Tag: Covid-19 Safety

festival mask

Hack your mask with valves

The “dirt-bike” or sports dust masks are really popular. A lot of folks know them from using them at events like Burning Man and Coachella. The issue with a lot of “dirt bike” style masks is the exhalation valves which are totally unfiltered. This makes these masks pretty useless for COVID-19 safety. You can read more about what the CDC says about masks with valves.

Everything I used for this 2-min hack:

  • CLUX Mesh Black Face Mask with Black Carbon Filter by Continental Luxury (amazon)
  • small (not tiny) rubber bands – one for each valve
  • Scissors
  • Non-Woven Polypropylene Fabric (woven fabric will work too)

I assembled the mask according to manufacturers’ directions. I cut the filter fabric to go over the valve with a very generous overlap – you can always cut off the excess. Then I slipped the rubber band over 2 layers of filter fabric to secure it to the Valve. This covers the valve and any leaky spots around the opening.

sport mask disassembled
Sport mask as it comes all disassembled. Most of these require assembly.
value hole on mesh part of the mask
The valve hole in the mask without the “hardware”
fabric, mask, and rubber band
Assembled mask with quick filter materials
filtered valve
the filter “value-cover” takes about 3 seconds to put on.
filtered valve close up
the “valve-cover” close up
respirator and tools

Respirator Hack for Covid

So the issue with a lot of respirators and dust masks is the exhalation valve which is totally unfiltered. This makes them pretty useless for COVID-19 safety. You can read more about what the CDC says about masks with valves.

Everything I used for this 5-min hack:

  • 3M Rugged Comfort Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6502QL (Medium)
  • Electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Non-Woven Polypropylene Fabric (woven fabric will work too)

Check out the gallery below to see how I added a filter to my valve. I specifically added it to the outside so it would last longer before getting moist and so others could see it. I used two layers of material for the filter.

tool bucket

New Habits for Keeping Safe

The new reality around COVID-19 safety has us all scrambling to create new habits while we go about the business of making things. We are currently trying and experiment with tool caddy’s. The idea is:

  • Come into the shop, and pick up a caddy
  • As you use hand tools put them in the bucket
  • Once you are done sanitize them and but them back

This way you don’t have to stop and sanitize with every tool and we avoid cross-contamination. Each bucket also has a small spray bottle of surface sanitizer and a personal pump bottle of hand sanitizer.

We are not sure if it will take all the sting out of the needed cleaning. We will see where the experiment leads!