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N95 mask safe for grinding/cutting metal?

 
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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it looks like it will be a while before you can buy a respirator at the hardware store. If you order one online, I think the earliest you can get one is sometime in June.

I have an N95 mask with the little filter. If I were to grind off the top of an oil barrel and make a few cuts, would an N95 mask be enough to protect from the fumes/particulate? I know it works for filtering out dust when working with perlite or ceramic fiber board, not sure about grinding metal though with the fumes and all. I thought maybe blowing a fan towards the work area outside might help? If not, has anyone put together any kind of improvised mask/respirator for this kind of application?
 
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Hi Nathan:

I typically don't trust the N95's and usually will use a half-face respirator when cutting & grinding metal and also use a fan to vent fumes/dust. They are a bit pricey (typically $40) but are a handy thing to have around the shop.

Auto supply stores, Home Depot & harbour freight will probalby have them in stock.
 
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Hi Nathan;
Pete is correct in that a half mask respirator is best. Trouble is getting one quickly right now.

For grinding off the top of a barrel an N-95 would be fine.  
Fumes will be minimal, and for a few cuts the N-95 plus fan will do the job.

I would be  more concerned with having good hearing protection.
 
Nathan Strumfeld
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Pete Podurgiel wrote:Auto supply stores, Home Depot & harbour freight will probalby have them in stock.



Thanks Pete! Yeah, I'd rather be cautious.
I've checked several hardware stores and they're out of stock. And it sounds like they're all reserved for hospitals/first responders.
The 3M ones and some other brands you can buy on amazon but the earliest delivery date is mid June. I did find an off-brand one for $64 that should arrive May 12-22, so I bought it.
 
Nathan Strumfeld
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thomas rubino wrote:Hi Nathan;
Pete is correct in that a half mask respirator is best. Trouble is getting one quickly right now.

For grinding off the top of a barrel an N-95 would be fine.  
Fumes will be minimal, and for a few cuts the N-95 plus fan will do the job.

I would be  more concerned with having good hearing protection.



Thanks Thomas. I might just give that a shot. Thankfully I do have good hearing protection.
 
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