Respirator recommendations

Looking for a good all-purpose respirator to save me from the variety of particulates, solvents and fumes I encounter as I repair and/or build things around my house. (I am now ready to graduate from disposable dust masks and respirators)
Key features include: - General purpose protection against most solvents and particles - Comfortable fit plus easy to put-on/take-off - Affordable (including affordable replacement cartridges)
Any recommendations? How critical is sizing and individual comfort here? (the local Home Depot seems to stock only the cheapo disposable masks and I don't know where to go to "try on" and compare different ones)
Should I buy a separate less bulky "woodworker's" respirator to protect me from dust and a separate cartridge one to protect from fumes or am I just fine with an all-purpose one?
Thanks
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blueman wrote:

3M half mask (3000 series?). In silicone rather than rubber if you want to sweat less and pay a bit more. The filters are replaceable and there's lots of them. They also do dust filters that clip over the fume filters, which are handy if you are working in a dusty workshop but need vapour protection too, without clogging an expensive filter too soon.
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Good idea. Yes, sizing is very important, and yes, HD is a bad place to buy a real respirator. See if there's an industrial or safety or medical or laboratory supply store near you that will let you try on a few models. I found the 3m 7502 (7500 series, last digit refers to size) to fit well and filter well, for about $20. I consider myself an average-sized male, and the size Medium seals even over my gotee. Also fits my wife's much narrower face just fine. To check for a good seal, remove the filter cartridges, hold the mask gently against your face, plug the holes with your thumbs, and try to breathe in. If you can't, it seals well. There are a wide variety of filter cartridges available for the 7500 series - the 2097 are rated for "nuisance-level" organic vapors and particulates. I've used these cartridges for sanding, as well as with a few various finishes and cleaning supplies, and with the mask on, I can't smell anything at all of the solvent or dust. I don't think you'd need the heavier-duty organic vapor cartridges unless you were in extremely high-solvent-concentration areas for extended times, though OSHA has ratings for all that. Here is a link with the cheapest online source I could find for this mask, and they also have various cartridges: http://www.ottofrei.com/store/product.php?productidh91&cat=0&page=1 Hope this helps, Andy
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FWIW the NG came up with a website that had an excellent selection of brands and types of masks at definitely better prices than Home Depot, etc. I bought a whole selection to see which one I'd like best. The rubber mesh coated looked better than it worked - very sweaty.
But the one I now commonly use looks weird but works. Yellow plastic with mouthpiece, two tubes to behind the head and then two HEPA filter discs. Still better particulate protection than the masks and LOTS easier to use if you wear glasses or have a cold/allergies or if you're sweating. Quick and easy to remove and can hang around your neck until you need it again (I cover the mouthpiece with a cloth while not using). Doesn't matter if you're wearing a helmet or faceshield or whatever kind of hat. Packard carries them as well as Klingspor and others.
But if you want fumes as well then you've created a whole 'nuther monster. From what I remember to eliminate fumes you have to pipe fresh air to your enclosed headset. Kinda like a SCUBA diver.
TomNie

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Tom Nie wrote:

Just SCBA, not SCUBA. You're not underwater, so the pressure is only at atmospheric pressure. This allows them to use a simpler regulator design. OTOH, use SCBA kit under water and you'll die...
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look up Lab Safety Supply something on the order of a silicone half mask is good. Survivair was the last brand I bought. different cartriges for different work organic vapors for paint solvents welding mist and fume for most dusts blueman wrote:

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I second the recommendation for Survivair. I think they are manufactured by the same company that makes US Divers SCUBA equipmnet (founded partially by Jacques Coustea). The organic filters really work and you can gang mount filters too- dust filter beofre organic filter, for example. The head straps adjust easily. In spite of the recommendations not to grow a beard they seem to work well with my furry face because they seal under the chin/jaw area very well Marc
snipped-for-privacy@localnet.com wrote:

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Bullard hood?
http://www.granitecitytool.com/showitem.cfm?itemnumB2&catnum0&pcatnum &n=Bullard%2088%20Supplied%20Air%20Hood
We used them in industry for solvent protection. Has the added benefit of keeping your nice and cool...
Pretty much no way to get exposed to anything as your air supply is 'piped' in.
Jason blueman wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com said:

Not disputing the effectiveness of this hood, but I believe my neighbors would wonder about the EPA Disaster Response Team styled garb and freak out. (Too many viewings of "Outbreak" perhaps.)
They wonder what goes on over here anyways....
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Ha!...LOL Agree...overkill for the woodshop, IMO.
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http://www.northsafety.com
They have a respiratory selection guide. Those disposable mask are not respirators and are worthless.
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blueman wrote: > Looking for a good all-purpose respirator to save me from the variety > of particulates, solvents and fumes I encounter as I repair and/or build things > around my house. (I am now ready to graduate from disposable dust masks > and respirators)
Find an industrial safety equipment supplier in your area.
Lew
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blueman wrote: > Looking for a good all-purpose respirator to save me from the variety > of particulates, solvents and fumes I encounter as I repair and/or build things > around my house. (I am now ready to graduate from disposable dust masks > and respirators)
A further thought.
3M-6800 is about as good as it gets unless you need to carry a bottle on your back.
Lew
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Best bet is to go to an industrial safety shop- look in the yellow pages. The respirator I have runs about $24 at Menard's, but I got the same one from Farrell (don't know it it's a chain or not) for $8. Cartridges were at a similar markdown. For simple dust, the pink foam filters work fine and the chemical ones are easy enough to put on and take off- they're the expensive ones, so make sure to get a prefilter for them so they don't get fouled with dust right away.

Haven't looked at mine closely in a while, but I think it is an AOS. But I've have six or eight of them over the years, different brands, and they all seem to fit about the same. Unless you've got an oddly shaped face, any one should be okay. Any one of them will feel restrictive at first, but you get used to them with regular use- like a new pair of shoes. If you've got a few choices, it wouldn't hurt to choose one with wider elastic bands, to keep them from digging into your skin a little.

I wouldn't. Just get the both sets of filters for the all purpose one, and swap them as needed. Putting the light particle filters on will take most of the wieght off the rig anyway.

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all. Certainly the non-woven material *is* capable of filtering particles, however, it is not practical to obtain a seal around the mask/face. Even the slightest gap would make the things useless. Doctors (surgeons) wear these type masks more to protect the patient from his/her microbes rather than the other way around.
Thus, I would suggest any rubberized type of mask that can fit snugly on your face. Home Depot in my area does sell these (in Paints) and they are fairly cheap and effective for dust. Filters need to be changed for solvents, etc.
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_Real_ respirator masks, not dust masks, eg: North and other manufacturers, are all pretty much interchangeable in all respects. Except for the way cartridges connect. There's three or more different standards.
So, you pick a reasonably well known one (eg: North), and pick which cartridges you'll need, and the size that fits right.
Preferably pick a standard with the "large" screw fittings (around 1 1/2") not the 1" diameter fittings. North is the small ones. Lee Valley carries another other style with the big fitting.
The difficulties with them isn't their effectiveness, nor fit per-se, it's things like fogging up safety glasses, being warm/sweaty after a while etc.
For those, you'll want to consider full face masks with built in respirators. Some of them are _really_ comfortable. But they're all considerably more expensive. Some are > $1000.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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Chris Lewis wrote:

And they don't work as well with a beard.
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Depends on the beard I think.
I've never had issues with mine.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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