Introduction: Welding Helmet Respirator
AAAAAAAA!!! Aliens have sucked my face!!!!
Actually I finally got tired of breathing in welding fumes and decided to do something about it. The problem is that normal respirators won't fit under a regular welding helmet and the air units are quite expensive so I thought there has to be a way to make this work. This does work but under heavy welding the filters need to be changed out quite frequently. But at least they block most of the smoke and fumes. Even welding zinc (without being smart enough to grind it off first, that's one of my silly habits), I don't feel so bad the next day.
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Step 1: Materials Needed
I already had a respirator so I just needed filter materials. Went to the dollar store and picked up a hose joiner, makeup pads, and some bamboo towels. If you can't find the hose joiner you can just use rubber bands. Inside of makeup pads you might try cotton balls. Instead of bamboo towels try to find a very fine weave disposable cloth.
Step 2: Make Your Filter
Take a makeup pad and cut it in half, then fold those pieces in half. Then cut pieces from the towel to fit over the filter fittings on the mask. Put the pad into the hole where the respirator filters normally go. Then put the towel over the hole. The nut on the hose joiner actually threads onto the mask! I must have gotten lucky or something. But again you can use rubber bands. In a later version of the mask I added more makeup pad to the point the towel was at the top of the plastic nut. Make sure the towel covers the threads as well because you want as little unfiltered air coming in.
Why instructables put the picture of the finished mask upside down is beyond me.
Step 3: Fitting
Here you can see that the respirator fits under the mask but remember there is limited air intake because the filter is so small. You could make the filter a more open weave but then you're going to let more fumes and smoke into your lungs.
Step 4: The Results
This was after ten minutes of welding a zinc coated tube. I had to replace the filters every ten minutes because of it but it does work. In lighter welding I've gone an hour or more.
Be careful though because this is NOT a proper filter! It will block smoke and some fumes but it's not going to give you perfectly filtered air, you can still get sick if you're not careful. This just is a temporary measure until I can figure something better out.