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Contact lenses in the workshop


G’day; As well as jewellery I do metalwork and woodwork, which
includes a wood turning lathe and other machines. I also suffer
from asthma to a certain extent, but I found that proper safety
glasses plus a dust mask are really a bit much to wear for long, and
besides, one’s eyes do exude moisture all the time so safety glasses
and normal face shields tend to fog up. So I saved up my pennies
(heaps!) and bought a RACAL AIRLITE face shield; sorry, can’t give
the address as it was New Zealand made and it was 7 years ago since I
bought it. However let me try and describe it. It is much like an
ordinary face shield and fits over the head like a helmet, and can be
adjusted to fit snugly around the face. Inside the headband is a
tiny but powerful electric fan motor operating off 3 AA rechargeable
batteries. This draws in a stream of well filtered air and allows it
to flow over the wearer’s face, then exits through holes in the
bottom of the shield. Thus, even on the coldest days, the
transparent shield doesn’t fog up, and the filter, which has a very
large area gives one particle free air continuously. Three AA
batteries last for about 2 hours, but you can get a model using heavy
duty batteries worn on a belt which can run the little fan
continuously for 8 hours. After wearing mine for an hour using
flat bed and hand held sanding machines on wood, one can lift out the
filter, tap it on the workbench - and see quite a nasty little pile
of wood dust which would otherwise have been breathed. I have had a
piece of timber thrown at my face with great force from a 10 inch
circular saw, which knocked me backwards: but I was wearing my
shield - look mum, no blood! Yet another time a wood chunk the same
size flew over my shoulder and rammed holes through two thickness of
plaster wallboard - I can show you the holes to prove it! 20 minutes
at the sawbench and there’d be about 3 grams of sawdust come from the
filter - which is very quickly cleaned with a household vacuum
cleaner. It’s very light to wear, and even on very hot days is
quite pleasant to wear . I really wouldn’t be without it -
marvellous too for buffing and wire brushing. You might like to
check out the name on Google. Mine looks a bit battered these days,
but is still perfectly OK. Oh, by the way, I tape a sheet of
overhead projector Mylar over the shield, to avoid scratches - and
dints! – Cheers for now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ


i have always wanted one of the racal masks myself gives you a way
around using a dust collector in minimal to moderate dust
situations, which is probably good for not loosing heat think it’s
cool in hot weather?? and the fogging of glasses, solved easy
breathing!!! looks like a long list,probably pay for itself in the
first few weeks or months, but it is up there in price not good to
be cheap like me, because you stand in the way of your own potential


G’day; Powered respirators; Kathy Johnson took up my
suggestion that she check RACALL AIRLITE on Google and discovered the
firm was bought up by IBM who decided to stop making it. But anyone
who is interested might like to check POWERED RESPIRATORS on Google
where several other types are to be found. But as I mentioned
previously they are not cheap. One of the things that may interest
some men is that they will accommodate ‘facial hair’ and one can also
wear spectacles. Whilst I have no experience of other models, I
would not be without my powered respirator - and damn the cost;
‘full steam ahead.’ Meanwhile I suspect that IBM bought up Racall
because it was interfering with sales of their own respirator - but
that is pure surmise – Cheers for now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ