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Breathing in Wood Dust

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Anonymous

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Hi,

Bearing in mind some other posts at the moment,
I just wanted to post something up about wood dust in the workshop.

Whenever you work with wood you're going to make a bit of dust.
The more machines you use the more the dust and although extractors help they don't take away the fine stuff.

Years ago people never worried about this sort of thing too much and I'm not saying some are not paying the price now.

The thing is, how far do you go? How dangerous is it to breath in, from a bit of orbital sanding, routing, bandsawing and table sawing, the fine dust that is invariably left behind?

We all do it. Are we stacking up probs for the future?

What do you think? How far should we go in protecting ourselves?

Regards
 

kityuser

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i suppose it depends how much, and how often.

Things like this are bound to be accumalitive (i.e. build up over time), so I suppose the more you are in the environment the more you should be protecting yourself.

I agree that a full face mask is over-protective (jn my opinion) for the average hobby woodworker, but protection is needed is several instances (rubbing down, planing, routing).

one point to note is that the "so-called" professionals we see on telly don`t using resporators all the time, in fact i can`t remember ever seeing norm use a resporator at all except in his finishing room :D

but i suppose that doesnt mean they should be used.
 

johnelliott

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matstro":34zvvri3 said:
What do you think? How far should we go in protecting ourselves?

Regards
This is something I have been wondering about myself recently. I perhaps don't worry about the future as much as I should, but dust causes me enough problems in the present to want to deal with it more effectively. After a day in the workshop I can feel the irritation in my nasal passages.

I've been reading quite a bit about dust extraction on various US based WW forums, where dust is a big issue. The consensus there is that dust should be collected at source by much improved dust hoods, downdraught tables for sanding, vastly improved airflow (6" ducts etc) and cyclone seperation systems. My workshop isn't well organised enough yet for this, and I may be moving soon, so I'm wondering what I can do in the meantime

I will probably invest in a battery powered respirator if I can find one that fits me (I'm 6'4" and my head is in proportion). I would also like to get one of the workshop filters that Axminster sells. In the meantime I will continue with the Martindales

John
 

johnelliott

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johnelliott":1mywavk3 said:
sawdustalley":1mywavk3 said:
WEAR A MASK
Why didn't I think of that?

John
Actually I did already think of that, Martindale is thre trade name of a simple dust mask.

I think James's post, like many short posts, is rather unhelpful. Reason being I don't know whether he means to be humerous, sarcastic, or whether he genuinely believes that people (including those who have already posted on this subject) actually need to be told by him in 18pt to 'wear a mask'

John
 
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Anonymous

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James's post definitely leaves no room for ambiguity; he obviously firmly believes in wearing one :!: . I don't think the post is unhelpful, just uninformative, other than stating his firmly held opinion.

I was unaware that Martindale is the trdae name of a mask, but the context made it pretty clear what you were on about. :idea:

The use of smilies or other such gizmos might help avoid any ambiguity as to the "tone" of messages as short as this one, but lets not get started on a flaming session & lets get back to the subject :wink:

I don't like wearing masks and avoid doing so where possible. I have dust extraction fitted on my jointer & thicknesser and also use the dust extractor to collect sawdust from my tablesaws & morticer (simply use it as a vacuum cleaner after every few cuts).

I use a mask when sanding, but am getting a dust extraction coupler for my belt sander. Apart from that, I only use a mask when finishing.

Also, I avoid MDF & chipboard, working only with real wood

Having said that, woodworking is only a hobby for me, so my exposure is limited anyway
 

GrahamC

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I think it is also quite obvious at times when "advice" is dispensed on any forum, not just this one, that it is often just a relay of what someone has been told or read or seen Norm do on the telly!! That is why we live in a world that too often denies us choice and imposes a perceived safe standard upon us.

I am sure that the advice is always given in good faith but sometimes rather worthless. People should consider the impact and value of their advice before so readily imparting it to the world.

The real usefull pearls of wisdom are almost always from those people who have real experience.

However, without encouraging comments, discussion and debate from all quarters then the forum either fails, which would be a shame, or it becomes a haven for elitists who only want to brag about their expertise and brilliance.
 
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GrahamC,

Apart from the first paragraph in your last post I'm struggling to see exactly what you mean with the rest of it! It seems you have an issue but I'm not sure what!!!

I think what I was trying to get across is that even when all the machines and power tools are switched off there still is quite alot of very fine dust in the air. It's all very well putting on a mask when doing something specific, but if you take it off when you switch off, you're still going to breath in loads of dust for ages afterwards. The answer is to wear a mask all the time but that would mean for most people the work becomes a chore instead of a pleasure.

I don't know what the answer is to all this and for my own peace of mind I would'nt mind finding out exactly what damage if any, this "after dust" does. As SP says its bound to be culmative I suppose, however small the quantity.

I guess you have to filter and filter and filter again!

Just like the info. posted on these Forums?!

I enjoy them. If I see something that I don't agree with I'm going to say so and would expect someone to offer a reply, which I would'nt neccessarily agree with I hasten to add! I think it's important to keep things open. Everyones got their own style I suppose and theres plently here to be learnt!

Regards
 

Drew

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Matstro
Getting back to your point.
You can only go so far in taking reasonable precuations trying to protect yourself. Yes you can wear a mask but as you say the rubbish is still in the air when you take the mask off. But it would cost a fortune to fit all the extractors and air changers that would realy make it dust free.
So where does reasonable end and a phobia begin, beats me, but when I fill a room with dust, fumes etc. I normally open the door and windows and go for a cuppa for twenty minutes.
It's either that or do it in the open air. :lol:

Drew
 

johnelliott

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People intersted in the problems dust can cause really need to look at this
http://cnets.net/~eclectic/woodworking/ ... Index.html

As a full time woodworker I think it is worthwhile my dealing with the problem of dust because my exposure is higher than a hobbyist's. If I have to have dust colloection anyway then I might as well have a system that works.

Anyway, have a look at the above and see what you think

John
 
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Anonymous

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Johnelliott,

I think its great that you have taken the time to provide the links with all that info. on fine dust.

As with most other things, if you look into something deeply enough you always will find facts that are disturbing. I think we are all guilty of burying heads in the sand. I know I am! Although, I am lucky because I don't produce a huge amount of ongoing dust like a maker such as
yourself.

It probally, as said, is indeed like smoking and look how smoking is regarded now. Far better to go down the road of solving the problem at source if ones longetivity is valued I think!

It's a serious subject which merits a bit of serious comment probally and this is what I was trying to encourage at the beginning.

Thanks all and keep it coming!! At the very least the sales of dust masks will go up as a result.

So, James, just out of interest what do you really think? Because once the machine stops, and the mask comes off your'e still breathing it in!!!

Regards
 
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Anonymous

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bloomin ekk. this post grew quick.

A quick point on martindales, they are useless against wood dust. They filter out no more dust than your nasal hair does, so they just stop you getting a blocked nose, the fine stuff still goes into your lungs. If you want to filter out the fine stuff, you need a mask with a p2 filter (I use the mouldex ones with the flap in the front)

As a full time woodworker wood dust can be a problem. I have extraction on all my machines (except the belt sander :oops: ), and use a dust mask when I feel the need to.

It is true that as soon as you swith a machine on (even with extraction) fine dust is automatically suspended in the air, and remains to do so for hours after said machine is switched off (yes it does), but having said that, when you walk down a busy road you breath in poisenous fumes from traffic, when you sit in the pub and have a few pints (if you are above the legal age limit of coarse) you probably breath in enough smoke, its as if you had sat there and had a fag yourselfe (and we all know how bad they are for you, don't we).

In other words, we all have to die of something eventually, so we may as well pollute ourselves doing something we enjoy.

Nuff Said

Doughnut
 

Woodsmith

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I hate wearing masks in hot weather - its hard enough to breathe without sticking a sauna on yer face. I suppose its easy to say pipper it and not wear a mask but depends on what you are cutting! MDF gives off a very fine dust which coats everything and the reason it was banned in the USA was the formaldehyde (spelling?) used in the glue is carsonegenic (unsure about my spelling again?) here in uk - its deemed safe by the HSE if wearing a dust mask. Carsonogenic means it can cause cancer.
I cant work with Iroko with or without a mask - the dust causes cronic irraitation of the lungs and I cough my guts up! Its not the fags honest!
I have seen an old bloke who worked in a joinery shop who suffered from the effects of long term dust. Considering he never smoked he struggled to get his breath. If you can get by without breathing then dont wear a mask.
 

Scrit

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As another full-time woodworker the advice "Wear a Mask" is possibly useful, but it is always better to extract dust at the point of production. In other words, use a dust extractor on each and every machine you can - then STILL wear a mask :shock: . The problems of dust clouds hanging can be cured by using a negative ion generator (if you have a Muntain Breeze or similar, just try it) - because dust particles are positively charged.

As an apocryphal story, my late father had major chest problems for many years (pneumoconiosis amongst other things) caused by working in a dusty environment for less than ten years of his life. He ran an occupational therapy workshop where woodworking (turning, etc) was taught and was using a combination of softwoods and far eastern hardwoods (teak especially). In those days wood dust extraction was not required, therefore everyone working there breathed their share....
 

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