Gourd Art Enthusiasts

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Gourd Dust Allergy - NOT ME! yes, me.

Ah, I have been bitten by the gourd dust allergy bug. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful information I've perused in our Forum section. I'm looking into vacuum devices. Found the site www.woodcraft.com which has some interesting options. Off to buy new cannisters for my dust mask. Working outside on the porch with very little breeze did not make sanding safe for me. Ugh.

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Comment by Kim Bilek on June 13, 2011 at 8:38am

Oh Celia, I feel for you. Its really difficult for those of us who live in areas where we are limited by the climate. I have my studio in the basement of our home, I started out using a shop Vac with a dust collector bag over the exhust. Then I invested in a small dust collector that I clipped at various stations to help control the dust.

A few years ago I finally divided my space in two. I do all the cutting carving in one area that is curtained off with clear plastic shower curtains. I have a large air cleaner that uses a micro felt filter material that comes on a roll. Its amazing how much that pulls out of the air. I also have a wall mounted dust collector I got from Peachtree at the tool show in Columbus last Feb. It has helped a lot, since it hooks onto my belt sander, cleaning station and I sit with it between my knees if I carve along with the air cleaner running. Its actually quieter than the smaller ones. The space isn't completely  dustless but, it sure did help cut down on what was there before. I also use the dust collector to suction my clothes which I also try and change out of in the studio on days I have cut/carve gourds. That dust can travel everywhere.

I buy cleaned gourds to cut down on mold exposure and of course also wear a mask or respirator. If you are going to work outside I'd suggest you get a fan and set it so it helps to blow the dust away from where you are working outdoors. I finally broke down and bought a small air cleaner for my desk which I use when I burn. It pulls the smoke away. Unfortunately that is the downside to gourd working, just like wood working, health/safety issues first.  Good Luck-see you in October -Kim

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