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On the perils of Personal Protective Equipment

Jun 2, 2011



This article appeared in our 2011 June issue of Chips & Chatter.


This morning after breakfast I bandsawed out a Walnut blank from a limb I had fetched in May of last year, if my markings are to be believed. The half log yielded a blank about seven inches in diameter, just right for a small natural edge bowl. After fixing it between centers I began roughing out the blank to prepare a tennon. I noticed how dry the wood was and that I was producing quite a bit of dust along with shavings. Well, this isn’t good, I thought. I certainly don’t want to be breathing all that dust while I’m turning, so I’d better don my air-helmet. I’ve had my air-helmet for about a year and I’ve sported it on a couple of occasions, but not as often as I probably should have. This air-helmet, a piece of Personal Protective Equipment, I might add, has a belt-worn battery and also attached to the belt is the filter and fan assembly. The fan directs filtered air through a hose to the helmet and, in turn, to me. The filter/fan look for all the world like a fanny pack, keep that in mind. As I said, I started this task after breakfast, which consisted of yogurt swimming with live bacteria and high fiber cereal. While certainly wholesome and, no doubt, nutritious, after a couple of hours churning away in my gut this concoction has a tendency to produce copious amounts of naturally occurring gas. The air-helmet I was wearing most likely does an admirable job of filtering dust, but it’s not a gas-mask. Remember the part about fanny pack? Need I say more?

Y’all keep turning!

- Anonymous

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