We wrote the book
"HARDWOOD FLOORS" and the two accompanying video
tapes/DVDs (“Laying Hardwood Floors”) & (“Sanding
and Finishing Hardwood Floors”) published by "Taunton
Press and Fine Homebuilding Magazine" perceived by many
throughout the wood flooring industry as the definitive text
for the last 20 years on the installation, sanding and
finishing of wood flooring. The book HARDWOOD FLOORS can be
found in nearly all public libraries throughout North
America. It can be purchased directly from us, or through
the publisher, Taunton Press/Fine Homebuilding Magazine, or
from any of the various wood flooring associations, or at
book resellers including those online such as
BUY IT NOW on www.amazon.com.
and Associated Products Wholesale Supplier to the Trade/Retail to Do-It-Yourselfers.
READ MY LATEST
We're a manufacturer/distributor for all manner of wood flooring types and sizes
including Custom Designs and Custom Milled Products.
All products associated with wood flooring trade from stair parts to trim, inlays,
medallions to floor and wall vents, fillers, finishes, abrasives,.
Complete installation tools and supplies as well as everything to sand, scrape,
stain, seal, fill, finish or refinish including abrasives, masking tools and
supplies, safety tools, supplies, equipment and maintenance tools, supplies
opinion and topical commentary
from an industry expert
Sanding Bamboo and
Working with Other Potentially Toxic Compounds in Our Industry
It's always disturbing to hear about anyone in our trade getting
ill or having health-related issues from working with or around
the different wood species, mastics, coatings and other stuff with
potential nasties in them that those of us in the trade have to
endure on a daily basis. I'm a tenacious advocate for full
disclosure by the manufacturers on all known and/or potentially
hazardous compounds in ANY AND ALL PRODUCTS produced for and sold
to us. Like many others in our trade, I’ve sanded up loads of
asbestos and lead over the years (before we knew enough to know
what we know), to say nothing of all the resins and toxins found
in the different wood dusts in the site finished, prefinished and
unfinished flooring products.
Take whatever precautions you can in whatever way you can whenever
you can is excellent advice and information we should all take to
heart. I know from personal experience that just when you think
others are the only ones affected, not you -- watch out! I've
worked with and around a lot of different woods over the years,
including many exotic species. Rosewoods (by the way, they don't
always have that in their name) I've been told by allergists, seem
to be potentially some of the worst species for causing allergic
reactions with humans. Some folks can reach a toxic shock level
with only one good exposure.
I was working on a project a couple years ago with a wood species
I had never heard of (but then what's new about that these days)
when I suddenly and without warning began experiencing chest
pains. They were getting worse by the minute and I started
thinking I was on the verge of having a heart attack. I went
outside for fresh air, but the pains continued, at least they
stopped getting worse once I’d been outside for awhile. We were
conducting an advanced school for highly skilled wood floor
mechanics, so at least I didn’t have to worry about the job
getting done. There were lots of us there.
While I was trying to recuperate outside, several of the other
guys working inside began getting ill. It became apparent that the
wood species we were installing could be the problem. The
homeowner had supplied the wood and said he had never worked with
it previously. The others were not experiencing chest pains like
me, but were having troubles breathing. Even the dog on the job
got sick and threw up.
We moved all the cutting work outside and everybody but me took
turns rotating back and forth inside the structure to finish the
install. I remained outside for several hours until I stopped
getting chest pains, then went back to my motel room to rest while
the other finished the installation. Thank goodness, that species
only represented a small portion of the overall work. But given
what we were experiencing just doing the install, we worried how
bad it might be with the sanding work. We knew for sure it would
require a dustless system and even so, the mechanics would need to
don full face respirators and wear long pants and long sleeve
When I was in Southeast Asia some time ago working as a consultant
for a start-up bamboo flooring manufacturer, I had the opportunity
to speak and work with a number of "regional experts" in
the bamboo (not flooring) industry from several of the educational
institutions over there. Since our knowledge base in this part of
the world is severely limited on bamboo, I found some of the
things I learned to be quite extraordinary.
One of those things is that growing bamboo will help clarify the
soil. It seems the use of bamboo plants together with other things
such as ponds and certain types of fishes were integral to each of
the multitudes of ecosystems there. Basically, each farm,
regardless of how tiny, is more or less its own unique ecosystem.
The local experts were quite emphatic that growing bamboo somehow
pulls the toxins out of the soil (even some heavy metals) making
it “better” for growing food for human consumption. When asked
where the toxins go? They would always say, “the bamboo”.
So now, when asked to sand or finish bamboo, I always remember
what I was told by the “bamboo experts” in Southeast Asia.
Hmmmmm? When you couple that with the potentially uncured
isocyanates present in the finish of so many prefinished wood
flooring products, I’m truly glad we’ve come so far with
dustless sanding systems. Now if we can improve on our saws and
cutting tools dustless systems…
Wood Floor Products, Inc.
If you want more information on these products, please contact me
directly or Wood Floor Products, Inc. (206) 622-6996 (7-4:30 PST)
(Monday – Friday)
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