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Thread: Respirator mask for smelting suggestions ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Respirator mask for smelting suggestions ?

    I know I don't need I one as long as I'm up wind of the pot while smelting down wheel weights for ingots but I really feel better if I had one just for the extra saftey. So any reccomendations for a resperstoir ?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    You need one for acids if you plan on going crazy and using sulphur to flux. Also works for other smoke.

    If you can find the 3M cartridge 60923, that would be best IMO.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Profe...B1-C/202080142

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Anything with a charcoal filter would do what ya want it too.
    They're usually packaged/marked as a respirator rather than as a mask.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Oh wow, they are back in stock. This is good. Couple months ago, you couldn't even find the cartridges!
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  5. #5
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    If you going to wear one make sure you clean it after use.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master StuBach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djryan13 View Post
    You need one for acids if you plan on going crazy and using sulphur to flux. Also works for other smoke.

    If you can find the 3M cartridge 60923, that would be best IMO.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Profe...B1-C/202080142
    Plus one on the 3m cartridge mask. Been using one for several years.

  7. #7
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    In my younger days I painted cars and later taught it in a college. I don't think things have changed that much with cartridge masks but make certain of a few things. First, it needs to fit correctly. Do a youtube search on how to test a fit. It isn't hard. Second is how you store the mask. Remember the old cigarette commercials about activated charcoal filters? Well, the same thing happens with charcoal filters in masks. When exposed to air they become activated. So you take a filter out it automatically starts to work because it is in the air. Then you throw it on the bench it is still working and then you can't expect it to filter much later on.

    You can never really tell how well it is filtering anything, maybe a little more smell than when they were new. People have tried about everything - coffee cans sealed up, entire mask in a sealable bag which is what some actually come in. The last I knew they were telling you to take the filters off (assuming your mask can do that easily and isn't just disposable) and put the filters alone in a smaller bag, push as much air out as possible before sealing.

    It isn't going to do you much good to buy a mask if you don't take good care of the cartridges. And one more thing, no matter how hard you try you will never, stay up wind all the time over a pot.

  8. #8
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    one of the safest ways is to have a large fan sucking the smoke/fumes away from you

    How to cast bullets out of scrap lead with champion shooter Jerry Miculek

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSgQ82Kqhzo

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerguy View Post
    ...And one more thing, no matter how hard you try you will never, stay up wind all the time over a pot.
    This is my experience. Processing lead outdoors in an area with frequent swirling winds, close to a steep berm and buildings, I swear the smoke will chase me around the pot.

    The respirator had an impressive effect; all of a sudden the air I was inhaling smelled fresh. But I admit to not wearing it all the time. It gets sweaty and uncomfortable during a long hot day of lead processing. And even if you do wear it, remember that your clothes, exposed skin and hair can be even more contaminated than before if, because of the respirator, you no longer avoid the smoke.

    ETA: I tried a big floor fan, but apparently it couldn't create a strong enough draft like Jerry's. The smoke was still an issue. It could be I set the fan too far away; too close and I would lose too much heat. I guess I could have tried using it just when I had the worst of the smoke.
    Last edited by kevin c; 05-27-2020 at 03:47 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huskerguy View Post
    People have tried about everything - coffee cans sealed up, entire mask in a sealable bag which is what some actually come in. The last I knew they were telling you to take the filters off (assuming your mask can do that easily and isn't just disposable) and put the filters alone in a smaller bag, push as much air out as possible before sealing.
    .
    Vacuum sealing stops the reaction on handwarmers so it may work with charcoal filters.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    If the charcoal or iron or, in my case, the silica gel in desiccant packs are sealed against exposure to what they react with (just a ZipLok freezer bag) then they may stay fresh. The VCI emitters I use come sealed in plastic, to be opened for use. I guess that's the exact reverse situation, keeping the active agent in until ready to be released, rather than keeping reactants out.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    one of the safest ways is to have a large fan sucking the smoke/fumes away from you

    How to cast bullets out of scrap lead with champion shooter Jerry Miculek

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSgQ82Kqhzo
    Jerry says he uses the fan to suck the lead dust away from him... out to his property... not sure that is any better long term. You track that stuff on your feet and kids and dogs eat off your floor. If you have any “lead dust”, I would not be using a fan.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    For smelting I'd use the same as we use doing demo on old bridges, organic and HEPA piggyback in full faces. Lead fumes are highly concentrated and half faces just take the edge off the cutting fumes. I opt for full face with fresh air cause you can't always be upwind even with a 4 to 6 foot axe.

    For what your doing, a half face would be fine with pre-cautions as above and general covid level personal hygiene during and post operations.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Wolfdog, if you're worried about lead exposure, you want a HEPA filter. You can use a cartridge respirator or one of the p99 or p100 face masks. Either one will work.
    siamese4570

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy Pablo 5959's Avatar
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    With the P100 cartridge you still smell the smoke.
    With the organic with P100 you don’t smell anything.
    I use North and 3M half mask.
    I found Home depo only sells small or medium sizes. I had to get mine from a construction supply place because I wear a large. (Fit tested).
    Also you need good lungs or take brakes often.
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  16. #16
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    Watch out for self destruct respirators, made of rubber with a shelf life. I had an A/O fail the second time I used it even sealed in a ammo box. Norton makes silicone masks that do not degrade. If you have a lot of smoke smelting, sort out the shotgun wads. LOL
    Mal

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  17. #17
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    Lead still vaporizes at 1100 F so keeping your melt temps under that do a lot before you need a good respirator. I believe anything for CV would work as you're more concerned about smoke and dirt than lead vapor.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    This is my experience. Processing lead outdoors in an area with frequent swirling winds, close to a steep berm and buildings, I swear the smoke will chase me around the pot.

    The respirator had an impressive effect; all of a sudden the air I was inhaling smelled fresh. But I admit to not wearing it all the time. It gets sweaty and uncomfortable during a long hot day of lead processing. And even if you do wear it, remember that your clothes, exposed skin and hair can be even more contaminated than before if, because of the respirator, you no longer avoid the smoke.

    ETA: I tried a big floor fan, but apparently it couldn't create a strong enough draft like Jerry's. The smoke was still an issue. It could be I set the fan too far away; too close and I would lose too much heat. I guess I could have tried using it just when I had the worst of the smoke.
    This is exactly what happens. Being upwind may be worse than downwind because a vortex is formed between you and the pot. I have played with fire - literally - and even a rod will carry the flame up toward your hands, carried by a narrow vortex along the rod, created by the wind. The stronger the wind the stronger the vortex.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    Some years ago there was an article on this forum about lead fumes. In a nutshell the conclusion was that the smelting fumes generally comes from a dirt mixed with wheel weights or other lead collected wherever. Then it was explained that the lead develops poisonous fumes only at a boiling point. Difference between boiling and melting is huge! Lead melts at 621F (327.5 deg C) and boils at 3180 deg F (1749 deg C). Casting doesn't bring you anywhere near to the boiling temperature as you cast at around 670 - 700 deg F. So, yes it is better to be in a well ventilated room for your own comfort. Just my loud thinking an HO!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    It would be easy enough to test for airborne lead around your pot. I am in the camp that believes that at the temps we cast at there is no airborne lead. I suppose if your fluxing agent catches fire there might be some risk. Mine does not. I'm sure that you could have a respirator cartridge tested for lead.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check