Mask or No Mask - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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Mask or No Mask

When sanding your material do you wear a dust mask?

Only ones I've used are the cheap paper ones, which are horrible and hot.

Any recommendations for a comfortable mask for sanding? One that I would wear.
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 06:25 AM
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Definitely wear a mask when sanding. The paper ones are okay but they are not without their flaws. I have several masks that I used in the shop and I like them all. They have to be comfortable or you won't wear them. My most recent mask is the most comfortable one yet and I love it. It's this one. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...=1,42207,43647
Lightweight, soft, comfortable and low profile so it fits under my face shield as well if I need it.

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post #3 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 06:30 AM
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A "cluster" of nasal cancers in High Wycombe UK was traced to the local furniture factories.
Most comfortable mask re getting hot would probably be a down draught type, however a bit expensive.

http://airplus-europe.com/en/?gclid=...FRc6GwodLjgK7g

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post #4 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 06:53 AM
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Whether I wear a mask depends largely on how hot it is and how much sanding I will be doing. When I do wear a mask I prefer a chemical respirator. I find it much more comfortable than a paper mask. It certainly is more effective. Sometimes if it's very hot I will just set up a fan to blow the dust away from me.
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 08:12 AM
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When doing light duty sanding and finishing, I use these guys from Fastcap...they are lightweight, yet provide good filtering (a must) : http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/vie...9&idcategory=0

If I'm making allot of sawdust (especially with pine...which really irritates my nose an sinuses) , I use this one from RZ Filtration.https://rzmask.com/pages/construction.

It's actually quite comfortable...not to hot and does a great job, plus has a replaceable filter (inside the mask). If you buy it from Amazon , you'll get 2 extra filters in addition to the 3 that come with it.
It comes in a wide assortment of wild colors and patterns too...if you're into something other than basic black.

Breathe easier and safer

Johnnie D
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 01:06 PM
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This has been on my mind lately and I'm curious how my perspective on this compares to the thoughts of others.

I always wear a respirator when spraying anything, but when sanding, I almost never do.

When I sand by hand, I figure I'm not raising that much dust, so I don't normally wear a mask.

When I sand with my Random Orbit Sander, I connect it to a vacuum which does a surprisingly good job of removing the dust through the 5 holes in the sanding disk, so I don't wear a mask. In addition, I think the dust removal from connecting the ROS to the vacuum makes it sand more effectively.

Curious for thoughts from others.
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 01:18 PM
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I would absolutely wear a respirator when sanding. I'm bad about not always wearing it if doing some light duty work, or just a quick sanding session. But if I'm going to be sanding for more than a minute or two, I'll put one on. The one I use is very comfortable, and actually vents my hot and humid breath pretty well, so every breath I take in is pretty nice, fresh, cool, clean air.

I use this 3M mask with the P100 3M filters. About a $35 setup. Well worth the money.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #8 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 02:04 PM
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I second the comment on the RZ mask. It is very comfortable to wear and I end up wearing it longer than I would any other mask. Some of the YouTube woodworkers have a discount code in their video reviews of the mask to get some free filters with an order.
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 03:48 PM
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Wear a mask at the very least. Airborne dust, of any sort, is nasty stuff, and breathing too much of it opens you up to all sorts of respiratory issues, infections, cancers, sensitizing you to wood. A paper n95 mask would be the bare minimum, personally I prefer wearing a half-face respirator. Probably overkill, but I find them a lot more comfortable in terms of heat and humidity buildup, and its not like the extra security is a bad thing

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post #10 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like it's a consensus yes from the group. Now to find the one I'll wear. Thanks.


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post #11 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 07:01 PM
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When in doubt, wear one. My father had lung cancer from being around asbestos for many years. I used to get the cheap dusk masks but every time I exhaled, it would fog up my glasses. I either had to quit breathing while sanding or turning or get something else. I went to Lowe's and got the dust masks with the relief valve- closes when I inhale and opens when I exhale. Now I don't turn blue!
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post #12 of 26 Old 04-17-2017, 07:19 PM
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I probably should wear a dust mask, but the cheap paper ones just fog my glasses. I run all of the sanders and any other power tool that has dust collection capability with a hose attached. I also run the ambient air filter when working wood, along with the shop exhaust fan.

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post #13 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Frye View Post
I probably should wear a dust mask, but the cheap paper ones just fog my glasses. I run all of the sanders and any other power tool that has dust collection capability with a hose attached. I also run the ambient air filter when working wood, along with the shop exhaust fan.
Its worth noting that A) no dust collection system at the tool is perfect and B) fantastic though ambient air cleaners are, your intake is closer to the work than its is.

I swear, I'm not trying to be overly critical or preachy of you, and I do apologize if it comes across that way. Air quality is one of my personal berserk buttons because its one of the most ignored things I see, safety wise. I'm not criticizing your setup here, just hoping to point out the general limitions to whatever curious bystander happened s across this

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post #14 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 06:24 AM
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https://www.theguardian.com/society/...-health-safety

something to frighten you.
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post #15 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
Definitely wear a mask when sanding. The paper ones are okay but they are not without their flaws. I have several masks that I used in the shop and I like them all. They have to be comfortable or you won't wear them. My most recent mask is the most comfortable one yet and I love it. It's this one. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...=1,42207,43647
Lightweight, soft, comfortable and low profile so it fits under my face shield as well if I need it.
Well now I have two different masks to pick from lol. The ellipse and now the RZ. I was all set to get the ellipse until I saw this post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnie_dr View Post
When doing light duty sanding and finishing, I use these guys from Fastcap...they are lightweight, yet provide good filtering (a must) : http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/vie...9&idcategory=0

If I'm making allot of sawdust (especially with pine...which really irritates my nose an sinuses) , I use this one from RZ Filtration.https://rzmask.com/pages/construction.

It's actually quite comfortable...not to hot and does a great job, plus has a replaceable filter (inside the mask). If you buy it from Amazon , you'll get 2 extra filters in addition to the 3 that come with it.
It comes in a wide assortment of wild colors and patterns too...if you're into something other than basic black.

Breathe easier and safer

Johnnie D
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTOKC View Post
I second the comment on the RZ mask. It is very comfortable to wear and I end up wearing it longer than I would any other mask. Some of the YouTube woodworkers have a discount code in their video reviews of the mask to get some free filters with an order.
Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Its worth noting that A) no dust collection system at the tool is perfect and B) fantastic though ambient air cleaners are, your intake is closer to the work than its is.

I swear, I'm not trying to be overly critical or preachy of you, and I do apologize if it comes across that way. Air quality is one of my personal berserk buttons because its one of the most ignored things I see, safety wise. I'm not criticizing your setup here, just hoping to point out the general limitions to whatever curious bystander happened s across this
I'm with you on being careful with wood dust. I haven't been woodworking for very long and already I can tell the difference between the days I do wear my respirator like I should and the days I don't even though I hook my sanders up to a vacuum. It's almost like my allergies kick my butt, dry nose, stuffiness, forehead and bridge of nose feel like muscles are all tensed up constantly, and my lungs feel weird... best way I can describe that.

I want to do this woodworking thing for as long as possible so I'd prefer not to get cancer or some other dumb thing from something I love to do. So as soon as I can I'm upgrading my dust collecting stuff starting with a new respirator cause I currently have a 3m one, but I hate wearing it cause it's not comfortable at all.

My question though between the ellipse and the RZ. I know if you have a beard the 99.97% filtration goes right out the window with the ellipse. Can the same be said for the RZ since it goes all the way around your head? My beard's not going anywhere any time soon cause I look like i'm a balding 12 year old without it, but I want to keep myself safe. Should I go for the RZ or bite the bullet and look like a bald 12 year old?
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post #16 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 02:16 PM
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I did industrial spray painting for a living for quite some time so my lungs are probably beyond anything a little dust might do to them, but occasionally if I do machine sanding I'll wear a paper mask. I usually work with a fan to draw most of it outside.
The painting I did was mostly inside a big, hot booth and by the end of most projects my respirator would be filled with my own sweat that I'd just pour out once in awhile.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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post #17 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 04:30 PM
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I try to not do any sanding unless I absolutely have too. I have serious sinus issues (3 surgeries in five years now to remove tumors) which means under no circumstances can I go without a mask while sanding.

The biggest issue I have that keeps me from sanding unless I need too is wearing a mask of any type makes it feel like I cant breathe. This thread really interests me as now I'm wondering if any of these masks would be easier to breathe in?

The reason I cant breathe in them is also due to my sinus issues.

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post #18 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like this thread was liked by some. I just ordered the eclipse this morning.


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post #19 of 26 Old 04-19-2017, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renraw9002 View Post
My question though between the ellipse and the RZ. I know if you have a beard the 99.97% filtration goes right out the window with the ellipse. Can the same be said for the RZ since it goes all the way around your head? My beard's not going anywhere any time soon cause I look like i'm a balding 12 year old without it, but I want to keep myself safe. Should I go for the RZ or bite the bullet and look like a bald 12 year old?


I have a full beard and use the RZ. I don't do any spray painting but sand projects regularly and use leaf blower to clean the shop which kicks up hella dust. I cant speak to any scientific efficiency but don't feel like I am inhaling much of the dust.
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post #20 of 26 Old 04-19-2017, 09:34 AM
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Yes, I definitely wear a mask, though I didn't always. I HATED the paper masks, so I just wouldn't bother. Then I'd suffer for 2 or 3 days. Someone on my guitar forum recommended these, and I got one for Christmas. It's so comfortable that I don't mind wearing it. Consequently, it's one of the first things I put on when I go to the shop now.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&th=1
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