Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Workshop Toxicity


Can anyone give some recommendations regarding toxicity in
general in the workshop? I have a small workshop, maybe 10 x 10
feet, with a small window near the top of the room. I mounted a
small exhaust fan in front of it. I wear a medical type mask
when I polish, but notice that it doesn’t help completely. I
have a polishing machine with the fan in the hood behind the
wheels, using furnace type filters. I asked a pulmonary doctor,
years ago, if there was anything toxic in the compounds, and
while he said they could be irritants, he didn’t think they were
toxic or carcinogenic. I nevr thought to ask if the silver or
bronze dust itself was toxic. I also use sparex for pickle, and
various types of fluxes, mostly boric acid and alcohol. I don’t
wear a mask while soldering. Am I taking too many chances? I
have limited room here and even less money to make modifications.
Thanks for any suggestions. Foxy


I would suggest putting your polisher and torch outside and
doing all the “toxic” work just outside of your studio… …I
live in Southern Arizona so it is pretty easy to work outside in
the winter… and many of the jewelers do .Summer is tough,
though… MMarrakesh


Can’t quite imagine working outside either…

I’m working on a little fan project for benches- a computer
muffin fan (12V) with a plug in adapter to gently draw air from a
soldering station. So far a CPU fan, while cute, has too little
draw, the 5" 120V fans too much.

The refining content of a polishing system in a jewelry shop
doing gold work will pay for itself in a year’s refining

Rick Hamilton


Well I suppose the suggestion of working outside is not for
those who live in cold climates and those who can’t imagine doing
so. It is a working solution for those who have the space and
live in climates that will allow them to work out of doors. Not
sure where the lady who asked for suggestions lives but I hope
this be helpful. MMarrakesh


I’m the one who asked a about the toxic conditions in my
workshop. I live in Southern CA, so weather is usually not a
problem to work outside, (although lately, I’m not so sure…)
but my family will go crazy if I take over yet another part of my
house with my jewelry work!!! The dining room table has become a
sort of showroom, the kitchen sink always has some brew or
another going on, plus dyes, patinas, etc.; I took over one
bedroom for an office; downstairs closet has display stuff for on
the road; workshop was built into one section of a 3-car garage,
and the other 2 sections are now in danger of being overrun; The
back patio might prove to be the straw that broke… I am
going to look into using the exhaust fan idea. How does one
know if one has gotten rid of the nasty air?

Unrelated—does anyone know of a lightweight, sturdy trunk
about 40 x 15x 15" with wheels, to take to shows, lockable, to
transport display items, table covers, lights, etc., that could
be put ion a car trunk, or taken as luggage on a plane? I’ve
previously used a clothing sample case, a little smaller than
what I have described, that is basically cardboard with metal
corners. It is covered with maybe a hundred layers of grey duct
tape, holding it together.It’s ready to go to trunk heaven
shortly. I’ve seen lots of great looking trunks, but usually
they weigh too much. Help!

Thanks for all your help everyone. And thanks to Ketarah who
visited my booth at the LA Gift show. It was wonderful to meet
someone from the list in person!



I’ve seen lots of great looking trunks, but usually
they weigh too much. Help!

Depending on what you want to spend, the boxes make for the
photography and movie industry should fit the bill. A box that
size would be used for lighting stands. Some of them are soft
sided, some plastic, some metal reinforced- there are lots to
choose from.

Rick Hamilton
Richard D. Hamilton, Jr


Rick, thanks for the info about the boxes. Do you know of any
companies where I could write or e-mail to for their catalogues?
I don’t mind spending a bit more for something that would be
strong and light. This kind of box is great for a show- I use
it to bring my display stuff, then at night, I take all my work
off the table, and pack it in the lockable trunk, lock it, and
even use a chain and padlock to fasten it to one of the table
legs, and then push the whole thing under the table. I even
cover the truck with black cloth, to make it less noticealbe if
someone looks underneath. Of course, I work mostly with bronze
and sterling, so I take any gold pieces or valuable stones with
me, in my pockets! Some of the larger shows hlockable, guarded
storage rooms that the whole trunk could be wheeled into, but I
worry that if someone wanted to rob that room, my stuff would be
right there, ready to take, and that the guard wouldn’t be much
of a match for a determined robber! Oh well, Thanks, Foxy


Rick, thanks for the info about the boxes. Do you know of any
companies where I could write or e-mail to for their catalogues?

I’ve had good luck with B & H Photo in NY but if you are out
west you should try someone out there. Pelican is one rugged
plastic case brand- Domke, Tamrac are two brands of canvas cases.
Halburton is aluminum- expensive- the fiber ones I’ve never
looked into. Go into a medium sized photo store and tell them
what you are looking for. If possible someone who supplies the
location movie industry. Ask for used, it never hurts.

Good Luck

Rick Hamilton
Richard D. Hamilton, Jr