PPE - What do you use?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Vern Crandell, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. Vern Crandell

    Vern Crandell

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    For the last number of years I have been using a Triton air helmet in my shop while turning. I had to replace the batteries a number of years ago and the fan motor last year. Now it is acting up again and I guess it is time to retire it. I am considering the Trend Airshield Pro ($500 Cdn) or the 3M Versaflo system ($2000 Cdn).

    My concern with the Trend is the weight on my head with the batteries and fan being located in the helmet. I think it would be top heavy and possibly noisy. Also, there is no hearing protection.

    I know some of you use the 3M system or its older Racal unit. I have read of problems with the battery connection on it. I can purchase the hearing protectors to use with it. My concern here is the price. I do realize it is cheaper than lung disease.

    I do have and use a regular face protector while turning in place of the Triton, but it does not provide dust protection.

    I also have a 3M dust mask with filters which is good for the dust but uncomfortable for long periods of time. It will fit under the face shield.

    As well, I have and use ear muff hearing protectors (which I require when using my dust extractor) but they don't work with the face shield.

    I have heard of people hooking up helmets to a hose system of some kind but I don't like the idea of being tethered.

    So, what do you use and what are your feelings on what you have?



    Thanks for sharing.
     
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I have used the 3M Airstream since 2006 and I like it a lot. The first battery lasted eight years so I can't complain about that. It is light enough that I can wear it all day long. The motor noise doesn't bother me, but I have the ear muffs that I can use with it although I usually don't bother to put them on. The second battery was a little loose on the connector because the socket holes apparently are slightly larger, but that was very easy to fix. The prongs on the plug are bifurcated so I just used a pocketknife to open the gap just a tad and that fixed the problem. The battery is really heavy duty and will run all day long.
     
  3. Paul M. Kaplowitz

    Paul M. Kaplowitz

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    I also have an Airmate 3. Been using it for 20 years. When the battery goes, you can open the case with a utility knife. There are three Nicad batteries inside, hooked up in series. Batteries+Bulbs replaced them and did the hookup for $28. Only problem is I can't find the tyvek cover at a resonable price.
     
  4. Raul McCai

    Raul McCai

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    Those little ear plugs make my ears hurt. I searched and searched and found these that I can wear for extended periods with no ill effect
    Howard Leight MAX by Honeywell
    I buy 'em by the box
    http://www.howardleight.com/earplugs/max
    Available at Uline and Amazon etc.
     
  5. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I have the Airshield Pro and like it. You can get hearing protector with some kits available on Amazon. I ordered an extra battery after I got this one from a club member. The original battery got to giving short service so I ordered the batteries online to rebuild and cost was $18. Last year the fan was not drawing so I sent it in and they fixed it and supplied the new style headband (old black one had a problem) at no charge. Great people to deal with. It is not what I would call noisy , but will be louder than lathe noise. I do have to take it off every now and then if working for a long time with it on. It is very effective and if I forget or for some reason do not use it I can feel the difference when I start to cough from allergies.
     
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  6. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Airshield Pro here also. It's my second device. I had one of those big yellow helmets (can't remember the name now) with the face shield and a beltpack fan/filter unit with a hose up to the helmet. It worked well for years, but after the second motor gave out I got the Trend Airshield which is okay, it seems to filter well. I bought the attachable earmuffs which are basically useless, so I use the foam plugs mentioned above. The biggest gripe I have is that it's not easy to put on, and I can't stop and just lift the visor for a while-- the whole thing has to come off because the hinge isn't made for a lifted visor.
     
  7. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Tom you can lift the helmet. You just have to tighten the adjustment knobs on each side or if it will not lift loosen the knobs.
     
  8. Josh Stevens

    Josh Stevens

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    I use the 3M versaflo and I consider it one of my best purchases. I have the non-hard hat version which is very light and I find the TR-300 belt pack (lithium battery) light, comfortable and can easily work more than a day on a full charge. I also found the cost of consumables (in Australia) significantly cheaper than the Trend.
     
  9. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I can vouch for the Howard Leight foam earplugs. I bought a box of 100 back when I was trapshooting on a regular basis. They have one of the highest NRR ratings of any earplug; 33 NRR FIY.
     
  10. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Any good wood turner should be able to turn a pair of ear plugs with a custom fit. :)
     
  11. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    K_oger has 6 pack of sponges on sale, I think the blue turns better......Need to reach 7% moisture ....Not sure how to get custom fit
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I bought my Airstream AS400 at Airware America. They were very nice helpful people to work with. They also sell the Versaflo and Trend Airshield Pro.
     
  13. Steve Arnold

    Steve Arnold

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  14. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    The foam plugs only give great protection when used properly:
    1. Take out hearing aids
    2. Roll foam into very skinny cigar
    3. Quickly insert angled slightly up and forward
    4. Notice when they fall out.
    Also, 5. replace frequently, as they will soon fail to re-expand fully. (more frequently than you do sandpaper)
     

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