Do you use a respirator?

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Forum topic by pete79 posted 03-28-2011 04:14 PM 2662 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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154 posts in 3169 days

03-28-2011 04:14 PM

I recently started wearing a respirator in the workshop as I’m becoming much more aware of shop safety and dust collection (or in my case non-collection). I’m getting an air cleaner in the next week or so, and am curious how many of you wear a respirator in a shop equipped with an air cleaner?

If you have an air cleaner, do you wear a respirator? Do you wear it all the time, or only when cutting/routing/planing? If you don’t wear one at all, do you feel any ill effects from it, or does the air cleaner do a good enough job?

-- Life is a one lap race.

14 replies so far

View Cliff De Witt 's profile

Cliff De Witt

130 posts in 2721 days

#1 posted 03-28-2011 04:42 PM

All I know is that on days when I don’t ware my Triton, I have a headache that night, If i do wear the head gear I don’t have a problem.

You would think the choice would be obvious, I must not be too smart because I frequently have headaches.

-- Trying to find an answer to my son’s question: “…and forming organic cellulose by spinning it on its axis is interesting, why?”

View skippyland's profile


158 posts in 2720 days

#2 posted 03-28-2011 04:54 PM

Hey, Pete. I’ve got a small shop (12×20), with a Jet air cleaner ceiling mounted, and a dedicated shop vac attached to my orbital sander. You cannot believe how much dust accumulates in the air cleaner filters! Normally I wear my resperator during planing operations…and think about it as dust shoots up from the TS. Yeah, sometimes, I get that dry tickle in the throat and I hear my wife asking if I wear my masks….

-- Skip from Batavia, purveyor of fine and exotic sawdust & chips.

View chrisstef's profile


17428 posts in 3034 days

#3 posted 03-28-2011 05:05 PM

Liek you Pete im concerned about my health and safety but dont have a dedicated dust collection or filtrations setup yet. I wear my respirator just about everytime i make a cut or do any sanding. I had a neighbor who was a cabineet maker years ago and one day he caught me belt sanding without a mask on … he walked over to me put his hand on my shoulder and says “ya know kid, all the heros are dead .. put a mask on”

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3070 days

#4 posted 03-28-2011 11:34 PM

I wear one when I know the wood has a history of causing irritation. Like Bloodwood causes me to get hives so I wear a mask when using it. Otherwise I don’t wear one. I look up a woods toxicity prior to using it. Most woods are less of an irritant then the dust that gets stirred up from the wind around my parts.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2682 days

#5 posted 03-28-2011 11:44 PM

When I’m doing operations that don’t have a central DC or shopvac DC hookup, I wear a mask. Whenever I handsand, I wear a mask. Mixing and spraying finishes, I wear a chemical filter mask.

I’ve got a 3M helmet/faceshield setup with a waist belt that has a rechargeable battery and motor assembly sucking clean air through a .5 mic filter and blowing it through a hose to the faceshield/helmet setup. This keeps positive pressure inside the mask, thus keeping air particles out. Great setup but expensive. But I figure I only have 1 set of lungs to last.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3470 days

#6 posted 03-29-2011 01:40 AM

Always wear one. Even though I have a good dust collection system and an air cleaner. The type I use is a snorkle design and it is comfortable, so I have no trouble making myself wear it. Better safe than sorry.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2790 days

#7 posted 03-29-2011 02:52 AM

I wear one when I spray but thats it but i do have all windows and doors open with a big chicken house fan blowing out at all times

PS might sound careless but I smoke a pack a day so I guess I am

-- As Best I Can

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3222 days

#8 posted 03-29-2011 03:08 AM

I do have an air cleaner, and good dust collection for my machines and tools. I also have a good respirator, but I don’t wear it….I don’t like them….they interfere with my smoking and drinking coffee, and I do that all the time while in the shop…..I’ve tried it a few times, but it also impeeds my vision a little….so NO, I don’t wear it…..but then again I’m not allergic to any woods, or have any allegeries….I’ll probably die some day of lung cancer anyway, so a respirator ain’t gonna help me none….:).

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View Justin's profile


119 posts in 2997 days

#9 posted 03-29-2011 03:36 AM

The shop I work in has dust collection to all the machines and a downdraft table for sanding so i don’t feel the need for a respirator, the only time i do wear one is when i spray finishes or ill wear a mask when cleaning out dust collection. If i didn’t work were they had dust collection i would really consider using a respirator or at least a mask when doing anything that creates a lot of dust even though i find them unconformable.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2703 days

#10 posted 03-29-2011 05:55 AM

I cut some treated 2×4’s in a basement at my daughters once. Used a portable saw and never thought a thing about it. 2 days later I had pneumonia and spent a week in bed on meds. The mask needs an N95 or better rating. I believe the govt tells us that wood is a carcinogen as are most other things in life.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3260 days

#11 posted 03-29-2011 06:11 AM

It all depends on what I am doing, and how effective dust collection at the tool is. I have a full out dust collection / separator system, and an ambient air filter. I still will use a respirator when doing particularly dusty operations from machines that lack good dust collection like the miter saw…

I use the pink N100 filters… No they don’t get 100% but they are as close as you are going to get….

For what it’s worth I am busting my tail to improve dust hoods as fast as I can…

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View cannonskate's profile


8 posts in 2935 days

#12 posted 03-30-2011 10:50 AM

I wear one almost all the time now, but thats because I have no dust collection or air filter as of now. As soon as I get a good dust collection system, I plan on only wearing a respirator when sanding, or for toxic chemical use.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3088 days

#13 posted 04-01-2011 02:29 AM

The only time I use it for is sanding and wood finishing.

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