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B-1 09-24-2011 02:41 AM

Respirator for Silica Sand Blasting and Painting
Hi Guys,
Getting ready to sand blast the rear suspension parts on my Buick and while getting the logistics sorted noticed my paint respirator is not for media blasting, especially silica sand. That put me on the quest for an all-in-one solution for a full face mask with external air supply. I think the air supply kits from most sites are way overpriced. Sooo, I'm now looking at the full face mask with the hose (reaches to belt length I believe). That is $229.00 alone. If I was going to make a living with this, no problem, I'd lay down a grand and be done but it will only be for occasional use on small jobs/parts (until spring anyway). Years ago I would've used a bandanna for quick spurts, but hopefully a little wiser now. I'm working on plans for a Blast/Spray booth, but that will have to wait for the next project whereas I need this car on the road.

Can anyone recommend a stand-alone ambient respirator for blasting and painting or options for a cheaper self contained fresh air respirator? DIY ideas welcomed. I have a blast hood, but need better respiratory protection. I know this is a touchy subject and I have no problem with scolding for safety's sake. Thanks.

B-1 09-24-2011 05:26 AM

Searching for the best and cheapest short term solution for a respirator, I'm now looking at this product. When this project is completed, I'll focus on better long term solutions for upcoming projects in regards to media blasting & painting.


For Organic Vapors, Acid Gases, With P100 Filter
Replacement filters (if I read this right): 6 pack - 9100T19* $72.90

If that's the case, they must be fabulous and a great incentive for a DIY apperatus.

Kinda short on tech specs, but some sites may or may not even show a pic with less info. Surely this is safe(-r) with silica dust. The ears can be protected with a head sock or haz-mat suit. That just leaves protecting the eyes. Maybe unvented painters googles (just seal up any vent holes in those or regular googles for this project). I AM treating silica dust as a deadly chemical - for sure.

Since I don't know anyone at OSHA nor do I have access to their secretive safety data, those P100 filters must be THEEE!! difinitive filters of this century.

shine 09-24-2011 05:43 AM

simple, dont use sand .

B-1 09-24-2011 06:03 AM

I've considered that. Waiting for a reply from a company that sells Dupont's Starolite under a different name variation. More expensive all the way around considering shipping on at least 50 lbs. Better short term safety; i.e. less breakdown into dust, or so I've heard. Sand would be great for the heavy parts ($2.00 per 50 lbs.) and more danger to me. I'm going to have to decide soon and get my orders in. Cooler weather is closing in on this project.

B-1 09-24-2011 07:06 AM

I've been looking for a retailer for Starolite for a while now, it sounds like a great alternative to sand, but in the long term, & especially since no local access to the stuff (live close to Dupont plant, btw), I'm now the proud owner of 100 lbs. of sand. If I can get my long term system adapted to this and overcome the problem of finding an assortment of grits of sand for various material thicknesses and compressor psi adjustments, it would be a cheap solution. When I worked for Cummins years ago, we only used glass beads for engine parts, but I can get those locally at a greater cost of course, yet I'm thinking sand at the right grit and pressure will be a good alternative for machined surfaces.

As far as a reliable breating apperatus to safely use silica sand, I'm looking at the biggest cost for a full face mask. Next would be the cost of the hose. Interestingly, maybe the cheapest component to this system might possibly be the air pump. I'm "thinking out loud" here with the befit of someone corrceting my bad thinking. A commercial quiality air pump is over $1,000 USD. A hobby type system can be had for roughly $400. - $600. The commercial type pumps are rated at 3/4 HP (11 AMPS) to 1-1/2 HP (16 AMPS) and respectively 10 - 16 CFM with both @ 5 PSI. Maybe this is for more than one person, but if someone is breathing that hard to need a $!,000 1-1/2 HP @ 5 PSI air pump, maybe he can collect coins instead.

Why wouldn't an adapted 12v oiless air pump that is in the trunk of the car @ $40~ a pop, not supply one mask with sufficinet fresh air? Just need a foolproof regulator powered by a 110v AC to 12v DC converter thru, I don't know, say a 1/8" to 1/4" line (less weight / less cumbersome) and a retrofitted
mask to expell any excess air - maybe a switching mechanism for intermitent use.

This is the part I'm having the most trouble thinking through now, but I'm thinking with out a completely sealed mask, any excess pressure is continually vented out "weep holes" so no back draft of fumes/dust is possible unless the pump quits. This scenario is taking place out doors. I'll have to think on this some more but someone with the better solution will help.

I guess I'll order the respirator above for now and see what lies ahead on this idea, unless someone knows of a better respirator.

B-1 09-24-2011 07:12 AM

Sorry, I posted and then caught the words "intermittent use". That would be a very VERY bad idea with an unsealed mask.

B-1 09-24-2011 08:19 AM

I know other people would like better protection but are put off by the costs of fresh air systems. I read another thread where someone mentioned scuba
masks. Here are some links that will maybe give others ideas to a tried and true system. I first thought Scuba a long time ago in relation to this topic, but never have researched it & discounted the idea because of oxygen tanks, but it may hold the answer. Some of the lower end items are cheaper than safety type apperati and from other posts, it appears that oxygen tanks are less expensive maybe to either purchase or rent. Silicone rubber hoods and masks are completely sealed and regulators are relatively inexpensive or quite expensive. It seems like this is a viable option:

Maybe instead of purchasing costly blast media all the time (except for aluminum or thinner parts), that money would be better spent on lower cost protective gear and cheaper blast media.

shine 09-24-2011 08:25 AM

buy a bullard blast hood and run off the compressor. scuba gear will last about 30 sec.

B-1 09-24-2011 09:08 AM

I know some of you quys have thought this over before. I have unintentionally breathed in oil and diesel mists and naturally avoided any connection to a oiled compressor. The e-tailers bold enough to give the price on the Bullard hood list @ $600+ for a hood and cape with 5 or so ft. of hose and a belt. "Request for a qoute" sounds like heavy middleman action on other sites. That is a little over in cost. Maybe they have a regulator or other components that might work in a DIY system though.

The scuba face shield could be protected further with a cheapo HF face shield, but yeah, eventually time would take it's toll. Maybe some drops of contact cement strategically placed and a sheet of plastic put over the lens or a combo of the two. Surely the other components would last as long as safety gear parts, but I've never used scuba gear myself to know of the build quality. Still seems to be feasible in my mind.

shine 09-24-2011 09:12 AM

dont know who you called but the nova 2000 blast helmet is only 389. there is a soft hood that cost less.

B-1 09-24-2011 09:37 AM

That price was from a site found in a search engine for "Bullard Blast hood".

I followed that link, Shine but got this:

"nova 2000"

This was all I found @ Northern:

Still $389.00 for the "body wear" portion of the system is excessive. Thanks for the suggestion anyway. There's gotta be a happy medium somewhere.

B-1 09-24-2011 09:45 AM

I'm looking at this again and contemplating that there are a lot of crevices created at the shoulder area when moving about.

It seems there would be enough vacuum in that hood to draw in some silica dust and even rust. I'm thinking a better sealed system would be required even for any blast media. Well, at least to continue blasting for many more happy years. I know I'm not alone on this, but I breathed all of the rust I care to, even with a respirator. It looks like someone with the resources and ingenuity could do well even selling at decent affordable prices. Moreso probably.

OneMoreTime 09-24-2011 10:40 AM

check out Mine safety Equipment as they have a good selection of respirators for various uses..On the media some of the medias cut better then others and use less media. I also do as much as possible with sanders and grinders and save the blast for the hard to get areas..


Try those guys as their products are usually available from several local outlets so you can get replacement consumables easily. cartridges are a consumable item..I use a half mask and a hood my self when blasting..

B-1 09-24-2011 10:54 AM

Thanks Sam. Excellent idea on mining supplies. I'll check that link shortly.

Yeah, I already took a scraper to what I could reach and will probably hit it again then follow with a wire brush on a die grinder. I did get a cheap hood at HF and I just order the P100? filtered respirator to use next week after my order comes in. You seem confident in that setup and sounds like a reasonable solution. Sounds good. Thanks.

shine 09-24-2011 02:40 PM

the hoods have air supply. there is no vacuum in a pressure hood. read the specs .

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