Question about face/lung protection

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Christopher Welte, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Christopher Welte

    Christopher Welte

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    I've been turning for a little over a year now and while I always use a face shield (Bionic face shield), I don't always use a respirator/dust mask. (For a long time, I sanded with the oil/wax mixture to keep dust at bay. I use my dust collector as well.)

    Now that I'm changing up my sanding methods, I always wear a dust mask. I wear glasses and I am having a horrible time with my glasses fogging up. I went to a mask that has a vent in it, and while it helps keep my glasses from fogging, it tends to fog up my face shield. So frustrating, not to mention dangerous. When the fog starts to build up, I can't see where my tool is cutting.

    I'd love to purchase one of these "TREND AIR/PRO Airshield and Faceshield Dust Protector" helmets, but there's no way I can swing that hefty price tag. (Once I start getting better and can even sell some of my pieces, maybe.)

    I've heard some people use the "dust bee gone" masks, but that they're hit or miss. Does any "glasses-wearing" turners have any other suggestions or am I just doing what everyone else does? Are there any other decent masks/products that work well but won't break my budget?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  2. odie

    odie

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    The Resp-o-rator is an inexpensive alternative to powered dust helmets. I've been using one for close to a year now, and have been satisfied with it. For long term use, it's best to plan to get the powered dust helmet, but the Resp-o-rator works very well for short term use......

    I also have an Airstream helmet, but the Resp-o-rator is what I prefer for short term use.

    There is a video of the Resp-o-rator here:

    http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Mer...de=packard&Product_Code=196690&Category_Code=



    ooc
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I think that your current vented masks are fine. The Resp-O-Rator is fine if you can deal with a clip on your nostrils and breathing through your mouth. Some folks handle it just fine, but for me it was too uncomfortable.

    Don't even think about the Dust Bee Gone. It's nothing but a joke. There is a reason that your glasses won't fog while wearing it -- the same reason that they won't fog if not wearing any sort of dust protection at all. The dust Bee Gone filters out large dust particles, but the harmful dust is the ultra fine stuff, especially particles that are smaller than one micron -- and the small stuff passes right through the Dust Bee Gone. If you get one, compare how much dust collects on it in comparison to a mask rated at N95 or N100. Also see the huge difference when you blow your nose.

    I use a 3M Airstream, but since it is rather expensive, I am sure that you aren't going to consider it. Since I would like to keep using my lungs for a while longer, for me the added protection is worth the expense.

    You could try a different face shield to reduce fogging. 3M makes a very good one. While the Bionic Face Shield is very good, I believe that the shell surrounding the visor can restrict airflow enough to cause fogging in humid weather conditions. They make a model that supposedly has an anti-fog coating (S8510). You could also try using a surfactant on your current face shield to reduce fogging.
     
  4. Ian Thorn

    Ian Thorn

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    I have a dust be gone mask and i wear glasses if you fit the nose wire properly and store it so you dont keep bending it it works fine if it gets a bit dirty just wash it out under the tap. Craft suplies USA have just put out a new one looks good $40 usd

    Ian

    And i wear mine with a face shield
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  5. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    The Resp-O-Rator is my first choice for lung protection, especially when sanding. Of all the items I have for lung protection it is the most comfortable and works the best. I do not even have to use the nose clip. Be wise and find something to protect yourself.
    Bill
     
  6. odie

    odie

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    Hiya Bill........

    I agree......the Resp-o-rator is one fine unit.....inexpensive, effective, light and handy.

    I'm now using the nose clip, because I've caught myself breathing through the nose......not all the time, just sporadically. Anyway, the nose clip can be uncomfortable to use, until you make the discovery that it doesn't take much pressure to close off your nostrils. If bent to just very lightly press on the sides of your nose, it works just fine.......because to overcome it, requires effort to breath through your nose. At that point, you are totally aware that your body is attempting to bypass the Resp-o-rator.......problem solved.

    There is another problem associated with the Resp-o-rator......that is "dry mouth". This is the result of breathing through your mouth. I don't think there is anything that can be done to prevent this, but I do keep some water handy. Every once in awhile, I pause for a drink. It helps, but not a total solution.

    The creator of the Resp-o-rator is James Duxbury, who is an accomplished woodturner specializing in kaleidoscopes. He is also a scuba diver......so, the inspiration for this invention looks pretty clear........

    For me, the shear handiness of this device, despite the drawbacks, is a guarantee that until a better product comes along, this Resp-o-rator will be a permanent part of my workshop......handy, light, no motors or batteries, works under face shields, quick on and off, etc..........needless to say, I am sold on this product.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  7. Henry Williams

    Henry Williams

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    I wear glasses and use a 3M 7502 respirator with #7093 P100 filters whenever I'm in my shop and always whenever I'm turning. The soft rubber on the mask seals easily on my face and can be adjusted to preclude fogging of my glasses. The respirator also fits under a face shield without fogging because of a bottom facing exhaust.
     
  8. Andy Chen

    Andy Chen

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    Christopher, you may think the Trend Airshields are expensive but how much is your health worth? I don't think most of us would hesitate to pay >$300 for a scroll chuck, but why is it that we are not willing to pay that much for our safety/health? I have been wearing an Airshield for ~10 years and my glasses or the face shield never fog up, even in the humid conditions in south central Texas. A word of advice if you ever decide to buy an Airshield. Stay away from the Pro model. It may have better battery life and filters but it is so top heavy that you can only wear it with your head held straight up. You can easily build a battery pack for 3 AAA NiMH to replace the factory battery pack on the original Airshield. This way you can have spare batteries all charged up and never have to worry about down time or battery memory.
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Andy, I have a friend who said the same thing and it appears that his Trend Pro is now a dust collector, if you will excuse the pun. There was a thread on this forum approximately a year ago about modifying the Trend nd other powered respirators to use lightweight rechargeable NiMH or Li-ion batteries (I do not remember which). I suppose that the battery pack could also be placed remotely on a belt.

    The thing that I like about my Airstream is that it is light and well balanced so there is no feeling of being top-heavy.

    Occasionally -- too often, in fact, I decide to do a "quick little turning" where I tell myself that I don't need to use my powered respirator. Every time that I do that, I regret that decision as I spend half an hour with a coughing spasm and the next day or so with stuffed up sinuses.
     
  10. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    thanks for the tip on the airstream pro, Andy. i was considering upgrading but my orginial still still works fine. i thought that the filters would not need cleaning so much with the vents high and to the back, but top heavy is not good
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Charlie, it is the Trend Airshield Pro that Andy was talking about. The Airstream is made by 3M and does not have the batteries in the helmet.
     
  12. Bob Chapman

    Bob Chapman

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    I use a half-face mask which covers my nose and mouth and has a canister type filter at each side. I often hear comments from people who say their glasses mist up when they wear one. At the risk of teaching my grandmother(s) to suck eggs, may I say that when you first put this type of mask on you should cover the filters and breathe in deeply to seal the mask around your face. You may need to do this a couple of times. Also after wearing it for a few minutes the mask warms up and begins to fit the face better, so persevere for a little while. I always wear safety glasses and find I can (and do) wear this mask all day quite comfortably with no problems. The biggest drawback is that in cold weather the mask acts like a condenser and starts to collect the water in my breath. I take it off from time to time to dry it out, and have found that a rolled up tissue in the bottom collects the water and extends the period between dry-outs. Of course, these masks are no good for the bearded!

    Bob
     
  13. Harry Robinette

    Harry Robinette

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    I know allot of the turners are down on Laguna tools but I just changed my Ambient air cleaner to there 1400 cfm from a Jet. It makes a huge difference.It's filtered down to 5microns.
    I use a Uvex Bionic face shield and were glasses and a Dust Bee Gone or the one with the valve in it and have no fogging. One thing that you can do that wont brake the bank and that's a small fan blowing down and away from the lathe.This is a Bigger is NOT better,a small fan will move the air and dust away from you but not blow it everywhere. I use to use a 4" duct fan and it worked good computer fans work good but are 12 Volts.
     
  14. odie

    odie

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    When you say "half mask", I assume you mean one like this one alongside my Airstream? I used one of these masks for more than a decade, before getting the Airstream. These are great masks, and do the job well. The only drawback I ever had with them is sweating inside them. Eventually this created skin problems with sweat, fine sawdust, rubber against your skin, and long periods of sanding time. (Hopefully all of us will reduce our sanding time by simply learning how to create surfaces that require less sanding than the novice will have to do.)

    I tossed out the old rubber half mask 10 years ago......but, bought another one (in the photo) to replace it. I haven't used this one nearly as much as I thought I would, but I'm glad I have it, because it does the job of filtering dust so well.

    One question I do have for you, Bob.........I "cleared" my half mask by holding my hands over the filters and breathing out, not in. Was I doing this wrong? I suppose I always did it this way, because when I was in the military, we were taught to breath out of gas masks while covering the filter. This might be simply to remove any existing gas trapped between you and the mask, but I can't really remember the procedure that well. Anyway, that is how I got started on sealing my half mask in this fashion.........it seemed to seal well that way......

    I don't recall ever fogging my glasses with the half mask respirator.....

    ooc
     

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  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    My recollection of doing that with the gas mask is that it allows the rubber seal to "float" away from the skin briefly and then settle back so that neither the rubber seal nor your skin is being pulled or distorted. Otherwise, there would be the opportunity for a poor fit and leaking. I also recall that the rubber was really grippy and that my face sweated a lot while wearing the mask. During AIT, my face was always red and chapped from seemingly never ending CBR training drills.
     
  16. Dave W

    Dave W

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    I tried all the filtration systems that I could. Most were just down right uncomfortable to me, until I had the chance to try out 3m's airmate system. This one finally felt light enough and fit well everywhere. So the search began, and I came across a great deal on a used racal airmate 3 (the old hard hat look). The only problem I had with it was the face shield kept bumping against my chest when I tilted my head down low(I think my neck is to short). This caused the helmet to open a gap at the top by the hat. Which in turn allowed the positive flow to draw dusty air in. After some looking I was able to pick up what is called the airmate 5 helmet. It is an airstream helmet that has been fitted with a bracket to take the hose off of the filter system. The bracket is located where the airstream would have its fan motor. Needless to say it is a bit lighter in this set up, and I can tilt my head way down. I can't say enough about it. No more nasty nose issues, and the lungs appreciate it as well. I ended up selling the AM3 to a friend with a much longer neck who actually suffers with neck issues. He had a triton system that he could only where for a couple hours at a time before it caused him major pain. With the AM3 he goes all day now. He got the better than family price.

    I then stumbled across another deal with some old stock, unused airmate filter units. I decided to pick these up as well, and offer them up to club members. Mind you a helmet is not included with them. Originally there were 10 units, but I'm now down to 4. I'll throw the same offer out to anyone who may be interested in getting into a decent filtration system, or wanting to replace an older unit. I also have extra batteries available.

    Not wanting to cause problems I'll post the offer in the Want-ads area.

    If anyone is interested take a look here: http://www.aawforum.org/vbforum/showthread.php?p=88207#post88207
     

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  17. AlanZ

    AlanZ

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    I will disagree with the negative comments about the AirShield Pro.
    I found it very comfortable to wear... but getting the balance set correctly is important, otherwise it will pull forward or backwards. The simple procedure is outlined in the user manual.

    I happily used an AirShield Pro for two years before acquiring 3M BreatheEasy and AirStream units.

    Dollar for dollar, I think the AirShield Pro is the best value out there.
     
  18. Bart Leetch

    Bart Leetch

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    Well this may seem strange...but I use a half mask filter system with a beard I have & use a "dust bee gone" for turning but not sanding. Surprisingly the half mask filter system keeps out the fine dust I can't smell or taste it & the mask stays clean inside. Blowing my nose comes out clean. This was just a spur of the moment trial thing. I couldn't afford a helmet style system. I also have a shop built squirrel cage fan filter system that sets behind the lathe too.
     
  19. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    You could also look into fresh air supplied. Light weight on the head, but you have to have a clean room to place the turbine. Less than $320 now. And if you have ever considered a turbine sprayer, two birds with one stone.
    http://www.turbineproducts.com/servlet/Detail?no=3
     
  20. JeffSmith

    JeffSmith

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    +1 for Alan Z's comment...

    I've been using the Trend Air Pro for nearly two years now, and find it comfortable and well balanced. It seems the two camps on this product are pretty evenly divided. The only draw back I've found is that in the winter time, when my shop is colder than usual, the cold air blowing down across my face gets a little uncomfortable.

    I generally prefer it a little on the cool side when I'm turning, but turning up the heat takes care of the problem.
     

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