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Old 11-01-2006, 12:46 PM   #1
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drilling repirator?


I need to drill some holes in an aluminum shower door jam during installation. Do I need to use a dust mask when drilling this type of material? Is a dust mask ever necessary when using a drill for general home improvement projects? Thanks.

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Old 11-01-2006, 05:17 PM   #2
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drilling repirator?


I always wear a dust mask when drilling any material that causes dust to infiltrate the air. Drywall, plaster etc.

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Old 11-01-2006, 05:30 PM   #3
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drilling repirator?


Its cheap insurance...I try to always wear one...
Especially in older homes you never really know what you are drilling into. Aesbestos, lead from paint, just general silica dust...all of these things are not good to breathe.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:14 PM   #4
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drilling repirator?


Anyone have an opinion about drilling into aluminum in particular? Are very fine particles of aluminum blown into the air where they could be inhaled? I don't see any aluminum "dust" in the air but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:09 AM   #5
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drilling repirator?


I don't think you're going to create dust fine enough to breathe. You're going to get shavings from Aluminum, not dust. Just keep your mouth shut while you're drilling.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:51 PM   #6
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drilling repirator?


I believe that when drilling aluminum at low speed, shavings are the result but at high speed a fine powder is probably produced. I was just sawing a piece of the aluminum with a hacksaw and both large shavings and a very fine powder were created. The sawing action isn't such that the powder is blown into the air but the action of a high speed drill bit is probably throwing that fine powder into the worker's face. I think I'll use lung protection in the future whenever I use a drill.
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:04 PM   #7
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drilling repirator?


I would no concerns at all with drilling into aluminum without a dusk mask. If you get anything other than shavings your are doing someting wrong. Any concerns at all, which would be very little, would come from droplets of cutting fluid, not the aluminum. But that is more a long term thing, for machinists who are using the stuff all day, every day. And only being a couple of holes in a bathroom, you probably don't even need cutting fluid.

I used to do occasional machining in my old job, mostly aluminum and stainless. We never used duskmasks, or where under any impression that we should, for anything other than certain plastics.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:59 PM   #8
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drilling repirator?


WOW some men are not men. I think I will wear a respirator everytime I go outside too just to be safe. I don't think I am coming back to this site -- too many pansies and dorks here Good bye!
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:10 AM   #9
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drilling repirator?


Quote:
I believe that when drilling aluminum at low speed, shavings are the result but at high speed a fine powder is probably produced.
Actually you'll just get shavings....faster.


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WOW some men are not men. I think I will wear a respirator everytime I go outside too just to be safe. I don't think I am coming back to this site -- too many pansies and dorks here Good bye!
Well I know I, for one, will be sad to see you go....don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
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Old 05-19-2007, 04:19 PM   #10
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drilling repirator?


I don't think you need to worry too much about drilling aluminum at low speed, with regard to wearing a respirator,but I would advise you too wear eye protection as the shavings can be pretty rough on your eyes.

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Old 08-21-2007, 04:02 PM   #11
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drilling repirator?


By now your shower is installed, but just in case someone looks at this again I'll throw in what I know. As stated before drilling a few holes in aluminum won't produce enough nusiance dust to be a health concern. However drilling into drywall, fiberglass, and unknown material may pose a respiratory hazard. The "dust masks" sold at retail stores may be labelled for carpentry, lawn care, and even paint, but only the ones marked "N95" on the mask itself have been tested for integrity. As a respiratory protection manager I have yet to find a mask that has only one rubber band to go around your head to be certified safe for dust and airborne particulates. Even an N95 mask won't protect you from vapors created by paint, cleaning liquids, etc. though. For that another type of respirator is needed.
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Old 08-21-2007, 04:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by quicklearner View Post
By now your shower is installed, but just in case someone looks at this again I'll throw in what I know. As stated before drilling a few holes in aluminum won't produce enough nusiance dust to be a health concern. However drilling into drywall, fiberglass, and unknown material may pose a respiratory hazard. The "dust masks" sold at retail stores may be labelled for carpentry, lawn care, and even paint, but only the ones marked "N95" on the mask itself have been tested for integrity. As a respiratory protection manager I have yet to find a mask that has only one rubber band to go around your head to be certified safe for dust and airborne particulates. Even an N95 mask won't protect you from vapors created by paint, cleaning liquids, etc. though. For that another type of respirator is needed.

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