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carving gemstones dry

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Author Topic: carving gemstones dry  (Read 2268 times)
krneaves
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« on: November 27, 2010, 12:52:36 pm »

hello to all of you,i read on here where one of you carve dry.i have carved dry since 1968,this was the way i learned.i don't recomend that anyone carve dry without using a mask or an exhuast fan.also when carving malachite be very careful,i have nearly died twice from malachite dust.some people are affected by even the mist when grinding it wet.some shells are very toxic too,some affect the nervous system.you folks probably know this already.when i started out there was very few gem carvers around to advise me,i had to learn by my mistakes.best regards,ken
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 03:52:13 pm »

So everybody please listen to Ken - he knows what he is talking about.

I hate it here in my club when people  won't listen when I say stuff like that and go ahead and cut shells, etc.
They are the old farts who think they know it all.

Sorry you had to learn the hard way, Ken.
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krneaves
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2010, 04:19:22 pm »

gregorgr8,i am not very good with a computer,seems like ever time i post something i think of something else to say.i  have hunted rocks in the west 2 or 3 times on interstate ten near kent,texas.i found some nice agate and jasper.in the 1970's there was an article in the lapidary journal warning people that was rockhunting on the desert not to lick the rocks to see the color.a lot of the rocks have fungus spores on them that are dormant in the dry desert but when you lick the rocks the spores get in the lungs,they grow and fill up the lungs and cause death.at that time the lapidary journal said that 5 people had died from this.best regards,ken
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2010, 07:27:16 pm »

Ken is right on! We had one of our club members come close to dying, over dry grinding of malachite.
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2010, 03:00:59 am »

I never dry sand anything..

These posts make me not want to even work with Malachite at all.

Have a few to do for someone too..

Think will have to put Malachite on my can't do from now on.

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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2010, 07:56:34 am »

George:   I hope you don't wait.  Tell the person you just learned about the dangers of malachite (it contains arsenic, I believe) and you cant afford to do it anymore.

Please


Gregor
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azsavit
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2010, 08:36:53 am »

You know, I have often wondered about this. I have heard multiple references to malachite containing arsenic, but malachite is just Cu2CO3(OH)2 - no arsenic, see? Still, malachite obviously has the potential to make people ill.

Not much info out there about this, but I did find one blog post which I think offers a convincing explanation.
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krneaves
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 08:55:20 am »

hello to all of you,malachite is a copper carbonate.in the 1950's there was a bean dust made from it,if it will kill a bean bug it will kill a man.i have had two heart valve replacements in my life and was very sick but not nearly as sick as i was on malachite.i am not trying to scare anybody just telling you what happened to me and a friend.my friend was allergic to it and his hands swelled until they burst in places.i made a lot of cameos from malachite when i started out.i worked them dry.small amounts didn't make me sick,it was the big pieces that got me.there are a lot of things beside malachite that are dangerous.best regards,ken
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2010, 03:21:17 pm »

You know, I have often wondered about this. I have heard multiple references to malachite containing arsenic, but malachite is just Cu2CO3(OH)2 - no arsenic, see? Still, malachite obviously has the potential to make people ill.

Not much info out there about this, but I did find one blog post which I think offers a convincing explanation.

ok. was just repeating what I have heard from multiple people over 35 years.  IF it did contain arsenic it would be as a very  minor part, but since As is so toxic it could make you sick.
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 06:42:44 am »

 Gregor, I have heard that malachite contains arsenic from probably half a dozen different folks. it is a pretty pervasive rumor, so i was just wondering about its origin. The blog post refferenced above was the most convincing explanation i could find. In short, it is the readily soluble copper in malachite which gets efficiently absorbed thru the lungs and causes symptoms of toxicity.

Ken, the insecticide 'malachite green', which you are likely referring to, does not actually contain malachite. To my knowledge, the mineral malachite has never been used as a pesticide.
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2010, 10:43:21 am »

I have read a few articles that state that if you have a cut on your hands that you can get effects of the toxicity of copper from being absorbed into your blood stream but I haven't heard of anyone actually having this occur. As a precaution I wear those surgical gloves that I get from Costco when I'm cuting Malachite, Hematite, Silicon and Marcasite. All of thes materials are really messy and stain everything including your hands. Obviously inhaling Malachite dust gets a large amount into your bloodstream rather quickly.
Your body actually needs a trace amount of copper to maintain good health but you can really overdose on the stuff when you work on copper bearing materials.
I usually sand my large cabs dry but I always wear breathig protection when I do it.
Bob
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2010, 11:33:29 am »

All of the copper bearing rocks we may cut can be toxic if precautions are not taken.  First and foremost, NEVER cut copper bearing minerals dry unless you have a respirator on.  I also would not cut them inside dry where all that dust can fly around and settle on everything.  When we cut this stuff, we use masks and we have a fan pulling air out of the window that is right next to our cutting area.  We also have a small fan running that blows toward the window ventilation fan to get as much of the dust out as possible.

From the research I've done on malachite, it appears that pure malachite does not contain arsenic.  However, arsenic is found in and near other copper bearing materials, including malachite, and I would not rule out that some malachite contains impurities, which could include arsenic.

As always, it's better to be safe than sorry!
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2010, 11:54:01 am »

  well heck, i just got this 4 pounder in the mail from a guy living in the mojave desert. possible gem silica? dangerous also?
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 12:01:23 pm »

For some reason my system reacts almost immediately to Malachite. Wet or dry it doesn't matter. It affects my sinuses and gives me headaches. I only work it when I have to and always wet. Malachite is almost always associated with Arsenic as are most sulphide, carbonate and some oxidized metal ores. I used to do geochemical surveys looking for gold and Arsenic was the most common trace element we looked for. I have pulled soil samples that run as high as 500 parts per million in close proximity to copper deposits.
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 12:34:42 pm »

Jon,

That is a beauty!  Dangerous only if you don't take precautions.  Chrysocolla is a copper based material, so just make sure you take the precautions outlined previously.  We cut chrysocolla all the time.  Use lots of water to keep the dust down, wear a mask or a respirator, make sure you have adequate ventilation that preferably sucks the dust outside of your work area.  Wear gloves if you are sensitive to copper based minerals or if you have cuts on your hands.

And most important -- hope that it is stable enough to cut and that there's a big pocket of gem silica in there somewhere!  :D
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 12:37:22 pm »

According to this website, Malachite does contain arsenic.........it's mentioned in the last sentence of the malachite explanation.........

http://www.mine-engineer.com/mining/mineral/malachite.htm
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azsavit
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2010, 12:45:48 pm »

Great info everybody! That looks like some awesome material, but with chrysocolla you never know until you put it to the saw!
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2010, 01:05:52 pm »

Speaking of "dry grinding"............The longest word recognized by the 'Oxford English Dictionary' is 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis', a lung disease caused by the inhaling of volcanic silicon dust.      Ref. Nov. 2010 Discover Magazine
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azsavit
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2010, 01:08:36 pm »

Must.... memorize... useless... factoid.

Over a dozen syllables and it gets hard for me.
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earthling
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« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2010, 01:44:13 am »

Alright, so this dry carving has me intrigued!

Safety-wise I think I'm set.  I'm pretty familiar with what to work with and what not to, and I wear a respirator all day out of habit anyway from working with wood.

I moreso have technique questions.  I've played around with carving dry with some cheap Chinese diamond burrs (didn't want to ruin good sintered burrs!) in my flex-shaft and they seemed to work BETTER dry.  Like, I'd get the stone wet, and they'd work but really slowly, then if I let it get too dry it would work faster the dryer it got.

Is that the point of carving dry?

Also, this effect seemed most noticeable on hard stones (agates, chryso) -- I would assume this technique would be out (or at least one would have to be REALLY careful) on anything soft because of heat build-up?  I could see shattering an opal from trying to carve it dry like that...

So, if you don't mind sharing (hey, you brought it up not me, haha) what are your reasons for carving dry?  And does it come with drawbacks? I assume I'd have to be a lot more careful about getting pieces too hot... just work one spot, give it a break, etc. to keep from just grinding away and overheating the piece.

I've also noticed (I'm pretty new to carving stone) that listening to a piece is really key wet OR dry -- when the diamond is doing its work there's a very different noise than a loaded/clogged burr that's just spinning away against stone... is that a good way to keep from overheating the piece and potentially wrecking the stone or burr?
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« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2010, 08:58:16 am »

On larger pieces I use the "Mizzy" wheels dry. They are a silicon carbide wheel that was very popular a few years back. They cut rather quickly and with a little care they don't overheat the material being carved. I would never use any diamond product dry. It significantly shortens the life of the tool.
Bob
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krneaves
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« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2010, 09:34:53 am »

hello to all of you,i don't reccomend that anyone carve dry.that is the way i learned.any small diamond tools when used wet the krud builds up on them and slows up the cutting.i used to use mizzywheels to do heavy carving  because the diamond wheels cost so much.i haven't used them in years.i use all diamond now for everything but polishing.you can see some opal carvings on my website that were carved dry,the only time that water touched them was when i was polishing them.best regards,ken
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skystone
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« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2010, 11:54:40 pm »

Allergies aside no matter what the rock or shell etc.  precautions should always be taken for your resperation. Ever hear of sillicossis (SP?) or mines lung, black lung etc. The cilica can not be expelled from the lungs. Eventually it will build up just plain mud in your lungs & drown you. Other minerals in stones may be carsonagenic such as aspestos. What do you think Tiger eye is? No one wants cancer. I used to do gun grips from ivory & several times was asked to fit pearl shell ones. I finally had to refuse to do pearl shell ones at all. There are paracites in many shells like pearl shell or abalony that can get in the muccus tissue of the nose, throat or lungs & start reproducing. Get a good resparator what are your lungs woth?
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« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2011, 11:52:39 am »

I am really glad that I found this and read it all. Thank you all for the warnings.
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krneaves
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2011, 04:44:06 pm »

bob,don't ever carve anything dry.the reason i carve dry was there was nobody carving much in the 1960's or they would have told me how dumb it was.i am 70 years old now and try to help as many as i can learn how to carve.in the 60's walking along some of the gravel roads around here you got more dust in your lungs than you would get in a week carving.i had no training and for a few years i didn't even wear a mask.some are now working the etheopian opal dry because it turns milky.i don't know much about that opal,i have cut a few and used water on them when polishing.they turned very milky but  turned back clear in a few days.if i can help you with carving in any way let me know.best regards,kenneth neaves
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Rocksnot
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2011, 03:11:46 pm »

O man...

I may have to just throw out the rocks and take up needle point...

or not!!

Good info about stuff I never knew before.  I am real allergic to sickness and/or death!  Thanks for the sage words everybody!
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AVoss
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« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2011, 06:43:27 am »

 I learned recently from a really fine carver the usefulness in carving dry. I'd noticed it long ago in my carving but never really put it into its whole perspective on my own.

 When you carve with water coating or flowing over the surface of your carving it produces an artificial surface. The surface of the water conceals all the fine details, abnormalities, chips, scratches, almost as if it polished. In order to get a really intense and accurate surface, at least regarding contoured surfaces ,use dry carving. Very small 400 or 600 grit flame tipped bits,very very short soft accurate stokes in one direction only. Never back and forth or side to side. At least thats what she'd say:). I go back and forth and side to side when it suits me . But never to get me final shaping done.  The actual dust the little strokes leave behind is very fine and reflects, in a sense, the detail of the surface directly below, very accurately. Sweep up the accumulation of dust frequently with a dry cotton swab and inspect every bit of the surface for unintended effects under strong magnification. I think you have to accept that in order to create really fine work you have to work under a microscope to some extent. I think you have to get used to it. It makes an incredible different in the quality of your finished form plus accomplishes a good deal of pre-polishing or sanding if done correctly.

 Always wear a particle mask and sealed glasses if you can stand it.

:)
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« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2012, 03:13:09 pm »

A word on Tigers Eye -

I had heard that it contained asbestos so when someone offered me some cheap rough I told them that was why I did not want it. He swore up and down that the asbestos in Tigers Eye was replaced with quartz and impurities (giving it the color). I bought the rough and when I got back home I did some research. Last best info I had says that the "yellow" fibers are indeed replaced (no longer asbestos) but that the blue fibers (Hawks Eye, or Hawk Eye) are not replaced and are still asbestos. Okay, I'll buy that - but the trouble then is that if you look at a lot of rough/slabs you'll see that even much of the apparent yellow Tigers Eye, under a scope, does have blue fibers mixed in. The higher the ratio of the blue, the more green the overall appearance (yellow+blue=green).

+
Later Addition: One source of information that seems to be authoritative: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger%27s_eye
-

I use a heavy duty respirator because my health condition, which is a deficiency in a certain spectra of my immune system, specifically that which covers ears nose and throat (and gut), tells me immediately that wet lapping does in fact throw a lot of particulates into one's lungs. Not as much as dry, obviously, but my system makes me ill for about two days if I wet lap a hunk of something as simple as obsidian without a respirator. Most people probably don't feel that at all ('til 20 years later). In other words - I make a good canary. As such I can those dust masks they sell (with the little rubber band) are just shy of useless (depends on the material really). I use a 3M mask with 60921 / organic vapors (look for the NIOSH stamp) cartridges. They've got the same protection as the dry equivalent but they'll stop the moist and wet stuff as well. They work so well if you put one on for a half hour and then take it off you'll be shocked at just how your own home (and your own self) smells! lol... true story - breathing air that pure for awhile allows your nose/brain to retune back in all the stuff it's learned to tune out. Anyway, the mask is not that uncomfortable (don't get full face - just mouth and use separate goggles if necessary) and I don't get sick from it anymore except when I pull that old "just this once" or "only for a few minutes" stunt.

BTW - rock dust not only does not get expelled from the lungs, but the lungs react by creating cysts around each particle (like an oyster pearling sand kind of reaction). That's what leads to the really bad stuff down the road.

Okay, so what's the story on rutilated quartz? Asbestos or not asbestos?
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Michael
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« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2012, 05:23:50 pm »

Rutilated quartz is rutile needles in the quartz. rutile is a titanium ore.
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HH5
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« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2012, 05:55:12 pm »


This is a very informative thread and I would like to thank everyone for the
info they shared.
Makes me look at cabbing in a new light.

I wonder just how much particles I breath in when cabbing,
Think I will put on a cheap mask and go make some cabs and see what the mask looks like afterwards.
I did notice several days ago that with my light in a certain spot I can see the mist rising from my wheels.


Thanks Harold
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« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2012, 08:45:11 pm »

Rutilated quartz is rutile needles in the quartz. rutile is a titanium ore.

Thanks Michael - not sure where I heard that but I've got a nifty role of nickels sized piece I've been nervous about doing anything with. I'll put it on the play list as fair game.
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« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2012, 09:03:38 pm »


This is a very informative thread and I would like to thank everyone for the
info they shared.
Makes me look at cabbing in a new light.

I wonder just how much particles I breath in when cabbing,
Think I will put on a cheap mask and go make some cabs and see what the mask looks like afterwards.
I did notice several days ago that with my light in a certain spot I can see the mist rising from my wheels.


Thanks Harold

It doesn't appear to wander far when wet. I haven't noticed the walls of the room I grind things into pounds of sludge over the past few months having any residue from it on any walls save for the one right behind my lap bench (and that's more like full-on spray, heh heh).

Regardless, I don't think anyone should be afraid of lapidary - most of it, thus far (bear in mind I'm a newbie) seems to be pretty common sense. Also, if I'm not mistaken aren't there plenty of old timers who've been lapping for decades who are relatively healthy compared to their non-lapping peers? A lot of it is probably 'degrees' of danger ranging from very little to a lot. For example you can get silicosis if you breath in too much talc, diatomaceous earth or stand in a room where sandstone is being crushed to make play sand. So I've heard  thinking13 ...

Anyway, for anyone who wants to be extreee sure - real respirators are not expensive. I paid $30 bucks for mine at Sears and it came with the cartridges I wanted. I think I've seen them on Amazon as well.
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Michael
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« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2012, 09:05:07 pm »

I have several pieces of rutilited  quartz and several large rutile crystals that I will cb in the near future, the rutile I dug at graves mountain in north georgia.
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pete
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« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2012, 03:19:22 am »

I got myself a respirator just before Xmas but don't find it very ergonomic. I end up twisting my neck and shoulders trying to look over the thing. It would be a major redesign of all my equipment, desks and everything to use the respirator comfortably in all situations so I'm back to using the cheap face mask type for all the close up stuff and the respirator when I don't need to change my line of sight so much.
As far as risks go I still think there's more chance of misshap on the road than in the workshop. Just my thoughts.
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« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2012, 05:41:14 am »

I have several pieces of rutilited  quartz and several large rutile crystals that I will cb in the near future, the rutile I dug at graves mountain in north georgia.

do you have any pictures? interested in selling any of it?
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« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2012, 05:42:39 am »

I got myself a respirator just before Xmas but don't find it very ergonomic. I end up twisting my neck and shoulders trying to look over the thing. It would be a major redesign of all my equipment, desks and everything to use the respirator comfortably in all situations so I'm back to using the cheap face mask type for all the close up stuff and the respirator when I don't need to change my line of sight so much.
As far as risks go I still think there's more chance of misshap on the road than in the workshop. Just my thoughts.

just curious - what brand/model did you buy?? mine doesn't obstruct my vision at all
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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2012, 05:54:29 am »

I don't remember the brand but it was from Bunnings (the hardware supermarket). It has a single filter at the front so it cuts the lower part of my vision and consequently I have to tilt my head down more than normal.
It's like, if your sitting at the computer looking at the screen instead of glancing down to the keyboard (I can't touch type) you would need to move your head to see past the filter.
Maybe a double filter type might be better but I'm not buying another so I'll use whichever suits for the job.
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« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2012, 12:03:19 pm »

I don't remember the brand but it was from Bunnings (the hardware supermarket). It has a single filter at the front so it cuts the lower part of my vision and consequently I have to tilt my head down more than normal.
It's like, if your sitting at the computer looking at the screen instead of glancing down to the keyboard (I can't touch type) you would need to move your head to see past the filter.
Maybe a double filter type might be better but I'm not buying another so I'll use whichever suits for the job.

Yes that would be quite annoying - and dangerous (they're saving your lungs so you can get a hunk of obsidian lodged in your forehead)  headbang118

I use the double filter 3M (small mask - not full face - I prefer this in combination with safety goggles - that way I can choose which I want for both). I use the 60921 cartridges - man do they work great. I just put it on to make sure and there is a slight loss of line-of-site to each side but down the center no problem. In any case the entire assembly is only about 30 bucks - well worth a couple of lungs and less likely to cause brain injury than a single cartridge in front  yes
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« Reply #38 on: January 10, 2012, 12:13:55 pm »

A cartridge type might be over kill. They are really for gasous contaminants (as well as particulate). When carving stone the problem is particulates. I use the white cheap heavier type you can get in a package of like 6 or so. Not the REALLY cheap thin little dixi cups. But the ones lat hace an actual vent thiggy in the front & are heavier filter material. With two elastic straps not just one. It'll hold it more firmly to your face & not let edge seep from not holding firmly.
Mike
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« Reply #39 on: January 10, 2012, 07:26:04 pm »

A cartridge type might be over kill. They are really for gasous contaminants (as well as particulate). When carving stone the problem is particulates. I use the white cheap heavier type you can get in a package of like 6 or so. Not the REALLY cheap thin little dixi cups. But the ones lat hace an actual vent thiggy in the front & are heavier filter material. With two elastic straps not just one. It'll hold it more firmly to your face & not let edge seep from not holding firmly.
Mike

That's right Mike. I read all the documentation and whatnot and first I tried the 2091 filters (still have a couple of unused sets) while crunching up sandstone for a project someone else was doing. Man oh man I got sicker than all get-out. I was bedridden for three days. My poor health apparently makes me a lot more sensitive than most - but the fact that I got that sick tells me that particulates did in fact get in my lungs. Bravely/Stupidly I tried the other half of the rock using the 60921 filters and was fine.

It's difficult testing these things without expensive instruments though and there are a lot of variables. For example I don't remember if I was shaved the day I got sick and I know from experience that a heavy beard (which I sometimes have) can allow pretty much everything to just pass right in through the sides of the mask. So it could be that the 2091's are more than adequate and it was just operator error. But it's one of those things were the memory of how sick I got with 2091's and how I did not get sick with the 60921's just makes me sleep better to use the latter.

And you know it's curious because I have found that if you dunk a t-shirt in water, wring it out until it's just damp, wrap it around your face - you can crush sandstone (and mess with other hazardous particulates) all day long (making sure to keep the shirt moist) and I don't get sick doing that either. One thing I do know is that the cheapies you mentioned Mike always leave me sick when working with materials that will do that to me. Those are best used for sanding wood type projects I think - not rock. I haven't tried the ones you say you prefer.

In any event the only thing I can say with certainty is that if you're predisposed to problems because of a health condition, such as I am, then take the extra steps (whichever one's work for you). Elsewise I stand by what I'd said before - there's lots of old-timers who take very little precaution and have been doing rocks for decades and have no significant health problems so part of it may just be a sensitivity issue. Some people get very sick when exposed to minor amounts of diesel exhaust (the same amounts that you or I would get at a truck stop) yet I barely even notice the smell. So, go figure...  dunno
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« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2012, 07:57:01 am »

So I'm not crazy!
When I attended a Lap. club nearly every visit left me feeling quite ill and uncomfortable in the chest and mildly nauseous.
The air was full of mist and with 10 stations running non stop for the day, you really felt coated. Looking back, yes there was a good coating of dust across most surfaces so it kind of squashes the drummed in theory of if it's worked wet it's ok. It had to be carried there somehow.
A bit laughable really, if someone was working bone, shell or horn the mask would go on them but no one else would be wearing one.
When I get back into it I'll be looking into a proper mask for sure. Thanks for mentioning brands that work.
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« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2012, 11:02:37 am »

Mehoose the first time I worked with Cerium Oxide my eyes started itching and got red .
So if you are kinda sensitive to stuff watch out for that too.
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« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2012, 07:01:22 pm »

Thanks for the heads up Sara.
LOL, will look like I'm performing an operation.
Safety glasses..check..mask..check..apron..check..gloves..check..hair net..check.
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« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2012, 07:21:49 pm »

So I'm not crazy!
When I attended a Lap. club nearly every visit left me feeling quite ill and uncomfortable in the chest and mildly nauseous.
The air was full of mist and with 10 stations running non stop for the day, you really felt coated. Looking back, yes there was a good coating of dust across most surfaces so it kind of squashes the drummed in theory of if it's worked wet it's ok. It had to be carried there somehow.
A bit laughable really, if someone was working bone, shell or horn the mask would go on them but no one else would be wearing one.
When I get back into it I'll be looking into a proper mask for sure. Thanks for mentioning brands that work.
Absolutely not crazy! I read it time and again that it's safe to lap w/out a mask if you go wet and it's just not true for everyone - possibly not anyone. I suspect a lot of folks are cutting a preform and making one cab a day (average) and not doing any aggressive grinding or working for 10 hours straight. Try grinding the rot away from 25lbs of large chunks of obsidian - sometimes you grind a third of it away - in one session on an 80 grit (or lower) wheel. Even wet and even in good health I'd be curious how many people notice the cough afterwards and how many don't? And obsidian actually bothers me waaaaaay less than silica, esp crystalline silica (quartz, sandstone). And I haven't even tried anything with large ratios of metals and other known toxins - seems like that could kill ya quicker than emphysema.

Anyway, full mouth/nose masks are not nearly as uncomfortable or as much of a hassle as a lot of people think. You get used to it quick and it's always fun when you go open the door not remembering to take it off  chuckle

Interestingly enough I often forget my goggles - I have two bits of something embedded in one eye - very very tiny, can't even feel 'em, but I can see two teeny dark spots in bright light. Was told removing them might cause more damage than leaving them unless they flare up or travel and then look into removal. You'd think I'd learn - but last night I was grinding away a custom mandril and had sparks flying all over my face - no goggles. I did remember them when I finished and was leaving the room 'cause they're hanging right by the door lol...
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« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2012, 07:13:51 am »

Last best info I had says that the "yellow" fibers are indeed replaced (no longer asbestos) but that the blue fibers (Hawks Eye, or Hawk Eye) are not replaced and are still asbestos.

No quite.  If the asbestos fibers are replaced by silica before their alteration to iron oxides takes place, a rarer blue form of Tiger's eye known as Hawk's eye results.  The color of tiger eye is the result of impurities, not incomplete replacement.  I actually took a piece to work and did an atomic absorption test just to be sure.  That's why it took so long to reply.
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« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2012, 09:25:50 am »

Last best info I had says that the "yellow" fibers are indeed replaced (no longer asbestos) but that the blue fibers (Hawks Eye, or Hawk Eye) are not replaced and are still asbestos.

No quite.  If the asbestos fibers are replaced by silica before their alteration to iron oxides takes place, a rarer blue form of Tiger's eye known as Hawk's eye results.  The color of tiger eye is the result of impurities, not incomplete replacement.  I actually took a piece to work and did an atomic absorption test just to be sure.  That's why it took so long to reply.

Not that I doubt you did but the debate on this is old -- and my health ain't so good -- I'd rather not take even a remote chance:

Tiger's eye - Wikipedia

specifically, "A member of the quartz group, it is a classic example of pseudomorphous replacement by silica of fibrous crocidolite (blue asbestos).  An incompletely silicified blue variant is called Hawk's eye."

I have read both that the blue is simply pigment discoloring the quartz that has completely replaced the asbestos and that it is actually still asbestos.

Did you use a gas spectrometer?
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« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2012, 05:05:50 pm »

We call it an atomic absorption but yes I am pretty sure it is a gas chromatagraph.  I should admit I do not have the ability to use it myself.  The lab techs are very protective of their baby.  The telltale in this case is that there is no trace of sodium.  That pretty much rules out any chance of crocidolite as I see the definition.  If I am missing something, let me know.  I'll bug the techs again.
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« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2012, 02:37:45 am »

We call it an atomic absorption but yes I am pretty sure it is a gas chromatagraph.  I should admit I do not have the ability to use it myself.  The lab techs are very protective of their baby.  The telltale in this case is that there is no trace of sodium.  That pretty much rules out any chance of crocidolite as I see the definition.  If I am missing something, let me know.  I'll bug the techs again.

With the lab, probably not - sounds like you know chemistry far better than I do and you're probably right. Still can't get the jitter out of the bug here though for whatever reason. Maybe if several specimens from different locations and of different colors were spec'd I'd feel dumb enough to force myself over my fear of it  dunno

Kind of like malachite - I hear more good stories than bad about it yet the bad ones are scary, so I stay away from it (for now anyway - doesn't scare near as much as unlikely asbestos)
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« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2012, 12:16:05 pm »

I'm quite to new carving and cabbing, but like them both very much.  I normally wear safety glasses and a paper nose/mouth mask.  In both cases, I use water, but in carving there is a little bit of dry with the silicon carbide wheels toward the end.

I'd like some suggestions for a good all-purpose mask, something that isn't intrusive to vision, but effective. 
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« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2012, 06:48:21 pm »

I'm quite to new carving and cabbing, but like them both very much.  I normally wear safety glasses and a paper nose/mouth mask.  In both cases, I use water, but in carving there is a little bit of dry with the silicon carbide wheels toward the end.

I'd like some suggestions for a good all-purpose mask, something that isn't intrusive to vision, but effective. 
I use a 3M half face mask with 3M 60921 cartridges. Technically the 2091 filters should work I believe, but I seem to be spared ill effects only with the 60921 filters. Read this thread from the start for the debate/discussion on this and other fine things.
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« Reply #50 on: May 14, 2012, 12:56:36 pm »

What types are most carvers using?
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« Reply #51 on: May 14, 2012, 01:16:19 pm »

What types are most carvers using?

I've a feeling most are using just the paper face masks.
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« Reply #52 on: May 14, 2012, 02:03:45 pm »

I have a 3M respirator

http://www.screwfix.com/p/3m-maintenance-free-respirator/13038

I get it through work, so it doesn't cost me  dancer5
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« Reply #53 on: May 14, 2012, 04:13:35 pm »

Thats a good Respirator Roy:)
When I first started polishing rocks my eyes swelled up and itched big time.
I think it was the Aluminum Oxide.
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« Reply #54 on: May 14, 2012, 08:32:09 pm »

Apehanger, thanks for the link it sure has some good reviews....

...jack
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« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2012, 11:00:51 am »

I started cutting some rhyolite the other day - forgot my mask - two days quite ill == stupid. So last night I start again, going at it with sic stone wheels. Proudly (ha...) wearing mask, when something hits me in the eye.

I think both are crucial if you're not a risk taker. If you are a risk taker then go base jumping. Better to die the scenic way than looking at rock mud...
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« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2012, 11:05:08 am »

Hell yes go as fast as you can to the cliff and jump off screaming....... YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
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« Reply #57 on: June 08, 2012, 12:24:36 pm »

Don't forget the airbags!
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« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2013, 07:23:35 pm »

Being in the environmental/safety business I read this thread with some interest even though it is old.  One issue I did not hear discussed was purity.  Mother Nature usually does not grace us with chemically pure rocks, hence the refining industry.  Arsenic and copper usually occur together.  How much arsenic is in that piece of malachite, azurite or turquoise varies piece to piece or even within the same piece.  The problem is that arsenic is toxic in really small amounts.  The same issue with tiger eye.  They yellow stuff is altered blue asbestos, but how many of us have x-ray vision to see if the entire stone is altered?  Those microscopic asbestos fibers are really hard to see.  Water is not the total solution.  How many of us have clean lapidary equipment?   That asbestos or arsenic or other nasty element may have come off the stone in a drop of water, but saw blades and grinding wheels fling them everywhere.  Then they sit on the ground and turn into dry particles again waiting for us to sweep up or walk through them.  There used to be a chrome plater in San Diego called Master Platers.  You can Google them for the whole story.  In a nutshell they set up a monitoring station next door and the highest off site emissions were on a Saturday when the shop was closed and someone was just sweeping the floor.  Dust masks are only good for nuisance dust, if you want protection from small particles you need a respirator with a HEPA cartridge.  Some things to consider.
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