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Petr Florianek

Dust and gas protection

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Hello Gentlemen

So I am sick again and I start to wonder if we can I improve my work environment by using some gas and dust protection the problem is that I want this to to be forced air type so I can breathe during forging. The other problem is obviously money as being often sick made funds tighter.

Can you help with advice?

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Dude! I am sorry you are sick, and yes, powered air masks are expensive. I keep a large fan blowing at me, it helps with the dust and heat. Borax dust is not good for you, nor is CO2, the more air you can blow across the forge and anvil the better. Do you have a big door and windows? That helps too. Not to mention a chimney over the forge. Even gas forges benefit from this, it lets the CO2 out and sucks a lot of dust away from you, not to mention keeping the shop cooler. A large metal duct is not too expensive as long as you can knock a hole in the roof or wall to vent it. I only use my powered mask when grinding and doing woodwork, it gets hard on the neck after a couple of hours.

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Petr:

 

I'm sorry you're sick, brother. Be careful. Our addiction can have serious health circumstances. I understand that Jody Samson was essentially killed from grinding while sick with pneumonia.

 

I use three levels of dust/particulate protection depending on what I'm doing.

 

1: Active dust collection under the grinders: I have a two stage dust collector, but you can accomplish the same thing with a shop vacuum, a bucket and this little device: http://www.amazon.com/Oneida-AXD000004-The-Dust-Deputy/dp/B002GZLCHM/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1441078447&sr=8-6&keywords=dust+collector+bucket&pebp=1441078470957&perid=0C21C70GK8234DHVN6G4

 

Put a little water in the bottom of the bucket to put out the sparks. This is about $100, not counting the shop vac.

 

2: Air Filtration: I buy cheap 20" square box fans and tape 20" paper furnace filters to one side. I set up three of them hanging from the ceiling, pushing air in different direction. They clean all the fine dust particles out of the air. This is a very cheap set up and I find it far more effective than the expensive dedicated air filters that are basically just fans and filters. In the US you can buy these fans for $15 each and a pack of three filters is $10-$15.

 

3: Trend Air Shield: I use a full face mask with forced air when I'm doing heavy grinding, in addition to these other systems. I find I only need it when I'm really doing some serious stock reduction, like grinding a distal taper in a sword blade. For casual grinding the two other systems seem to be adequate. The 3M system that Jake and Owen use is certainly a superior product, but the Trend Air Shield is much less expensive and works well. The battery life is the big drawback on this system. Google the name and you can find it.

 

In terms of Borax: I use a lot less of it now. I have been using the fluxless welding technique that has been discussed at length on the forum. For most of my pattern weld it works just great. For multi-bar welds I still use borax, because I'm too nervous about screwing up.

 

Another thing I do is keep my forge outside my shop. In the summer I have the plexiglass wall I built to keep the hot air out of the shop, but in the winter I keep a fan going behind me which pushes the any gases or borax dust that might drift into the shop out.

 

I hope this helps, bud. Get better! I'll see you in a couple of weeks in Soligen!

 

Dave

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Petr- I have an 800 CFM portable dust collector attached to a 5 gallon bucket, with an inlet and outlet in the top made from 4" stove pipe. The inlet, coming from the grinder and attached with flexible clothes dryer pipe, goes into the top of the bucket, down to about 3" from the bottom. The exit, going to the blower, it level with the top of the bucket lid. There's a couple inches of water in the bucket. It's a cheap version of the thing Dave linked to. The blower is connected to a bag that filters to 3 microns. There's also a bucket of water under the grinder. I also have a 600 CFM box style air filter, the kind that Dave is replacing with the fans. It has an electrostatic filter and when I have the bag filter in it, is supposed to go down to 0.3 microns, but just the electrostatic filter gets covered in material quickly. You can see most of the stuff I'm describing below. The ambient air filter is the box in the upper left. You can't see the blower, but it's under the table. I used to vent it outside, but it is a problem in the Winter to keep the shop warm.

 

When grinding, of course, I always have a respirator, but I don't have the cool positive air pressure kind.

 

 

grindingarea.jpg

 

The other thing that is always on when it's warm enough is the 800 CFM slotted vent fan, which you can see here. I have the hot stuff all in one corner of the shop, and I have welding curtains I can draw across the room to control air flow and keep dust down. The fans are always on when I'm working, as I also have pickle fumes, or even worse acids when etching the stainless damascus. The air flow is designed to move circularly, which is supposed to be the best arrangement. There's also a draft inducer in the pipes that go over the forge hood and connect to the salt tanks. The forge is just to the left of the salt tanks in this picture, so the fan is pretty much directly behind th forge. When using borax, the fumes go right outside. There's open windows close by, or I open the door in the first picture so the wind is at my back.

 

When I'm working and all the fans are on, it's a lot of air movement and filtration.

 

 

salttanks2.jpg

 

I realize you said cheap... the blower / .3 micron bag for the grinder dust was $250, the air filter box was maybe $180. The vented slot fan was about $100, the draft inducer about the same. Only other thing I do is sweep up every time I start working (to get any settled dust,) and sweep up at the end of the day. I also clean things a lot with a shop vacuum that has decent filtration.

 

Anyway, maybe there's some ideas or things you can work with there. Judging from running around this Summer, my lungs seem to be in pretty good shape.

 

Stay healthy. I want to see what you're making in another 30 or 40 years. :)

Edited by J.Arthur Loose

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I just had a dust collection system fire last weekend... not fun! It prompted me to make some (fairly costly) changes. I now have an all metal VERY LARGE separator and catch bucket. I figured the 500$ I spent on building the new system is a LOT cheaper than a new house! My grinding is done in my basement which has no real windows or ventilation so I need to have a good strong dust collection system.

 

My forging area is by my garage doors, which are double hung barn doors, so in the winter i can still open the top halves of the doors even when there's 4 feet of snow on the ground. I have a big shop fan that blow from the back of the shop towards the doors past the forge to keep air circulating.

 

here's my current dust collection setup. I swapped to all galvanized steel ducting up to my separator. The 'catch bucket' is a hot air duct floor register. I was using 'semi rigid' aluminum vent pipe (like i'm still using from the speparator to the blower and from the blower to the dryer vent) The problem is... when you've got a lot of sparks, metal dust etc... the aluminum pipe... can actually catch fire.... I didnt think it could until I had a nice melted plastic catch bucket and aluminum pipe and a mess of water and whatnot in my basement last weekend before buying this new all metal stuff.

 

nodust.jpg

 

I was using until very recently a Resp-O-rator which is basically a small plastic scuba mouth piece with air filters stuck to the back of it, designed for use by people with beards, but getting replacement filters is a pain, and it tends to hurt my gums after a while, and I hate having to wear swimmers nose plugs when using it. I'm now looking into a full helmet positive air pressure system like the 3M system or the Trend Air-shield Pro. As a man with a beard, a normal inexpensive respirator just doesnt seal and catch the stuff it needs to.

Edited by Justin Mercier

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For powered respirators online auction sites are a cheap source especially if you aren't in a hurry. I've bought a couple over the years for £100 each. Looking on evilbay there are a couple of versflo's with face mask and charger for around £250 in the UK and Germany.

If you see an old one check that spare parts are still available.

Andrew

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I just had a dust collection system fire last weekend... not fun! It prompted me to make some (fairly costly) changes. I now have an all metal VERY LARGE separator and catch bucket. I figured the 500$ I spent on building the new system is a LOT cheaper than a new house! My grinding is done in my basement which has no real windows or ventilation so I need to have a good strong dust collection system.

 

My forging area is by my garage doors, which are double hung barn doors, so in the winter i can still open the top halves of the doors even when there's 4 feet of snow on the ground. I have a big shop fan that blow from the back of the shop towards the doors past the forge to keep air circulating.

 

here's my current dust collection setup. I swapped to all galvanized steel ducting up to my separator. The 'catch bucket' is a hot air duct floor register. I was using 'semi rigid' aluminum vent pipe (like i'm still using from the speparator to the blower and from the blower to the dryer vent) The problem is... when you've got a lot of sparks, metal dust etc... the aluminum pipe... can actually catch fire.... I didnt think it could until I had a nice melted plastic catch bucket and aluminum pipe and a mess of water and whatnot in my basement last weekend before buying this new all metal stuff.

 

nodust.jpg

 

I was using until very recently a Resp-O-rator which is basically a small plastic scuba mouth piece with air filters stuck to the back of it, designed for use by people with beards, but getting replacement filters is a pain, and it tends to hurt my gums after a while, and I hate having to wear swimmers nose plugs when using it. I'm now looking into a full helmet positive air pressure system like the 3M system or the Trend Air-shield Pro. As a man with a beard, a normal inexpensive respirator just doesnt seal and catch the stuff it needs to.

I see you have a system very similar to mine…hope yours is also working well……Good Luck, Stay Healthy !….Arthur

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Petr, hope you're doing better now that a few months have passed.

I've been worrying more and more about this stuff jeopardizing my respiratory health. I'm still pretty young and I want to start taking precautions now. I've been looking at respirator options, and I have a few questions that I hope you guys can help me with. I'm looking at a couple of the cheaper options that keep getting mentioned here on the forum:

The 3M Powerflow:

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Face-Mounted-Respiratory-6900PF-Rechargeable/dp/B007TTNW28/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1451272269&sr=8-2&keywords=3m+papr

 

The Trend Airshield Pro:

http://www.amazon.com/TREND-AIR-PRO-Airshield-Faceshield/dp/B002Q0Y5IU/ref=pd_sbs_328_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41zN23BMmUL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=08YEMGY37YQZ8R22QERN

 

 

I'm concerned about how effective either of these will be at filtering all the airborne gunk we expose ourselves to.

The Airshield description says "The Trend airshield pro is designed to protect users from harmful dust particulates down to 0.3 micron size at a 98-Percent efficiency rate."

The Powerflow description says "3M powered air purifying respirator helps provide respiratory protection against dust, mist, fumes, radionuclides and radon daughters. Lightweight and face-mounted, it uses a high efficiency particulate filter. US OSHA APF 1000 when used in accordance with 3M recommendations and user instructions."

 

Now, the Powerflow description sounds like a fancy way of saying HEPA filter, and the APF 1000 rating as I understand it just means that it is a full-face PAPR, and doesn't actually speak to how much of the gunk is being filtered. I've tried looking for more info on these filters but 3M's website is frustrating me. Are these HEPA filters or are they something even fancier?

 

According to OSHA (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/3352-APF-respirators.pdf), a HEPA filter is "A filter that is at least 99.97% efficient in removing monodisperse particles of 0.3 micrometers in diameter. The equivalent NIOSH 42 CFR 84 particulate filters are the N100, R100, and P100 filters". The Airshield filter sounds like it's nearly a HEPA filter, catching particles of the same 0.3 micron size, but not quite efficient enough to qualify.

 

So how different are the filters really? What makes the Powerflow's filter suited for fumes and radionuclides, but the Airshield only suited for dust?

 

And beyond that, can either of them protect against airborne particles that are smaller than 0.3 microns? Looks like both would protect well enough against metal dust from grinding, but what about smoke from a charcoal forge or "metallurgical fumes"? Most figures I see online dip down to 0.01 microns or smaller for some of this stuff.

 

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/particle-sizes-d_934.html

Particle Particle Size
(microns) Anthrax 1 - 5 Antiperspirant 6 - 10 Asbestos 0.7 - 90 Atmospheric Dust 0.001 - 40 Auto and Car Emission 1 - 150 Bacteria 0.3 - 60 Beach Sand 100 - 10000 Bone Dust 3 - 300 Bromine 0.1 - 0.7 Burning Wood 0.2 - 3 Calcium Zinc Dust 0.7 - 20 Carbon Black Dust 0.2 - 10 Carbon Dioxide 0.00065 Cayenne Pepper 15 - 1000 Cement Dust 3 - 100 Clay 0.1 - 50 Coal Dust 1 - 100 Coal Flue Gas 0.08 - 0.2 Coffee 5 - 400 Combustion 0.01 - 0.1 Combustion-related - motor vehicles, wood burning,
open burning, industrial processes up to 2.5 Copier Toner 0.5 - 15 Corn Starch 0.1 - 0.8 Dot (.) 615 Dust Mites 100 - 300 Eye of a Needle 1230 Face Powder 0.1 - 30 Fertilizer 10 - 1000 Fiberglass Insulation 1 - 1000 Fly Ash 1 - 1000 Gelatin 5 - 90 Ginger 25 - 40 Glass Wool 1000 Grain Dusts 5 - 1000 Ground Limestone 10 - 1000 Hair 5 - 200 Human Hair 40 - 300 Human Hair 60 - 600 Humidifier 0.9 - 3 Insecticide Dusts 0.5 - 10 Iron Dust 4 - 20 Lead 0.1 - 0.7 Lead Dust 2 Liquid Droplets 0.5 - 5 Metallurgical Dust 0.1 - 1000 Metallurgical Fumes 0.1 - 1000 Milled Flour, Milled Corn 1 - 100 Mist 70 - 350 Mold 3 - 12 Mold Spores 10 - 30 Mustard 6 - 10 Oil Smoke 0.03 - 1 One inch 25400 Oxygen 0.0005 Paint Pigments 0.1 - 5 Pesticides & Herbicides 0.001 Pollens 10 - 1000 Radioactive Fallout 0.1 - 10 Red Blood Cells 5 - 10 Rosin Smoke 0.01 - 1 Saw Dust 30 - 600 Sea Salt 0.035 - 0.5 Smoke from Natural Materials 0.01 - 0.1 Smoke from Synthetic Materials 1 - 50 Smoldering or Flaming Cooking Oil 0.03 - 0.9 Spanish Moss Pollen 150 - 750 Spider web 2 - 3 Spores 3 - 40 Starches 3 - 100 Sugars 0.0008 - 0.005 Talcum Dust 0.5 - 50 Tea Dust 8 - 300 Textile Dust 6 - 20 Textile Fibers 10 - 1000 Tobacco Smoke 0.01 - 4 Typical Atmospheric Dust 0.001 to 30 Viruses 0.005 - 0.3 Yeast Cells 1 - 50

 

http://capita.wustl.edu/CAPITA/CapitaReports/AerosolCourse/gif/Pcfig1.gif

Pcfig1.gif

 

Is the only way to protect ourselves against these smaller particles to suck them out of the shop before they reach our noses? Do either of these respirators really protect us?

 

Thanks guys

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The 3M Powerflow is a good unit. The filters are indeed certified HEPA, and then some. The NIOSH ratings are even more stringent. The ones for fumes and radionuclides are treated with other stuff to bind those items to the filter so they don't escape after use, but you don't need them if you aren't working around those things.

 

Now then: for grinder dust and sawdust either the Powerflow or the Airshield Pro are fine. I got the Powerflow because it was about the same price but it has the option of better filters and the battery lasts a LOT longer (a full eight hours), plus it comes with a flow meter to tell you when to recharge or change filters (as if you really need that anyway, it's pretty obvious). I do not smell anything when using the unit, which tells me it it's filtering out all the nasties that matter since odor is just the detection of specific molecules by the olfactory membrane.

 

For electric welding fumes you really need good ventilation, since neither of these masks fit under a welding hood. I open the garage doors and run a fan.

 

One big thing to remember is that a mask, no matter how good, is only useful if you wear it until you are out of the area of exposure. In other words, if you put it on to grind, then take it off when finished in the same room with the grinder and no further ventilation, you're still getting exposed to the really bad ultrafine stuff. That's why I have a hanging air cleaner as well, it changes the air in the shop once every half-hour. You can really tell a difference when you don't use it, after a lot of grinding there is a fine layer of dust on everything that does not appear if the hanging air cleaner is running.

 

Of course, all of this stuff is not cheap. Point source dust collection is better for most things, and a chimney over the forge, even gas forges, really helps a lot. My point, if I actually have one here, is to take care of the problems the best way you personally can. I have avoided point source dust collection on the grinder because of the fire risk as outlined above. You pays your money and you takes your chances.

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Thanks Alan! Sounds like I need to really redo my whole workspace haha. The Powerflow sounds like some more bang for your buck. Is it comfortable?

 

I like the look of how the Airshield seals over the face. Looks more comfortable to me, but then again I've read reviews of it being heavy and hard on the neck.

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The Powerflow is very comfortable, but it also can strain the neck. It seals much more tightly than the Airshield as well. It was designed for asbestos removal, after all.

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