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Author Topic: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...  (Read 9044 times)

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Greg Hiller

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What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« on: October 15, 2014, 06:15:49 AM »

...beyond the eye and cut/burned finger hazards?

I don't think anyone uses cadmium based solders anymore.  I know about opal dust and casting investment (silicates danger for lungs).  I know silver itself is not that dangerous (yes, I read the MSDS!...chemical engineer that I am).  How about Tripoli and red rouge dust?  What exactly are they?  I'm now using something called 'Blue Hubble' (sounds like a gum flavor) for final polish on Argentium pieces.  Anybody know what the stuff is? 
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hummingbirdstones

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2014, 06:44:11 AM »

Greg, good to see you can post again!   :hello2:

Silica dust from any stone that contains it (quartz, agates, opal, jaspers, etc.) is potentially bad to breath in.  Cutting those stones under water is usually good enough to keep the dust down and out of the air.  You do get mist from the machines that throws some of that dust in the air.  Other stones like malachite, tiger eye, tiffany stone, etc. contain other things (asbestos, beryllium) that you don't want to be breathing in, so wear a mask when you cut those stones as well as gloves for some of them.

Soldering fumes are not good - make sure you have good ventilation when you solder.  If you quench your work, quench in water first and then put it in the pickle pot. Quenching in pickle throws up other nasty fumes you don't want to be breathing in.  Any polishing compound dust is bad for your lungs, no matter what it's made out of.  If you don't have a polishing unit that has a filter system, always wear a mask or respirator, especially if you're using a flex shaft to polish and make sure you have good ventilation pulling the air away from your face.

Don't know what blue hubble is made out of -- just read about it myself on the Orchid list not that long ago.  How does it work on polishing?
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iceopals

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2014, 08:33:02 AM »

Also, since soldering got mentioned, be careful to check those torches out!   I apparently had some very small leaks in my oxygen hose for my micro-torch.   It was used and inspected, but not carefully enough when I got it.   I lit it up, the flame wasn't quite right, then it took off, sent me to the ER with what developed into a blister on my palm that completely covered the palm from beginnings of fingers to wrist.  Took a month of daily debriding for it to start healing.   Check those hoses!    And if the flame doesn't appear quite right, close it all down.
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Enchantra

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2014, 01:35:08 PM »

I say wear a mask no matter what stone you cut.  Stone dust no matter what stone it is from can be toxic to your health in the long term.
Any of you remember Ralph from Stones That Rock?  He recently died from complications of COPD from what I heard.  Whether or not that was from stone dust I have no idea, but you want to take the precautions nevertheless.  You only get one pair of lungs and breathing is NOT optional.  G-d only gave us one pair of lungs, one pair of eyes, and two hands.  Do whatever you can to protect them all.
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Greg Hiller

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2014, 06:23:16 AM »

>Don't know what blue hubble is made out of -- just read about it myself on the Orchid list not that long ago.  How does it work on polishing? <

I read about it there as well.  I was getting annoyed as I would completely finish an Argentium piece, pack it away in a bag only later to find it had some small brown smudges on it, almost like tiny rust stains.  They could be buffed out again, but not without going back the rouge wheel again. 

I purchased some of the blue hubble from a musical instruments online store a few weeks ago.  It was a little bit hard to initially get it to stick to the mulsin buff I was using, but it now seems to be coated pretty well.  I think the polish is at least as good as I was getting with red rouge and I've not seen any of the brown spots appear on pieces, but I'm not sure enough time has passed to say that definitely. 

When I'm cutting stones under water I hope that's enough.  I have to wear a dust mask often enough in this hobby, really don't want to do it while cabbing. 

Iceopals, very sorry to hear about the burn...I hope there was no permanent damage. 
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lithicbeads

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2014, 07:54:51 AM »

Some of us old timers have worked with asbestos in the past and in very poor pre osha environments. It is frightening to think that we are adding even more risks with our hobby. I take more than reasonable precautions using a half mask  with particulate filter when I think it is needed but an added risk we often do not think of is the ergonomic aspects of of work place.
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Itsandbits

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2014, 08:08:50 AM »

yea, like hauling 75# rocks around in the creek bed huh Frank, LOL
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iceopals

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2014, 08:12:21 AM »

Hmmm, blue bubble sounds interesting.   Have to see if it works with other metals than argentium. 
No permanent damage, just some conversation starting scars.    :thumbsup:
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MrsWTownsend

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2014, 07:53:25 PM »

A lot of rock cutters end up with COPD because they aren't ventilating and protecting their lungs.  I have mostly seen it develop in people who REALLY do a lot of volume cabbing and it can kill you, for sure.  This would be one of the most dangerous hazards, in my mind.
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fossilman

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2017, 08:56:29 AM »

I'm glad I do most of my lapidary work outside! Usually a breeze blowing enough to control the rock dust and fumes from the oils when cutting......It is still a good idea to mask up though.....COPD is not nice or fun and many rockhounds get it.........
Another subject to bring up,is loose clothing around your machinery,A HUGE NO_NO!!!!!! Tuck it in! Button it up! Zip it up!
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jakesrocks

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2017, 10:40:49 AM »

Some of us old timers have worked with asbestos in the past and in very poor pre osha environments. It is frightening to think that we are adding even more risks with our hobby. I take more than reasonable precautions using a half mask  with particulate filter when I think it is needed but an added risk we often do not think of is the ergonomic aspects of of work place.

Another old timer hazard was out of balance silicon carbide wheels exploding in your face. Not many use SC hard wheels anymore, but if you do, true up the wheel often, and spin the water out of it before you shut off your machine. An exploding grinding wheel is not a pretty sight. I've seen it happen to someone else. He ended up with 2 broken ribs, many lacerations, and me running for cover as pieces of the wheel flew around the shop.

Long hair is another hazard. Keep it tied back out of the way. Hair tangled in spinning wheels can at the very least leave you with a few bald spots. At the worst it can pull your face into the machine.
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fossilman

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2017, 11:17:55 AM »

Some of us old timers have worked with asbestos in the past and in very poor pre osha environments. It is frightening to think that we are adding even more risks with our hobby. I take more than reasonable precautions using a half mask  with particulate filter when I think it is needed but an added risk we often do not think of is the ergonomic aspects of of work place.

Another old timer hazard was out of balance silicon carbide wheels exploding in your face. Not many use SC hard wheels anymore, but if you do, true up the wheel often, and spin the water out of it before you shut off your machine. An exploding grinding wheel is not a pretty sight. I've seen it happen to someone else. He ended up with 2 broken ribs, many lacerations, and me running for cover as pieces of the wheel flew around the shop.

Long hair is another hazard. Keep it tied back out of the way. Hair tangled in spinning wheels can at the very least leave you with a few bald spots. At the worst it can pull your face into the machine.

Rubber band the beard too.........
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jakesrocks

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2017, 12:04:58 PM »



Rubber band the beard too.........
[/quote]


Only about 6" long Mike. Not worried about it yet.  :LOLOL:
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Orrum

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2017, 01:47:51 PM »

Going Broke ...
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55fossil

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Re: What are the most dangerous hazards in this hobby...
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2017, 02:43:42 PM »

   Cutting with water is not really enough. Here is how to prove it. Dust in the water becomes aerosolized and floats in the air like a thin fog. This is the extremely fine silicon particles that can cause the damage.

Take a clean piece of glass, a mirror or whatever. Place it near where you are cabbing and lay it flat. After a day of cabbing you will probably notice a nice thick film of rock dust. This dust is carried in the water that gets squirted onto your wheels.

   However, I am going to make all my machines so they use a continuous flow of fresh water and the old water drains out the back of the cabbing machine. There will still be dust in the mist which will go in your lungs so I will still wear a mask. But it should cut it down considerably.

   Two of my machines are already set up this way. For my Diamond Genie I will make new trays that slop towards a drain hole and put a water fill hose into it. This way it will drain the worst particle out but some silicon dust will still be getting thrown around by the grinding wheels.   Neal
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