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Re: [medievalsawdust] " Don't eat that Elmer!"

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  • rmhowe
    ... Yeah but we re all been eating out of aluminum pots and pans all our lives, and consuming candy wrapped in aluminum foil as well. I don t think you can
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 1, 2003
      Bruce S. R. Lee wrote:
      > Be very careful with 'burning' any coating off metal parts - be they bolts,
      > nuts or pipe. These days you have to be a metallurgist to tell exactly
      > what's in the metal coating - some hardware has cadmium plating, and even
      > zinc (real gal) is not too good for you in the long run, and for
      > 'zincalume' plating there is the theory about aluminum & Alzheimers....;-(

      Yeah but we're all been eating out of aluminum pots and pans
      all our lives, and consuming candy wrapped in aluminum foil
      as well. I don't think you can avoid aluminum much in the
      modern world. There are lots of soft drinks with citric
      acid in them in aluminum cans, and for many there is BEER...

      MajicBadger used to smelt brass in his open forge to cast it.
      What happened to him was BrassFounders Ague. Massive headaches,
      various other bodily syptoms for quite a while. I am told it
      is rather like malaria at times. Eventually goes away.

      I've seen Master Eldred cast with a cutting torch as a heater
      and trying to stand out of the huge amounts of fumes as the
      zinc gradually burned out of the brass. Tin/copper makes Bronze.
      I think he may have had milder symptoms. He melted in
      an open crucible and poured it into wooden or metal
      sand casting flasks right on top of a block wall.
      Still in one piece. Some folks are just lucky.

      I recommend casting over a sand table with a splashguard
      on your side of it. In industrial arts our casting sand
      table was low but it was on rollers. Melted metals which
      are hot enough can hit concrete, and spall themselves
      and bits of the concrete off by a steam reaction from
      liberating the water in the concrete. Happens very fast
      I am told.

      Cadmium is considered quite hazardous, particularly in the
      jewelery field where it was in so many solders. I once read
      that jewelers (and welders) have about ten years less life-
      span. Many plating solutions were cyanide based - most
      of the briter ones. I'm not sure if someone has licked
      the silver plating without cyanide successfully yet.
      This is why I have three fume hoods to install in
      my shop as well as a localized movable dust extraction
      system with a much smaller micron bag to add to it.

      I had tried doing bone carving, which I love, and I was
      producing a few really good pieces. Unfortunately the
      muscles in my arms and back won't handle it now and
      I am going to have to switch over to electrical rotary
      tools and pneumatic engravers. The high rpm ruby burrs
      scare the mess out of me making dust that tiny. After
      a particle size gets too small your cilia in the lungs
      can't expel it as it gets below the cilia heads.

      Two years ago I damned near died of something causing
      pneumonia (that was not showing the symptoms I am familiar
      with from two previous bouts of pneumonia, and two of
      pleurisy. So I rather suspect the bone dust. Fever of 105
      when they started treating me. Two days on anti-biotic
      IVs in the emergency room and intensive care. Amazing
      how quick they can cure you these days. I think the
      bill was in the $5200 range for two days.

      > Better to give it a good grinding first to get the
      > plating off the exposed
      > bits before heating to give it a 'patina'.

      Sounds like good advice.
      I once got chromic acid poisoning from rewelding
      plastic bottoms on some tanks used for cleaning
      glass for the electronics firms. I used to make
      a good portion of the plastic equipment (up to
      huge size) for the industries here in NC/SC/VA.

      Even made a gold plating table once with four
      drop in tanks that over flowed into each other.
      No drain, raised flanges had to fit under the
      U shaped edges of the tanks which fit into a
      depressed center table which I had to make a
      lapped frame cut hollow underneath.
      Rarely got the easy work. Wish I had more
      pictures of things I've built like that one.

      I should like to add never to grind aluminum and steel or
      iron and have it fall into the same pile. If it ignites
      it causes a very high heat thermite reaction. One man
      wrote into a magazine saying he had been badly burned
      on his hands. Came to find out that his son had been
      grinding aluminum on his belt sander the day before.
      When he ground steel and it produced the usual sparks,
      the pile of dust was ignited. You can actually weld
      underwater with a thermite reaction. They use it on
      such things as welding some railroad rails and
      ship repairs. Grinding steel and aluminum on the same
      belt sander was quite common when we used my equipment
      for armoring and I never really considered it dangerous.
      I thought you had to have a magnesium strip to get enough
      heat to ignite it. Apparently not, so it's good to note
      above the sander. That particular one was a 1 x 42".

      I hope most folks know not to grind metal other than
      ferrous (steel/iron) on a grinding wheel used dry.
      It will load the wheel up and make it useless.
      Sanding belts don't load with metal like that.
      Neither do ScotchBrite wheels, but I imagine few
      peole outside the metal or jewelry industry use them.

      > If you REALLY have to burn
      > something, do it way, way outside on a day with a stiff breeze & keep an
      > eye out for the EPA.

      Why I put wheels on some items. Like the bandsaw
      and a rolling metal table suitable for putting
      smaller machines/grinders/sanders/etc. on.
      To take them outdoors.
      Some dusts are really irritating.
      Bone, Horn, Antler - all stink when you are working
      them. All go all over the house from the basement
      shop. Very fine airborne dusts.

      Saw on another list that Tandy is claiming
      their horns are only for "decorative purposes" now.
      Someone had written them wanting to know what the
      strong chemical smell in the horns was now. They
      wouldn't say. Instead they recommended another
      horn dealer.

      I've seen the OSHA folks walk right into all eight of
      my former university's physical plant shops and shut
      down half our equipment, none of which we could use
      again until we matched up to their specifications
      as regarded guards and blade covers. I had to refit
      three shops worth myself. All of a sudden we got all
      kinds of things we'd been wanting. Fortunately I knew
      what the best things on the market at that time were
      when the state coffers finally opened.

      Previously the state was somewhat immune to OSHA and didn't
      care about what happened to the employees. One turned
      them in and they got 17 citations in one day from only
      two job sites. They should have seen the ones we were
      working on. Far worse than the citations.
      Of course he got fired for "falsifying something" on his
      job application the next day or two.

      The rest of us all of a sudden got saddled with all
      kinds of safety gear from special shoes to powered
      dust hoods for the glasses wearing and fume masks
      for the rest. No more paper filters for us. Dammit.

      We never were able to finally get a suitable guard
      for the big swing-saw we used to use to cut heavy
      stuff to length. The saw blade was suspended on
      a swinging trunnion, and you pulled the saw towards
      you. Rather like a radial arm saw without all the
      fancy angles. Very powerful. Almost cut through a
      6X6. I disabled before I fixed that one, the last
      machine. Surplused after I left with a lot of machines
      from very many shops on campus. There were at least
      four machine shops and the design school shop that
      had nothing to do with us there. I don't know what
      the vocational ed folks had. Never saw their shop.
      I was in industrial arts - now technical education
      with half the machines surplused to make room for
      the computers.

      I am seeing more and more warnings in magazines now
      that wood dusts are carcinogenic (cancer causing).

      This first was looked at in Japan and later the U.S.
      and they determined that it was mostly nasal cancers
      related to sanding and finishing. That finer particulate
      matter again. Having worked many, many thousands of
      board feet myself in many species ya gotta wonder.

      I know poplar dust used to crack my nasal membranes
      after the dust dried them out.

      Now the medieval man who used axes, adzes, chisels,
      and sometimes saws and boring tools rarely made such
      a dusty mess of himself.


      > regards
      > Brusi
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