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working with resin minis - safety questions


lexomatic
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I'm about to actually start tackling my Hearthstone Minis, and I know there are some safety concerns with resin. I'm not sure if this is the right place, but it seemed not horrible location wise.

I just wanted to have more info about when I would need to stop worrying about resin dust.

Is it safe to remove my particle mask after priming? after a few coats of paint?

 

I've seen some people mention doing cutting or sanding/filing under water, and others just talk about having a very sharp blade for cutting.

Outside of the mask and gloves, I'm also planning on doing some basic stuff outside of my usual painting area (which is currently the dining room).

 

Is there a good simple primer for working with resin, the kinds of things you should worry about, and what you can do to make stuff safe?

If not can we have people with more experience post stuff here?

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The biggest concern I'm aware of is the dust created when filing/sanding it.  Particulate contamination in your lungs is not good, and also exists for things as innocuous as baking.  "Baker's Lung" is a thing, and woodworkers have a similar issue with sawdust.

 

Resin is a particularly stubborn substance if it gets in your lungs, and so preparing the model can be done one of two ways.  Filing underwater works, but you can also wet-sand.

 

A particulate mask isn't required.  Neither are gloves, as resin isn't absorbed through your skin.  However, there are usually mold-release agents present on the model that you'll want to wash off (warm soapy water and an old toothbrush work).  Just wash your hands and you'll be fine.  Regular primer won't turn resin safe; A hunk of cured resin isn't a safety hazard unless it becomes a missile weapon. Priming the model is required for paint to adhere to it, not to make the resin "safe."

 

Note, this information is based on "hobbyist" level use of resin.  If you're in a production facility or casting resin, etc, you'll need more protective equipment.  But the home baker doesn't have to worry about Baker's Lung, and the home hobbyist can use a common-sense approach to stay free of danger.

 

Note, one of the painters around here, Pingo, uses a much higher level of care and protection when using art products, because she's around these products all the time.  If a significant portion of your life involves being surrounded by hazardous materials, it's wise to use protective equipment all the time (I use nitrile gloves when working on my car, for instance, because I deal with carcinogens at work, and don't need any additional strikes against me).

Edited by Doug's Workshop
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None of the resin products I ever bought came with any warnings about this, meanwhile I happily sanded, drilled, and filed my resin minis. If I get lung cancer, I'm sueing Battlefront Miniatures..

 

Most likely, you won't.

 

Flour doesn't contain a warning about Baker's Lung, either.  And I'm certain I didn't see anything when I bought my hand saw about the problems woodworkers have. 

 

But wet sanding is a simple fix, so do that.

 

BTW, you should wash your hands after prepping metal figures. 

 

And I won't even begin to mention all the warning labels children should be born with.

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Note, one of the painters around here, Pingo, uses a much higher level of care and protection when using art products, because she's around these products all the time.  If a significant portion of your life involves being surrounded by hazardous materials, it's wise to use protective equipment all the time (I use nitrile gloves when working on my car, for instance, because I deal with carcinogens at work, and don't need any additional strikes against me).

 

I use the same desk for minis and as a computer desk. Perhaps I should rethink that?

Edited by Dibbler
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The main thing about resin dust is that the particles are sharp. It is like breathing glass shards, and does not dissolve. Not good for lungs at all.

Also some types of resin are toxic. I understand that most types of resin used for minis are not particularly toxic, but some types such as china.recasted forgery world might be very toxic.

Usually not a problem unless you inhale the dust. Or eat it.

 

Same goes for the non- toxic acrylic paint. It isnt toxic, unless you drink it, or atomize it and virgourously inhale the spray. Look up cadmium, which often can be found in reds and yellows. You really dont want to breathe that.

 

Wash your desktop and what not every so often and you should not have any problems using it for other things as well.

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the type of resin I use is inert when cured.  However, everyone nailed it, particulate inhalation is a hazard when sanding anything and resin will not go away like wood or organic substances.

 

Otherwise, its pretty easy to work with.  use sharp cutting tools though because resin is relatively brittle, I recommend sawing rather than clipping or cutting.

Edited by Dontfear
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Strictly speaking, "non-toxic" hasn't got a legally defined meaning except "hasn't been tested and found to be toxic" ("toxic" *is* legally defined).

 

Note that the term thus includes both "tested and not found toxic" and "not tested."

 

Quite a few pigments and art materials have not been tested for toxicity.

 

Be cautious.

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the type of resin I use is inert when cured.  However, everyone nailed it, particulate inhalation is a hazard when sanding anything and resin will not go away like wood or organic substances.

 

Otherwise, its pretty easy to work with.  use sharp cutting tools though because resin is relatively brittle, I recommend sawing rather than clipping or cutting.

 

To my knowledge, all resins are organic substances. (I accept that there might be an exception, but I don't know of one.)

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I just use a dust mask, like the kind you can pick up at Lowe's or the Home Depot for cheap. And that's only if I'm sanding or filing, which none of my 4 Hearth Stone minis have needed. A sharp blade took care of everything that needed taking care of on those.

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You definitely don't want to be breathing in resin dust.  Strangely enough though, I've run into a lot of people who are diligent about wearing PPE while they're sanding or cutting resin, and will then take it off without a further thought once they've finished to continue other work - this is despite the fact that they've got piles of resin dust all over their work surface.  Be sure to take the time out to dispose of the waste resin (even when wet sanded - as it does dry out) before removing your safety gear.  I usually wipe off my work bench and then go over it with a shop vac equipped with a hepa filter when working with resin.

 

The Egg 

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I wear a respirator with a fine filter and cover my work surface with glossy newspaper when cutting, sanding and drilling resin. When I'm done, I immediately rinse off the mini (usually as part of washing it, but I'll rinse it if it's already been washed) and carefully dispose of the paper.

 

Given my experiences with hearing loss from my old profession, I take things pretty seriously. Also, wear hearing protection at concerts, they have them freely available at the venue's first aid station. You'll hear the show just fine with them in.

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Given my experiences with hearing loss from my old profession, I take things pretty seriously. Also, wear hearing protection at concerts, they have them freely available at the venue's first aid station. You'll hear the show just fine with them in.

 

The last movie I saw, I brought earplugs with me.  Sunglasses, too.  Came out of the movie feeling as good as I did going in.  Movies usually just assault my common sense; no need to assault my other senses, too.

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