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Siol

Does modelshipbuilding give you Cancer?

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Hi all, I am new to this modelshipbuilding thing and I just found out that sawdust is a known carcinogen. Man, I generate lots of it to building the constructo Victory model kit and I started to wonder that maybe shipbuilding can be worse than smoking? I wanted to do it inside my home but now I realized I have to take HUGE precautions...i got a breathing mask, fan, wetting the wood, doing the sanding and power-tool sawing of the wood outside...

 

 

Have do you avoid the sawdust part of building the ship?

Thank you

d.

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I’m with Kevin, I don’t wear any PPE (other than safety glasses).

 

 The biggest concern for me with sawdust is the mess.  I usually sweep up when I’m done working so it doesn’t accumulate, but that’s for cleanliness and out of respect for the Admiral.

 

 I do usually take heavy sanding (like frame fairing and cleaning up planking layers) outside, but that’s more for easy cleanup and domestic harmony than health concerns.

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I suppose somewhere there is a database of which woods make the worst sawdust. I ran some iroko through the bandsaw and then a quick hit or two with a Dremel rotary sanding cylinder to tidy it up. The whole process took less than five minutes: I coughed and hacked for a week.

This made a believer out of me, I now use a mask for just about every mechanised stage of cutting wood.

 

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1 hour ago, Captain Slog said:

I smoke whilst i am sanding. 

Well that's it for you Slog, when the dust reaches saturation point you will go up in a firey flash/explosion  and

dissolve into a vapour ball. 😉☹️

Edited by Cabbie

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3 hours ago, Siol said:

Hi all, I am new to this modelshipbuilding thing and I just found out that sawdust is a known carcinogen. Man, I generate lots of it to building the constructo Victory model kit and I started to wonder that maybe shipbuilding can be worse than smoking? I wanted to do it inside my home but now I realized I have to take HUGE precautions...i got a breathing mask, fan, wetting the wood, doing the sanding and power-tool sawing of the wood outside...

 

 

Have do you avoid the sawdust part of building the ship?

Thank you

d.

Well, wetting the wood defeats the purpose of the sanding because it raises the fibers of the wood up. If you use a respirator mask or at the very least a dust mask, you will be fine and what are you doing with the fan? all your doing is spreading the dust around the house. To me, the adhesive fumes from the glues are worse than the wood dust. Also if you use fiber glass resin and sand it, it can be very harmful, ask a surf board maker, they tell you. If your a young man, I would take all kinds of per-cautions, but if your an old man like me, I figure if one don't get me the other one will and if my maker calls me home at anytime, I'm good with that.

 

mike   

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I live in California where it seems everything is required to have a label on it stating it "contains ingredients that have been proven to cause cancer and/or birth defects." I actually saw a a sign on the entrance of a public parking garage the other day warning me that entering the building (open to the air on all four sides) might expose me to "chemicals which are known to cause cancer or birth defects." I presume that they were referring to carbon monoxide, which will kill you long before cancer will if you are exposed to enough of it for a long enough time!

 

I do wear a mask if I'm doing a lot of dusty sawing or sanding with power tools, more for comfort than anything else. Fortunately, I've had no allergic reactions to wood dusts. I understand some do and they should take appropriate precautions. I try to do all dusty work and spray painting outside or at least in the large doorway of my shop. (All my tools are mobile on rollers.) I run large fans to blow the airbone dust and fumes out. If it says, "Use in a well-ventilated area." I heed that well and make sure it's actively ventilated with exhaust fans. That keeps the fumes and fine dust out of the shop pretty well. 

 

There's a million things out there that can cause cancer or otherwise bring you to grief. (I have a particularly grisly picture of the aftermath of a machinist who lost a wrestling match with a large lathe on my shop wall to remind me "to follow all safety instructions!") Today's liability-conscious society causes manufacturers to label everything with warnings about anything that could possibly get them sued. Consider yourself warned.  (Show of hands: How many have actually read the warnings on a new ladder?) The bottom line, however, is if one uses prudence and common sense, together with sound shop practices, there really is minimal likelihood that anything terrible is going to happen, but there's no way to eliminate the "Darwin Factor," no matter how hard they try. 

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Excessive quantities of foreign particulates/objects are going to cause lung issues, period. So the moral of the story is, take reasonable precautions to prevent inhaling foreign objects other than clean air. 

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I have the mask, put a window fan in the window blowing out, and have a air purifier (basically a box fan with filters).   At the saw table, power sander, etc... I hook up the shop vac also.   So far, so good, I don't even see sawdust on my desk.  I think it depends on what kind of power tools as my rotary saw is a model type, but everything else is "regular" size but don't run it at high speeds.   I haven't smoked inside a house or apartment for probably 20 years.  I have my health issues but at 71, I'm not overly worried as sooner or later the Grim-Reaper gets us all.   Old GR had his prime chance when I was in Vietnam, so every day I wake up is a good one.

 

Even outside, I'd still wear the mask as gust of wind, etc. can blow the stuff right into your face. Oh.... and some goggles to keep it out of your eyes.

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Gidday all.

I use car parts imported from the States, solvents and automotive paints in my other interests.

Even the car parts carry warnings that in the State of California these products may contain carcinogens, fortunately I don't live in California,(please forgive my attempt at humour). Even so I still use a respirator, eye protection and gloves when using solvents, sanding or painting and most of the preceding takes place outdoors. Recently here in Oz Stonemasons have been warned to wet cut stone and wear suitable breathing gear because of the airborne particulates and the damage they cause. As one that suffers from lung problems I believe if you follow basic safety precautions you will be O.K. 

I hope I haven't confused the issue.

All the best,

Mark.

 

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If I generated that amount of saw dust my wife would kill me long before Cancer could!!!

When the sun shines through the window it is frightening how much is just hanging in the air.. best draw the curtains and put the light on... that cures it..🥴

 

 

Joking aside, when I do any major sanding I do wear a mask...

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Dust is not good for us, especially with some species such as ebony and bloodwood.   The best solution I have ever seen, bar none, is a large shop vac system  in a closeted area in Ed Tosti's basement shop.   A main duct ran to the work space with trunks/branches going to the biggest dust generator stations such as thickness sander which is by far the worst culprit in my experience.  Barring a full size shop with "permanent" work stations, a small shop vacuum works well with a little jury rigging to hold the hose end at the dust generating point.  The noise is a factor in a portable unit, but using earplugs is not a bad idea anyway.   It saves your ears from the sounds of the machinery and from the occasional call out of "are you ever coming out of the shop".     The smallest closed shop I have seen was Druxey's and it was immaculate but I do not recall how the dust was controlled.  Maybe he can share...….

 

Allan

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Dust is a problem for us, especially to those who have become sensitized.  For example, my brother became sensitized to mahogany after years of cutting it.  If you develop a sensitivity, then you must take extra precautions.  Some woods are dangerous to most humans, and require very careful safety precautions.

 

The chemicals, glues and paints we use can cause health problems, too.

 

As others have stated before, use dusk masks, vacuums, and good ventilation.  We want you to enjoy this great hobby with us as long as you can.  Duff

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6 hours ago, mtaylor said:

I have the mask, put a window fan in the window blowing out, and have a air purifier (basically a box fan with filters).   At the saw table, power sander, etc... I hook up the shop vac also.   So far, so good, I don't even see sawdust on my desk.  I think it depends on what kind of power tools as my rotary saw is a model type, but everything else is "regular" size but don't run it at high speeds.   I haven't smoked inside a house or apartment for probably 20 years.  I have my health issues but at 71, I'm not overly worried as sooner or later the Grim-Reaper gets us all.   Old GR had his prime chance when I was in Vietnam, so every day I wake up is a good one.

 

Even outside, I'd still wear the mask as gust of wind, etc. can blow the stuff right into your face. Oh.... and some goggles to keep it out of your eyes.

WOW mt, you are what I would call an over achiever hahahahaha, But yes, making it out of Vietnam is a reason to celebrate life every day. Thank you for your service sir!

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In response to Allan (Allanyed):

 

Thank you for the kind compliment. First, a ShopVac system for primary dust control from machine tools. Second, daily sweeping of wood shavings or dust generated by hand tools. Thirdly, an overhead air filter unit for those really fine particles. Any solvent-based activity (and there is very little needed these days) is out in the garage whenever possible.

 

Full disclosure: despite the above, it can still get a bit messy at times!

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