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How to be "safe" when shaping, grinding and polishing malachite

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Author Topic: How to be "safe" when shaping, grinding and polishing malachite  (Read 2273 times)
sealdaddy
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« on: February 23, 2013, 04:58:49 pm »

LOL...That sounds like a title for a tutorial on it, but just the opposite.
I have a nice cobble of malachite, that I'm hesitant to working with after reading it's MSDS sheet.
http://www.naturalpigments.com/msds/msds_420-20.htm

I plan to wear a respirator for dust...Could someone give me a link to a good one to buy, please?
I'll wear hospital type latex gloves, will those be good?

What other precautions should I take?
I really want to make cool bullseyes out of it, but am spooked.
If who I give it to rubs it, will it harm them?...I told you I'm spooked, can you tell?
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lithicbeads
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2013, 05:53:41 pm »

The types of respirators that have replaceable canisters are a bit frustrating in that they change the styles often enough that you often cannot get replacement canisters after a few years. I hate to throw away a useful tool especially one that takes a while to get used to having on your face. Any canister that is primarily for dust should be fine. The shape of the mask meshing to your face is very important but in this day of blister packs you cannot try a few to find the best match for your face. The clothes you are cutting in while handling such materials can have a lot of dust on them which should not go in living quarters. I would not hesitate to cut a bit of this with the precautions you are taking. The worst reaction I ever had to a stone was to a piece of stabilized turquoise that I attempted to cut for someone. Within ten seconds of putting it on the grinding wheel the room smelled horribly an within 30 seconds I had a blinding headache.Since I have no apparent chemical sensitivities one can only wonder what that stone was soaked in.
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2013, 06:09:31 pm »

All respirators have a limit for how long they are effective.  Once they are damp from the moisture in your breath, the effectiveness is gone.  Our TB masks at work are only good for 30 minutes before they would wick the microbes in to your nose.  I do not grind for more than 20 minutes with my mask here with the interchangeable filters.  I then let it dry out completely before I use it again.  I have several so I can grind for an hour, about all I can stand to grind for at a time.  Bev
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2013, 08:08:37 pm »

Slab it in water or with a typical cutting oil, grind it wet and sand it wet. You should have no problems with the material.
The only other precautions that I have heard about working with it is to make sure you don't have any open, unhealed cuts on your hands. I've never heard of anyone being impacted with working it. I have worked with the material for many years with no particular fears of the material.
Bob
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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2013, 08:39:33 pm »

yes. water. not respirator.
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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 08:47:21 pm »

We have an older fellow, who dry ground and is now on oxygen because of it. As long as you wet grind and polish, everything should be fine.
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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2013, 08:52:27 pm »

Water, respirator and rubber (or other water-proof) gloves. Use 3M 60921 cartridges, rated for aqueous materials and is also safe for use with asbestos. I have read that the 'bad' in malachite can be absorbed through the skin, hence the gloves and the aqueous mask (if your skin can soak it up in solution so can your lungs). 3M makes a half mask and a full mask. I use the 6200 half mask along with safety goggles. That way you only have to remove the safety goggles to clean them if fowled and not the entire mask. Be sure to use adequate ventilation - no point wearing all that crap only to breath in the settled (and re-disturbed) dust a few minutes later when you remove your mask.

Might also talk see if any responders are those who've been poisoned (there are a few around) as they can probably tell you whether you're dealing with enough to even have to worry at all.

Good luck!
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sealdaddy
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2013, 06:55:51 am »

Water, respirator and rubber (or other water-proof) gloves. Use 3M 60921 cartridges, rated for aqueous materials and is also safe for use with asbestos.

Might also talk see if any responders are those who've been poisoned (there are a few around) as they can probably tell you whether you're dealing with enough to even have to worry at all.

Good luck!

Which reasonably priced respirators you those cartridges, friend?
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sealdaddy
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2013, 06:58:27 am »

We have an older fellow, who dry ground and is now on oxygen because of it. As long as you wet grind and polish, everything should be fine.
My lungs are already messed up from decades of smoking...so I can't have any more.
Thanks
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2013, 10:50:16 am »

I have never had any issues with malachite but I have never worked with it more then 4 hours at a time and always used water. A guy in my club said he got really sick working it once but he was contour grinding large piece for an entire day. He was using water but whatever caused him to get sick must have entered though his skin or cuts in his hands. If you use water and donít grind all day you should be fine. You could wear gloves as an extra safety precaution if you are working with it for an extended duration. 
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urbtaf
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2013, 11:17:25 am »

Never got on with masks of any sort, so I have an extraction system. Not as dear or hard as it sounds.
Its just an extraction fan ( as used in bathrooms ect.) a 4inch flexy hose which I have near the saw or grinding/sanding gear.
I always work wet but the spray that develops can be dangerous, so the extractor solves that.
The extractor vents through the workshop wall and into an upturned 40 gallon steel drum, where it condenses on the metal and soaks into the soil.
I did make the mistake of just placing the drum onto the soil, but that created back pressure so 4 bricks leave a good gap to maintain flow, and the weeds that have grown around the gap act as a very good filter for the air.
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2013, 12:04:59 pm »

I just order my respirator and cartridges from amazon.

Cartridges
http://www.amazon.com/MMM60921-Respirator-Cartridge-Organic-Particulates/dp/B000LDMDDS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361732315&sr=8-1&keywords=60921

Mask (I always keep 2 or 3 of these around)
http://www.amazon.com/3M-6200-Series-Cartridges-Piece/dp/B001QF9C5C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361732459&sr=8-1&keywords=6200+mask bricks

The extraction setup described above sounds like a good alternative if you can't handle a mask. I eventually want to make one of these myself.

I'm a very long time smoker myself - I seem determined to get rid of these nasty lungs one way or another...
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sealdaddy
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2013, 12:59:14 pm »

Never got on with masks of any sort, so I have an extraction system. Not as dear or hard as it sounds.
Its just an extraction fan ( as used in bathrooms ect.) a 4inch flexy hose which I have near the saw or grinding/sanding gear.
That was an idea I posted before on messing with this and other rocks.
I'd need to run the flex hose 25' to an exterior wall that's wood and not thick limestone block, but I think I'll do it.  I'll try to get a big fan.
Thanks~
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sealdaddy
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2013, 01:06:47 pm »

I just order my respirator and cartridges from amazon.
Cartridges
http://www.amazon.com/MMM60921-Respirator-Cartridge-Organic-Particulates/dp/B000LDMDDS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361732315&sr=8-1&keywords=60921
Mask (I always keep 2 or 3 of these around)
Excellent...I think I'll get these though...they are cheaper.
http://www.amazon.com/3M-Particulate-Filter-Organic-Relief/dp/B00328IAO0/ref=pd_bxgy_hi_img_z
Just like you...I'll get the mask, and do they air suction ventilation setup later.
Thanks~
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Debbie K
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2013, 06:10:24 pm »

I've only carved a little malachite; I used water and a particle mask. I didn't know you could absorb it through your skin, had I known I would have worn gloves.

Make sure that you clean up all the mud and dust at least twice with your mask on. If you can find a way to contain the overspray you have less work to do.

Debbie K
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