Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club

Royal War College of Mandalore => Jadd Halls of Knowledge => Tutorials => Topic started by: Naran Baatar on Jun 18, 2018, 06:09 PM

Title: General Safety Guidelines
Post by: Naran Baatar on Jun 18, 2018, 06:09 PM

It is very important protect yourself when making armor or any other prop.  Make sure you are comfortable with the tools you will be using and have been instructed in their proper use before picking them up.  It is a must that you wear the appropriate personal protective equipment necessary for each tool.  Dust masks or respirators should be worn at all times when sanding, painting, or heat shaping.  Once particulate gets into your lungs, it doesn't come out.  Eye protection should be worn when operating any power tools including rotary tools/Dremels, band saws, belt disc sanders, etc.  According to OSHA hearing protection is not required for anything under 90 dB.  Most shop tools do not reach that volume, but if you have uncommonly loud tools or are sensitive to noise, you may want to keep hearing protection handy.  Have a first aid kit on hand, and know where it is located, and that someone on hand knows how to use the items in it.  You want to finish your project the same way you started; same number of toes, fingers, hands, and eyes.  Should an accident occur where minor first aid is needed, ensure that a first aid kit is available and that you are aware of where the first aid kit is located.

General Safety Guidelines

**These are not comprehensive guidelines. They are just tips and general guidelines. The best thing you can do is educate yourself. Read instructions. Ask Google. Ask the Forums. **

The first and best method for protecting yourself is education. Read the material safety data sheet (MSDS) on any material or product you are unfamiliar with. These can almost always be found online.

Always work in a space that is safe for the task at hand.
Always be aware of others around you, as they may not be wearing/using the safety equipment you are.
Always read the warning labels.
Always use products as directed. Look for guidelines for additional protection if necessary.
Always wash your hands after working with materials.
Do not touch your face with your gloves.
Always keep a First Aid kit on hand.

Safety Equipment

You can buy a basic safety kit from Lowes, Home Depot, or most any hardware store for under $10. It comes with ear plugs, safety goggles, and a dust mask. Leather work gloves cost about $10, and respirators run about $30.

Leather is preferable because it will not melt when touching hot surfaces and protects against abrasions.

Eye Protection:
Safety glasses, safety goggles, and face shields are the three types of basic eye protection. Safety glasses offer less protection than goggles. A face mask should be worn when grinding or whenever large particulates may be moving at high speeds.

Disposable Respirators and Dust Masks:
These only protect against macro particulates. If you smell fumes, your dust mask will not protect against the more harmful micro particulates present.

Reusable Cartridge Respirators:
Respirators protect against both macro and micro particulates—and make you sound like Darth Vader.

Ear Protection:
Ear plugs are probably fine, but you could invest in a nice set of earmuffs if using heavy duty power tools frequently, or if you want to be more comfortable. They are more expensive.  OSHA recommends that hearing protection be worn when noise exceeds 90dB. 

When heated, releases toxic fumes and harmful dust particles that can irritate your lungs, eyes, and skin. When cutting or heating plastic (Sintra, Kydex, PVC, ABS, Styrene), always:
•   Work in a well-ventilated space, preferably outdoors. If not outdoors, open doors and windows and use a fan to pull the air out of the room.
•   Wear a dust mask (if sanding or cutting) or respirator (if heating).
•   Wear eye protection.
•   Wear gloves, preferably leather, as synthetic materials could melt.
•   If using a dremel or other power tools, use ear protection.

Metal particulates can be just as harmful as plastic fumes and dust. When cutting or grinding metal, always:
•   Wear a dust mask if cutting or sanding.
•   Wear eye protection.
•   Face shields are recommended if grinding.
•   Use ear protection when using power tools.

Leather is pretty safe, but if you have a metal or nickel allergy, it can irritate your skin, so wear gloves.

Fiberglass and Resin:
Both of these materials produce particularly dangerous particulates, and fiberglass can cause immediate and lasting harm. It is glass, after all. Always:
•   Wear eye protection.
•   Wear a dust mask or respirator.
•   Use hand protection with fiberglass.
•   Resin should be washed in warm soapy water BEFORE cutting, sanding, or painting to remove harmful chemicals in releasing agents.

When using spray paint or airbrushing, fumes are the biggest concern. Always:
•   Work outdoors in a well-ventilated area. If you can’t work outdoors, open doors and windows and use a fan to pull the air out of the room.
•   Wear a respirator.
•   Wear eye protection.

Do NOT use treated lumber, as it has been saturated with poisonous chemicals intended to deter living things. When using untreated wood, always:
•   Wear eye protection.
•   Wear gloves.
•   Wear a dust mask when sanding or cutting.

Tool Safety

Read and observe the instructions on your power tools.
Always cut AWAY from yourself and others.
Use a clamp or vice to hold a material you are cutting, drilling, dremeling, etc.

Protecting Others

If you are cutting, observe the Blood Circle Rule: Hold your arm out while holding your tool straight out; no one should come within that circle.

If you are heating plastics, spray painting, or anything that releases fumes or particulates, make sure no one comes into the space without adequate safety equipment.

For additional information and for instructions about what to do if exposed and general first-aid, look up the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for whatever material you are using, especially if you are not familiar with the material.

**These are not comprehensive guidelines. They are just tips and general guidelines. The best thing you can do is educate yourself. Read instructions. Ask Google. Ask the Forums. **

--MMCC Education Team--