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Michael Pikula

Home-rigged positive air flow respirator

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For the past few years I have been really interested in getting a positive air flow respirator, but have not had the money to do so. At Arctic Fire I mentioned this and Owen commented that new lungs are more expensive, so point taken! I am currently in a transitional phase in my work which may result in not continuing smith work, so I am very budget minded. My first set is to enclose the grinding corner of the shop and get box fans pushing air out the two windows. In addition to this I would like some kind of a positive air flow respirator that will be used in the enclosed area. While dragging a hose around isn't my idea of fun and efficient, I think it is what might fit the budget. My idea is to get a the flowing:

 

Versaflow faceshield assembly, $211 http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/versaflo-m-105-faceshield.html

Adjustable breathing tube, $56 http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/length-adjusting-breathing-tube-for-versaflo-papr.html

mountable ear muffs, $35 http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/versaflo-mounted-earmuff-assembly.html

 

They will be attached to a:

12' shop vac hose, $30 http://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/power-tools/wet-dry-vacuums/1-5-x-12-crush-resistant-hose/p-1871443-c-10092.htm

 

Which will be attached to a shop vac $42, http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-6-Gal-Wet-Dry-Vac-WD0670/202198493#.Ubi037-YdhA

 

with a HEPA 5 layer filter, $30 http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-5-Layer-Allergen-Filter-VF6000/100022800#.Ubiz-b-YdhA

 

The shop vac will be in a housing outside of the grinding area, and will be drawing air from outside of the shop. I'm not sure how comfortable this will get in the winter time, but one step at a time. I do anticipate that there will be too much airflow through the faceshield, which will lead to dry eyes, so I will have to build some kind of a bleed in the system. I still haven't pondered this however in the grand scheme of things I don't think this will be brain surgery.

 

So the system as I envisioned should run right around $375 plus whatever shipping charges, taxes, and bleed system will run, which is about $1000 cheaper than getting the belt mounted filter system. Sure dragging a hose around won't be as comfy as having the belt system, but I just can't justify spending the extra $1000 at this time. The nice part is if I do decide to continue and stick with this I can always buy the belt mounted system and simply plug the existing faceshield assembly into it and I am good to go.

 

My question is does anyone see any flaws or safety measures that I am not considering with this setup?

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if you are going toto positive air flow through a pipe than why not just plug that blower you got into a tube and have the input going to clean air, you will have to reduce the flow but it would be cheap and give good air. have you priced a respirator like Dave has as they are not that expensive and good for grinding dust.

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So this Versaflow mask doesn't have a self contained air system??? You are hooking that mask to a separate air source (shop vac)???

 

I just got this one based on knife makers on Blade Forums: http://www.airwareamerica.com/trend-airshield-pro-1.aspx And I absolutely love it.... But probably not as fine filtration as your set up???

 

I know you know this... but you will not be able to keep your shop warm with that set up. But you have in-floor heat right? So might not be too bad...

Edited by Scott A. Roush

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Hi Owen, I looked into the Trend air-shield, and I am not that much of a fan of them. Plus I over heard Dave say that he still gets black buggers at higher grit work.... I noticed when I was doing heavy grinding on the blades at AF I was able to pick up on a bit of dust and odor while grinding with the system so I am looking for something better. If the system that I'm thinking about rigging together works and is safe than the price difference is not too significant compared to the Trend air-shield. I also forgot to mention that I would be using the shop vac as a filtered blower by hooking the hose up to the "exhaust" rather than the "intake."

 

Hi Scott, the Versaflow system is two, or three parts, the face shield, the hose, and the belt that has the fan and filters. You can get the whole system together, or you can get the individual parts. So yes, I would be looking at getting just the mask and hose, and hooking it up to the exhaust of a shop vac that is drawing air from outside. I already commented on the trend-airshield above ;) Also I am not to worried about keeping the shop warm since I do have in-floor heat, and I have two halogen lights above my grinder that give of plenty of heat, and light too!

 

Also as a side note, I haven't actually put this together yet since the bank account is dry, but once I get my current project progressed in a week or so I will be looking at making it work. I've been noticing that my sinuses have been getting much more sensitive, and since I've started doing CrossFit and actually using my lungs to a higher capacity, I need to protect them :)

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I scored a complete 3m Adaflow system on Ebay for under 500$ last summer. That might be an option as well

 

~~DJ

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Sounds like a great system and I'm sure it is superior to my mask in extreme situations.... although for anybody else reading this I would very much recommend the Trend. It is easy to put on... and comfortable. Meaning you will actually WEAR it. I've never had 'black boogers' not even close. The only time I smell anything is when I'm angle grinding for long periods of time or using the cut off saw. I now put a fan next to that station so I no longer smell it.

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Michael,

 

You do not want to use your shop vac or any other brush type motor or you will be inhaling ozone (from the arc). The ideal air supply for your set up would be a brushless dc motored fan or blower. If you could get a hold of an old CPAP machine ( Craigslist) and use it as an air supply, it would work well. The bldc motor is built to last a very long time...but the control for the motor is on a circuit board and is connected to lots of stuff ( electronically). I have been looking at what you are suggesting and found a CPAP machine in a goodwill store...it is a medical device and cannot be sold as such that way, so you will have to explain you only want it for the motor. The motor I got is 18 volts (ac or dc supply voltage) ,it is strong and of very high quality..I have been looking at the board to shrink it but I am unable to do it..I have looked for other control circuit boards for that type of motor but have not found a good match.

A silicone 3M mask ( the ones used with the bright pink filters) has been modified to receive an air supply...the valves located under the pink filters have been removed. The other style I have just bought is a full face shield having a hose running into the top...air is distributed over the face via a so so manifold..a cloth membrane seals to the face to keep air from entering from the sides. I find the hose of the full face shield uncomfortable when wearing it as it touches my scalp.

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Hi Jan, The ozone warning is exactly the type of thing I overlooked, thank you for pointing it out! I will take a look for CPAP machines or a blower. As a bonus I won't have to listen to a vac scream while grinding :)

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Michael,

 

I have a Trend Air Shield for you. I've boxed it up with extra filters, an extra batttery and it's sitting in my truck ready to ship. Give me your address and I'll send it to you. Your cost to effectiveness ratio can't get much better than that.

 

Shane

Edited by Shane Harvey

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SO...how well does it work with beards?

 

Ric

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It works well with most beards. It has rubber gasket that seals against your neck under your chin.

 

You have a mighty beard, though. Not sure how it would fit in the space available.

 

Dave

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Michael,

 

The Trend Airshield is in the hands of FedEx. Should arrive tomorrow.

 

Make cool things with it. Cheers.

 

Shane

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Michael,

 

I have a Trend Air Shield for you. I've boxed it up with extra filters, an extra batttery and it's sitting in my truck ready to ship. Give me your address and I'll send it to you. Your cost to effectiveness ratio can't get much better than that.

 

Shane

You Sir are awesome!!! Equipping somebody like Michael who for the level of skill he possesses will probably never make

the wage he should in our modern world is a very cool thing.

 

Good on ya !!!!

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Thank you so very much Shane :) Cool things shall be made!

for the level of skill he possesses will probably never make
the wage he should.

I think as long as we accept this as our reality we will be doomed to live it.

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"I think as long as we accept this as our reality we will be doomed to live it. "

Sorry to sound like a debbie downer :unsure: Michael, I thought it might be taken that way after I posted it.

 

I guess it is my frustration with how true craftsmen are valued in our modern day society , I worked in Film for a long time and the money dolled out is truly astonishing, I mean the guy that pushes the camera (not the cameraman) gets paid 90k a year and thats what he does push's!!! .

 

I guess it boils down to supply and demand and Artists like yourself getting this art accepted by mainstream society as what it is Art, functional art.

 

Wow sorry about jaking your thread and turning it into a debate.

 

Anyways I certainly was not intending any disrespect and apologize for my negativity as a person who truly believes that we shape or own reality I appreciate the rebuke.

 

Abashed

geoff

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I got the mask in yesterday and have already put it to use. Thank again Shane!

 

No worries Geoff, I have been reading up on and thinking about consciousness and how our thoughts influence the world around us, and I think as artisans and craftsman we need to change the way that we thinking and portray ourselves and take steps toward sharing this awakening in order to grow and prosper. By yes, this would be better off in its own topic.

 

Michael

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Cool, glad it got there to you. FedEx is almost like magic.

 

Let me know what your experience with it is after you've had some time to try it out. For my little projects it worked great.

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SO...how well does it work with beards?

 

Ric

The whole idea with a positive flow system is that you can use them with beards. Your face fuzz ( or full wooky) is only acting to allow air to flow out of the mask as there I a positive input of air from the fan in the pack.

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Several of these respirators come in sizes medium and large. Anyone have suggestions on sizing? 3M offers no advice except to try them on.

J

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J

 

I use the medium and small sizes ...the large size left me with a lot of flap on my face ( assume you are talking a bout the ones using the screw on pink filters). 3M makes these in Silicone and some type of rubber..the rubber became irritating to my skin as I wear them a lot. I asked my welding supply store to check if they made it in silicone and they did..better fit..lasts longer...no irritation ( about $45 and $10 for a set of filters).

 

Jan

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I should have been more clear - I was asking about the full face positive air flow type. I'm around 6'1" and thin. In a hat I usually need a large, but concerned that a large size full face respirator might be too big. I'd try one on, but where I live there's no where to go, so I'll be ordering by mail.

J

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The Trend Airshield has an adjusting strap on the back like a hard hat. Dunno about the more expensive ones from 3M.

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Google Resp-o-rator. It's the bomb.

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