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Dust mask recommendation?

Hi, wondered if someone could recommend me a good dust mask? I’ve been a bit lazy, used the flimsy ones, but lots of woodwork sanding has recently convinced me I need to get something proper that really, really works. Cost isn’t a major issue. Who has found one they’re really happy with?

Dust extraction sander might be a better long term solution

True, and I have a Mirka starter kit, but a Ceros is some way off for me. I’m thinking more of fiddly skirting that might be difficult to get a sander into. Also woodwork in house I’m currently on has layers of tan-coloured gunk under the paint that instantly clogs sandpaper and the pads on my Fein multi tool.

Chemical stripper and a carbide blade might get you ahead quicker. Also Feins tools are not very good for sanding paintwork, Aggie put me straight a long time ago, the motion is wrong on the head. Maybe trade it for a CEROS or festool and be a happier more profitable pro painter?

Have you looked at the 3M spray masks? They are designed for overspray but should do the trick.

Not available at DDC anymore as they’ve switched to Sheild ones, I can’t guess why

I did buy a mask in the end, think it may have been 3M, bit sturdier than usual and it has helped. On my last job, my customer (a retired Air Commodore, fascinating guy) said he wanted to help, so I lent him my knee pads and some P80…

Just out of interest, how useful would a Ceros really be for sanding doorframes and skirting? I’d imagine it would just be a bit awkward getting the right angle close to the floor?

A dedicated rectangular profile would be the ideal, but I have found the CEROS to be very useful for skirtings, the flat sections not the profile tops, obviously. Keep an eye on it bouncing off the floor, but otherwise, skirtings are another good use and another option to make it work hard for you.

There was a thread on Twitter about weighing up the costs and benefits. As an idea of the lifetime cost, think £600 upfront for a sander and vac, but worse case, if you have it on site every day for 2 years before it all blows up, (4000 hours) and use it as and when required, it basically adds up to 12p / hour on your rate. Counter that with how much extra and better work work you can get through, power extraction sanding is a no brainer purchase for pro decorators .

I think one of these Makita rotary sanders is worth thinking about:

I quite like the ceros but the weight of the lead and annoyance of the transformer temper my enthusiasm as does the price.

If I was starting again I would get a Makita rotary or Porter Cable (Amazon). A Rupes palm sander delta. And any 1/3 sheet with reasonable stats.

So not palm sander per se because if you look at the maths of the amount of stock removal, if you get a 1/3 sheet sander with a 2.8mm action and its larger bed size means you get rid of stock something like 4-5 times faster than a palm sander. So even if it is a little heavier (around 1.6 kg) its just so much faster than a palm. The delta palm would just be for awkward bits and pieces.

As for extraction have a think about a Numatic back pack vac, the larger one is much better. It means that the extraction hose is always light and never in your way - it just hangs under your arm, you never have to stop to move the hoover etc. Quiet, light and small. The big disadvanage is that though it is Hepa but it won’t remove as much as the Nilfisk / Makita / Fein and I actually wear a P3 mask as a precaution when using it. Not really a big deal.

Abranet doesn’t block up so quick, but I found, although the finish is not good, the cheap silverline mesh sandpaper to be highly resistant to blocking and is a good idea as an initial sand of those waxy surfaces etc.

Some good info cheers Puma.

Porter Cable sander is a robust bit of kit, used the $40 one doing a boat or two in US, but the model I used, although reliable, and very economical, not sure I would put it ahead of the CEROS for ergonomics lots of use (thinking cable mainly coming out the top)

Have you tried the Mirka Autonet, - Abranet for body shops, not so robust, nearly half the price of abranet

Yes the ergonomics of the Mirka are superb. Porter Cable have a new(?) model out here:

Looks pretty nice: pretty close to the Mirka really. I am a little reluctant to recommend the Mirka to anyone as it is quite possible for me to go for 6 months without actually needing to use it - I feel like a bit of a spoilt git for getting one for myself!

I am on Autonet for the finer grades. If its cheap I’ve probably got it!