Respirator Mask?

Does anyone have recommendations for respirator masks? I am mostly concerned with protecting myself from dust and foam particles, as I use epoxy to glass and it doesn’t create fumes. I’m thinking of buying one from 3M with a dual filter, but I was wondering if anyone can recommend a specific mask or model. 

For sanding ffp2. Protect your hand and body and most important sand only well cured resin. A vaccum cleaner connected to a real sander is a good thing for sanding. 

Do I have a recommendation? Sure do. A few things-

To begin with, dust and foam particles not only go down your lungs, they get in your eyes and on your skin and more. So, you want a cartridge type full face mask. With prefilters for the dust. 

North Safety ( Honeywell) , 3M, MSA and several others make good full face respirators. I would go with one that you can get replacement cartridges for easily. Though with the interweb, easy is pretty much all of them.I have a 3M 6800 series. They come in sizes, get the right one. Available from a lot of places, prices vary a lot. Shop around.

I use epoxy to glass and it doesn’t create fumes


They all create fumes, it’s an organic chemical process which produces side reactions, no organic chemical process produces 100% one product. There are byproducts. That’s the joy of carbon chemistry. You can futz with the conditions to drive the reaction one way or another, intentionally or otherwise. And a lot of people who use epoxy will over time develop a reaction to the byproducts and what comes out of the by-reactions. Exposure to the stuff adds up.

So what you want is an organic vapor cartridge or cartridges. Made ( I’m simplifying here) to soak up carbon-based stuff. Again, the people who make the masks also make a variety of cartridges to fit them, they;re not generic. Which have extensive documentation so you can get the right ones. Also good for paint fumes, polyester resins, a whole lot of the hairier cleaning products and so on. Again, I went with 3M, they have quite a family of cartridges.

Dust prefilters, yep, also documentation on those, so you can make the right choices.

Last but not least- resins and paints spatter, or there’s a little in the air. Not only does it get on you, it can get on the faceplate and make it useless. Now, to deal with that 3M at least make peel-away clear plastic faceplate covers that keeps the mask good, like you find on road racing motorcycle helmets and such. Especially nice in spray applications. And you can imagine you’re Valentino Rossi  or Lewis Hamilton. 

Go for the good stuff. I’m here to tell you that COPD sucks. . 

hope that’s of use


I just meant that epoxy doesnt stink up my whole workshop like polyester, and is generally an easier resin for me to work with as I don’t have the greatest ventilation. I used to wear a KN95 mask or one like it, I can’t remember exactly, but I need a more permanent and comfortable solution. Thanks for your input though. 

Ohhkay, first off - 

You got your dust or particle masks, paper or cloth. They filter out things, incoming or outgoing. This can mean sawdust or fiberglass dusts or viruses. All relatively big. 

Then you have filters meant to deal with molecules, which are a lot smaller. They often do it by absorption, glomming on to them. In the case of carbon-containing molecules like epoxy and polyester and paints and their byproducts it’s sometimes done by running it through something like activated charcoal, carbon glomming onto carbon, like attracts like…

Including stuff you can’t smell. Do look up the MSDS ( Material Safety Data Sheets) for what you’re working with, they are required to make those available -  it’s not like it’s actively good for you, especially in a badly ventilated workshop. Irritants, carcinogens and more. 

But hey, it’s your body


You must work in a well ventilated area. With many low voc no volatils epoxy you can lam without mask if you are in adaquat air flux, from celling to soil. But, even in same flux, you must use a mask and body protection for sanding. Most epoxy reaction, with quality epoxies, come from contact with not fully cured sanding particles. Should use a vaccum cleaner connected to real sander. Stay away from cheaper solvented epoxies. 

Get a dust hood for your sander and set up a "cyclone on your vac.  For sanding I just use a dust mask.  The type with the two yellow straps.  They make one with the vent, which I guess is considered a respirator.  Masks with charcoal filters are considered “respirators”.  I use those for vapors, glassing, glossing etc.  Some guys use the cheapest charcoal respirator for sanding.   3M or Binks.  Binks being harder to find these days, but still the gold standard.

Don’t know if you solved you mask/respirator problem;   I wanted to be sure I could identify it by #.   For dust you would be best served by the 3M 8511 Resirator with the Cool Flow Valve.  They call it a “Resirator”, but it’s really just a glorified dust mask with a valve.  The valve makes air flow a little more fluid, so easier to breath through. You could spray latex paint with it.   But nothing with fumes.  This is what lord fauci calls an N95 mask.  Wear three of them if you want.  Lord fauci does even during sex.  You have to go to a real “Respirator” with charcoal cartridges and prefilters to handle fumes.   No idea what the 8511 cost.  They are sold individually or per box(20??).   Good breathable solution for sanding.

I haven’t decided on anything yet, but the 8511 seems like a good option. Not as cumbersome and heavy as a larger respirator with the charcoal filters and eye protection, so it would probably be easier to work in. 

Easier to work in, but still offers good protection against particulate and dust.  I can’t work in a mask with eye protection due to the fact that the glass or plastic fogs up and in no time at all they are covered with dust impairing my vision…  Over the years I have tried it all.  I can usually get away with the old style safety glasses that have mesh on sides and a dust mask.