Jump to content
Siol

Does modelshipbuilding give you Cancer?

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont take any precautions, its not as if im up to my neck in it day and night, but then again i spent most of my life in nuclear subs so if cancer comes banging on the door, i doubt i will be blaming boat building

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m actually more concerned about the health effects of sitting for long periods hunched over a work bench.  Ours is a pretty sedentary hobby (except maybe for our brains and fingers).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with all above. You might wan't to add the brain damage suffered from trying to sort out the inscrutable instructions supplied with some of the kits I have built over the years. My wife came downs stairs once after a tirade I had during a build of a Billings kit and threatened to have me sent to the Hotel Silly. But seriously, if you can, major sanding and painting outside or a paint booth, mask and air handling system for indoors. Man the Admiral gets mad when I come upstairs coughing and beating dust off my clothes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I did some research and it is true that wood dust is considered to be a carcinogen. However, like anything else, it's a question of exposure and time. The amount of dust we're exposed to in our hobby shops is highly unlikely to cause cancer. From a recent retrospective study:

 

"Exposure to wood dust as a hobby doesn't appear to carry the risk of lung cancer. In studies thus far, exposure to wood dust as a hobby was not found to be linked with lung cancer, and even with occupational exposure, the exposure needed to be "cumulative and substantial." That said, always practice good ventilation while working with wood and with any chemicals".

 

 

Edited by dvm27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thans Greg for the relief.

For heavy sanding, I go outside in to the wind. However is is now a problem in Germany with temperature around 0°C. When sanding greater ares inside I keep the vapour cleaner running which always causes some frowning of my wife.

Clark 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wood dust has two primary issues. One is that certain wood types can cause bad reactions (skin, lungs, carcinogens etc). As a rough rule the African hardwoods commonly are more irritating and prone to this. Secondly any wood dust can over time reduce lung capacity.

If you get sensitized to it then these issues get worse.

Personally I can have up to four filters running, use a festool CTM vac designed to cope with fine dust and wear a mask when using power tools or sanding. I sometimes work outside as well if generating lots of dust. If I have done something particularly sand intensive I will also often shower and change before moving around the house (if you are covered in dust then you are traipsing it through your house and putting your family at risk) and yearly clean everything in my workroom and wash it down. 

 

I finally always cut outside if using African hardwoods and even though a lot of them are lovely prefer to use more common european/american alternatives.

I also possess a dust particle measurer that I purchased to see how effective the dust extraction actually was though this is probably excessive.

One useful tip is 'if you can smell wood then there are small particles in the air'.

 

At some point in the future I would like some sort of air extractor that can expel the workshop air outside but have not find a cheap enough design in the uk (plus one that can expel the air via piping that does not have to have me drill through the workshop walls). If anyone has any suggestions then please say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to admit to this but I'm a doctor. Stop worrying beyond simple precautions- air flow (fan or window), paper mask etc. The average age for this hobby is over 60 and age itself is the biggest risk factor. Enjoy yourself and the therapeutic effect (mentally) will more than compensate for any minimal risks. I do strongly endorse avoidance of accidents- protective glasses and loose clothing around electric machinery , but life is for living.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Matrim said:

At some point in the future I would like some sort of air extractor that can expel the workshop air outside but have not find a cheap enough design in the uk (plus one that can expel the air via piping that does not have to have me drill through the workshop walls). If anyone has any suggestions then please say.

I'd be careful about expelling outside:  makeup air has to come from somewhere and if you live in a cold climate, with a furnace or fireplace, the makeup air might come down the flue pulling carbon monoxide from the furnace with it.     My dust collection (for the big tools) exhausts inside but through a HEPA filter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×
×
  • Create New...