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Dusk from Power Carving

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  • Dusk from Power Carving

    I use a Dremmel for some detail carving/sanding. I wear a surgeon mask MOST of the time. I mostly carve basswood and cedarwood. Lately, I have been doing some cottonwood and my chest is feeling a little weird.
    Any suggestions for a good mask? Do I really need protection using these woods? I do not want to develop lung cancer 20 years form now. That is very scary. Let me know
    Doel

  • #2
    Re: Dusk from Power Carving

    Yes, you should wear dust protection and would also help to have some kind of dust equipment or at least a fan blowing the dust away from you! Wood dust depending on the kind can cause some problems! I had problems with basswood while using a burner...

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    • #3
      Re: Dusk from Power Carving

      I am glad you posted that HI Ho. I found that I had a little problem burning in basswood also. I was wearing a heavy duty mask but it may have been the smoke from the burning. I made several relief carvings of the Firemans emblem and perseted them to our local Fire Department. I am wondering id a resporator(SP) would be better. I found I was trying to blow the smoke away with the mask on. Can't be done while wearing it. Now, I use a fan to blow it away from me. But some protection is in order.

      Safety first,
      Kenny S
      Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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      • #4
        Re: Dusk from Power Carving

        I know only what I was told by a man that has been carving for years. He said that some woods, when they become spalted, ( begining to decay ) are toxic in dust form. Sorry I didn't listen better. I don't sand anything so, I didn't listen realm close.
        Take care,&&Butch &&&&I know there's a carving somewhere in all that extra wood!

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        • #5
          Re: Dusk from Power Carving

          WHAT? Are you serious, should you wear a mask while woodburning?? I'd hate that, I do wear one when I sand (and hate it) because I did notice a 'feeling' in my chest and my 'allergies' were worse the day after I sanded something but woodburning....I love the smell, yeah I know, I'm weird!! I only work with basswood so I didn't think there really would be a problem with it, you know, because it's not like 'found wood' or something that's been exposed to the elements, so to speak.
          Oh, and is just the little white paper masks good enough to wear when I do wear one or should I have something else? Thanks, Callynne
          http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumList?u=4055528

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          • #6
            Re: Dusk from Power Carving

            I wear a respirator; not a mask, when power carving, or sanding. A lot of the volatile oils in wood are, if not toxic, irriatating. I don't wear one while burning, but that is very little, and I do have a vent fan on than.

            I find those paper masks are not secure enough around my face; not only for inhaling dust, but when I exhale, it goes up and fogs my glasses!!!!!

            Al

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            • #7
              Re: Dust from Power Carving

              We usually have at least one carver in our group of ten who is wood burning, and no one has ever noted a problem other than an occasional whiff in the wrong driection. Most of our burning is on basswood, for birds and furry animals. I've done a little burning on butternut, mahogany and cherry and never noticed any irritation. I have been bothered by dust from those woods, and I'm careful now to wear a good dust mask any time I'm band sawing, scroll sawing or sanding. One caution we need to make is burning wood that has been glued with Superglue. We harden bird beaks and feather tips with superglue, after we carve and burn them. If you have to go back and burn again, the fumes can contain cyanide that a dust maks won't catch.

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              • #8
                Re: Dusk from Power Carving

                Hi Gang,
                I remember reading an article last year in Chip Chats (Dare I mention that name here). It was an article written by a gentleman that power carved for years and did not wear a mask. The article was written while he was still alive and published after he had passed away. He warns everyone about carving without a mask he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and they had determined that the cause was from the wood particles. I will look through my magazines and see if I can find the article and publish it. I remember it sure changed my mind about carving without a mask. He didnt mention anything about burning but I would not think it would be that bad if you were well ventilated. My take on this is that a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Why tept fate there is so much carving I want to do and you are a long time dead. :'(
                Colin

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                • #9
                  Re: Dusk from Power Carving

                  Our carving group all saw that article and talked about it in our class. Out take on it was that he was carving spalted wood, and the spores from the mold or fungus started an infection that was untreatable. I wondered how it could be that only one woodworker has died (that we know of) from doing something that millions of people have done for centuries. But, I'm careful to wear a mask at home for cutting and sanding, after feeling my lungs tighten up after band sawing some mahogany without a mask. I coughed for a couple of days and learned that lesson well.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dusk from Power Carving

                    i always wear a mask whenever i may be exposed to wood dust. i wear what is called a 'NORTH' halfmask. it is designed to be used with asbestes removal, and is also good for paint and dust. It has removable cartridges for both but i use the ones for asbestes. the dust from these woods may never hurt me.....but i would rather be safe than sorry!

                    PAPA

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                    • #11
                      Re: Dusk from Power Carving

                      I think it is a respirator for me!!!! Getting to the age and retirement time and I don't need breathing problems. I have enough problems staying up with the little GDaughter now.

                      Callynne, It is Time gal

                      Dag-gum, I kind of like the brunt wood smell.

                      I awlays say Safety first and I believe this is another safety issue. I have read where some of the older Carvers developed lund problems from not wearing masks or respirator. The last Tulso Carving show there was a man who was on oxygen because he contacted lung problems from the sanding of a wood(I don't remember the name of the wood. Made some very pretty carvings but I believe folfs that it could be very serious to our healths.
                      I am off my soap box. Happy Carving.
                      Safety first, then enjoyment.

                      Kenny S
                      Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Dusk from Power Carving

                        Hi all,
                        I use a dust collector and a mask when I'm doing power carving and sanding. 3M makes a wide variety of masks and while the cheaper/thinner ones help, you should be using one with heavy filtration. (I was a bit surprised to see the latest edition of Chip Chats featured several power carvers with no dust masks in sight or mentioned.) Most lumber yards/home supply places have a good selection of masks to chose from, and personally I perfer 3M made products....aside from the fact that my husband just retired from there, their products are superior to other brands.

                        When wood burning, I don't use a mask, but I do put a fan on low nearby--pulling the fumes and smoke AWAY from me rather than blowing at me. This doesn't seem to affect the heat of my burner as much and still keeps the air moving.

                        I didn't do this when I stripped furniture or sanded wood in my younger days. Now I have asthma and I try to take as much precautions as I can so I can live long enough to outfox my kids and grandkids--and carve for another 20 years!

                        Donna T

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                        • #13
                          Re: Dust from Power Carving

                          Thanks guy for all the info. I will go I buy myself a good mask.
                          I am too young to have lung problems and I already have a heart conditions. (one condition is enough)
                          What 3M mask you reccomend?
                          D!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dusk from Power Carving

                            another excelent brand is Survivair. Whatever brand you get though make sure it fits, most come in small medium and large sizes. With the mask on and adjusted you should be able to cover the air inlets with your hands and not be able to draw a breath. Make sure you get the proper filter for the task at hand as well. There are different cartriges available for what you want to filter out. A particulate filter is what your after to filter out the dust. The smaller the micron rating the finer dust will be filtered. Happy shopping.

                            Dave

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