Post by dsi1 Post by Matt Faunce
Rosewood is called “rosewood” because when you cut it it smells like a
It is a fragrant wood. To me, rosewood smells like Chinese preserved salted plum. It's a "dirty wood." The dust is awful - it gets in your nose and on your clothes. The same thing with ebony. I don't recall ebony having any smell. After working with these woods, you'll be blowing out dark red and black snot out of your nose for a while. It's a rather amusing sight.
As I'm sure you know, inhaling wood dust is bad. There is no specific
warning about rosewood or ebony dust being carcinogenic in this source,
they are for some reason only specifying nasopharyngeal cancers.
Hardwood dusts are particularly irritating.
I made my guitar back in the early 70's. We did a lot of things that were bad back in those days - like not eating gluten-free, eating foods without pull dates, and skateboarding on metal wheels. It's a miracle we survived. I remember my guitar teacher watching me while chain-smoking Marlboros. He wouldn't say a word. He just watched me with an amused look on his face, like he was remembering a particularly funny incident in his life.
These days we know better. I would insist on wearing a face mask the next time I find myself sanding dirty wood. OTOH, since the guitar I built was pretty much a unmitigated disaster, there's little chance of me finding myself in that position again. It's also a good idea that kids remember to wear a respirator if their guitar teacher loves to chain smoke. That's Guitar 101 right there.