dust masks - Darth Vader or not?


Hi All:
I had to much MDF dust last weekend. I hadn't really worked with it before, but my dust control (shopvac with HEPA filter and homemade aircleaner - good filters and a big squirrelcage fan in a homemade box) isn't up to the challenge.
I hate those little masks that don't quite fit over my beard and under my glasses, which make me wheeze and fog up the glasses. What should I get? A Darth Vader system like the Triton, North, or could I get away with Lee Valley antifog mask?
--
Best regards
Han
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For days like you describe, I use a respirator made by 3m. I bought it to do some blown-in cellulose insulation and now I use it regularly in the shop. Set me back about $30 iirc.
It's a soft rubber face mask, very comfortable, doesn't fog the glasses and is good against more than just dust (vapors, fumes, etc....). Got it at the orange borg.
Joe C.

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: Hi All:
: I had to much MDF dust last weekend. I hadn't really worked with it : before, but my dust control (shopvac with HEPA filter and homemade : aircleaner - good filters and a big squirrelcage fan in a homemade box) : isn't up to the challenge.
: I hate those little masks that don't quite fit over my beard and under my : glasses, which make me wheeze and fog up the glasses. What should I get? : A Darth Vader system like the Triton, North, or could I get away with Lee : Valley antifog mask?
If you've got a beard, MDF dust will get in onder any respirator, although you can minimize this by coating your beard with vaseline (and only if it's quite short).
Your best bet is a positive-air filter, like the 3M units sold by http://www.airwareamerica.com .     
    -- Andy Barss
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The Trend model appears to be the Racal I bought and use when sanding Cocobolo. Racal sold the line to 3M who upped the price $100.00.
On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 01:59:02 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss

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For a good dust mask fit, clean shaven is the way to go. I have a Dustfoe and it works exceptionally well. It has built-in valves. No more allergic wood-dust reactions! The paper masks are of little value.
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What tool(s) were you using? Its always effective to get the dust at the source, if possible and its much more pleasant working conditions. A good dust collector with properly applied pick up points can do wonders. A tablesaw is the biggest challenge, but its doable. No its not cheap. Yes its worth it, to me. I have an overhead air filter made by Jet. Once I got my dust collection really working well, I rarely use the overhead filter.
Bob
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Small beards and bigger masks work OK together. A proper half-face mask with separate filters is much more comfortable than any of those disposables. A good exhale valve is certainly worth having - easier airflow outwards also means less condensation inside. If you live somewhere hot, pay the extra and get a silicone mask, not rubber. I'd recommend the 3M series.
If it's a really big beard and you're onlyworried about dust, not vapour, then get a full-face facemask on a headband (like a hard hat) and fit an elasticated cuff around the edge (painters do disposable ones). One with a fan and powered air filtration is nice, but they're very expensive and some are heavy.
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wrote:

Thanks everyone. I am going to try a "better" half face mask with filters, like Andy suggests. I'll see whether at work (VA Hospital) they can help me with choosing one for there, so I know what will work for me before I lay out my own money.
--
Best regards
Han
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<snip>

At a VA the "Industrial Hygenist" is the 'expert' on that sort of thing, so the person to ask is either a Lab Tech or a Nurse. Unless of course you work on the supply side of the bureaucracy.
Pathology has the 1/2 face and cartridge setup, usually a variety of filter cartridges as well. In my clean shaven days I found this the most comfortable of the truly effective filters. These still work for me adequately for the most part but they don't pass the saccharine droplet test for TB.
Which VA do you work at?
I am the lab at Castle Point VAMC (VISN3) on Sat & Sun evenings. They've set me up with the PAPR (full hood and screaming backpack).
-- Darth Vader meets Dracula in White --
--
Archangel - Jack of all trades, mastering some...

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I'm in Manhattan VISN3 as well!)

Our industrial hygienist has often offered to set me up with a respirator (not powered and fancy like you).
--
Best regards
Han
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Although I have a full beard, I use a North respirator. Works reasonable well, as I have it snugged up pretty tight. If I use it I don't have much problem with reactions to sawdust, and I notice that the wood smell grows markedly stronger immediately when I take it off, thus it is filtering a fair amount of dust.
I also use it when I spray-paint the house with oil-based paint. THEN I shave and use organic vapor canisters.
Obviously, if you are having very strong reactions to sawdust you either need to shave and use a "Darth Vader" mask like the North, or get a pressurized mask.
Wearing masks is inconvenient, but it makes life much more bearable and lets me continue with my hobby. I also have a CPAP machine, which is also inconvenient to wear, but boy do I sleep better at night!
Hitch
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