| Workspace Ventilation
by Ed Anderson
aeajr on the forums
Whether you are flying a RTF plane, assembling an ARF or building a kit,
there will be times when you are going to be using glues, epoxies, paints and
other materials that give off fumes. Let me make a suggestion for your building
1) Ventilation - If your workshop is in your basement, or some other space
that can become damp, it will effect the wood. You need to make sure you
keep the area fairly dry. Humidity will warp things and cause mold on the parts.
Good ventilation can be the key.
2) Ventilation - If you work with CA and/or epoxy, both give off harmful
fumes. CA is especially bad.
When I first started working with CA, I spent several days in a row working
in the basement doing a repair. I thought I was coming down with the flu.
Turns out CA causes some pretty bad side effects in many people and that is
what I was suffering from. Thank goodness I am in a club. One of the club
members told me about it when he noticed that I was looking a bit ill at a
club meeting. He nailed it! He is so allergic to it he can't use it. Even
if I only use a little for a few minutes, if I get a whiff, 30 minutes later
Ican feel those cold/flue feelings coming back.
I purchased a bathroom ceiling fan from Home Depot for $30
I ran a flexible vent tube, like the kind used for clothes dryers, to a
window. Dryer duct $15 vent kit
Links to Home Depot change too often, so hop down to the store
for a look, or go to www.homedepot.com and search for:
bathroom fan and dryer kit
I took out a pane of glass and put a dryer vent set in Plexiglas in its
place. You could use wood too, but I didn't want to block the light.
Whenever I am working with CA, epoxy or anything else that gives off fumes,
I turn on the fan and move the vent very close to the work to try and carry
out as much of the fumes as possible.
An alternative way of mounting this, would be to put the fan by the window
and hang the tube from the ceiling on some kind of a swing arm so you can swing it
over the work area.
Even with this set-up, I try to take a breath away from the work area, use
the CA or epoxy, then I turn away before I breath again to minimize the amount
of fumes I breath in.
When I am working with a lot of CA or epoxy, like when I glassed the
fuselage of one of my planes, the vent alone is not good enough. I picked up a
filtering breathing mask, also from home depot. With this I completely
avoid the problem. When I am done, I leave the work area and leave the vent fan
running to carry out the fumes. I open a window at the opposite end of the
basement to let in fresh air.
Breathing Mask - $19.95
Got to www.homedepot.com and search for Respirator
The cheap white dust filter masks won't do any good. They filter dust, not
Epoxy does not have as quick or as dramatic effect on most people, but
accumulates over time. It may not bother you now, but 6 months or 6 years
from now, depending on how much you use, you could become allergic to it.
Avoid the build up in your system and take the precautions listed above.
They won't eliminate your exposure, but they could reduce it dramatically for
very little money. I have since added a second exhust fan to provide greater
ventalation, especially when painting or prolonged CA or epoxy work.
We don't realize what effect these adhesives, paints, dopes, and other
chemicals are having on us. You think you have a cold, a rash an allergy
due to something else, but it is your hobby that is causing it. A few years
down the road you could start to have serious health problems and never
Take a few low cost precautions now and you could enjoy your hobby and your
life a lot more and a lot longer.
Here ends the sermon
aeajr on the forums
Long Island Silent Flyers