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  • Face mask

    I know this is not a place for virus stuff, but since most of us spend a lot of time in the shop this information could be useful any time. We all know that simple face masks prevent us from breathing in dust and even welding fumes. I actually use a N95 disposable mask when I TIG weld. I sent the 2 I had to my daughter in Austin TX weeks ago. The other dust masks I had were from Harbor Freight. They did the correct thing and donated their entire stock of rubber gloves and mask to the heath care workers.

    I came across a You Tube Video of a man making a face mask using a Blue Shop Towel. The kind of towel you see all over . I buy mine at Costco. They come in a roll. What is interesting is these towels are made from fibers and the blue ones are very strong. Please go to You Tube and search for Shop Towel face mask. There are many , but the best one is of a Guy standing at table with a black T-shirt on. its about 11minutes long and shows how they are made. The more important one is called Shop Towel Face mask preliminary Test. A Dr. tested these mask and found them at least effective as the surgical mask (not the N95) people are using. Way more than cloth masks, that Dr. invented the N95 fabric.

    Even if you don't need these for virus protection they would work great in the shop during better times.

  • #2
    Hi Laz. Very good info. Thank you.


    • #3
      It seems crazy to me that the testing of all disposable masks, including the manufactured ones, involves testing the filter media only. Ie virtually no concideration is given to whether or not, or how well, the mask seals to one's face.

      Anyone who's used one of these masks, for any purpose, knows that most are impossible to seal against the face, particularily either side of the nose.

      Like an aircraft air filter with no gasket, it doesn't matter how good the filter media is if air simply bypasses the filter.

      But wait, there's less. If you're familiar with the venturi effect, and the flow multiplier effect, air/breath leaking out of the mask uder one's eyes, will actually draw contaminents out of the ambient air and direct them into your eyes! ( I have personal experience of this, amplified by an inadvertant leak in my Hobbyair mask coated my eyelashes, eye lids etc with paint and, based on the discomfort over the following 24hrs, in my eyes).

      Bottom line is if you're depending on one of these disposable or home-made masks to provide any protection, use double edge tape or garment adhesive to obtain an adaquate seal, otherwise you can be doing more harm than good.

      By the way, one of the primary paths for disease transmission is via the eyes. There are some masks, marketed as "anti-fog" masks that have a built-in adhesive strip. I dare say these are one of a very small number of mask types that actually privides some protection to the wearer.

      If you know anyone in the healthcare field, spread the word.
      Last edited by Scott; 04-10-2020, 09:16.
      CF-CLR Blog:


      • #4
        I have a friend who is a doctor, and he has been doing Facebook live updates every Monday for their physicians network. He said people are confused about these types of mask. Most assume they are for your personal protection, but that is not the case. They are to protect others from you. The intent is to prevent your sputum from being blasted on anything in its way if you cough or sneeze, not to filter the air you are breathing. At least that is what I understood him to say.


        • #5
          Yes that was certianly the original intent, however most healthcare workers in the current environment are wearing them as personal protective equipment PPE and as the name implies, the expectation is that, in addition to protecting others from you, personal protection is also provided.

          This expectation, actually assumption, is a risk factor in and of itself. If you believe youre protected, you'll take risks you otherwise wouldn't.

          I'm convinced this is a factor in the apparent high infection rate of healthcare workers/professionals.
          CF-CLR Blog:


          • #6
            The intent of these shop tow masks is NOT to protect the wearer form the virus. Since It has been establish that people showing no symptoms can spread the virus its worn as protection to others. I have flown all over the world, and in countries like Japan it is considered proper to wear a mask if you have a cold or the flu to protect others.

            What got me starting to wear one was going to the grocery. All the people that work there are at a very high risk because of the amount of people they come in contact with. I wear one for them, not myself.

            I was mistaken the Dr. that tested the shop towel mask was not the Inventor, The inventor, did however endorse the Idea.