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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 09-20-2013 02:57 AM 4696 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


09-20-2013 02:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wenge

Hey guys,

I am doing a project this weekend with some wenge. I know it can be pretty nasty stuff to work with, so I figured I would ask some more seasoned LJ’s for some tips.

How bad is the dust?
How bad are the splinters?
How does it machine?
How does it treat hand tools?
Any other tips?

Thanks

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster


33 replies so far

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MarkSr

215 posts in 1515 days


#1 posted 09-20-2013 03:48 AM

TheWoodenOyster, not much of help, but what is “wenge”. I’m new at this too, but I have never heard of it.

-- Mark, ”...NEWBEE: On the road to learning a lot; but; a lot more to learn…” ("My Granddad used to tell me, if you didn't learn something new today, it just wasn't worth getting out of bed")

View mbs's profile

mbs

1606 posts in 2405 days


#2 posted 09-20-2013 04:28 AM

I had the same concerns. Recently finished some end tables.

Dust is very bad. Use a good dust collector and wear a mask.

It’s not hard to cut with a good blade/bits but it is not easy to work with hand tools. Wenge is slow to sand.

It splinters easily.

Handle it as little as possible to minimize splintering.

It’s beautiful when finished.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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BigYin

347 posts in 1881 days


#3 posted 09-20-2013 04:34 AM

Wear a mask for dust. Wear gloves for splinters.
Ifyou have dust filtration and/or dust collection use them.
Sawdust and shavings have never caused me problems but suggest you clean up as you go.
Do not have sharp finished edges that may allow splinters.
Apply a coat of oil to make grain pop.

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


#4 posted 09-20-2013 11:52 AM

Thanks for the info guys.

MarkSr – wenge is a very dark, almost black African wood. It is a coarse wood and though it can finish well, it is pretty hard to handle. But, you do get the “ebony” coloring without paying as high of a price. The reason I asked about the health issues is because it is pretty well known as one of the most unfriendly woods to work with. The splinters go septic, the dust is nasty, and from my 3 minute handplane session, I can tell you that the shavings smell like a dumpster fire.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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BTimmons

2300 posts in 1950 days


#5 posted 09-20-2013 03:19 PM

The add on to what TheWoodenOyster said:

When he says that splinters can go septic, that deserves extra emphasis. Sepsis means contracting blood poisoning, which can be hard to treat and is sometimes fatal.

I repeat, SOMETIMES FATAL.

It’s beautiful wood, but that stuff can kill you if you’re not careful.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

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TheWoodenOyster

1275 posts in 1400 days


#6 posted 09-20-2013 06:01 PM

BTimmons,

You are kind of freaking me out a little bit. I mean, I figured they were worse than most splinters. I don’t really want to die making a croquet mallet though. Should I think twice before I start messing with this stuff? It sounds like VX nerve gas to me…

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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darinS

678 posts in 2332 days


#7 posted 09-20-2013 06:14 PM

This might give a little more information

http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/wenge/

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

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nmssis

102 posts in 450 days


#8 posted 08-12-2016 04:23 AM



This might give a little more information

http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/wenge/

- darinS

eek!!!

Just bought some today that were in a scrap bin…btw, what kinda glove would protect from splinters?

-- Learn something new everyday!

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ki7hy

493 posts in 204 days


#9 posted 08-12-2016 05:27 AM

I just finished building my shooting board plane with this stuff (in my projects). What a pain!

Splinterss suck, I didn’t wear gloves because I didn’t know better. Definitely had splinters, lots of splinters. Definitely drew a little blood too but not much. There are still spots on my hands where I got splinters a couple weeks ago but no major damage or sickness or infection. I’m a horse though, I haven’t missed a day of work for being sick in a few years. Some others might have a worse reaction. Tear out was horrible as well. I might build something with my scraps from the plane but probably will try not to find a need to buy anymore ever again. Wasn’t fun.

View Mikesawdust's profile

Mikesawdust

274 posts in 2504 days


#10 posted 08-12-2016 07:00 AM

watch the splinters, they hurt, break off inside and infect quickly. I only had a couple get me and they were shallow but not fun

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nmssis

102 posts in 450 days


#11 posted 08-12-2016 02:27 PM



I just finished building my shooting board plane with this stuff (in my projects). What a pain!

Splinterss suck, I didn t wear gloves because I didn t know better. Definitely had splinters, lots of splinters. Definitely drew a little blood too but not much. There are still spots on my hands where I got splinters a couple weeks ago but no major damage or sickness or infection. I m a horse though, I haven t missed a day of work for being sick in a few years. Some others might have a worse reaction. Tear out was horrible as well. I might build something with my scraps from the plane but probably will try not to find a need to buy anymore ever again. Wasn t fun.

- ki7hy


watch the splinters, they hurt, break off inside and infect quickly. I only had a couple get me and they were shallow but not fun

- Mikesawdust

so if you had to work with wenge again and chose to wear gloves, what kinda gloves would you use?

-- Learn something new everyday!

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USAwoodArt

243 posts in 407 days


#12 posted 08-12-2016 03:06 PM

I have used wenge in a lot of projects and have yet to have a problem. I use good dust collection and caautious carefulness when handling. Always be

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself"

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ki7hy

493 posts in 204 days


#13 posted 08-12-2016 03:16 PM

nmssis, leather gloves I suppose would stop splinters the best but I think you just need to be careful. I don’t think this stuff is going to kill anyone, just pull the splinters completely and clean area right away and you should be fine.

In other words take care of yourself. BTimmons sounds like he’s trying to scare you, sounds like my mother when I was 5. Just be cautious and clean your wounds and pay attention to how you feel/look as time progresses. If you feel the need to go to the Dr. don’t hesitate. Personally I would choose something else in the future but not for the splinters in my skin, just the pain it is to work with. Was almost like palm which kind of sucks too.

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nmssis

102 posts in 450 days


#14 posted 08-12-2016 03:41 PM

thanks for the feedback!

saw a finished wenge block at the shop and looked so yummy did not think things through

-- Learn something new everyday!

View LiveEdge's profile

LiveEdge

486 posts in 1085 days


#15 posted 08-12-2016 06:39 PM

I think people are getting a little carried away here. I’ve worked with it and not had trouble. It does smell bad when cutting and wearing dust protection is important with all wood. I wear gloves all the time because I have contact sensitivities, but I’ve not had trouble with splinters. There is also a difference between “festering” (a local infection) and “sepsis” (a systemic infection) (BTW, I’m an MD).

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