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(OT) Machinist joins fight against virus

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  • (OT) Machinist joins fight against virus

    Someone recently posted a comment about what a machinist could do in this fight against the virus. The following does not involve lathes and mills but rather the type of mindset and thinking used by a machinist in his everyday work.

    I got an email from my nephew who is a machinist. He has been checking in with relatives to see how everyone is doing. He has some school training but is mostly self-taught. He lives on an 11 acre spread in a nearby rural area with his wife. His mother lives on his property in a very nice home which he built for her and his son and son's girlfriend live in a house they recently purchased very nearby. My nephew also has a detached building which I financed some years ago. He has probably never read a book cover to cover but he has an extraordinary gift for creativity. He has patented and sold from his building several machines and other products.

    His wife is a recently promoted (formerly RN) hospital administrator. The hospital, by coincidence, is about 2 miles from my home. She told him that they are approaching a crisis situation where face masks are concerned. Putting on his thinking cap he came up with a possible solution. He raided every hardware store he could find and bought supplies, primarily focusing on furnace filters touted to block viruses, and has been making prototypes of face masks from the filters. His wife is presenting the idea to the hospital, but thus far I have very little information beyond that. Some testing will be necessary I'm sure, but at least someone is doing something about the problem and not sitting on his ass like our politicians have done as this crisis was evolving. He is not doing this for profit, he will be giving these away. He is going to call me tonight and maybe I will be able to post more about this. The point being that a machinist is often required to think outside the box to achieve a creative solution to a problem and in my life I have often seen solutions arising from the general public while industry plods on with the same old - same old method of trying to get results. If this works it might go (no pun intended) viral and other hospitals will be able to use it and maybe industry will jump on board (if they have not already thought of this.). I'm really proud of this kid, and proud to know I had a hand in getting him started on his way in the trade.

    I'll update this if I learn more.
    Last edited by DATo; 03-23-2020, 09:00 AM.

  • #2
    I was thinking about something similar - using HEPA air filters as used in air purifiers. They appear to be better than the N95 masks many people are using.
    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
    USA Maryland 21030


    • #3
      I think the main front in the mask battle is re-use, not supply. The hospitals need to change their disposable habits, they can't keep using tens of thousands of N95 masks a day! EACH!
      Location: Jersey City NJ USA


      • #4
        Can masks be gamma irradiated with a C60 sterilisation tunnel, therefore reused?
        seems straightforward, you may get a few goes out of one before the elastic starts to fail.


        • #5
          It will probably have to go through years of testing before it can be approved.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


          • #6
            Microwave them to just before they go up in flame. Moisture driven out and heat sterilizes it.


            • #7
              In the Seattle area a company that makes furniture, presumably upholstered with sewing machines, was up an running on masks in a day or two. What I don't know is how they were able to get the cloth to make the masks so quickly.