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Firewood Inquisitor
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Today I rough turned two bowls out of half a pear log which had a pretty thick hairy vine stuck to it. I pried most of the vine off first with a chisel and didn't think too much about it. I didn't have any reaction, but later was thinking that if it had been poison ivy I might have earned myself a trip to the ER.

I'm sure someone out there has a story to tell, care to share any cautionary tales?
 

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Story-time! A couple months ago, a friend and I cut down a giant white oak tree, with the same hairy vines all over it. I've never been allergic to anything like that, ever. But i guess, due to the sheer volume of ivy sap that soaked my jacket sleeves, gloves, and pants, I was bound to get SOME kind of reaction. Sure enough, about 3 days later, i started itching on my upper arms, and between my knees. Over the coming 3-4 weeks, it got worse and worse and worse. My wife got it too, and she's badly allergic. But with benadryl lotion, it went away, thank goodness.

There was so much itch juice soaked into my clothes, that even after 2 washes and drying, I wound up getting it again, after it cleared up, but it went away in a day or so.

There's my story, lol. Hope you don't itch soon. Good luck.

Dave
 

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Hairy vines sounds more like 'Virginia Creeper'. They really like oaks and they'll suck them dry. I cut one last year that was 2" diameter, and pulled off about 40 ft. Enough of them will kill a tree.
 

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Both my mother and I were extremely allergic to Poison Ivy.
I used to get a series of 3 shots, some times 2 series, each spring/summer.
A friend and neighbor had cleared a large lot one early spring and let it lay until fall. Then he invited the neighborhood to a large bonfire and wienie roast.
There was lots of dried Poison Ivy leaves and vines in the pile to burn. Of course, we didn't know this.
Although, we never touched any of the wood, the smoke permeated our clothes and EVERY ORIFICE of our bodies. Within 3 days, we were absolutely miserable.
Our eyes swelled shut, neither of us could urinate. We couldn't tolerate clothing. My mom nearly died.
After 10 days of this, more shots and gallons of calamine lotion, it began to ease.
I'm 70 years old. Mom is 90. To this day, we've never again been affected by Poison Ivy. BUT, Would I take the chance to work with wood I suspected of having Poison Ivy on it? NOT ON YOUR LIFE!
 

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Ouch Gene!

Hairy vines sounds more like 'Virginia Creeper'.
Where I'm from, the little clinging climbing hairs on big PI vines looks like the Unabomber's hairstyle, versus Virginia creepers that is more like a teen who is a couple months overdue on a haircut. (and Grapes and Bittersweet are Kojak)

I'm really allergic, and used to be in the bush all the time, so I'd carry a bar of fels naptha and tiny spray bottle of denature alcohol.

My best PI story is from the National Scout Jamboree back in ..... 73 maybe? I forget. It was in the day when many kids still slept on straw ticks. The national park dudes mowed a massive hay field, and piled up the cuttings. Only a lot of around the edges and brushy areas was full of PI. A ((lot)) of kids were ((really)) miserable!

Every summer working in various camps, there'd always be some kid that would stop for a backcountry poop, go off in the bushes to dutifully dig their little cathole, and only later find out that maybe they should learn more botany or quit worrying so much about privacy!
 

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I have milled plenty, stuff people drag in and want me to sawmill. I get all itchy just looking at them. The dust chute on my mill discharges at my feet (read: on a windy day covers my whole body with sawdust) I have a little garden tool, this 3 pronged thingy, that I pry/drag the vines off with. But you know that bark is still covered in bad stuff and I have to manhandle the outer slabs...So far I have been lucky, no bad outbreaks. But I still cringe when I see a log covered with that junk pull up.



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Im not sure if you can get it in your lungs when you breathe the dust?keep it in mind for a few days just in case you have breathing difficulties.
 

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I also am allergic to it.and to this day still can not remember what it looks like.

"Leaves 3, let it be."

That includes a lot of harmless stuff too, of course, but its a good start with a large safety margin.
 

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"There was so much itch juice soaked into my clothes, that even after 2 washes and drying, I wound up getting it again, after it cleared up, but it went away in a day or so. "

Next time this happens (or anytime you suspect poison ivy, oak or sumac) try a product called Technu or Tecnu. Stuff works great at getting rid of the oils.
 

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Too bad you guys did not get a chance to read “Pens With A Bite,” Pens Made From Poison Ivy,” by John Styer in Fall 2007 edition of Woodturning Design. Great read and great pens.
 

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I am not allergic to it,heck I can sleep in it :laughing: but yes you can get that dust in your lungs and it can cause permanent damage.So if you harvest wood with poison ivy on it be sure an clean the wood well)pressure wash if possable) before turning it.Spring is the worst time of the yr when it is most dangerous.So even if you are not alergic to it,make sure the wood is cleaned well before turning.
 
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