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Thread: With Covid will more WW's wear dust masks in the future

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA

    With Covid will more WW's wear dust masks in the future

    Wondering what people think about the future and if new woodworkers will be more or less willing to wear dust masks. I know we should all be protecting ourselves from breathing dust but many seldom, if ever, wear a mask. Now future woodworkers will already own a mask and may be more willing to use it. Or they may feel they hate masks and no one is going to tell them what to to in there own shop. Probably 60 years from now the grandkids will be wondering why grandma had a collection of masks in her sock drawer when she died.
    Bil lD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Western Nebraska
    I tried to buy some masks for a particularly nasty job last week, people hiding from covid have bought every single mask in the tri-state region. I thought about washing a few that were laying out on the sidewalk that someone had kindly discarded there, but cooler heads prevailed and I ended up wrapping my face with a fleece jacket. You probably don't want to hear my take on masks protecting from a virus, so I'll skip it. The premise of your question assumes that there will be a return to "normalcy". I don't agree to that premiss, so I'll just say yes, this changed my mask use, it lowered the frequency that I use one. I will only wear one if the PPE is actually rated for what I'm trying to protect from. I wish the 99% of mask wearers out there now would grasp that a little so I could just get some good dust masks again.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Honestly....I doubt behavior will change much "just because", but we can only hope. But I'm personally guilty of rarely using a mask in the shop and then only for hand-sanding...when I remember to do so. I need to improve on that habit which is what it is, nothing more.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    McKean, PA
    I generally wear my 3M mask when sanding wood or doing other dusty work.

    Last night I was watching a Renovations Reality show and the couple were tearing out a soffit in their kitchen. The shredded fiberglass insulation and other accumulated dust were falling on their unmasked faces in large quantities. Both were coughing and hacking from the dust. Neither felt it was appropriate to wear a dust mask, though they were wearing safety glasses.
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USNR(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Northern California
    Whenever Iím woodworking I always wear a mask, a MSA respirator with P100 cartridge filters. My father was a woodworker and furniture restorer. Although he never smoked, he died of lung cancer at 56, likely caused by inhaling sawdust and toxic fumes from the solvents and sprays he used. Back in those days masks were almost nonexistent.

    For COVID I wear a N95 mask whenever Iím out, not because itís mandated in California but because I believe in the science that says it offers some protection from the virus. Iím 71 and frankly greatly resent those who eschew masks in public because it imposes upon their ďrightsĒ.

  6. #6
    When I was younger I never wore a mask while working in the shop. Now that I am older { 63} I find that if I don't wear one I get a sinus infection very easily. Same thing happens at work with cement dust. Maybe if I had been better about it when I was younger it would not be such a problem now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    North Dana, Masachusetts
    I wear a chemical respirator as a dust mask, because it doesn't fog up my glasses. I'm used to doing heavy work in it, like stacking a lift of lumber. Looking at the accumulation on the dust pre-filters makes it easy to put up with the mask. Working full time with Sapele, there's a lot of fine dust.

    When I started working in shops, I had to provide my own dust masks, because the shop ones were no good. I bought 3M two strap masks. People thought I was nuts.A few years later, everyone was wearing them.

    The younger people I know see masks as protecting others, more than protecting themselves. This ability to take responsibility for the health of others gives me hope for the millennial generation that includes my kids. They see not wearing a mask the same as littering your bodily fluids on other people.

  8. #8
    I tend to be pretty good about wearing my 3M half mask respirator with the organic vapor P100 cartridge. I have it on Amazon's subsribe and Save for every 3 months, so when the next one comes, I automatically replace it and I don't worry about keeping track of it myself (I would definitely forget!).

    I also have the Dylos DC1100 Pro above my work bench, and will turn it on when I am concerned about the operations I am working on. I also have a big and small air cleaner on the ceiling above the work bench as well.

    Having the meter really drove home how bad the air quality can get when I am sanding, and it also justified the expense of getting the larger air cleaner. When I was sanding, the readings would jump to 26000+, which is horrible to breath in. I always let the air cleaners run for a while after I am done, and when I have gone back to the garage after an hour of the air cleaners on, the readings are pretty amazing (less than 100), and the air is most likely cleaner in the garage than it is in the house!

    All that to say, I have become much more concerned about my air quality and the health of my lungs in recent years, and I do my best to protect my breathing so that woodworking doesn't kill me prematurely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Tampa Bay, FL
    I hope more people wear them, but I'm skeptical.

    It wasn't a difficult transition for me. Being an anesthesiologist, I was a professional mask wearer at work. So using a good P100 respirator in the shop, and chemical respirators when needed wasn't a big deal for me.
    - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein
    - Without quitters, stampedes would never end
    - The difference between an amateur and professional is that the amateur practices until he gets it right. The professional practices until he can't get it wrong

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Western PA
    To the OP, I definitely see myself being more protective in the future. I used to only wear my full face shield 3M p100 respirator in the winter. Anything over 60-65 in the shop is brutal to wear that thing for prolonged periods. Especially if I am milling large 8/4 stock and exerting myself. However, the real reason I will be more protected when this ends is because of the 3M versaflow we purchased for my wife to wear to work. Once things are Ďnormalí, then I plan to take that to the shop. I wore it one day to test it out and loved the thing. Protecting yourself from solvents is immensely important and even though I only spray waterbourne finishes, I always wear a 3M organic cartridge.

    The mask debate in this country is akin to Flat Earth Society versus the rest of the world. There is nothing left to discuss, the evidence is clear, and yet here we are.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Vancouver Canada
    Iíve come up with some lung problems begun with a spate of pneumonia, and my respiroligist (sp?) has gotten me worried about diminished lung capacity.
    Iím also ďguiltyĒ of watching James Hamilton and took note of his discussion on my single stage, elderly delta dust collector, so Iíve really become very strict about mask wear.
    My biggest problem at the moment is that I have the eclipse respirator sold by lee valley, and they now cannot supply replacement filters. Bummer.
    Even with more hand tool use, Iím wearing my mask because dust is everywhere.
    Will the virus change the general populationís ideas?
    Iím not sure, but I can tell you that here in greater Vancouver (Canada) our Chinese population which is very large, have traditionally had a high proportion of mask wearers even before the virus days, especially because our air pollution indexes can be like Southern Californiaís and we often have high summer pollution numbers.
    Wearing a mask in damaging conditions seems like a no-brainer to me. But Iím old and stupid.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Cashiers NC
    I wear a N95 mask when sanding and cutting. I also wear it when mowing grass as it helps with my allergies. As far as Covid is concerned just look at your N95 paper that comes with a box of masks....
    Charlie Jones

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Jones View Post
    I wear a N95 mask when sanding and cutting. I also wear it when mowing grass as it helps with my allergies...
    Same here ^^^. Allergies or pretty much any airborne particles brutalize me, so always wore a KN95 for shop/yard work even before the pandemic. Never knew anything about the actual ratings. It was just "that pack of 3M dust masks" I bought at Lowes (until you couldn't).

    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    Seems possible that some will become "used to" the feeling of a mask if they have not worn them previously. They really are not uncomfortable but I have not used them for extended periods while I am sweating. It will increase my use of them in the future especially for sanding.

    Back in March, I gave over a dozen N95 masks to my pulmonologist since they were impossible to find anywhere. My reasoning was off a little since they are still hard to find. I have some with broken straps that I could repair but the data on multi-layer cloth masks is very positive.
    Rustic? Well, no. That was not my intention!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    I wear a respirator with N95 cartridges when sanding, routing, using the compound miter saw, or any other operation likely to produce fine dust. Now that I have a Dylos meter in the shop, I let it be my guide and most days put the respirator on whenever the small particle count is >300. I suppose I'm "used to" wearing it but have no problem wearing cloth or paper masks for covid reasons.

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