Raygear Face Shield and Woodturning PPE

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Rob Wallace, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. I would like to provide my opinion that the 'Raygear Face Shield" being sold as personal protection equipment should NOT BE USED for woodturning activities. Despite its apparent ANSI Z87+ puncture rating for the plastic used, the design of the face shield obviously can not provide significant energy dissipation following impact of any wood or other larger fragments capable of being thrown into it during woodturning operations. I have not used (and will not use) this or any such device as PPE for woodturning, given its severe limitations on providing impact energy dissipation (I can foresee broken noses or worse if people rely on this for protection from fragmenting turning blanks.) This design *may* be acceptable for some of the listed applications (e.g. splash protection, blood/body fluid borne pathogens, lawn care particulates, etc.) that do not require energy dissipation or impact resistance, but my hope is that woodturners would not rely on (or trust) this form of PPE for woodturning activities. I disagree that it is useful for "any task where you need to protect your eyes and face" because not all tasks can be accommodated by light duty, non-energy-absorbing designs of face shields. PLEASE do not use this for woodturning!! (Ask yourself if you would like to be hit in the face directly on your eyeglass-style goggles with a flying chunk of wood from a spinning lathe.... )

    http://www.ptreeusa.com/edirect_090514.htm
     
  2. Douglas Ladendorf

    Douglas Ladendorf

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    I got the Peachtree email today too and had the same response. I tried to imagine a large chunk hitting that and what it would do. Primarily it looks like it would spread the impact over the whole face after breaking the nose. I'd like a bit more from my face mask thank you very much.

    Doug
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Rob, FYI none of the ANSI Z87 faceshields have any energy absorbing capability beyond small particles and even then, wearing goggles is recommended (required for industrial eye and face protection from particles). If you think about it, where is the energy absorption going to come from when an almost weightless faceshield is being supported by your cranium -- it's supposed to protect your head by being fastened to your head. It amazes me that so many woodturners believe that any faceshield has energy absorbing capability of any consequence. To absorb energy, you need mass -- and lots of it -- too much for anything that can be worn although helmet type faceshields are a tiny bit better than the simple visors.
     
  4. Shawn Pachlhofer

    Shawn Pachlhofer

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    I saw these at SWAT and agree - not for me. Looks like a sizeable impact would be absorbed in the nosepiece
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    We used a few of these face shields for pen turning at a woodworking show.

    They are not suitable for woodturning.

    What face shields protect us from are trips to the hospital from flying wood that would cut us and from some breakage of facial bones and teeth.
    They offer little protection from concussion and more severe brain trauma which can result from being hit by a large block of wood.

    I consider a face shield an essential piece of gear.
    I also stay out of the line of fire, inspect my blanks carefully, listen and watch for cracks, use secure holding methods and inspect them during the turning, use appropriate lathe speed, and don't turn sizes of wood beyond my capability.

    Get hit by 1 pound of wood while wearing a face shield and you will likely not be hurt.
    Get hit by a forty pound block while wearing a face shield, or suit of armor and you may suffer lethal brain trauma.

    It's like wearing a motorcycle helmet. It will save your life in a whole lot of crashes but hit a bridge or tree straight on and it won't save you.

    Have fun
    Be safe,
    Al
     
  6. W Jack Young

    W Jack Young

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  7. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    Wish I would have seen it so I could have a talk with them.
     
  8. Shawn Pachlhofer

    Shawn Pachlhofer

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    If you come to the Woodworking Show in October (Conroe) - I bet they'll be there.
     
  9. Sergio Villa

    Sergio Villa

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    Protection from a flying object can came from pure mass to absorb the impact and then you can get a big concussion. Much better is a shield of enough resistance that can deflect the object and them you might have been saved without consequences. I do not know the shield in question. Mine is just a general observation. If mass would be the only factor in absorbing the flying object no bullet proof vests would be wearable.
     
  10. hu lowery

    hu lowery

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    crumple zone

    My nose has already been used as a crumple zone too many times to have any liking for that rig. The eyeglass style ear pieces to keep the faceguard on are equally questionable. I hate to pile on but my first impulse when I saw this gear was just to laugh and shake my head. Obviously the degree of impact protection varies with the size and strength of the wearer's nose!

    Good quality headgear suspension on a face shield increases protection a good bit but obviously none of the gear can protect against a big piece of wood coming with speed. Have to hope the safety gear between our ears does it's job.

    Hu
     
  11. odie

    odie

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    I agree with your assessment, Rob

    This Raygear faceshield is downright useless for protecting against injury from flying objects. I also concur with Bill's statement about what kind of protection virtually all traditional face shields are designed to absorb......

    I normally wear safety glasses under my face shield, but even so.....won't really stop a block of wood traveling at high speed.

    The following is my opinion, and what I've come up with for a flying block of wood about the same size and speed as a fastball from a major league pitcher......something like what a catcher would wear!

    This is a "fielder's softball mask" that I've brazed a couple additional crosspieces for extra protection. It's not quite as heavy and solid as a catcher's mask, but light enough to wear under the traditional face shield. It does give me a certain "comfort level" when I do decide to wear it. I don't wear it all the time, but I do wear it occasionally when I feel the threat is possible/probable.

    ooc
     

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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  12. Sergio Villa

    Sergio Villa

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    Speed is the real danger. Many threads about it.
    If a piece is 6/8 inch by 2/3 inch there is very little danger but with thin or faulty pieced speed is the min reason accidents happen.
    Above 1000rpm a piece my fly but at less then, let say 500rpm the same piece falls.
    Here is a good solution for the speeders.
     

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  13. odie

    odie

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    Al and Sergio have significant contributions to thought.......

    Lower rpm's and staying out of the "line of fire" will definitely reduce the likelihood of an accident and/or injury. Following these rules is the best advice when safety is more important than results.

    However, ultimate safety procedures and reality aren't in harmony with the best results.

    Some turners believe the best quality of cut can be had regardless of speed, but I'm not one who subscribes to that because there is more to the equation than a tool edge slicing wood cleanly. Certainly, a good clean cut is an important aspect, but "form", or the resulting profile created when that cut starts, and when it ends, is an equally important aspect of the effort. The higher rpm's allow a faster cut, and a faster cut promotes smoother body transitions through the entire cut.

    By restricting the speed of rpm, and in combination with staying out of the "line of fire", what happens is it places limitations on where your body can be, and how smooth body motion through a curve is possible. Harnessing capability is what enables the best results, and limiting capability will be opposed to it.

    I have come to an understanding that there is a distinct difference between absolute safety, and absolute best overall results. We can't ignore safety, but pushing it to the limit benefits with increased quality of the end result. These rules and applications change as a turner transitions between rank newbie, and someone who has accumulated some experience. The difference is in the acquisition of knowledge, which results in benefiting the turner in knowing where the boundaries are, if he is willing to use it.....and, those boundaries become clearer and more defined in a direct relationship to the amount of experience......it is not a constant, but a progressive acquisition.

    If you are an inexperienced turner reading this, it's best to adhere to the basic rules that have been established. If you have accumulated some experience, then at some point you are very likely going to realize the benefits of taking things to the next level. Some never do make the realization, and some aren't willing to see where their wings will take them.....but, only those who have, will understand why.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  14. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Ppe

    When this Do-It-4.jpg exploded on my lathe at about 1,200rpm, pieces put dents in the HVAC duct over head and flew 20' across the shop at something approaching light-speed.

    I escaped without a scratch.

    Did my trusty $15 flip-up face shield save my life? No.

    What did was my choice to stand outside of the kill zone!

    The single most effective piece of Personal Protection Equipment anyone has is not over or in front of their ears, but rather between them. Delegate the task of protecting yourself to someone or something else, and you're asking for a hard lesson from which you might not live to be the wiser.


    PS: The shattered platter, CA'd together, hangs on my shop wall as a reminder.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  15. Sergio Villa

    Sergio Villa

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    You made my point. After 1000rpm objects may fly. That platter seems also thin. I will never run something like that at that speed. And it is not necessary with a good tool and a steady hand.
    13x41/2 inch had maple bowl turned semi green
    13 inch butternut dish turned dry less than 1/4 thick.
    Both turned at less than 400rpm
     

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  16. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    It was 5/32 out to 3/32 at the rim. I had finished sanding it but wanted to trim a bit on the foot. Since it was too thin to use a jam chuck (my vacuum pump was down) I tried to trim a bit from the headstock side using a fresh tool steel cutter (can do that on a Stubby) and scraper cuts. The increased speed made the light scraper cuts near the foot easier as they were only about 2" from the center. On the last pass the cutter caught and the piece went ballistic with a WHAM! Memsahib came pounding down the stairs hoping not to find me in a pool of blood. Black ash is not my favorite turning wood but the piece had worked rather nicely and would have been a nice platter.

    PS: I'm not usually a "high speed" turner except when doing spindle work were 1,400 rpm works well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  17. Betty Scarpino

    Betty Scarpino

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    Thank you Bill. This new faceshield design looks as unsafe as it is. But, if I use my traditional, regular woodturning faceshield, will my face withstand an impact any better than this new design? Ask Lynne Yamaguchi and she would say absolutely not. Her research was extensive. She wrote an article for the journal and gave a paper at the AAW symposium. She convinced me that a regular faceshield does not offer adequate impact protection. Lynne now uses a riot shield, something that will withstand an impact. Odie's solution looks like it might protect properly.

    Rob's warning .... is it valid? Or, is this warning a bit of a misdirection? It seems Rob is saying that regular faceshields will offer adequate impact protection, so buy one of those instead of this new design.

    Betty Scarpino
     
  18. odie

    odie

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    Here's an interesting riot helmet/shield with steel guard:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-TR1001G...250?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f3b172922

    A riot face shield is something I hadn't considered. I did some searching this morning, and it looks like all the riot face shields are intended to attach to a helmet. Not sure what Lynne Yamaguchi is using, or if she is now wearing a helmet. It's possible one of the riot face shields could be adapted to a regular face shield headband. I'm not sure I'd be interested in wearing the helmet.

    I'm not sure what the impact resistance is.....in real terms. Numbers don't mean much, but stopping a baseball or whack from a hockey stick, gives me a sense real-world understanding of the impact resistance, and how that relates to the hazards of woodturning.

    My first attempt at solving this problem was an ice hockey helmet. It would have done the job very well, but I just didn't want to deal with the helmet. See photo:

    Bottom line is: Not all of us turners will need extra face protection. If you're working with good solid wood the need is very minimal. The danger is mostly related to highly figured, spalted, rotten, bark inclusions, cracks, and other things that may influence structural stability. I don't wear my "softball fielder's mask" all the time, but I'm very satisfied with it......and am very pleased that it fits right underneath my regular face shield (with some adjustment to the band). It's comforting to know I can have that extra measure of safety when I choose to......

    I have decided I'm going to purchase one of the riot face shields, and try to adapt it to a regular face shield headband. That would be the best solution for everyday, all day use.....but, I don't think it will provide anywhere near the kind of protection the fielder's mask will.......so, I'll still be using that when I feel the necessity exists. Stay tuned, and I'll let you know how that works out......

    ooc
     

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    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  19. If you read carefully what Rob wrote, he mentioned nothing about a "regular" face shield, because there is no such thing as a 'regular' face shield. My intent of starting this thread was to opine that the design of the Raygear "Face Shield" is inherently poor, and actually is WORSE than a "regular" face shield (whatever that is...) because essentially ANY impact into the front of this shield (and at any place on it) would necessarily concentrate the impact force into the bridge area sitting upon the nose, and would transfer that energy into the inter-orbital region of the skull, which is full of relatively thin, fragile bones. You probably couldn't design a better way to fracture this area of the skull, short of making a conical point just above the bridge, directed toward the inter-orbital area to focus the impact forces onto a smaller area for even more damage. Smacks of Medieval torture implements.....

    My comments were in no way meant as an endorsement of a specific "regular" face shield (....whatever that is...), particularly since there are so many styles of face shield sold, some of them as poor as those with very lightweight headbands and a thin slab of acetate plastic "lens" (....even Craft Supplies sells a crappy $10 face shield), and some (such as the Bionic) have a bit more substantial headgear mounting and lower face protection. If a turner is only going to spend $30-$40 for PPE, they would be better served to spend that money on a face shield that has better supporting headgear than an eyeglass-style mounting, and some modicum of full face protection (including that of the lower face/jaw). Most "hang-down-plastic-lens" face shields do not adequately cover the lower face/jaw/neck; my understanding is that the splash-shields with the metal band support around the edge of the lens are actually even more dangerous than those without, due to the cutting effects of sharp metal interacting with face, skin, musculature, etc. as a result of an impact.

    Obviously a "regular" face shield still will not completely absorb energy from larger projectiles at high velocity, and as noted, some turners are moving to more 'serious' forms of PPE, re-purposed from other disciplines of endeavor.

    There is no misdirection in my statements, and I wonder where the conclusion was drawn that "regular face shields will offer adequate impact protection" - Where did that come from? I made no such statement, and simply noted that this particular version of a face shield should not be used for woodturning, given its very poor design. Period. I will say that there are other designs of face shields for the same money that will provide somewhat better protection (albeit suboptimal) than the Raygear being sold. Nowhere did I mention anything about "adequate protection"...... Betty's comment (reading between the lines of something I didn't state initially) "so buy one of those instead of this new design" might apply here, but again I mentioned nothing about "adequate". At equal price, I would choose a Bionic Face Shield over a Raygear in a heartbeat, given the poor design of the latter, even though the Bionic still provides suboptimal "protection". That doesn't mean it is adequate; just better, given this choice. Everyone needs to determine for themselves how much they spend on some form of PPE, what higher quality protection is worth to them, and how much risk they are willing to take.

    Good discussion about various solutions for providing better secondary protection with PPE - as has been stated, the primary form of protection is behavioral and technique-based. Recall the unfortunate turner from New Jersey a year or two ago that suffered skull and brain injury even though he was wearing a Trend Air Shield....the fragmenting blank smashed right through the helmet portion of the Trend, and into his skull. You still have to have your wits about you while turning and THINK FIRST, regardless of what kind of PPE you have.

    I agree with Mark that: "The single most effective piece of Personal Protection Equipment anyone has is not over or in front of their ears, but rather between them. Delegate the task of protecting yourself to someone or something else, and you're asking for a hard lesson from which you might not live to be the wiser."

    Rob Wallace
     
  20. Ian Thorn

    Ian Thorn

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    After checking it out on Robs link I would have to agree it is useless for protection but also it is vented so any dust goes straight up the nose as there is no room for a dust mask of any kind other than 2 bits of cotton wool up the nose. It is no good as a splash shield ether with the vents .
     

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