I need your help

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Dr_JLT

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
4
Location
Houston, TX
Good evening,

I started woodworking back in 2008 after taking the first step of the USMLE while in medical school. My wife wanted crown molding installed in our first home. I didn’t even know what crown molding was not how to use a miter saw. That first project evolved to many projects to come and with my latest infatuation being pen turning.

I’ve been quite busy for the past year. Work has been pretty much all I’ve done, but I’d have it no other way. Over the past few years, I’d buy pen kits from PSI or exotic blanks with intentions to get back into it. I’ve made a couple, but never as many as I wanted.

Only within the past year or so did I start wearing respiratory equipment - yes, I thought about safety a lot later than I should have. Quite frankly, when I started woodworking, I was a poor medical student and could barely afford the materials let alone the protection. But I purchased a couple of boxes of N95 masks as my kids were starting to show interest and I wanted to make sure I taught them proper protection technique. As I barely turn anymore, there are a few still left in the shop.

I’m writing today because I am about to take those last few masks to work on Monday. Coronavirus is hitting the medical community hard. The truth is, we really do not have enough supplies and our doctors, nurses, and support staff are afraid. I spent the day going from store to store looking for masks and as you imagined found none. I really need your help. And I am willing to clear out my supply of blanks and kits for it. If you could spare unused N95 masks for the men and women in healthcare that are inevitably going to be exposed to this viral threat, you will help save a life, who will be trying to save a life.

If you are able, please private message me and I will provide my information and take yours as well. I want to be clear, in no way is this a gimmick - I will even mail you what you want first. I just can no longer stand by idly hoping for the basic personal protection equipment to safely do my job.

Please help.
 
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leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,215
Location
Tunica, MS,
We buy a box or two every year and LOML uses them when she has the sniffles, when pollens are heavy (or lightly) in the air, and living in an agricultural community, when planes are spraying fields. Needless to say, she goes through a box or two a year. She is a little irritated at me for not ordering a new box before this hit. She is down to about 5. I don't think her's are always N95 but she has had them.

We lived in Japan for 25+ years and they wear masks at the drop of a hat. They don't wear masks to keep from spreading, they wear masks (en masse) to keep from getting something, and it works. I bought a Triton blower powered head shield about 12 years ago and wore it because I became highly allergic to CA fumes. And it has been in storage since January 2011 until today. I pulled it out and the battery was still charged. I have 2 respirator P100 masks and have been using those until I got my Triton out today. (P100 filters are getting expensive.)

I am totally surprised that people back here do not use or have on hand masks. I hope you get some responses.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
13,537
Location
NJ, USA.
I have watched many of the news briefs and see how these masks are an issue and how people have become resourceful in ways to make them or a facsimile. I do feel your pain and hopefully these things can get worked out and hopefully we all learn a thing or two from this terrible virus. With that said I believe an avenue has been opened up by some red tape being cut the other day. That is tapping into the construction industry. We as construction workers always wear these things on jobs and many industries and contractors buy these. They were never allowed to be used outside the construction industry until just in the last day or two and that red tape about lawsuits and logistics that kept them from the medical side can now be resolved and I believe that will free up millions of these. The problem is coming up as to how to ask for them. Everyone says they need them but orders need to get placed and the proper channels nee to be informed as if they should be anyway. But the word needs to get out. Not only masks but tyvek suits face shields, and gloves, are widely used in construction and they too have been released so that should come more freely. Companies have stepped up production lines and others are converting shops to accommodate the things needed and every day more and more is being brought on line. But as we all know this is something that could not be foreseen in the magnitude as it is. It is every state every country asking for the same things. The hotspots need the supplies the most and that is a political thing that should be handled. I believe in the next week these items will be there for the asking.

As for me I only have a few so I am no help. But do hope things get better soon. God speed and stay safe. We thank you and all the medical personnel that are fighting on the front lines.
 

maxwell_smart007

Lead Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
6,502
Location
middle of nowhere in the great, white North
I'm certain that there's a dire shortage of masks and other PPE in the medical field given the Covid-19 pandemic.

That being said, considering that this is the user's first post to the forum, and that he has not given any verifiable information on which medical facility is short of N95 masks, I'd urge any members to due their due diligence. Perhaps the new member can give verifiable contact information for the medical facility so that interested members could contact it directly?
 

Dr_JLT

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
4
Location
Houston, TX
I can understand any hesitancy to contribute, but make no mistake about it - I don’t have the luxury of being able to ask questions to someone I haven’t met to rule in/out COVID-19 behind the shield of a computer screen. This has to be done face to face. I came to IAP to learn. My posts here are none, because I had nothing to add.

I used to sell pens on Etsy. InTheLightWoodworker. A while back, I considered selling these pens after making them near cost just to get them out. But after reading on IAP how that would hurt people/members here as some people used Etsy to supplement their income, I decided against doing so, rather giving them as gifts to people instead. I’ve been a member of IAP since 2013. Some contributions come through listening.

Again, I am not blaming my employer nor the industry as a whole, nor the government. I am just reaching out to fellow colleagues in an attempt to help fellow colleagues.

I have attached pictures of a small representation of what I have. You cannot acquire this in the mere hours since my first post. I am asking those of you that can help to consider.
 

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Dr_JLT

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
4
Location
Houston, TX
I have watched many of the news briefs and see how these masks are an issue and how people have become resourceful in ways to make them or a facsimile. I do feel your pain and hopefully these things can get worked out and hopefully we all learn a thing or two from this terrible virus. With that said I believe an avenue has been opened up by some red tape being cut the other day. That is tapping into the construction industry. We as construction workers always wear these things on jobs and many industries and contractors buy these. They were never allowed to be used outside the construction industry until just in the last day or two and that red tape about lawsuits and logistics that kept them from the medical side can now be resolved and I believe that will free up millions of these. The problem is coming up as to how to ask for them. Everyone says they need them but orders need to get placed and the proper channels nee to be informed as if they should be anyway. But the word needs to get out. Not only masks but tyvek suits face shields, and gloves, are widely used in construction and they too have been released so that should come more freely. Companies have stepped up production lines and others are converting shops to accommodate the things needed and every day more and more is being brought on line. But as we all know this is something that could not be foreseen in the magnitude as it is. It is every state every country asking for the same things. The hotspots need the supplies the most and that is a political thing that should be handled. I believe in the next week these items will be there for the asking.

As for me I only have a few so I am no help. But do hope things get better soon. God speed and stay safe. We thank you and all the medical personnel that are fighting on the front lines.
I appreciate you and will certainly reach out to whomever I can in construction industry.
 

Fred Bruche

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
438
Location
Philadelphia 19146
Your hospital/practice needs to engage research labs in your area, they are way more likely to have the relevant equipment and in number way higher than any of us pen makers could have. That's what is happening here in the City of Brotherly Love, and with an overwhelming response from what I read.
 

BarryE

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2012
Messages
53
Location
Delano, Mn
Home Builders Associations (HBA) across the country are asking their members to help – "There is an urgent need for N95 masks. If you have them, please donate them to local hospitals and hold off on ordering new masks"
Houston has a strong HBA, you might try contacting them to see if they can help:
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,215
Location
Tunica, MS,
Is there a mask that is more protective than the n95, and possibly available?
Ratings in general are according to their number.
N represents NOT Oil Resistant
R represents Oil Resistant
P represents Oil Proof

95 represents 95% of all particles .3 (point 3) microns and smaller removed
99 represents 99% " "
100 represents 99.97%

There is one false impression given with the effectiveness of paper/fiber masks IMO, and that is because paper/fiber masks do not conform 100% to the face at every point, and are subject to some leakage - and varying amounts with different people. That is why I like latex type rubber masks with filters. Still, Paper/Fiber masks are MUCH better than nothing.

There are short YouTube videos that show how to make masks from paper towels that look a lot like the ones you buy. Japanese versions often include a removable thin filter which would be similar to adding a double layer.
 
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leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,215
Location
Tunica, MS,
Tony,
I didn't complete my post as I intended to do. You asked if there was a better than N95. Yes there is but generally not in paper/fiber/cloth masks. I don't know what surgical masks are rated.

Below is a P-100 face mask for chemicals and painting; but of course they would do in "some" medical situations but the hard masks would have to be cleaned in something similar to an autoclave, vs surgical/medical throw-away masks. If you used a P100 mask similar to the below, you would have to take it off and get another before going into another room. Hence, throw-away MUCH more beneficial.

3M mask without filters:

P100 filters for the above mask.

 
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leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,215
Location
Tunica, MS,
I posted this on another thread:
Better than nothing if none are available would be a volunteer group of virus free people who can make them. I would probably get the rolls of blue paper towel due to their thickness and fold them as some you tubes show and complete it a staple and rubber band on each end.

making a face mask from a paper towel - YouTube
Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.

Once one gets started, they could probably each make one per minute. 5 people could make close to 300 an hour. These would not probably be N95 rating but at least N85-90. I am not trying to make light of the situation at all, but the seriousness of this dire situation demands something better than nothing.

REMEMBER FOLKS - masks should only be used on a doctor or nurse or technician for working with one patient; throw away and get a new one for the next patient, same as rubber gloves.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
13,537
Location
NJ, USA.
Tony I believe I answered you PM somewhat Hank is telling you but to sum up yes there are better masks but they are not off the shelf items like found in Home Depot or other places. I mentioned to you we in the construction industry use the N99 mask for higher dust content and finer dust such as in ink planks. But with these masks they are of a heavier material and if doing manual labor they will hinder breathing and will sweat more. All masks need to fit the face properly and if you have a beard forget any of these type masks. Yes they will help some but not full proof. They make others that Hank listed but are specific for their applications. Get those N95 masks wet and they are useless. Want full proof or close to it go with a vapor mask or full face shield with ventilator like a Trend.
 

pshrynk

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
588
Location
Lake City, Minnesota
Here in Minnesota we are hearing that 3M has their mask lines set to Crank. Small comfort to those who need them NOW, but the supply is going to ramp up quickly. They have a lot of capacity and can convert other lines to medical masks.
 
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