martin 'hoff

Sanding gelcoat and CF - dust control tips?

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Typically I work on my small boats in a beach or boat park, and with limited time and equipment. Kids, work, and actually sailing all squeeze the boat work time slices.

Inevitably I have to sand of some gelcoat or cf - que a sanding block or a disk on a drill - to prep surface for bonding and it all ends up in a mess of itchy dust. The gelcoat on particular seems to be hydrophobic so I can't wash it off the boat. 

Do you have tricks, techniques that can help? Ideally lightweight - I'm not wearing a tyvek suit...

 

 

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Barrier cream works pretty well.

The only fix I've ever found to work for glass dust on your skin is scrubbing with a loofah sponge in the shower.

A microfiber cloth might do it too.

Be sure to work neatly to minimize the amount of sanding & grinding needed.

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ok no tyvek suit, but you are wearing a mask, right? if your skin itches that much, imagine what it's doing to your lungs.

When I was working with glass daily, especially when I primarily had to do prep grinding, I used to run home (about 2 miles) and then jump straight into a cold shower. As team vmg points out, getting hot opens the pores, and the cold water would wash it off before the pores could close. At least it worked for me. And I got pretty good at running ;)

Btw, I know you said you're in a boat park, but the best way to mitigate the dust is to use a vacuum.

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Yes on mask. And I try to wear trousers, I've recently started wetting them a bit before sanding.

Good stuff.

How about clearing up the boat and parts? I'm using wet paper towels. Hosing it down doesn't work.

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A clothing lint roller is good for getting Itchy glass fibers off your skin.  Get one with the peel-off layers, and run 3 or 4 fresh layers over the itchy spots.  

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1 hour ago, valcour said:

A clothing lint roller is good for getting Itchy glass fibers off your skin.  Get one with the peel-off layers, and run 3 or 4 fresh layers over the itchy spots.  

I use packing tape over arms and legs.

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28 minutes ago, martin 'hoff said:

I use packing tape over arms and legs.

I presume you shave them before starting work?

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What about wet-sanding? That would help to keep fibers from drifting away from the surfaces being sanded. You could even use a bucket with salt water to keep things damp - no need for a hose.  

 

 

 

 

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Baby powder before sanding helps for me, as well as cold shower. If the residue is not coming clean, wash with a bit of soap and break the surface tension.

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I have an old running jacket that is really light and breathes pretty well. It isn't waterproof but it is dust proof. 

I pull the jacket over the gloves and it seals up pretty well. 

I wet-sand with soapy water. It also helps for toweling off the sanding dust and such.

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i'd start w the sander,

  use the hook&loop palm orbitals w the dust holes in the paper.

  connect the sander to a decent shop vac.  That should dramatically reduce the dust/fibers.

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Out in the field, I where long sleeve sun shirts and pants, and generally wet sand with a bucket of water by hand. Wash with alochol and paper towels.

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On 6/29/2020 at 8:38 AM, Raked Aft\\ said:

i'd start w the sander,

  use the hook&loop palm orbitals w the dust holes in the paper.

  connect the sander to a decent shop vac.  That should dramatically reduce the dust/fibers.

This is my MO

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I use veterinary rectal gloves. I have also been thinking of to use my old leaking HH drysuit with zipper on the back. Doing the job when it is raining is another idea.

gloves.png

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Why not a tyvek or similar suit with some gloves?  The only foolproof way to keep that toxic crap off your body is to physically keep it off your body.  It's simple, cheap, and safe.  There's a reason the pros put that gear on- they don't want the hospital visits down the road.

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38 minutes ago, bgytr said:

Why not a tyvek or similar suit with some gloves?  The only foolproof way to keep that toxic crap off your body is to physically keep it off your body.  It's simple, cheap, and safe.  There's a reason the pros put that gear on- they don't want the hospital visits down the road.

Didn´t realize 3M Tyvek Coverall was that cheap, 8 dollars in Sweden. Just ordered two of them. Together with gloves and face mask this will be perfect for my carbon mast repair. 

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Glad to hear that you found some. Around here Tyvek suits, full face respirators, etc are starting to be available again but are way more expensive than before the pandemic started. 

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Shop vacs and Tyvek suits are great. But as I wrote in the original post, context is: working on a boat yard and/or on the beach, in the searing Florida sun, typically in a bit of a rush. 

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Sorry to disappoint, but in the hotter, wind-less Alabama sun, it’s Tyvek and vacuum just the same... maybe the barrier cream might be your best option 

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