Cutting/Sanding Micarta

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JAG2955
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Cutting/Sanding Micarta

Post by JAG2955 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:00 pm

What's the necessary precautions? I bought wife a semi-finished blade and some paper micarta scales for Christmas. But of course when I tried to look up what to wear when sanding it, I found everything from use a vacuum cleaner to get the dust at the end, to full face respirator. I'm certain that the happy medium is somewhere in between.

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First Shirt
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Re: Cutting/Sanding Micarta

Post by First Shirt » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:38 pm

My SIL makes custom knives, and I called and asked him, figuring he should know (I think he's found every way possible, barring dismemberment, to injure himself in a knife shop). He recommends a regular dust mask, and a shop vac afterwards. Unless you're trying to get a glass finish, the particles should be small enough to be trapped in a regular mask.

Please bear in mind, free advice is usually worth what you paid for it.
But there ain't many troubles that a man caint fix, with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."
Lindy Cooper Wisdom

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Catbird
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Re: Cutting/Sanding Micarta

Post by Catbird » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:29 pm

As long as you're talking hobbyist level work, I don't think you need to treat it any differently than wood dust. Some sort of dust collection system is great if you have it. If you're creating great clouds of dust or machining it on an ongoing basis you should use a properly fitting respirator and a dust collection system. It does make quite a stink when you saw it. Treat it as though it was a dense, resin-heavy wood like teak.

There are some material safety data sheets in .pdf form HERE.
"If at first you don't succeed, that's one data point." XKCD

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Darrell
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Re: Cutting/Sanding Micarta

Post by Darrell » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:21 pm

Micarta is a type of phenolic, is it not? It does stink a lot when you saw or power sand it. The dust goes everywhere, too.
Eppur si muove--Galileo

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JAG2955
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Re: Cutting/Sanding Micarta

Post by JAG2955 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:51 pm

Thanks guys. I was planning for at least a dust mask. I'll do this outside too, so I don't dust/stink up my workbench/workout area/gun safe/motorcycle storage/etc area in the garage.

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