hear of that unfortunate reaction. The table is very beautiful as everyone else has said. I agree. Seems to me that allergies are getting much worse and more and more in these days and times. Who knows why. Good luck in the future. Thnx for the “heads-up” about some symtoms, etc.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View don1960's profile


227 posts in 2927 days

#14 posted 09-04-2012 01:56 AM

Very pretty table.

I hear ya about the allergic reaction. I had a similar reaction to Bolivian Rosewood (Morado) a couple years ago. Found out the hard way that I was allergic to the dust, although my reaction wasn’t as bad as yours. Did have to use some medication for a week, though. I still have a few pieces of it left but I’m gonna have to get a hazmat suit to use it again :-)

If I ever run across Sycamore, I’ll be sure to be careful after hearing your story.

-- -- Don from PA

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