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Joe, while it's never wise to inhale much of the dusts, smoke and chemicals us woodworkers encounter, the level of protection you may require depends on your own physical needs and your level of exposure. Some of us, wisely or not, have enjoyed our hobby without a care for dust masks. Others use simple throw away paper masks. While, a few need and use a full face respirator.
I can't speak to the particular mask you cited because I'm one of those who very occasionally uses the throw away type.
Inventory your exposure risks and your physical/medical needs and decide accordingly.
But, remember to always enjoy your time in the shop. If you're always worried about your health, that diminishes an otherwise happy experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Joe, while it's never wise to inhale much of the dusts, smoke and chemicals us woodworkers encounter, the level of protection you may require depends on your own physical needs and your level of exposure. Some of us, wisely or not, have enjoyed our hobby without a care for dust masks. Others use simple throw away paper masks. While, a few need and use a full face respirator.
I can't speak to the particular mask you cited because I'm one of those who very occasionally uses the throw away type.
Inventory your exposure risks and your physical/medical needs and decide accordingly.
But, remember to always enjoy your time in the shop. If you're always worried about your health, that diminishes an otherwise happy experience.

Thanks I appreciate your take I may stick with throw a-away for now :)
 

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Joe, while it's never wise to inhale much of the dusts, smoke and chemicals us woodworkers encounter, the level of protection you may require depends on your own physical needs and your level of exposure. Some of us, wisely or not, have enjoyed our hobby without a care for dust masks. Others use simple throw away paper masks. While, a few need and use a full face respirator.
I can't speak to the particular mask you cited because I'm one of those who very occasionally uses the throw away type.
Inventory your exposure risks and your physical/medical needs and decide accordingly.
But, remember to always enjoy your time in the shop. If you're always worried about your health, that diminishes an otherwise happy experience.
Couldn't have been said better, Gene, you have a way with words.
Herb
 

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Joe we are not all created equal. Some can tolerate dust while others do not. The unfortunate truth is that all too often, if you are one of the ones who can't tolerate it, the realization comes too late. If you have any feeling at all that what you are using is inadequate then take steps immediately to improve on what you are using.
 

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Hi Joe. I'm not familiar with that particular style of mask... never seen one and never used one. Not saying it's a bad mask, just not familiar with it. I personally don't like the disposable ones, altho I have used them in the past. I find the ones with an exhaust vent in the center to be best because without the vent, my glasses fog up. My mask of choice is this one: 3M Mask Not saying it's the best, but it works for me. And, if I need to, I can put different filters on it for paint, fumes, and asbestos.

But, do use one, even the disposables are better than nothing. It's a proven fact, sawdust can kill you.
 

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@Pastorshobby, I second everything said. I greatly applaud your concern about the need for respiratory protection. Woodworking dust is a wide range of sizes, some particles large enough to quickly settle and seem to get all over everything. This visible sawdust is not the main problem. The particles that are the greatest hazard are those that are not visible. Particles the size of bacterial and smaller are the most dangerous. These particles remain in the air and can be inhaled. Once in the lungs they are treated as bacteria and get into the blood stream. There they spread throughout the body and put the person at increased risk for heart disease and stroke, in addition to the lung problems. These particles can be blocked by properly fitted disposable masks that meet the N95 specification, which blocks particles the size of large viruses
@Cherryville Chuck points out that we are all different and some of us will have greater risk for such thing as asthma attacks, allergy attacks, sensitivity to toxins etc.Please do keep in mind that some wood species are toxic and can cause anythng from acute allergic reactions to cancers.

I thought there was a thread in the Wood Species subforum, but I could not find it. I did find a link to a .pdf file originally published in Wood magazine in 1989. A colorized somewhat expanded version can be found here: http://mbwoodturners.ca/Documents/toxic_woods_chart.pdf
 
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All good thoughts about dust protection...

I have used the RZ dust mask now for about 1 year...excellent protection. Fits nice and tight yet comfortable. I use this mask when I'm sanding and generating lotsa dust. And use disposables

like the MXV Pocket mask from FastCap . These slip on and off quickly, are light and work very well.

I stay away from the cheapo ones that you find at big box stores, as they do not seal properly...so why waste your money & your lungs.

Breathe well...

Johnnie
 

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When I saw this thread I immediately clicked on the link, because like @BrianS I was not familiar with these RZ masks. Somehow a few minutes ago I looked at the web site again, partly inspired to do so by the post made by @johnnie_dr. This time I was able to see that they block particles down to 0.1 micrometer. The N95 spec s blocks down to 0.3 micrometer, so these RZ masks exceed the N95 spec. Hence they appear to be a superb value, probably more than really needed for hobby level woodworking.

Next question: can a person wear glasses and these RZ masks at same time?
 

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I use the 3M masks with the pressure valve. This prevents my glasses fogging when I exhale. I used the cheap toss-it masks but got the fog. I have a respirator but can't wear it as it throws my glasses out of focus and I get a headache after a couple of minutes. One thing on my list is a dust collector. I have a Shop Vac but it is limited in what it can do compared to the suction of a DC system.
Good that you are concerned about safety in the shop. My father contracted lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos for many years in industry.
 

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Joe,

As others stated your needs may vary from others'. That being said, I firmly believe in safety even if it compromises comfort ! Depending on what you are doing and what materials are involved will justify what you need. I recommend to my students to have 3M Aura Particulate Respirator N95 (or equivalent) which is a disposable mask that is of good quality and if you keep it in a baggie or other sealed container, it will stay clean and you can re-use it several times before you dispose it. This is for most woodworking operations in the shop including cutting of treated or toxic woods, sanding of anything, and some very mild finishes. For more agressive filtering, I use a workhorse respirator with G95P NlOSH filters. This is used mainly for finishing with airborne sprays or using contact cement type glues. I know some woodworkers have helmet type respirators for turning and other work, but they are pricy and you will know if you need one or not depending on your projects.
Dan
 

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Hi, masks to me are a must. I seem to be sensitive to fine dust and my old lungs require a mask. I use two kinds of masks. For quick cuts, I keep the paper masks on hand. But if I'm going to work in the shop, I prefer the Rockler mask in the picture. My glasses fit OK with it on and the pressure in the mask leaks out under them just a bit so my glasses don't fog up. They have a small battery pack that powers a fan inside the mask, pulling air through the filter. I keep two sets of rechargable batteries on hand and they last most of the day.

The medical style masks have a metal strip that you should bend to conform to your nose and fit it under your chin to really seal the dust out. I've heard good things about 3M masks with the valve, but don't use that type.

The Rockler mask $75 Power Air Respirator | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
 

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One of my grand daughters gave me one for Christmas. I had been using the disposabls and the last batch I got did not have the valves so fogged up glasses in a hurry then the dust would stick in the moisture and really make it hard to see.

You have the option the use Filters with Active Carbon or the HEPA Filters. It does have to valves so works great with my glasses. Mine fits great, better than any of disposables I have used. Just remember you still need to purchase replacement filters as needed but I think it is well worth using.

Even if you don't want to buy one of these do us a dust mask of some type or respirator depending on your tolerance to the dusts that you are creating.
 

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Someone mentioned their glasses don't sit right with a mask. Particularly if you are wearing large lenses (more than an inch or so from top rim to bottom). This is sometimes called the "drop." Many ophthalmologists prescribe large frames for seniors because they're usually cheap, but for me, the short drop frames and lenses are better because I don't have to tilt my head up so far to use the bifocal area. I think it is even more important to have a short drop if you're wearing a no-line bifocal.
 

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Someone mentioned their glasses don't sit right with a mask. Particularly if you are wearing large lenses (more than an inch or so from top rim to bottom). This is sometimes called the "drop." Many ophthalmologists prescribe large frames for seniors because they're usually cheap, but for me, the short drop frames and lenses are better because I don't have to tilt my head up so far to use the bifocal area. I think it is even more important to have a short drop if you're wearing a no-line bifocal.
I use to ware bifocals and had a special pair made with the bifocals cut into the upper part of the lens for use where I had a lot of over head work so I did not have to tilt my head way back to see.
 
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I bought the Rockler version of the mesh mask and am VERY pleased with the comfort and the results. It does not bother either my standard glasses or a pair of protective goggles. The key point as stressed repeatedly above is that dust is an issue and protective measures should be used be that a mask, DC system, air filters or a combination thereof. This becomes even more of an issue if you work with a a lot of MDF.
 

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@TWheels this picture would appear to answer your question
I bought the Rockler version of the mesh mask and am VERY pleased with the comfort and the results. It does not bother either my standard glasses or a pair of protective goggles. The key point as stressed repeatedly above is that dust is an issue and protective measures should be used be that a mask, DC system, air filters or a combination thereof. This becomes even more of an issue if you work with a a lot of MDF.

@Pastorhobby, @JFPNCM, thanks very much. Yes, the picture does help answer my question, and the VOE about how well it works with glasses settles the issue for me. Again, great thanks.
 
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