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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am shopping for a straight rolling pin, and was assuming that it would probably be made of plain old maple. But I came across a shop that offers several woods from which to choose, including bubinga -- it is absolutely beautiful!! I know nothing about bubinga, other than it makes a pretty rolling pin and is from Africa, but according to the Wood Database (link below) it is much harder than maple and is also heavier.

https://www.wood-database.com/bubinga/

The two things I am concerned about, as far as using as a rolling pin, are it is described as a fine to medium texture (maple is fine), and wood working sites often mention how much oil is in the wood (so much oil that gluing can be problematic). Oh, and a third thing...when the wood is still wet, it stinks, but the odor is said to disappear once the wood is fully dry. If I expose my rolling pin to moisture, is it going to stink?!?!?!?

Since bubinga is not a commonly used wood in the kitchen, and I have zero experience with it, is it a wise choice for a rolling pin?? Should I stick with good, old maple and not step into the exotic realm??
 

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Yes bubinga can be a beautiful wood. Waterfall bubinga especially IMO.



I have a 1x8x5' piece of bubinga and I can say it is very hard and it can be abrasive, the piece I have seems to be, it is dried and has no smell. Gluing? Woodworking sites recommend wiping it with Acetone to remove any oiliness. You shouldn't be worried about any of that, you are buying a finished piece.
 

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Being acquainted with a lumber yard manager and his wife in the 1960's, I learned the ever so popular Black Walnut can be toxic. They were building a walnut project and they both became ill each evening after dinner and after considerable thought it was deduced the sanding operation was the cause and not the dinner. I don't have any more details but possibly Nik333 can elaborate more.


Moisture - I wouldn't be concerned with moisture with normal rolling pin use. If I were I'd put it in the oven until it attained a temperature of about 120°F then apply a liberal coat of canning paraffin applied with 0000 steel wool.
 

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Looking at that list most woods can be an irritant. Depends on amount and duration of exposure until the body becomes sensitized. I have in my wood stash Bocote, Cocobolo, lacewood, osage orange, Bubinga and Bloodwood. Never a problem with any of them. They aren't used often however. I did for a while have a piece of aromatic cedar in a closet. It came from a firewood pile and probably wasn't completely dry. After a week or so I couldn't go into that closet without lung irritation and coughing. I got rid of the cedar and the irritation ceased.
 

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I, personally, wouldn't want to use it for food, but, that's based on bringing things from impoverished areas of Africa. You never know how it was handled & by whom. I had baskets that I could never quite see as clean & healthy because Ebola had broken out while I was there. Ivory heads became illegal.


This is about the legality of Bubinga -


https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/rosewoods-bubinga-really-banned-cites/
 

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Being acquainted with a lumber yard manager and his wife in the 1960's, I learned the ever so popular Black Walnut can be toxic. They were building a walnut project and they both became ill each evening after dinner and after considerable thought it was deduced the sanding operation was the cause and not the dinner. I don't have any more details but possibly Nik333 can elaborate more.

Sneaky SS.


https://extension.umd.edu/learn/toxic-plant-profile-black-walnut
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Everyone, thank you so much for the helpful posts!!!!

I was aware that the bubinga can be an irritant, as can quite a few other woods (I grew up with black walnuts :)). I had done some internet searching about that, and it really only seems to affects those who are actively working with it. What I did not know is whether or not the oil would actually come out of the wood over time, because the pin only has a mineral oil finish, nothing to actually seal the wood...I don't think I want bubinga oil in my pie crusts :vs_whistle:. But, from the helpful posts here, I guess that is not an issue!!

I do stay away from Chinese items for the kitchen as much as possible, because of their handling and manufacturing ethics. I would think that any viruses/bacteria on wood from Africa would die by the time it was processed, shipped, spun on a lathe, sanded, and sent out to a buyer, though. But, I never saw Ebola in person, so I can completely understand how one would view materials from affected parts of the world as not the best idea.
@SeniorSitizen Thanks for the paraffin tip!! I have only used mineral oil to maintain my kitchen woods, but have heard some use wax, or wax mixture, for maintenance. The wax would serve to seal the wood nicely.

The wood legality link is interesting!! Guess if I ever want a bubinga rolling pin, I had better buy it NOW, as they may not be available in the future.


Thanks again!!!!!!!
 

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I would think that any viruses/bacteria on wood from Africa would die by the time it was processed, shipped, spun on a lathe, sanded, and sent out to a buyer, though.

It's not that I thought my things had Ebola, it's that it was a reminder of the many Tropical diseases there.. Whereas you see it being made in a factory, I see it as being handmade by someone outside his mud hut. Someone else pays him $2 for it. Not trying to give you a guilt trip, it's just the unknown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's not that I thought my things had Ebola, it's that it was a reminder of the many Tropical diseases there.. Whereas you see it being made in a factory, I see it as being handmade by someone outside his mud hut. Someone else pays him $2 for it. Not trying to give you a guilt trip, it's just the unknown.

The pin is being made a husband/wife shop in Kentucky (although, I do not have proof that they don't live in a mud hut :D). They import the raw, unworked wood and create products. I would feel differently if the pin were being manufactured in Africa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good! :biggrin2:


Wood is so porous and it can't be really effectively cleaned except for sanding.

I completely agree!! I was shopping for an all American pin when I stumbled across this bubinga thing, and the darker wood is so pretty, it made me want it 8|.



At least there are sources for good old American maple pins that are domestically made....so many products are close to or impossible to find made in the USA!!!
 
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