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Safety -- Make sure you are safe!

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  #1  
Old 2008-12-08, 3:40pm
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Exclamation My ventilation...

For all those who were concerned with my ventilation, I took a little advice from a select few and decided to change my set up.

We live in a house that was built in the 30's and the windows were long painted shut. I was using another window that I couldn't fully open. So today I got out the hammer and pry bar and paint scraper, and went to work. I chose a new window in the room, and got it fully opened and operational again. I also turned the desk around so my torch faces directly towards the window. I'll have to look for a used exhaust fan, or window fan to put there, and at the very least I'll put a box fan on the desk blowing outside.

I like this setup up much better. In addition to the improved ventilation, I get to watch the birds in the trees outside my window.

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  #2  
Old 2008-12-08, 3:43pm
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  #3  
Old 2008-12-08, 3:48pm
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Yeah, i just hope the birds dont fly in! There aren't any screens on those old windows...
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Old 2008-12-08, 3:51pm
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Nice Mardi! What kind of fuel is that you're using?

Michelle
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  #5  
Old 2008-12-08, 3:51pm
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I think the noise of the hothead will dissuade them!!
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  #6  
Old 2008-12-08, 4:50pm
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looks great! i see you got your kiln, too. yaaayy!

p.s. i don't remember if i mentioned this before, but i found its easier to search for the brand names of exhaust fans on craigslist instead of just searching "exhaust fan" when i was looking for mine & just typed in "exhaust fan" i had to sift through a lot of car-stuff & microwaves & things. when i just typed in "dayton fan" (dayton being a popular exhaust fan brand name) stuff came right up. hope this helps in your search!
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  #7  
Old 2008-12-08, 5:40pm
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Not to rain on your parade, but this is not ventilation. I taught a friend of mine to make beads, lectured her on the importance of ventilation, and she ignored my warnings. She set her torch up just like yours. She wound up feeling sort of bad, ignored that too, finally had a check up at her doctor, he gave her a blood test and some other tests, she had carbon monoxide poisoning. He told her if she kept it up she would have further complications, now she has to get her lungs checked regularly. She did do some damage to herself. Don't fool around with your health. You need a hood to capture the noxious fumes created by your torch, and a good blower of some kind to pull them out. Period.
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  #8  
Old 2008-12-08, 7:30pm
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Nice job Mardi,
Sometimes things work out for the best (birds and view is a plus!)

You still have another fresh air source? Then you can place another fan behind you to bring that fresh air past you and push the fumes out the window as the other fan pulls it.

No, it's not ideal and you know that, but it is so much better than the cross ventilation you had before. We all want you to be safe, but the bottom line is it's your choice. I chose to work like this on a screened in porch for about a year with a fan blowing the fumes out.
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  #9  
Old 2008-12-08, 8:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary K View Post
Not to rain on your parade, but this is not ventilation.
Well I tried.... obviously I can't win for loosing. There's always one in the bunch.
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  #10  
Old 2008-12-08, 8:17pm
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Originally Posted by ginkgoglass View Post
You still have another fresh air source? Then you can place another fan behind you to bring that fresh air past you and push the fumes out the window as the other fan pulls it.

No, it's not ideal and you know that, but it is so much better than the cross ventilation you had before.

Yes its much better than it was, and yes I know its not ideal, but its the best I can do with what I have, without setting the desk in the middle of the back yard.

I am going to put a box fan or a window fan/exhaust fan in the window to pull air out, and then I'll put a fan near the old window behind me to pull fresh air in.

Hopefully by the summer we'll be in a new house with an outbuilding I can set up in.

Thanks for the encouragment!
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  #11  
Old 2008-12-08, 8:35pm
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You're welcome!
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  #12  
Old 2008-12-10, 8:23am
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ventilation is hard isn't it? esp. if you're not sure how much you want to commit to this artform yet and if you're trying to set it up on a budget... LOL

All i can offer is my own experiences, my studio setup was similar to yours: http://shebamakeda.com/my-studio/ . i've used a double fan in the window for the last couple years, however, i wore a P100 respirator and didn't torch full time - more like once or twice a week for a few hours (if that) each time. I also avoided some of the more dangerous, i.e. fume heavy techniques like fuming, silver glasses, etc. If i torched full time i would have definitely invested in a proper ventilation system right away.

i wouldn't leave that window completey open, something is bound to either fly in, commit suicide in yr flame and scare the pants off you or i'm thinking a bird, squirrel or some other animal might decide to visit. potentially cute but pobably not the right time for furry/flying visitors since playing with fire is not the best time to be distracted. At least attach a screen in the window so you don't have to worry about unwanted visitors.

2nd, you may find the light in front of the window too bright on sunny days. i'm set up in front of window as well and for a while couldn't work until the evenings or early mornings cuz i couldn't see the flame. so maybe find something to block out the sunlight when yr working while keeping a focused table top light.

3rd, do you have air coming from another source at least 10ft away from where you're exhausting? i torch in an upstairs bedroom so i keep the window in a bedroom down the hall open (yes, even in the winter) to ensure a regular fresh air supply

4th, invest in smoke & carbon monoxide detectors. you may also want to have propane gas detector if you ever decide to move up to bulk tank

5th, (and i'm being picky here) you move those extra propane tanks on the side far away from yr work area when you torch right?

i didn't see your previous setup but i know each of us has to make our own choices based on our committment and budget while still paying attention to safety as much as possible. You'll know if yr ventilation is inadequate by the feeling in yr chest , mouth or throat after a torch session - don't ignore the symptoms.

since i moved from a HH to a megaminor last month my current setup doesn't work anymore (cuz now i torch for much longer) so this past weekend i had a 650cfm fan wired and will be getting the tubing hopefully this weekend. it's a portable system made for temporary studios like ours. once i have it all figured out i'll post it here for others to benefit...
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  #13  
Old 2008-12-10, 9:23am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MardiGrasGlass View Post
Well I tried.... obviously I can't win for loosing. There's always one in the bunch.
Make that 2 (Plus a Whole bunch more)... I'm not posting to upset you I just want you to be aware that this is not a safe set up at all....
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  #14  
Old 2008-12-10, 12:28pm
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I'm really not trying to upset you or be difficult, I'm only commenting from true concern. Dawn is right. When I first started, I had something similar. I started having heart palpatations, headaches, felt plain crappy. I changed to a hooded system and all of those problems went away. At the very least, do the incense test. Turn on your torch and set things up like you would if you were working. Light a stick of incense next to your torch. If the smoke isn't being pulled directly out the window, you aren't getting adequate ventilation.

I just don't want you to get sick..... please be careful.
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  #15  
Old 2008-12-10, 12:49pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MardiGrasGlass View Post
Well I tried.... obviously I can't win for loosing. There's always one in the bunch.
Christopher,

This was not nice or fair. She was only trying to make you aware in order to keep you safe. And there ARE more than one in this bunch to keep people safe in our art.

What you have done is better but, hopefully, not your final system.

Sue
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  #16  
Old 2008-12-10, 1:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang Dawn View Post
Make that 2 (Plus a Whole bunch more)... I'm not posting to upset you I just want you to be aware that this is not a safe set up at all....
Well I tell you, and everyone else what..... I'll just move the friggin desk out in the middle of the back yard, where there are no walls, or windows, or doors to trap fumes. Would that be called ventilation? Would that make everyone happy? Y'all sure know how to piss in peoples Cheerios.

I knew I shouldn't have posted the "I'm listening to your advice" update. I thought I may have just been overly sensitive, and too defensive the last time this happened on a thread, but y'all are just freakishly obsessive. I'll just add this to the list of topics to avoid like the plague, in a public forum.
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  #17  
Old 2008-12-10, 1:44pm
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Make that 3....I was doing the box fan in the window set up.....what you are going to "upgrade" to. I ended up with pneumonia 2 times last year. Lung damage. I have redone my studio and its been finished for 3 months. I havent lit a torch yet because i dont have my ventilation hood yet. Its killing me but I would rather die of impatience than a lung bleed.
Avoiding the issue like the plague doesnt change facts. We are not trying to rain on your parade, piss you off or anything like that. Obviously people care enough to try and prevent damage to your health. We dont deserve to be slammed for it. People have died for this art due to lack of adequate ventilation. Not from carbon monoxide poisening or something relatively benign like that. They die of emphasema, lung bleeds. Not pleasent, not pain-free and way too soon (I believe one was as young as 25).
At least wear a respirator when you get the box fan.
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  #18  
Old 2008-12-10, 2:00pm
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christopher, people are not trying to "piss in your cheerios" they are trying to make sure your cheerios do not KILL you.

if you do not set up ventilation properly, you WILL suffer major health consequences. people are not "freakishly obsessed" they just hate to see another lampworker damage their health in a very severe way.

i am very happy that you've been trying to make improvements, & i know you know that it still isn't enough. honestly, setting up in the middle of your backyard WOULD be a better solution until you can get ventilation set up. if i had the money i would buy you a ventilation system, i just don't.

i hope this is received well & you take care of yourself.
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Old 2008-12-10, 2:34pm
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Christopher,

I promise we are not trying to upset you, and I/we are not the ventilation police. We just care about you. In my past life (before kids) I was an environmental chemist and have seen a lot of nasty stuff that can happen with chemical exposures. You might not notice it right now but with continued use over time you will.

Once again I'm sorry if I offended you.

Dawn
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  #20  
Old 2008-12-10, 3:21pm
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Christopher,
Are these windows double hung? Will the top sash move down? If so it would be very easy to set up a hood and duct work.
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  #21  
Old 2008-12-10, 6:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houptdavid
Are these windows double hung? Will the top sash move down? If so it would be very easy to set up a hood and duct work.
No they aren't double hung. They are the old type windows with the pulleys and weights in them. I'm doing good to have THIS window open as much as it does. Its one of only two in the house that open, and the only reason the second one opens is because its a modern window upgrade in the master bedroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruca
christopher, people are not trying to "piss in your cheerios" they are trying to make sure your cheerios do not KILL you.
Well the delivery sure SUCKS! Instead of "Not to rain on your parade, but that is not ventilation..." How about "Thats a good start! Are you planning on advancing to more adequate ventilation in the future?" And instead of "Your going to kill yourself" how about "Are you aware of the inherit risks of breathing constant fumes?" People sit around all day and say "I do this, and I do that, and this is how it should be done." Well what works for you, doesn't necessarily work for me. So how about a little encouragement instead of constant negative "your wrong" undertones? I actually took some peoples advice after the last fiasco and put some thought into it, thought I was doing good, only to turn around and be told that I was wrong again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggybubby
I was doing the box fan in the window set up.....what you are going to "upgrade" to. I ended up with pneumonia 2 times last year. Lung damage.
Sorry about your luck, but just because the box fan didn't work for you, doesn't mean it wont work for me. Perhaps you were a child who was sick more often that I was, and thus your lungs are more sensitive. I was never sick as a child, and have rarely ever been sick as an adult. Furthermore, I was raised around dust, dirt, chemicals, gases, tools, workshops, fertilizers etc. Perhaps what bothers you, wont bother me. But I'll definitley remember your sicknesses when I am torching and put safety first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewdb
3rd, do you have air coming from another source at least 10ft away from where you're exhausting?
Yes. This room is at the very end of the house, and the window is on the farthest wall from the interior. If you were looking at an "L" this would be the very end. Not only would the box fan be pushing contaminated air out, it would also be pulling conditioned fresh air from the hallway, and fresh outside air from a window behind me. I could also open the door in the hallway, just outside the room that would also allow extra outside air in.
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Old 2008-12-10, 8:04pm
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Christopher - I am not going to tell you what others have already mentioned. They have taken the time to share their experiences with you - with the best intentions - only to have you get angry with them. You are an adult and you can surely decide for yourself "what works for you."

Please, for your own safety, if you decide to use anything containing metal in your beadmaking endeavor - be it silver leaf, silver glass, copper mesh, reactive frit, etc., as well as fine frit, enamels, etc. . . . please, please, please wear a respirator. You will need a N-100 or a P-100 rates one.
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Old 2008-12-10, 9:33pm
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Christopher~
I must tell you why (mainly) I told you about my friend, and commented that your "ventilation" was not, truly, ventilation at all.
A lot of people who are new to lampwork, or just considering lampwork read this
forum. I would not want anyone who is uninformed thinking that your system, or one like
it was adequate to protect them from the NOX fume created by the torch/melting glass/etc.
There are many ways people go about providing for ventilation. My belief is that there must be a hood, or something like a hood, to capture and evacuate the plume of gasses released by torching. There also must be an adequately sized blower attached to said hood to accomplish this. Make up, or replacement air must come from at least 10 feet away from exit air from said system.
So don't think it's all about you, it's not. I really wish everyone who does lampwork would think about their longterm health, and the health of others who share their environment.
I wish you a happy holiday, a long life, & continued good health for you and all your family. Take care.
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  #24  
Old 2008-12-11, 6:00am
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I have my set up with with an extraction fan - except what I didnt realize was my fan was no longer extracting the noise was going but the suck wasnt. A friend of mine came over to torch after 4 hours she went home and collapsed on the bed and couldnt get up for 8 hours with a sick migraine. I continued to torch after she went home for about another 8 hours. I was so sick I thought I had just about killed myself I had the head from hell for 3 weeks constantly couldnt see properly felt sick in the stomach all the time dizzy faint it wasnt nice. My dad came over on the weekend and said what the hell is wrong with you and I told him he got up me and told me I should have called an ambulance because I had carbon monoxide poisoned myself. I now have a completely different motor and constantly check the whole time it is extracting. I am so paranoid the whole time and say about 100 times to everyone else when I am torching - can you smell gas. A guy in America did kill himself not working with the correct ventilation and he was young. Its not scare tactics meant to send you running and hiding its because no one wants this to happen to you. Yes lampworking is expensive to set up, and ventilation may seem like something that you can do without, but you have to put things into perspective if you are likely to give yourself long term damage that could have been avoided - in the long run who are you hurting. Someone may have pissed you off by telling you the dangers of poor ventilation but if they pissed you off enough to look at changing your ventilation it was a good thing. If you had a car that had no brakes would you drive it out on the road and say well I will be careful and nothing should happen to me or would you go I'm not driving a car with no brakes thats just 2 dangerous.
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  #25  
Old 2008-12-11, 6:06am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary K View Post
So don't think it's all about you, it's not. I really wish everyone who does lampwork would think about their longterm health, and the health of others who share their environment.
I wish you a happy holiday, a long life, & continued good health for you and all your family. Take care.
Its not all about me, and I try to live my life like nothing ever is. But THIS thread was started by ME, and was about MY ventilation, and if you are/were replying to someone other than the OP, then in the future you need to put a disclaimer in your post that you have done as such.

Furthermore, to blindly believe that EVERY newcomer discounts safety and does not think about the inherit risks, is a generalization, and is hardly fair to "said" newcomer. It is just as unfair to chastise someone who IS trying to do their best, because of that belief.

I realize that my setup is not optimal. Would I like to have a hood? SURE! Can I afford one at the time? Probably not. But does that mean that torching is completely out of the question? Surely not. I may not be able to sit behind the torch for 6, 7, or 8 hours a day, but I can surely make a bead or two, in a few hours each day. The common misconception is that because one doesn't have a vent hood, or some elaborate setup they aren't thinking about ventilation. And in my opinion, THAT'S just plain ignorant.

I also wish you and your family a Happy Holiday, and may your life be just as long and healthful.
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Old 2008-12-11, 7:37am
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Chris, i understand where you're coming from although i completely disagree with some of your responses. ALL lampworkers need good ventilation and we're just trying to help you set up something effective temporarily until you can budget for a bigger system.

If you set up the way i recommended and wear the P100 respirator (with regularly changed filters) ALL the time not just when working with metal leaf or silver glasses you'll be able to see for yourself if this works for you. It worked for me while i was on the Hothead but this setup no longer works with the Mega, hence my decision to buy and install new ventilation. This method at least gives you the chance to save some money for a good ventilation system.

If after any torch sessions you feel a tightness/roughness in your nose, chest or throat or or have a strange metallic taste in your mouth even with the respirator, then you'll know your ventilation setup doesn't work and you should immediately stop and continue to make adjustments until you can work without those symptoms.

p.s. make sure the respirator is specialized for fumes not just dust. they look similar...
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Old 2008-12-11, 11:22am
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http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113586

Getting angry with Mary for pointing it out to you what you have is not ventilation - something you obviously realize from the other thread - isn't right. And please do not call those who are trying to help you based on their experience and knowledge ignorant.
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Old 2008-12-11, 11:33am
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I was not torching 6-8 hrs a day. I was torching maybe 3 hrs a day during the weekend so maybe a total of 6 hrs a week. It does not take much to damage yourself not to mention anyone else in the house. Ok so we cant read you mind and know that you are thinking about ventilation (that means a hood and proper fan) but from your responses its easy to think that you are not...ventilation does not have to cost an arm and a leg.
I got a 800cfm fan on ebay for just over 200. I am going to build my own hood. I am going to build a wood frame and line it with metal.
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  #29  
Old 2008-12-11, 11:35am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayley
And please do not call those who are trying to help you based on their experience and knowledge ignorant.
Well if you had actually read and understood what I was saying then this wouldn't be a problem.

What I SAID was... "The common misconception that someone who doesn't have a hood, or an elaborate setup isn't thinking about ventilation" is ignorant. The IDEA... not the person.

YOU are just trying to make me out to be a bad guy by publicly misinterpretting my words. Another reason why I will just start avoiding these topics like the plague....
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Old 2008-12-11, 11:43am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggybubba View Post
Ok so we cant read you mind and know that you are thinking about ventilation (that means a hood and proper fan) but from your responses its easy to think that you are not...ventilation does not have to cost an arm and a leg.
I got a 800cfm fan on ebay for just over 200. I am going to build my own hood. I am going to build a wood frame and line it with metal.
Then why assume such and be so quick to point out someone or something is wrong? If you can't read minds, and dont know the facts then take a different approach. This is EXACTLY what I mean when I say people are freakishly obsessive about the matter. They jump peoples asses for assumptions they make without the proper facts, on any one of a number of topics.

.... and $200 is 1/2 a car payment, and 1/4 of the rent. If I had that kind of budget at this exact moment, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Look, I value everyones concern, what I DONT value is the authoritative, negative delivery. None of you are representatives for OSHA, none of you are sharing lungs with me, none of you have actually been in my home, and none of you are paying my bills. Therefore none of you actually know whats best, you only know what works for you, which doesn't make anyone the ventilation police.
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