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Jesus Hernandez

Respirators. Which one do you use and why?

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I have been using a Triton respirator which looks like this.

 

41Z79TNSX2L.jpg

 

I am very fond of this design because it encloses my whole head, it includes the hearing protection and has a dual filter system (pre-filter and fine particulate filters) that attaches to a belt with the battery pack so that the head gear is not too heavy to wear for hours. More importantly, I have a huge issue with the face shield fogging which does not occur with these type of respirator as it blows a current of air right on the face shield. I believe the proper name for these respirators is Powered Air Purifying Respirator or PAPR. After many years of use the battery in mine is no longer holding a charge and is easily overpowered when the pre-filter gathers any dust. Sadly, they don't make these type any more and when looking at alternatives I am facing a pricey decision. I am searching for input on specific models and what your experience has been with those models.

 

I see a couple options right now:

- The Trend Airshield Pro. Around $600. It does not have a separate battery/filters-on-a-belt. On the other hand it says that the battery last 8 hours and the company has been around for a while so I expect supplies to continue to be available.

- The 3M Versaflo. Around $1,400. It looks a lot more like what I have been using but at many times its cost.

 

Any experience with these or any others?

 

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If you really like this and the battery is the only thing that doesn't work, have you looked into getting the battery rebuilt?

 

ron

 

ps I don't use a powered respirator.

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I have used verious versions of the 3M adflo (older versa flow). and rate then very highly , I use disposable head shields as they are light weight.

all parts of these are available for replacement, as they are issued to welders they come up a lot second hand on ebay.

All parts are available from 3m.

 

most welding producers make a version of this that is cheeper, doing an ebay search for powered respirator or welding respirator will bring alternatives up.

I have been using a 3m one for a decade now . great bits of KIt.

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I don't know much about battery rebuilts.

 

Thanks, Owen. I need to look at Ebay. It's been a while since I consider them a good source of equipment.

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Jesus, if you have a Batteries Plus store there, they can usually rebuild your battery pack. Might be worth a try.

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The manufacturer not making this model anymore is no indicator that the battery it uses is not available. I would put some time into finding a replacement battery and, perhaps, stockpile them if found.

 

~Bruce~

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Also look at Interstate batteries. The refurbish batteries for power tools so I don't see why this would be any different. My father-in-law has used them a few times and has ended up with the batteries being better than when he first had them. It's something to look at anyway.

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Have you seriously considered a non-powered unit? I love mine and do not feel any restrictions to breathing or vision when using it. After using for a long time the straps get uncomfortable, but I'm pretty sure I'm just tightening the straps way more than necessary. I detail mine in post #2 here: http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=26607

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Jerrod, those don't work for me. I constantly run into the foggy visor problems within seconds when I use that kind. I guess my breath runs at a bit higher temp and higher water content than most. :o

 

I could take the battery pack to a store and see what they say. The unit was manufactured in Australia using NiCd batteries but the company has gone under and HE filters and pre-filters are also in very short supply. In the long or even short run looks like I need to look for a new unit.

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why bother with them i cant remember ever seeing any smiths i know using a resperitor other than a dust mask

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why bother with them i cant remember ever seeing any smiths i know using a resperitor other than a dust mask

 

 

After a day of grinding your lungs feel like hell that's why...

 

I would also look into figuring out the battery situation. Take the money you'd spend on a new unit and have someone make you a couple new batteries, and buy up all the filters you can find. A friend of mine made a motorcycle battery out of laptop batteries and it has been going strong for 5 years. Although I do see the logic in going for a bigger brand that has filters and batteries easily available.

 

The Trend Airshield Pro actually feels very light even though the battery isn't mounted on the belt.

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thats why i said dust masks like the little 3m model ive spent the last four years as a pipe fitter in the chemical plants never had a problem with metal dust just gave me black snot i was more wondering if i was missing something hazdrous in the air in most of yall shops or comming off the metal some sort of fume pr something

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Not only are they better for your grinding safety, but also for sanding wood. Not sure if you will be doing much of that beyond scabbards and handles, but the microscopic dust from that and the metal are where the long term health problems come from. Grinder dust that you can see, wood shavings, chips, scale, all that is less of the problem because it falls to the ground so quickly and tends not to recirculate when stepped on. However, when grinding and sanding, there is a LOT of stuff that you cannot see, and that is where the danger lies. It can linger in the air for a very, very long time, and breathing it in is not a good thing. Dust masks are rated for the smallest size of particles they can filter. While a lot of the particulate from grinding will be filtered out by it, there is enough that will not be, as well as the quality of the seal, that makes it not worth the risk. When you can smell the stuff you are turning into dust, you are breathing in the dust (and thus black boggers). Full face masks also protect your eyes from that same dust which, no matter what goggles you wear, can otherwise still get in where it should not.

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Justin the black snot is caused by the particles that your dust mask can't and never will be able to catch. What you don't see is that what didn't get caught by the hairs in your nose is now in your lungs. Often once it gets into the lungs, it ain't coming back out. I am really shocked that as a pipe fitter you were not required to wear a respirator that was OSHA certified!

 

Your eyes, your ears and your lungs are all things that once damaged they rarely repair themselves. Talk to anyone who has done this long term and they are going to have at least one or two stories of someone they know that has lost at least one lung or a partial long to not wearing a respirator. Some have friends who are not around anymore.

 

I personally don't have a lot of money and as I age my hearing was the first to go from working construction all my life. My eyes are starting to go fast now and my lungs are the only thing I have left to defend.

 

I worked poor man construction from the time I was 14 yrs of age. I have worked in contact with chemicals that have serious side effect, tore up and breathed asbestos when at the time I had no clue it was even present in the stuff we were using, and the people I worked for didn't care! I thank the LORD all my babies were born with all the appropriate appendages and in the proper places. That kind of work was back when I was young and stupid and had no idea what I was doing to my body!

 

Spend the money to buy the best respirator money can buy and you may live to be an old man that still has the breath to tell the story to your grandchildren all the things you did when you were young and stupid.

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Non-powered units are a non-starter if you have a beard.

 

This is why I tie my beard up before I grind.. I use a half mask and check the seal every time I put it on.

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Justin I kept hoping you might contact me or at least ask some more questions. Here is what happens to those who breath steel/iron dust!! The disease associated with the inhalation of steel/iron dust is Silicosis, it has been documented to cause problems as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans!

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicosis

 

Also take a look at this Goggle search.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=steel+dust+in+lungs&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb

 

There is one piece on a study done in this search it is down towards the bottom.

Dust exposure and impairment of lung function at a small iron foundry in a rapidly developing country, I will warn you it is quite lengthy and a scary read with the conclusions it draws!

 

In short I remember what it was to be young and bulletproof but, its like my Pain Management doctor said the other day, you are now paying for some of the stupid things you did back then. I once lifted a V 8 Chevy short block engine, minus the intake and heads, from the ground to the back of a pick-up right by myself.

 

Back then there wasn't nothing I couldn't lift, if I didn't get it the first time, I just didn't get a good enough grip. Today I can't lift to much more than 50lbs with my back! I realize now days I wasn't bullet proof and sometimes common sense would have gone a long way back then!

 

Do yourself a favor and buy a good respirator and use it! Your lungs will thank you at a later date!!

Edited by C Craft

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You should be able to find the Trend Airshield Pro , with removable ear-muffs for around 400 if you look. I was just looking at the unit at Woodcraft the other day.

 

I've been using a Resp-O-Rator (i.e. http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/1272/respirators ) because it was designed as a respirator for people with beards. It's basically a glorified snorkle mouth piece with filters in the back. But my unit is getting a bit worn and long in the tooth, and doesn't seal well anymore, and I wanted to look into a positive air pressure system.

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Hi guys:

 

Just to repeat what I mentioned in Alan's thread: I use the Trend Airshield when doing really heavy grinding. It works great, but even with two batteries in, it only lasts a couple of hours before the fan starts to peter out.

 

I've had great luck with my two stage dust collector and my 20" box fan air filters. Even with pretty serious grinding I don't get any black snot and no layer of dust collects on my equipment, etc. Keep in my mind I'm grinding in a closed up shop for air conditioning purposes, so it must be working pretty well.

 

For rough grinding fullers/bevels, I still put the airshield on, however. I'm too paranoid of dying from lung rust . . .

 

Dave

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Justin I kept hoping you might contact me or at least ask some more questions. Here is what happens to those who breath steel/iron dust!! The disease associated with the inhalation of steel/iron dust is Silicosis, it has been documented to cause problems as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans!

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicosis

 

Also take a look at this Goggle search.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=steel+dust+in+lungs&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb

 

There is one piece on a study done in this search it is down towards the bottom.

Dust exposure and impairment of lung function at a small iron foundry in a rapidly developing country, I will warn you it is quite lengthy and a scary read with the conclusions it draws!

 

In short I remember what it was to be young and bulletproof but, its like my Pain Management doctor said the other day, you are now paying for some of the stupid things you did back then. I once lifted a V 8 Chevy short block engine, minus the intake and heads, from the ground to the back of a pick-up right by myself.

 

Back then there wasn't nothing I couldn't lift, if I didn't get it the first time, I just didn't get a good enough grip. Today I can't lift to much more than 50lbs with my back! I realize now days I wasn't bullet proof and sometimes common sense would have gone a long way back then!

 

Do yourself a favor and buy a good respirator and use it! Your lungs will thank you at a later date!!

 

I couldn't agree more. Bladesmithing is dangerous enough as it is without needlessly adding risks like Silicosis to it!

 

By the way . . Jody Samson--the guy who made the Conan sword--most likely died from this. Official cause of death was pneumonia, but a ton of signs point to death from years of unfiltered grinding. He literally died in the shop.

 

Dave

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Jesus, those units are impossible to fog up from breath; your nose and mouth are completely sealed off from the "glass". I have facial hair, which I keep fairly short, and can/do pass a seal test with it, positive and negative pressure. Those with large (glorious) beards will be out of luck though. I have no idea how Wes is able to manage it, assuming that picture is up to date (which I assume it is given that he "ties up" his beard). ;)

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Jesus, those units are impossible to fog up from breath; your nose and mouth are completely sealed off from the "glass". I have facial hair, which I keep fairly short, and can/do pass a seal test with it, positive and negative pressure. Those with large (glorious) beards will be out of luck though. I have no idea how Wes is able to manage it, assuming that picture is up to date (which I assume it is given that he "ties up" his beard). ;)

 

I typically keep it short around on my neck, and the long portion gets braided or tied with rubber bands and stuff in the mask. After I put the mask on, I cinch it down until it pinches, and then cover the inlets, and suck in (Army promask test :ph34r: ). It if collapses on my face, and I don't feel air coming in, I call it good. I am sure that there is more to it than that, and I thank this topic for making me paranoid. There is now a full face 3M respirator sitting in my Amazon shopping cart.

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I have never, ever been able to get a tight fit of the rubber mask around my nose/cheeks using that kind of respirator. There is always some air blowing off right under my eyes which ends up fogging the visor. I followed Owen's advice and luck out on one of the 3M respirators at a discounted price off EBay. I can't wait to try it out and put the old one to rest. It served its purpose for many years.

Thank you all for your comments and I hope that those out there grinding without appropriate protection will look seriously into this matter. After all, you only have one set of lungs and this type of injury is not the kind where you know you are doing something wrong right away. It will take many years to see the consequences and by then it might be too late.

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Look what I found in the mail Friday, just in time for making axe handles all weekend:

 

respirator.jpg

 

3M Powerflow full face PAPR. Worth every penny now that it's cold out and the doors stay shut. With this and the overhead ambient air cleaner (JDS 750ER) I can make clouds of extremely fine sawdust with the KMG and not get a particle in my lungs. I had to use Wes's trick with tying up my beard to pass the negative pressure test, and lost a few beard hairs below the ears to the silicone harness, but I couldn't be happier.

 

And get this: The battery lasted the full eight hour day on a single charge. It did drop the flow from around 15 CFM to around 10 CFM, but given the instructions say to recharge the battery or replace the filter if the flow drops below 4 CFM I call that a good show, especially since it's a rare day indeed when I'm on the grinder more than around four hours at a time.

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