Introduction: Dust Mask From Junk

Concidering I'm submiting this instructable to the MacGyver Challenge I've probably could of made the whole thing in more bushcrafty style and using fewer tools, but I'm actually planing to use this mask, so I didn't want to compromise the quality of final product. Yet I believe it's still MacGyvery enough for both: the challange and for being interesting project. I'd like to think he would use all the tools available anyway.

So, this is a dust mask. I decided to include the exhaust valve for reasons I'll talk about later, but it's not necessary and you can skip that part of the project.

There's nothing else to say for the introduction so let's go to the work process.

Step 1: The Stuff

This is the stuff: materials, tools and other stuff. I ended up not using some of it, replasing some of it during the process due to the multiple attempts of turning stuff into different stuff, and also using other stuff, not shown on the picture because I couldn't predict everything. This is why I usually don't make photos or lists of tools and materials youll' gonna need for the project.

Step 2: The Template

At first we need a template, for making which I'm using the old dust mask (it fits me well) and cardboard piece from some pantyhose package with rather nice lady looking at us from it.

Step 3: The Material

By applying an accurate and highly sophisticated scientific approach I was able to get the data neccessary to conclude that I don't have the stuff the occasional dust mask is made of lying around. But I had this bag from a new pillow. The back side of it is made from this fiborous non weft material that probably have wide known name that I'm not aware of. This is what I'm going to use for the main body of the mask and, obviously, as a filter material. If you don't have such nice pillow bag somewhere lying arond doing nothing in your closet, you, probably, can buy this fabric; it goes as a covering material in gardening (which I'm aware of). Also new shoes are often packed in individual bags made from this material, and a lot of other stuff is made of it so, maybe, you just have to go and look for it in your personal stuff deposits (if you have those).

On the photo you can see that I'm accurately undoing the stitches to put the thing apart. Mainly this is the way I prefere to undo things, but in this particular case it's important because I'm planning to use those white stripes in the project (I believe there's a propper name for them as well).

Step 4: Marking

I'm marking the pieces to cut off using the template an a piece of dry soap. I ended up having 6 of them.

Step 5: Cutting

Now I'm cutting the pieces a bit oversized (we'll trim them into final shape later).

Step 6: Glueing

I'm gluing the edges of the details and stacking them ontop of each other. I'm doing that to prevent sliding and shifting during the further sewing.

The glue stick I was using barely did the job and wasn't doing good dealing with this material at all.

Step 7: Sewing

With a sewing machine I'm sewing the edge of the piece leaving enough space for trimming. Do not sew at the V cut area yet.

Step 8: Trimming

Trimming the edge into final shape (I ended up with a little bit oversized mask so have respect for the markings or suffer unnecessarily later). This way we can get nice uniform edge. Once again I'm not trimming the V shaped area.

Step 9: Reinforsing

While the mask is flat it's easier to make some strategic reinforcements.

I'm making dense zig-zag seams at the "ears" where detachable strap is going to connect to the mask. If you're going to attach strap in any other way, don't mind this step and do what suits your occasion.

The circular seam is for the place where the exhaust valve is going to be. Rather than being glued to only one surface layer of the fabric it'll be connected to all of them for greater integrity. And if you're not incorporating the exhaust valve, ignore this part too.

Step 10: Getting Precise

Here I'm punching vent holes in the body of the mask with spacecraft accuracy in spacing and size.

Step 11: Sewing More

When that part is done, I'm finaly sewing the edge of the mask at the V cut...

Step 12: Trimming More

...and trimming the edge to the nice condition of it's... lookness...

Step 13: Decorating

So... remember those white stripes I've salvaged from that pillow bag? This is where I'm using them to make the whole mask look a bit nicer, and, to be honest, I'm not that good at sewing things like this, so I'm basting the stripe into place first and then I'm using the sewing machine.

Here's a tip for you: if you're bad at sewing don't use contrasting thread.

But also if your glue is good and your sewing skills are good as well, you, probably, could secure edges and the stripe with one single operation at this point.

Step 14: Reinforcing More

Now we can make another strategic reinforcement where the nose-shaper-fixator-thing is going to be.

Step 15: Breath Out Exhausting

When it's done, let's put the mask aside and make the exhaust valve if, ofcourse, you decided to go this way.

The main reason I'm incorporating it into the mask is because of the problem I have with masks that don't have it. And the problem is that on the exhale a lot of air is escaping through the gap between the mask and your face, which is not a huge of a deal untill you're putting on the glasses. They're getting foggy in the moment, and you can't see a shi...itake mushum, which is very annoing even if you're not into mushrooms at all.

So... for the main body I'm using a plastic cap from a milk bottle. I'm making some, this time nicer looking vent holes, and one little one at the centre. The best material for the... flappy circle of the valve, is thin rubber, like, for example from some rubber gloves. I haven't find any so I used a piece of thin craft foam which goes in ~1mm thick sheets. I secured it on the cap with a screw.

The valve I made sort of worked as a separate piece but I can't tell if it works good enough with the mask. I think the reason is the negative preassure within the mask on inhale is partially replenished through the body of the mask so it's not high enough to overcome the stifness of the foam an press it firmly enough to the sides of the cap to seal the vent. I believe, thin pliable rubber will do the job much better, so use it.

And yes, I could just teke the valve piece from other old dust mask, and I even had one. But, and this is the second reason I'm making it by itself, it just makes the whole project more interesting and challanging.

Step 16: Breath Out Exhausting Protecting

Now, when the valve is done, we need a protective cap for it. For it I'm using a plastic cap from large bottle of detergent. You can find any suitable object.

For the vents im cutting slits with the saw. I tried to use hole punch but the lids kept cracking. It looks not that horrible after cleaning it with a file, a hobby knife and a flame.

The cap goes ontop of the valve and it has to be bigger in diametre and high enough to not interrupt the flappy ring movement.

Step 17: Breath Out Exhausting and Breath Out Exhausting Protecting Installing

Now it's time for the hot glue gun, usage of which will provide the instalation of the valve and the protective cap onto the body of the mask. Make sure there's no gaps in glueing.

Step 18: Nose Shaping

And now it's a bread time!. Brad tags time. Idon't know how common those things are, but where I leave they're used to close bags with bakery products. Basicaly its a couple of wires in plastic casing - the perfect detail to make that thing on the breathing mask that helps to shape it to accomodate your personal facial features at the nose area.

I'm Just applying hot glue and fixing it into previously reinforced patch.

And if you don't have those indeed wonderful white things, you can cut the piece from aluminium or a tin can, or used aerosol container.

Step 19: The Strap

As you can imagine there a lot of ways of attaching a strap to the mask. You can make it permanent but I want to show, how to make a detachable one. I came up with this adea earlier when noticed that there's often a problem with dust masks, especially the cheep ones: the strap or a plane rubber strip that acts as a strap is often either breack off the mask or gets old and losts its elasticity to the point where it's useles. Often it happens solely due to the time, so the whole mask can be perfectly usable, but the straps are gone. After getting annoyed at tieing rubber bands to my dust masks I came up with this idea of detacable strap.

The main body is stratchy band from a head-mount flashlight, that I used for artistic porpouses at some point in history. The metal clips are those that at old times were used for suspending the blinds. Once again I don't know how common worldwide they are, so I can suggest to substitute them with regular paper binders. Aligator clips for electronics porpouses can do it as well.

So I'm cutting the strip to the lenght and securing the ends to the clips with a hot glue. To prevent fraying and to make everything look neet I'm wrapping the connection area with black electrical tape. And this is it. You can make two straps for a mask, if you're not as lazy as I am.

Step 20: Unchronological Upgrade

You won't see this piece on the intro or the final product photos of the mask, because I added it afterwards. After trying the mask I still noticed the airflow going through top part of it. Partially it's because the valve isn't working very well. But there's another thing you can do about it.

So I found more or less suitable piece of foam and attached a strip of it under the "nose" area of the mask with a doblesided tape. I saw this done on some fabric masks.

Step 21: The Resul

And this is it for this mask. As I said it came up just a little bit oversized as for me, I'll probly remake the exhaust valve, and I actually don't know how well it filtering the air (it still deffinetely better than nothing). But it was an interesting project, hope you're enjoyed it and were inspired.

This is it, thanks for your attention and have a nice air.

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