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Old 05-10-2004, 09:49 AM
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Fresh Air Respirator(sorry long)

I really wanted a fresh air respirator but the high cost ($400+) was discouraging. I decided to try and make my own and here is what I came up with: I started with a North half face dual cartridge respirator, I removed one of the cartridges but left the other in place(I'll get back to that later). I bought 40' of hose from Home Depot. I used what they call sump hose. It is a white plastic acordian type hose that looks like narrow vacume hose. It is 1.25" in diameter and seems flexible enough for this application. Now for the air supply I used an Orek portable vacume cleaner. It is about the equivilent in power to one of those "mini" shop vacs. I removed it's filter and took the housing apart so I could clean it out real thoroughly with dissinfectant. I reassembled and attached a respirator cartridge(particulate only) to the intake side of the vac. Now on the discharge side (now air supply side) I added a short piece of solid vacume line before I attached my supply hose. I had to drill a series of holes in this to relieve pressure because the vacume motor is too powerful(you have to experiment with this). Then I attached the supply hose to the respirator where one of the cartridges used to be. Now I left the other cartridge intact as well as all the inhalation and exhalation valve(s). the reason for this was in the event of motor failure or hose kinking the respirator would function conventionally. There is enough positive air pressure while the motor is running so all you are breathing is cool fresh outside air. Any comment questions or flames?

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Old 05-11-2004, 10:26 AM
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Thats close to what I have in mind. I'm using a sandblasting hood from Northern Tool Supply ($20) similar hose and an old canister vacuum cleaner. If I put the hose in the outlet at the base of the vac it blows. I'm attaching a cone type auto air filter to the new intake (old outlet) and pvc tee fitting to my outlet side with a butterfly valve to bleed off excess air flow. Then I attaching the hose to the inside rear of the hood. The window looks big enough in the add, I'll see when it gets here. Good luck with yours and let us know how it works. It really pisses me off that they preach safety equipment so much and then make it to expensive for the average guy to afford.
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:39 AM
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i had looked into this as well, however.....

the valve system on most half masks works only because you have periods where you breathe in and cause negative pressure which closes the non filtered valve, then breath out which closes the filtered sections. My concern was that with constant air flow it may be possible to suck air in from the exhaust which is completely unfiltered, and breathe used air back through the filters, as the valve system is not set up for it

But if it appears to work, i'll have to make one.
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Old 05-11-2004, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dubz
i had looked into this as well, however.....

the valve system on most half masks works only because you have periods where you breathe in and cause negative pressure which closes the non filtered valve, then breath out which closes the filtered sections. My concern was that with constant air flow it may be possible to suck air in from the exhaust which is completely unfiltered, and breathe used air back through the filters, as the valve system is not set up for it

But if it appears to work, i'll have to make one.
You are right about how the valves work but since the mask is under constant positive pressure I'm only breathing in supplied air. If by chance I was able to take a breath deep enough to make the mask go negative then the exhalation valve will close as designed. My job requires the use of a respirator (cartridge type only) and we are regulary tested for fit. They use an irritant smoke and if you get even the slightest wiff you cannot help but cough. I've also been working out alot and recently purchased a treadmill. I think you can tell where this is going LOL. While on the treadmill I'll definately be breathing alot heavier then while I'm spraying paint. I'll see if my boss will part with one of those irritant smoke sticks and I'll post my results.

Quote:
Originally posted by Pony
Thats close to what I have in mind. I'm using a sandblasting hood from Northern Tool Supply ($20) similar hose and an old canister vacuum cleaner. If I put the hose in the outlet at the base of the vac it blows. I'm attaching a cone type auto air filter to the new intake (old outlet) and pvc tee fitting to my outlet side with a butterfly valve to bleed off excess air flow. Then I attaching the hose to the inside rear of the hood. The window looks big enough in the add, I'll see when it gets here. Good luck with yours and let us know how it works. It really pisses me off that they preach safety equipment so much and then make it to e xpensive for the average guy to afford.
The only thing I would be concerned with is if the butterfly valve was to open too much allowing the hood to go negative?
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Old 05-12-2004, 12:07 AM
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I won't know if I'll need a bypass until the hood gets here and I try in out. So far I don't think my vacuum has enough flow to need it, but time will tell. I just retired from Boeing in Everett Wa. and worked on the flightline. I had to have respirator certification and a re-test yearly. aside from half and full face I also tested on the hoods. I came up with the idea of a poor mans hood a while back but didn't need it until now. I'm painting my Vette with bc/cc and the other respirator I have won't handle it. Like J Cal said I'd like to get out of spending the big bucks for something I minght only use once. If I have to put out the cash I will but I'm still hoping my $50 solution works.
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Old 05-23-2004, 01:43 PM
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The canister vac I was going to use went to the dump so I shopped around thrift shops and found a Craftsman 2 gal wet/dry shop vac and two flexible vac hoses that measure about 16'. Got the sandblasting hood. It's cloth, has a 4" x 6" Plexiglas window and a cheep little hard hat. Attached the hose to the inside back of the hood and tried it out. It seems to have good positive air flow, good mobility and good visibility. I'm going to spray some primer today with it to see how well it works in the real world. Cost so far $40..
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Old 05-23-2004, 02:30 PM
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Don't forget protection for eyes, skin etc....the iso-cyanates that are so toxic can be absorbed by the skin and other exposed membranes....just as bad!!
Go to the auto paint supply store and get a paint suit that has a hood....They are only ~$20

Safety first!
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Old 05-23-2004, 02:35 PM
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Your absolutely right on that one. I've already got the suit and a box of gloves. Thanks for the thought.
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Old 05-24-2004, 12:17 PM
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hmm,

after reading this I had a thought. What about adapting a military gas mask? Not really for the filtering, but so that you can release pressure within the mask. You can buy them cheap for $10-20 from your Army/Navy surplus store...rather than using a charcoal canister to filter crap out of the air, you'd plug that end into your fresh air supply.

The things have valves built in to release the air you have already breathed out of the mask without allowing gas in.

just a thought. maybe it will help someone.
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:27 AM
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The cloth hood seemed to bleed off to much air. They had a PVC lined hood that I should have opted for. Duct taped a plastic kitchen trash bag inside of the hood and that worked out really good. Painted with it today. It works great, good mobility, good vision and not a whiff of paint fumes even in a paint cloud I accidentally made. (painted my foot) @#%*
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Old 06-14-2004, 05:08 PM
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Pony: Now that you have used the sandblasting hood and vacuum cleaner system for a while, can you give it high marks. I really like the idea. Is it worth trying?
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Old 07-16-2004, 09:25 PM
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Yea what he said!
Any regrets or updates, things u'd do differently?

Or wld you just go drop the 400 beans on a pro unit?
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Old 07-17-2004, 01:46 AM
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The other post on this subject is the newer on, but anyway.
There are pics of the fresh air set up and my el cheepo paint booth in my gallery. The hood works good and does what is necessary. The booth is a 10'x20' Canopy with blue tarp sides, a big fan in one end on the other end open. (can you say EPA friendly) I'm out of view in an industrial area. Everything works and is cheep!!
I would like nothing better than to have a real spray booth, the best guns, and a $400 hood BUT I just can't afford it. At the same time, unless you can afford a really good painter $$$ you have to roll the dice and try to get a good paint job some how - some where. I looked at what I could expect to get for what I had to spend and said "screw it, I can't do any worse that that, so why not." And here I am. I hope to paint the Vette next week if everything comes together as planned.
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