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wood working facemasks

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
  2. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    sorry the link is a pain you have to plug in .

    Model 95122-00000

    thanks ........t
  3. That's the one I use all the time, even for dust. It seals better than the simple surgical style masks. For short, this is called a NIOSH mask (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health). It will keep you from breathing vapors and particles. It has a 2 component filter - a cotton particle filter that takes out particles down below 2 microns and an activated charcoal canister that does the filtering of the vapors. There are over a dozen different filter packs available for this type of mask and they do different things in different environments. But all of them have one thing in common - none of them are designed for atmospheres where there is less than 19.5% oxygen.

    The real important thing to having this mask work is a proper seal around the face. We here at work have our masks professionally fitted and tested for leaks before they are certified for use. These masks come in 3 sizes - S,M,L. Depending on your face structure, you will need to get the mask that best fits. It fits if there is a perfect seal all around the edge and all of the air entering the mask comes through the filters and is expelled through the exhaust port. Any facial hair that limits this seal, totally negates the effect of the mask. To test it, you can put the mask on and hold your head over an aromatic vapor source like a paint can or other really smelly substance. If you can't smell it in your mask, it's doing the job.

    The filter cartridges are expendable and actually are only rated for 8 hours of active filtration. That is defined as 8 hours in the open environment. Yep, the filters filter even when the mask isn't on. That's why you should keep it in a plastic bag when not in use if you want to extend the life of the active charcoal filters.

    You should also test the compatibility of the mask with any eye protection you use. Sometimes safety glasses or goggles don't match up well with the nose section of the mask, making trouble for the eye protection. Just something to keep in mind.

    Yeah, I'm the OSHA safety officer in my division at work. I've had to read and keep up on this stuff to keep us out of trouble. I get recertified every year.
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    So because I have a full beard I am S.O.L. :bawl: It would have to be better than those hokey gauze things though ? :eyebrow:
  5. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    You could use a trick that some scuba divers use to get a good seal around their masks with a moustache, which is to put a good bit of vaseline on the edges of the mask to help seal around the moustache hair.

    Otherwise, if you're doing a lot of work around wood dust, especially some exotics (ebony, spalted maple, etc.....) you might consider shaving the beard... wood dust is a number 1 cause of nasal cancer.

    Lastly, there are some full face masks I have seen with a large plastic face sheild and a built in battery powered filter mechanism. I saw an ad for one in a recent wood working magazine. They are a bit pricey, but worth it if it works for you. I don't believe it is rated for vapors from solvents and lacquer, only dust and pesticide chemicals. The one I saw is called the "Trend Airshield" and is available at:

    ( direct link should be http://www.airwareamerica.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=34 )

  6. If you've got to go this route, there is a version that works pretty good but they are hard to find and can only be gotten from med supply stores. They are called "duckbill" masks and are essentially 2 flat pieces of filter material welded together with a nose wire in the middle of the top piece. You open it up and it covers your nose, mouth and all the way down over the edge of your chin. They have 2 rubber band straps. These are the preferred masks for use when the patient has a compromised immune system and can't afford coming in contact with airborne pathogens. My wife used them extensively during her transplant ordeal. I got a bunch then but have run out or I'd send you some.
  7. hokenpoke


    Jan 9, 2008
    The 3M 6000 series half-face respirators are not very expensive (~$25 with particulate filter), versatile and comfortable enough that you can wear them for long periods of time.

    The mask itself comes in 3 sizes, slips on easily and breathes very easily - you're not working for your air. It also exhausts well so moisture buildup (which is really annoying to me) takes a while to develop.

    The cartridges can be quickly changed between particle filters (get the P100) for wood working and the 6000 series charcoal for organic vapors.

    I have used this mask extensively for long periods of time (darn boat!) and this is the only one I've found that is comfortable enough that I don't have to force myself to put on.
  8. I'm definitely investing in one of these. Cocobolo has me feeling like I got pepper sprayed.