What am I inhaling at the lathe?

tmenyc

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I don't remember which carts I have, but did just change them. I'll post the mask and cartridges here this evening when back home.
 

Lo-Fi

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It's probably fine for lube, but there are oils that are specifically formulated for machine tools and will be specified by the manufacturer.
Proper cutting oils do a better job (in my experience) and are formulated with workshop use in mind. Cutting softer materials won't build up much heat, so unlikely to get oil thrown out for you to breathe in.
Both will come with a COSHH sheet so you can protect yourself accordingly. Safe machining :)
 

projectnut

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Another option might be to install an exhaust fan in the room. It doesn't necessarily have to be something permanently mounted in a wall or ceiling. It can be something like a portable welding fume extractor with the exhaust hose out the window, or a soldering fume eliminator..



Personally I have a 650 cfm ducted exhaust fan with an inlet port over the headstock of the large lathe and another over the milling machine. Mine was made in Germany and came in a kit with 2 inlet ports from Grainger Industrial; supply. They no longer sell the kit, but here's a link to a similar fan only from Amazon.

 

akjeff

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I try to use carbide tools and mill/turn dry at every opportunity. When I do use lube, I've switched to Anchor Lube, and don't miss all the smoke and stink from conventional cutting oils.
 

ericc

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When you say 3M mask I'm guessing you mean a cartridge type respirator. When was the last time you changed the cartridges and do you have the correct cartridges installed? Having cartridges for organic vapors, cleaning, painting fumes won't give you the level of protection you need if you being more exposed to fine airborne particulates.
They must be helping, since he said he didn't feel hoarse after wearing the mask. It may be worth doing some experimentation. I wonder if a simple dust mask would provide some benefit. They don't restrict breathing as much as the respirators and are easier to use.

I sometimes strike with the guys at the San Jose History Park. They recently had a mask rule, and the blacksmiths were surprised how those simple cloth masks really cut down on the coal smoke dirt and coughing. We have a new respect for those simple face coverings. Much less black stuff and coughing after the session. I think we will continue wearing these things, blacksmithing or not. They have become more socially acceptable.
 

pontiac428

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In machining, your inhalation hazard is oil mists. Very little will be vapor, and you're not really getting combustion/decomposition products. Mineral oil bases are generally pretty safe when compared to solvents or smoke particulates. Problem with oils is that many have sensitizers added that can cause a stronger response after some period of past exposure than initially. This is why so many people have had issues using Tap Magic. Halfway through the bottle, and the smell makes people feel sick. I would stay to very clean cutting oils. I use castor oil on the lathe because of its high heat tolerance. Otherwise, non-detergent oil or spindle oil works well. It pays to know what's in the products you use, so you can avoid things you are sensitive to. You might react badly to oxygenated hydrocarbons like glycol ethers, esters, or ketones. Stick with plain base oils instead.

If you want to use a respirator for oil mists, you need to get the appropriate P- cartridge for oil Proof. Any kind of ventilation that provides air exchange (as opposed to circulation) is a help, and filtering circulated air is better than not.
 

tmenyc

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This is all really helpful and interesting. I think my first step will be switching to Anchor Lube. I have their sample bottle at home, use it for lubing center holes, will now use small amounts for cutting.
Thanks!
Tim
 

Dabbler

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I'd switch to olive oil or canola oil for your lubrication. There are a lot of harmful or even poisonous additives in 10X30 motor oil... And I'd still wear a mask, to filter out the aerosols.
 

RJSakowski

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Delrin has particularly obnoxious fumes when heated excessively; even worse than Nylon. They certainly would affect your respiratory system. Ebonite is hard rubber and may also have harmful decomposition products However, you should never reach those temperatures when cutting Delrin.
 
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