What Steps Do You Take To Protect Your Hearing? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-10-2018, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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What Steps Do You Take To Protect Your Hearing?

What Steps Do You Take To Protect Your Hearing?-hearing-protection.jpg

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Anyone who works with power tools is familiar with the amount of noise they create. Depending on where you work may determine how much hearing protection you need, whether itís in an outdoor environment or an interior workshop. Some of these options seem too cautious for some, but in the case of protecting your hearing, itís always better to be safe than sorry. Hearing Protection for Woodworkers
Have you experienced hearing loss due to woodworking?

What steps do you take to protect your hearing?

"Show respect even to people who donít deserve it, not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours."
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-10-2018, 04:07 PM
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No hearing loss from woodworking or other manufacturing years. I've always worn ear plugs, even in the 70's when I started working in manufacturing plants. Now I wear the Howard Leight QB2 ear plugs daily, even when I run the shop vac. No power tool except the drill press and scroll saw gets used without wearing hearing protection. When I run the planer I switch to the foam ear plugs and put my 35 dB reduction ear muffs on for even greater protection.

I even use the Howard Leight ear plugs when I run the vacuum cleaner in the house! LOL!

David
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-10-2018, 06:17 PM
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I just take my hearing aids out, my hearing is shot now and getting worse.

http://www.diychatroom.com/

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post #4 of 19 Old 05-10-2018, 06:24 PM
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WAHT? ..........

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-10-2018 at 06:27 PM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-10-2018, 06:35 PM
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WAHT? ..........
That's what I was going to post when I read the thread title.
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-10-2018, 06:45 PM
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The audiologist tests pointed to gunshots (always muffs) and explosions (F/X, always muffs.)
I say it was decades unprotected with things like table saws, chain saws and planers.

I use my gunshot muffs, stuffed full of extra foam sheet layers for all noisy stuff, even the ShopVac.
What I can't tell you is if this has helped at all to slow my rate of hearing loss. I just don't know.

I can say that any noisy work is far easier to do, to concentrate on, than ever before.
Even the repetition banging away with a 30oz carving mallet on big gouges for hours.
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-03-2018, 09:04 AM
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I went to the NHRA Nats. on Friday. My ears tingled when they hit the loud pedal even with hearing protection in place.
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-03-2018, 12:09 PM
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I use my Howard Leight shooter's ear protectors. They provide 30 dB of noise reduction with the mic turned off and prevent my ears from ringing even when running the planer and dust collector.

<Chas>
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post #9 of 19 Old 06-03-2018, 12:28 PM
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My mother was stone deaf from age 3 from a very high fever. Doctors said it fried the nerves from her ear drum to brain. I could clap my hands with her back turned to me from across a room and it would get her attention. Ear drums are easily damaged by concussion sounds (especially deep sounds) as well as constant high pitched vibrations. My advise would be to try to be mindful when using any tool of this fact. If my mother was subjected to constant concussion sounds she would have lost the ability to recognize my clap. She died at 84 and had this ability until the end. I use typically use muffs when I can to protect my hearing from loss.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-03-2018, 12:36 PM
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I think that everyone is more aware of safety issues than in the past, due to good research and education throughout the woodworking community.

Most of my hearing loss is typical age-related. I can blame some of it on years of riding motorcycles without knowing enough about hearing safety. For the last decade or so, I have been wearing earplugs whenever I ride, but some cumulative hearing damage is probably there.

In the shop, I wear the Harbor Freight cheap earmuffs. They work well for a good price. I keep a second pair around for guests, too.
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-26-2020, 10:28 AM
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Iíve always been rigorous about wearing over the ear protection. I hate loud noise, and plugs never seemed to work for me.

However, a few months ago I took a gamble and bought some mid-range Bluetooth in-the-ear headphones. Theyíre not ďnoise cancelling,Ē meaning they donít have some kind of white-noise function. But they do an AMAZING job of blocking the noise, even when thereís no music playing. And when I put music or baseball on, I can hear it easily. When Iím doing something particularly loud, I put the muffs on over them. Itís been a game-changer for me.

The downside is I end up oblivious to the outside world. My wife knows to send me a text if she needs my attention. I hear the phone ďdingĒ through the headphones. Works very well.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-26-2020, 11:14 AM
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After growing up with guns, fireworks and loud cars, then thirty years of rock and roll before going into millwork and wood products manufacturing, it's a miracle I can hear at all! The men on my father's side of my family are all hard of hearing and when I took my physical for the draft, they kept me in the hearing booth for over an hour then sent me home! I now wear muffs in the shop, but I find that sometimes I need to hear the machine as is when doing heavy cuts to be able to feed the stock without bogging my saw. All in all, I now live in a pretty peaceful world, just ask the wife! LOL


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post #13 of 19 Old 07-26-2020, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan JC Buffum View Post
Iíve always been rigorous about wearing over the ear protection. I hate loud noise, and plugs never seemed to work for me.

However, a few months ago I took a gamble and bought some mid-range Bluetooth in-the-ear headphones. Theyíre not ďnoise cancelling,Ē meaning they donít have some kind of white-noise function. But they do an AMAZING job of blocking the noise, even when thereís no music playing. And when I put music or baseball on, I can hear it easily. When Iím doing something particularly loud, I put the muffs on over them. Itís been a game-changer for me.

The downside is I end up oblivious to the outside world. My wife knows to send me a text if she needs my attention. I hear the phone ďdingĒ through the headphones. Works very well.
Dylan, be very careful using blue tooth earphones, as you cannot often hear a machine running, like a table saw or jointer.

I no longer use them in my shop after one close call after I didnít realize a ,achine was running.

IOW too much hearing protection is not a good thing!
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-26-2020, 05:49 PM
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usually over-the-ear muffs at home (I have two pair in the garage, which is my workshop), at work (on field trips) it was ear plugs.

Retired engineer-bureaucrat in Oakland, CA. Been working with wood since the 1960's. From the 50's if you count the scrap woodpile on the farm!
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post #15 of 19 Old 07-27-2020, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRobert View Post
Dylan, be very careful using blue tooth earphones, as you cannot often hear a machine running, like a table saw or jointer.

I no longer use them in my shop after one close call after I didnít realize a ,achine was running.

IOW too much hearing protection is not a good thing!
Certainly a legit concern. I'm the only one in my shop, and I'm very diligent turning machines off when not actively using them. I'v also wired several so that there's a visible light over them that is on whenever they're on. I put a panic switch that operates the outlet and a red light fixture on my router table and my planer. If I ever get a table saw or jointer, I'll do the same.

And while the earbuds are fantastic, and even more with the muffs over them, they're not quite that good. I can still hear the router, miter saw, planer. I can't really hear the lathe, drill press, or bench grinder.
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-27-2020, 06:43 PM
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For about 6 years I worked in a factory environment bring up new mainframe computers. That was 1965 to 1971. Somewhere about 1971 I discovered Lee's Sonic Ear Valves, a.k.a. Shooters Ear Plugs. After one midnight shift of wearing them and coming home to a quiet house, I realized their value. The ear plugs became a part of my body and life from then on.

I would wear the ear plugs in the shop also. Especially when running the Craftsman shop vac.

Around 1986 or so and at the advice of the doctor I got hearing aids. While getting fitted for hearing aids it was suggested that I use ear muffs in the shop but the ear valves would probably be ok for occasional computer room work. It was also explained the need to protect from bone conduction in addition to through the air and that muffs were best.

In the shop today, I wear Peltor Optime 105. I have a second set for when I was in the shop at the community college. Supposed to be 30 db Noise Reduction.

While we are talking about ear muffs.

DO NOT USE EAR MUFFS WITH MUSIC OR RADIO.

What happens with the music is that you turn it up to overcome any residual sound that enters the ear muff. The purpose of the ear muff is to protect years from loud sounds and music in the ear muff is a loud sound. Don't believe me? Wear your music ear muffs in the shop. Wear them and go into a quiet house. Can the volume level be lowered and still be heard? The higher volume is damaging your hearing.

What I have discovered as the place to buy hearing aids.
The first set were $8000.
The second were $4500 through an agent associated with Kaiser.
The latest and a few in between were $1500, to maybe $1700 at Costco.

Yes, technology has gotten better and cheaper, however where you buy them is important also. The technology changes every 3 to 5 years. With each change of technology, the area within the audio spectrum that can be fine tuned gets narrower with more areas that can be fine tuned. It is not so much as sticking an audio amplifier in your ear but putting a series of finely tuned amplifiers in your ear.

The latest sets was purchased at Costco. There is a difference in the level of competency of any of the dispensing agents. The difference at Costco is that there are no commissions for the dispensing personnel. At Costco you get what is best for you and your hearing loss and NOT what offers the best commission. Hearing tests are free and included. I've known my audiologist for about 25 years. Compared to the others that I've experienced, she the best.

Rich
Just a dumb old paper boy from Brooklyn, NY
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-27-2020, 06:57 PM
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One other thing about ear muffs and ear plugs.

I was at a Formula One race in Phoenix. This was during the non-turbo era. The sounds were so loud and reverberating between buildings of down town Phoenix that if you opened your mouth, the sound would make your fillings hurt. The ear muffs I was using were 28 NRR IIRC. I added the ear plugs and the sound became about tolerable.

Rich
Just a dumb old paper boy from Brooklyn, NY
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-28-2020, 11:22 AM
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Out of curiosity, I took a sound level meter and measured the shop vac a few weeks ago. It is a Sears Craftsman 16 gallon shop vac from the early 1980s. I measured the sound level from a distance that approximated where my ears would be when I switch it on.

The shop vac output measures over 100 dB at my "ear location."
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post #19 of 19 Old 08-07-2020, 08:58 PM
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WHAT HEARING ? After 60 years of working on and running machinery, mine is pretty bad. I think the worst was the twin 640 ton screw style refrigeration units I ran back in the 1980's. I have run a lot larger units, but those things sounded like a cross between a rock crusher and a jet engine :)

...J.D.
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