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Ron Benson

Current state of positive air flow face masks?

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As my shop nears completion, and with the additional wisdom age brings, I am thinking I should get a good filter mask, and units like the Trend Airshield Pro look like the way to go for safety and comfort. I did a lot of woodturning as well as furniture making in the past and want to add stock removal knife making, so a good mask of some type will be necessary. I hate to spend that much money on something that I will not really enjoy, but I remember the dark brown boogers from younger days...

The topics here are several years old, and I wonder what people are using today. A quick check of Amazon shows a number of models from Trend and 3M that are less than an arm and a leg - maybe just a few fingers. ;) So what are you using now, and thanks.

BTW - I SUGGEST NEWBIES SPEND SOME TIME READING IN THE SAFETY  TOPICS - VERY SOBERING.

Edited by Ron Benson

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I've been using my 3M Adflo for at least 6+ years. No problems with it. I really wouldn't want to be without a PAPR. I always have a beard and without positive pressure, you just can't get a good seal on your face. Not only that but it's a lot cooler with air blowing down your face instead of having to suck air through a filter.

I would say even with the battery, air pump, filters, and all strapped around my waist on my 3M Adflo, the extremely light-weight helmet that goes on my head still gets to me after using it for hours at a time.

I looked at the Trend Pro for a while. For the money, it's probably a pretty good deal. I would think with filters/battery/pump/etc being on my head it would really start hurting my neck after an extended grinding session. My other concerns for cheaper models is battery length and quality of filters.

I actually had a flood in my shop a year or so ago. My 3M Adflo was directly under the part of the ceiling where the water was pouring from. Water was coming down on it for probably an hour or more. I let it dry out for a while and it's still been going strong since. I was really surprised that it was still working after that. Had me pretty concerned for a while.

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I still use my 3m whatever it is too.  The mask is not heavy, even with the filter attached, but it does hurt the neck after a while.  The belt-mounted battery lasts up to eight hours on a single charge, which beats the two hour max the first-generation Trend I had could do.

The only thing I don't like about it is the rubber straps are very grabby.  Gotta be careful putting it on so it doesn't rip out hair.

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34 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

 

The only thing I don't like about it is the rubber straps are very grabby.  Gotta be careful putting it on so it doesn't rip out hair.

Ahhh - that would not be a problem for me... :rolleyes: :P

And thanx to both of you.

There are a number of different models of the 3M mask - I will have to do some research 'cause the prices vary a lot.

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I have both the 3m belt-worn uber-filter helmet undersea adventure module thingy and the newer Trend Airshield.

If I could have only one, I'd go  the Trend. It's significantly cheaper, but more importantly, it's easy to take on and take off, so you're more likely the actually use it. It does fine for most grinding applications. If your shop has no ventilation, no air filtration, and you're planning on grinding big blades, then the 3M is probably worth the investment since you'll be swimming in a fog of metal dust. OtherwiseI find the Trend is more than adequate.

By the way, if you haven't heard of this trick, it's worth knowing: Cut down on the amount of work your air mask has to do by reducing the overall particulate density in the air. The best way to do this I have found is very cheap. Buy an inexpensive 20"x20" box fan (usually under $20 at WalMart). But a 20"x20" paper furnace filter. Start the fan and slap the filter against the air intake side. Voila! Air scrubber. I keep three of these going in my FL shop when I'm doing heavy grinding and it keeps the air pretty clean.

You know about the bucket of water and soap trick? Just in case you don't, it also really helps. Place a bucket of water with a few drops of dishwashing soap in it beneath your grinder where the majority of the sparks hit. It will capture a great deal of the stuff that would otherwise bounce off the ground and become airborne.

Luck!

Dave

 

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Thanx Dave. I picked up a wood working magazine the other day and it had an add for a Powermatic dust collector similar to your box fan. It looked like a good idea, but at $700 I decided to pass. I was thinking I could make a frame and attach a fan to one side, and a filter to the other side. You idea is much simpler...  

Do you use a cheap fiber filter, or something rated for smaller particles?

Edited by Ron Benson

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