What is risky with the spalted maple dust?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Mr M, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. Hi,

    I've opened a thread at misc. part but I guess that it's better to ask to luthiers who are familiar with the subject

    Here is the link for the opened thread click

    My question is:
    I'd like to learn what is risky with the spalted maple dust? I've read that it may cause problems in the lungs but what it really does? How big is the risk? Is it the same risk if the lumber is well dried in kiln?

    I ask it because I've respired a little bit of it and wonder now if I'll have any trouble and what I should do to prevent it..

    I wonder if I inhaled fungus, what can happen?It's bad but how bad? Will it cause an allergic reaction, make me caugh for some time or will it ruin the lungs? OK maybe the right thing is to ask to a doctor but if there are some TB'ers who know how serious is the risk, I'd be grateful to hear them before. I don't want to go immediately to the doctor if it's just some caughs and it goes. I insist on it because there's a bass that I'll have soon with a spalted maple top and I didn't like the finish that the luthier used, we decided to change it and to do so after moving the finish he used a machine with sandpaper to move all the remaining finish and while doing this I was with him and everywhere was dusty. I think I inhaled it and now I fear if it's too serious for my lungs..
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    If you're having respiratory problems, you should visit a doctor. If not, you're probably all right. I think most people who have worked with spalted maple have breathed some in at some time or another. The toxins can accumulate in the lungs and cause problems if you work with the stuff on a semi-regular basis. If you ever have to sand or be present during sanding again, you should get a good dust mask.

    The threat with spalted maple is fungus spores. It doesn't matter if it's kiln dried.
  3. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Gotta chime in here,
    I think my esteemed colleague is referring to a "Respirator" -with big honkin' filters on it. Not just a little paper dust mask like people were wearing during the Sars scare. The paper masks are worth the .50 you pay for them. I use a respirator graded for fine dust every time I use any tool with sandpaper attached. Lungs are your carburators, so you want to protect 'em.

    I once worked with a Zebra wood topped bass, and the fellow at the lumber store said, "You better have ventilation and a respirator, or that stuff will knock you on your a**!"

  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Right, a respirator is what I meant.