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Thread: Respirator masks

  1. #1
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    Default Respirator masks

    I am so friggin' tired of the cheap straps on respirator masks. They all seem to be these cheap elastic straps that stretch out in no time or slip thru the clips or otherwise just generally become useless. The masks themselves are good, but the straps are garbage. As anyone found a brand that has decent straps that will last and stay properly adjusted?

    mask.JPG

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    3M 7500-series?

    You can get replacement straps and other parts from 3M: https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...94857497&rt=r3.

    Safety & Supply down on Marginal Way at Lucile should have them. Fisheries Supply might have them. You can always get them from other places.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I really like the 3M full facesheild one. Bet I've bought 10 over the years ( the valves are fragile and melt after a few years in the Caribbean). Eye protection is built in.
    The strap mechanism makes it easy to slip on n off .
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 11-29-2017 at 01:05 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    I really like the 3M full facesheild one. Bet I've bought 10 over the years ( the valves are fragile and melt after a few years in the Caribbean). Eye protection is built in.
    The strap mechanism makes it easy to slip on n off .
    Do you sing opera under that mask like Dudley did?
    I've never tried a full face mask, maybe I should try that. I wonder if it will fit over my glasses. Seems like the temple piece would interrupt the seal.

    Nick, I've seen the 3M one a lot, but it looked to me like the same strap problem. And as for replacement straps, that's what I'm trying to avoid, starting a job and then realizing you need to fix or replace the straps.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    The ear pieces on your regular glasses won't allow the mask to seal properly. 3M makes a "spectacle kit" for at least some of their full-face masks, I know MSA and Scott do too. The kits I've seen are a set of empty frames that mount in the facepiece so you would need to have your prescription lenses mounted. It starts to add up but in the end cheaper than respiratory therapy down the road. I like the all-in-one mask, the eye protection doesn't fog up.

    Facial hair interferes with a good seal too, I don't know what the many graybeards in out midst do for respiratory protection. At work we go do an annual "Mask Fit Test" on each piece of respiratory gear we use to make sure it still fits. You put on a big hood while wearing your gear and blow some bitter tasting vapor in there, if you can taste it we we have to figure out why.
    Steve

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    The full face jobs are the best. No rush. Get right up close to the work. Full UV protection. They have disposable lens covers for really nasty work.

    The eyeglass holder is obscenely expensive. Just take an old pair of glasses, take the arms off, and affix with a piece of fishing line behind the head to preserve the seal.

    On the original question, I agree. Maybe a pair of those tiny bungee cords with the metal hooks on the end? I may give it a try.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Another recommendation of the 3m Full face Mask.
    However, if you are using them for long durations, then the 3m air fed hood system is far more comfortable and much more pleasant to use.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    My recommendation is for something like this. I think 3M may still make something similar. Mine is 20 years old, on it's third screen, second set of rechargeable batteries. It's an absolute life saver! I'm sure I'd be dead without this one.

    It was originally sold as a Racal Airhat. If it's not obvious the square unit hangs around your waist, sucks in air through a filter then blows it up the hose to the mask ...which has a bib beneath your chin so generates a minor increase in pressure that stops dust from getting in from that direction. It works very well!

    Airhat.jpg
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I have a full bushy beard so I use this. It's noisy and expensive but it works very well for me,I can wear glasses and ear protection with it.I react badly to wood dust so this is a must for me.





    Airshield pro

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Much the same idea as mine but with mine the weight is on my belt. I've always had a bushy beard too.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I got to use a friend's outside air respirator during a spraying job. If you're in a position to not have to worry about dragging the air hose around stuff it was great. I was spraying Imron on a mast that was suspended from the ceiling, so I had no obstacles to hose travel. With the positive pressure it reduced the seal issues I've always had with facial hair (full beard).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Going the other way, for a less intrusive option has anyone tried this?

    http://www.garrettwade.com/lightweig...t-mask-gp.html



    Not something I'd use for spray painting but for light use it seems worth looking into. The straps sure look a lot better than my 3M respirator and the whole thing looks way more comfortable to wear.



    No experience with it, but I'm thinking of buying one to try out.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I like the 3M product line as well... but there are several lesser-known brands as good or better. Just don't order a fitted mask online. Fit is critical, and comfort - For You - is almost as important. Better to go to a dedicated safety gear store (here in Portland, I use Sanderson Safety) and let them fix you up.
    David G
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    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I looked at the 3m masks today at Fisheries. They have the same cheap crap elastic straps that I’m trying to avoid. As for fit, I’m really happy with my current mask, maybe I should just make my own straps for it.

    Chris, that minimalist mask looks interesting.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    I looked at the 3m masks today at Fisheries. They have the same cheap crap elastic straps that I’m trying to avoid. As for fit, I’m really happy with my current mask, maybe I should just make my own straps for it.

    Chris, that minimalist mask looks interesting.
    Yes, my 3M mask has exactly the straps you hate, and I have to keep adjusting them. The GVS mask gets good reviews as well:

    https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/...ask-respirator

    https://www.amazon.com/GVS-SPR451-El.../dp/B013SIIBME

    However it's a particulate filter only. I don't know if it would filter chemical fumes like oil paint.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I wonder if it will fit over my glasses. Seems like the temple piece would interrupt the seal.
    Just take an old pair of glasses, take the arms off, and affix with a piece of fishing line behind the head to preserve the seal.
    When I was working as a firefighter, where the seal of the SCBA mask is... um... *rather* important, I would do something similar to what Bluedog225 suggests: replace each temple of your glasses with a loop of monofilament and adjust it to length. HOWEVER, to prevent the monofilament from garotting your ears, thread onto the monofilament a length of ordinary electrical wire insulation (copper removed, of course) long enough to pad where the monofilament loops around your ears. Start with small gauge electrical wire insulation, and if you need more padding, add a length of larger wire insulation on top of the first bit, to bulk it up.

    It takes some getting used to, but it worked well enough with a good mask that when I got tested with a simple respirator (rather than a positive-pressure SCBA), while working at Mystic Seaport's shipyard, I passed the seal test, where they smudge you with the nastiest smelling sh**-smoke you can possibly imagine to make sure nothing leaks.

    While with the FD I'm not sure I would have used it for serious haz-mat response, something like red fuming nitric acid, but for that we would have been wearing marshmallow-man suits --and I was in the "Look-And-Run" haz-mat responder category anyway. For burning buildings (FD) and for working with solvents (MSShipyard, home) it works just fine.

    The strap mechanism makes it easy to slip on n off .
    FWIW, I have the full-face Bruce is wearing. The headband isn't elastic, it's rubber(?), like on an FD SCBA, and it doesn't wear out. The valves go first, but here in WA they last a lot longer than in the tropics.

    Alex
    Last edited by Pitsligo; 11-30-2017 at 01:06 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I like the 3M product line as well... but there are several lesser-known brands as good or better. Just don't order a fitted mask online. Fit is critical, and comfort - For You - is almost as important. Better to go to a dedicated safety gear store (here in Portland, I use Sanderson Safety) and let them fix you up.
    That is very sound advice.


    The other benefit of shopping local will make itself apparent the day you put your mask on, find it hard to breath through because the filters are clogged and you don't have any spares in the cupboard. Popping down to a local store is a lot faster than waiting on <insert favorite online store here> to process and ship your order.

    To expand on what Alex said, different tasks require different tools. No sense clogging up your activated charcoal filters (fumes) when all you are really worried about is sanding dust (particulate matter) if you are going to try sticking with one facepiece make sure you can also get a variety of filters.
    Steve

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I use this design from our hosts.



    Some people think the snorkel-style is intrusive, but I grew up diving so I'm OK with it.

    I like it because your glasses never fog up, and you can spit out the mouthpiece, or plug it back in, in a second, anytime. And the air is being taken in from behind you, where it is cleaner.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    On the original question, I agree. Maybe a pair of those tiny bungee cords with the metal hooks on the end?
    duct tape
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Going the other way, for a less intrusive option has anyone tried this?

    http://www.garrettwade.com/lightweig...t-mask-gp.html



    Not something I'd use for spray painting but for light use it seems worth looking into. The straps sure look a lot better than my 3M respirator and the whole thing looks way more comfortable to wear.



    No experience with it, but I'm thinking of buying one to try out.


    I’ve used these and really like them. I bought one at a welding supply place when I was doing some demo on a scooter shop that had a pretty bad fire. Very comfortable to wear. Much better than the 3m instant headache ones. I’ve since bought two more, one for the shop and one for the boatshed. The straps seem fine but it’s just been a year or so.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Going the other way, for a less intrusive option has anyone tried this?

    http://www.garrettwade.com/lightweig...t-mask-gp.html

    Really, the big reason I no longer use a half-face is because so much of the time I'm using it sanding the bottom of B --which is akin to spelunking with a disk sander-- and the loose crap and dust gets in my eyes. Wearing shop glasses over prescription glasses is a drag, so the face shield makes life a lot more pleasant in that situation.

    Alex

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Respirator masks



    I'm well aware of Wiz's affinity for right-angle disk sanders, and I'm really rather cavalier about "hazmat" issues outside of daily exposure in a commercial production environment, but holey molely! Pulling a stunt like the one pictured above would get you keel-hauled in any of the yards in the SF Bay Area. Not only have they outlawed sanding of any kind without vacuum attachments in a lot of places, but back in the day when you could get away with open air sanding, I saw more than one guy put himself in the hospital sanding bottom paint with a disk sander. Of course, that was in the days when bottom paint was actually poisonous. These days, it's designed not to kill marine organisms and is probably safe for humans to drink, but on an old boat, you're likely to run into "the good stuff" if you sand too deeply. Mask or not, for my money (and lungs) the tools for this job are a torch or heat gun and a sharp scraper. Save the disk sanding for final fairing after the bottom paint has been removed.

    And, do think about the other people who may be around. Imagine being downwind of that cloud of dust!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I’m intrigued by that Elipse minimalist mask. I mainly just want to keep sawdust out of my nose, no real need for a full face mask for the projects in my shop. And the straps on that look more substantial, my current pet peeve. Also, something small and comfortable is likely to get used more often than bigger gear which stays in the cupboard because it’s too much to fool with for just this one little project. I see Rockler has those for $25.

    I promise if I ever go full Wizbang on a bottom, I’ll use a moonsuit. (Ain’t gonna happen, it’s thankfully illegal around here and what I happily pay the yard to do.)

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    ^^^ Yes, I'm thinking the same thing Ron. Keep the 3M mask for vapor protection but pick up the Ellipse mask for particulates. It definitely looks nicer to wear in the shop.
    - Chris

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I got carbon cartridges for the Ellipse, too, but I haven’t used them yet.

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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Bob, what you do not see in the photo is the blower , lotta wind there. I am not in a boatyard , I'm in my yard, I live in the woods.Horses for courses if you feel burning paint off is less dangerous. I spin a bottom like that in a few hours, and leave it smooth and fair.( my greatest skill, sadly). I know it is verboten to do in a us boatyard. Don't worry, I do not let anti fouling build up , this was an old boat that needed spinning for sheathing.
    bruce

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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    So Bruce, you really are the new Dudley. (Or are you too young to remember him?)

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I never met him but I know who he was. I was sanding boats in the water in Gig in the 1980's. I would do half a 40 foot Grand Banks in a day. I brought boats over to Heine Doles dock after being un welcomed at several marinas,rightfully so. Alas, I did very little bottom work. It is a nasty thing.
    Paul Johnson got me going on disc sanding, ( in st Bart's) before modern soft pads and light weight variable speed machines. I was a tough little booger.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    The thing I like about the Airhat is that is so desired a long hose and a blower can pipe clean air from as far away as you choose.... if the conditions are truly foul... like burning off and sanding whole house...... or a boat.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Bob, what you do not see in the photo is the blower , lotta wind there. I am not in a boatyard , I'm in my yard, I live in the woods.Horses for courses if you feel burning paint off is less dangerous. I spin a bottom like that in a few hours, and leave it smooth and fair.( my greatest skill, sadly). I know it is verboten to do in a us boatyard. Don't worry, I do not let anti fouling build up , this was an old boat that needed spinning for sheathing.
    bruce
    I figured as much. Working in your own yard is a great luxury. It can take three quarters of the time a job takes up just setting up and taking down the draping and tenting and vacuum systems required in yards these days. Oh for the days of working in the open air, scrape, sand, hose it off the deck back into the drink, let dry, spray paint and Bob's yer uncle.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    The thing I like about the Airhat is that is so desired a long hose and a blower can pipe clean air from as far away as you choose.... if the conditions are truly foul... like burning off and sanding whole house...... or a boat.
    A positive air supply mask system if far superior and probably not any more expensive. It's a tough task to get a good fitting mask with a good seal in a passive mask system. With positive air pressure, the air is blown out through the leaks. On balance, though, if at all possible, I'm with Wiz... a big fan blowing it away from you is as good as it gets.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Respirator masks

    I like that too, a lot. A big fan blowing along the line of the boat. It's worth it to rig a 24" unit, and cords.

    If I'm not sanding toxic stuff like bottom paint, and I hook the vacuum up to the sander, and I have the fan, I sometimes don't use the respirator at all.

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