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Thread: Guys, we need a challenge - welding respirator

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    Supporting Member MeJasonT's Avatar
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    Guys, we need a challenge - welding respirator

    HSE is the UK have just decided that welding is finally dangerous for your health after years of saying the evidence was inconclusive.
    They are bringing out new regulation regarding ventilation and controls to limit exposure to welding fumes.
    As if by magic the 250 welding mask respirators have increased in value to 550.
    The respirators that connect to air lines are the most bloody dangerous things you can think of, effectively you get drowned or worse. You have stale air in compressors which can have harmful H2S gas content, not exactly the alternative i would be looking for.
    I have been playing around with the idea of 3D printing parts to attach a hose to the back of a welding mask and using the guts of a travel hair dryer (12v) powered from the guts of an old cordless drill to make a forced air system which would be mounted in a belt back behind the operator. Just like a real one. Cant get enough air pushed through. As it is a gotta have piece of kit we will all have on our wish list, I'm looking for us all to collaborate on a share alike open source design to come up with a cheap, reliable and easy to build alternative to the 1200 Miller equivalents.

    Thoughts on the back of a cigarette packet please.
    Citizen of the Undemocratic Republic of Britain

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    I've been welding for over 50 years and can't ever remember breathing any fumes except when I had to weld inside of a vessel and then we had forced ventilation, for one I never have my head right over where I am welding and maintain a distance of at least 16 inches.
    I've seen those dastardly Lincoln and Miller masks with the compressed air. you couldn't get me to wear one at any $$$$$ rate
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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    Supporting Member MeJasonT's Avatar
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    I hear what you are saying buddy.
    Unfortunately it looks like this new enforcement is going to to affect all Uk welding operations, weather it be a self employed one man outfit or an engineering company. The idiotic government and its incompetent departments like to go balls out without thinking anything through. As if Loler and puwer were not enough on top of COSHH. They got rid of steel electrical consumer units when i was an apprentice as they were considered an issue when fighting electrical fires, the same idiots have now banned plastic in favour of steel again. what changed to make them safer and less of a risk, beats me - done both fire fighting and electrical work and can see why they were banned in the first place but not why they were brought back. You guys have a saying stupid is as stupid does, the Canadians have something about a bear.

    I spent a sleepless hour last night (just one) thinking how i could build a compressor aka turbine engine with a 3D printer to push a higher volume of air.
    There will be guys seeing dollar signs at the manufacturing opportunity of such an idea, id say don't do it. stay honest to the Homemadetools philosophy. No one stiffs you for metal brake plans - so share and share alike.

    I will be photographing my current built parts + 3M ventilator mask (had an idea to do the thing either way, either a mask under the welding helmet or forcing air into the helmet without wearing a mask. Copyright shouldn't be an issue as SIP built one of these things in the 70s and have let their IP expire, i'm going to blame them.
    Will also send current 3D part files for anyone interested.
    Citizen of the Undemocratic Republic of Britain

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    The problem with respirators is they require a seal around the face. Anyone who has ever done much out of position welding in confined spaces has had an errant spark come bouncing around inside their mask. I've even had them get inside of leather sock hoods not fun when you have something making a seal around your face the spark will always find a fold to adhere to creating a painful burn. without a respirator that same spark may have struck your face but rolled harmlessly away while maybe creating a small irritating burn spot. Also those of us who sport a beard would tell the constabulary to go sod themselves.
    I've been inside pressure vessels and tanks where it gets really hot and often times they are dusty respirators even forced air ones do not do much to alleviate the discomfort except for being able to breathe. What I usually did was merely attach a long hose to the exhaust of a clean shop-vac to the top inside of my hood not only could I breathe but it helped to reduce the buildup of heat in my hood.
    We were replacing the klinker chains in a cement kiln once the kiln was still 140f inside piping forced cooling only served to create a thick dust cloud so we used air hoses from a large air compressor with a charcoal scrubber filter the air was close to dive tank quality which turned out to be a better solution than having us try to wear underwater type welding helmets too cumbersome and heavy when you are not in water.
    So your idea or a personal waist pack with a turbine fan ducted through a hose to your helmet is a good one you will want to add a rear cover to fully engulf your head to insure the air flow has a positive pressure forcing the air down past your neck and shoulders.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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    Supporting Member metric_taper's Avatar
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    This wheel has already been invented.
    https://www.millerwelds.com/safety/r...irators-m00482
    But $2000USD it's pricey.
    This was the first hit on search for "welding helmet with air filtration", so there probably are many other suppliers.
    3M has one titled FRESH AIR WELDING HELMET SYSTEM, which used compressed air with a vortex tube, similar to mining equipment. But it's ~$1600USD.
    I've looked for this before, but just for cooling air, as I get's real irritated when my eye glasses, and the shade glass fog up.

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    I would almost guarantee there is a paper trail leading to lobby money every time these new ever more restrictive laws are proposed
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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    The exhaust of a shop vac, with the motor/filter section out of the body, routed to a modified regular welding helmet will substantially reduce any fume inhalation by the wearer. I wouldn't recommend this for a professional/heavy duty welder, but for the occasional hobbyist, like myself, this should be OK. Of course, the air inlet should be in an area with uncontaminated air.
    \
    Mike

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    Supporting Member metric_taper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank S View Post
    I would almost guarantee there is a paper trail leading to lobby money every time these new ever more restrictive laws are proposed
    I was thinking this same thing when I posted. To me, all democratic governments work for the oligarchy to maintain or increase the value of money pumps. They bribe the system. There is money in this regulation for someone.

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    Still not what i consider cheap but a lot cheaper than the Miller unit.
    https://www.wish.com/search/gas%20ma...&source=search
    or search on Wish for....Fashion Full Face Gas Mask Electric Constant Flow Supplied Air Fed Respirator System
    $151 without any discounts. Should be fairly easy to modify for use on a welding helmet.
    I've used a ventilated helmet before, they're worth there weight in gold in the summertime. I do a lot of fine TIG welding and would love to have one of my own. I'll be following this tread.
    Last edited by 69G T O; 04-23-2019 at 04:32 AM.

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    Supporting Member Hans Pearson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troll Hunter View Post
    The exhaust of a shop vac, with the motor/filter section out of the body, routed to a modified regular welding helmet will substantially reduce any fume inhalation by the wearer. I wouldn't recommend this for a professional/heavy duty welder, but for the occasional hobbyist, like myself, this should be OK. Of course, the air inlet should be in an area with uncontaminated air.
    \
    Mike
    This is my thought as well, use a small, perhaps even 12v car vac? And they let people play rugby and allow boxing, skydiving, mountaineering and goodness knows what else that is blatantly dangerous. Just little people sitting in small offices trying to warrant their existence.

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