03-11-2010 05:21 PM
I just got a 3x3x12 cocobolo turning blank from Rockler and it arrived coated in wax. Good job at sealing, but how does one remove the wax? I can't turn it by roughing since the wax will coat my gouges, marring other turnings. And the sticky wax will clog my dust collection system. I'm tempted to turn it with the DC off, but cocobolo is resinous and the dust being a severe contact sensitiser (toxic to skin and lungs) it might not be a good idea. How do you folks handle cocobolo bowls and spindles? I suppose I could paint it with xylene which is a wax solvent, but I would think it might also leach the resin by dissolution.
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03-11-2010 05:54 PM
Well you could use a putty knife like a scraper or a scraper or maybe a handplane. If you can set a fan up on each side of you and wear a dust mask and a long sleeved shirt till you get it round you should be ok. I've done a piece or two like that.
03-11-2010 06:31 PM
I just turned a duck call with a cocobolo wax coated blank. I didn't do anything to it. I did cut the heavy wax from the ends when I squared them up. I cut the corners off before I mounted it. I did not have any problem with my gouges clogging.
03-11-2010 08:59 PM
I have turned Rockler bowl blanks out of cocobolo and other woods with the wax on with no problems to my tools or DC system. I have also used a putty knife to scrape wax off before with decent results and it doesn't take much time, but you will never get it all off as it will get into the pores of the wood and you don't want to use chemicals as it may cause discoloration to the wood. If you have concerns then you could not turn on the DC while roughing the blank until the waxed sections have been removed, and then sweep up the shavings and toss them in the trash before turning the DC on.
Cocobolo can cause some sensativity problems for some folk's skin, but I have not had any issues personally. You do want to wear a mask or, better yet, respirator to deal with the dust as some have respiratory problems. I would recommend long sleaves, but I always have concerns about long sleaves near spinning tools, so I will roll up my sleaves to my elbows. Be sure to blow off all the saw dust and wash your hands/arms after turning. I have had some issues with rosewood before causing my hands/arms to itch a bit, but it all went away once I washed up.
"Graze in every man's field, but always give your own milk."
03-12-2010 04:51 AM
I can tell you one method NOT to use.
I had two coated blanks that I wanted to make toothpick holders out of. As another mentioned above, I scraped the wax of the ends of one and left the other four sides coated. Then I roughed it into a cylinder on the lathe. I didn't have any problems with lathe tools or dust collection. However, the wood was so wet that I put it back on the shelf for awhile and decided to take all the wax off the second blank so it could dry a bit before I used it.
Now, for the rest of the story. I got the bright idea that I could take it to the band saw and just skim the wax off without taking too much wood. It worked, but it took me almost an hour to clean the mess up. The pulleys, guide bearings, the blade....what a mess.
Ok, don't tell me how stupid that was. I know that now, and should have known it before I began!
03-12-2010 05:40 AM
I would agree with the other here. I have turned several pieces that I purchased which was coated in the wax. I had no problems with it clogging up the tools. I also agree with Randy, it seems the wood was really wet that was trapped inside the wax, but it sure did turn easy.
We have turned several deer calls and duck calls using cocobolo and didn't notice any skin problems. I do wear a dust mask or respirator depending on what I am turning and or sanding. It's your lungs and your health, so take care of them.