Graphite and Its Effects on the Human Body and Tool Room Equipment

The health and welfare of toolmakers that use graphite to make electrodes for use the EDM machining of molds should be a high priority for management. In addition to the health issues for the workers, the very expensive machinery, such as the EDM machines and milling machines, must be protected from the damaging effects of graphite dust. EDM and injection molding are inseparably linked in the manufacturing process of plastic products.

Anyone who has worked with graphite in the manufacturing of EDM electrodes is keenly aware of the need for proper dust removal during the machining process. Many ill-equipped shops have very little equipment to handle the dust generated during milling and grinding operations.


The MSDS (material safety data sheet) for the synthetic graphite used in EDM show that there are no carcinogenic properties associated with graphite. It is a chemically inert material and contains no volatile components. It is also used for medical purposes, such as implants and heart valves in the human body.

This is not to say that graphite is totally harmless though. It can be very irritating to the skin, eyes, and nasal passages. It can cause stinging, redness and watering of the eyes, and itching of the skin. This can be a very annoying experience when a toolmaker is expected to produce a close-tolerance electrode with a fine finish.

Controlling the Dust

The simple but very ineffective solution is to wear particle masks. Experience shows that this stop-gap measure is a failure. The mask soon is clogged with the fine dust and the operator is left breathing a disgusting blend of bad-breath and graphite dust!

Portable vacuums are the next best solution, but this also has many drawbacks. Often the filter in the portable shop vacuum is not fine enough to trap the microscopic sized particles, and they are simply blown back into the air. Also, because the vacuum hose is often cumbersome to manipulate, operators fail to properly align the hose to capture the most dust.

Many shops use a centralized vacuum system designed for the removal of fine dust particles, such as graphite. It is important to have enough air velocity in the vacuum system to be effective. It is recommended to have an air velocity of 500 ft. per minute and the air in the lines should travel at a rate of 2,000 ft. per minute in order to prevent the dust from settling inside the duct work.

With a centralized system it is much easier to efficiently manage the dust from the various machine tools because the system is more efficient and the hoses can be strategically placed. Special wheel guards are available for surface grinders that act as a turbo to remove the dust into the vacuum system.

Newer milling machines which are more or less dedicated to electrode machining are equipped with extremely effective dust removal systems. The sealed chamber around the work area enables the vacuum to capture a high percentage of the dust. This development has dramatically reduced the amount of graphite dust in the shop environment.

An additional method of dust removal is the use of a curtain of coolant surrounding the milling cutter. This prevents the dust from ever escaping and is very efficient. This feature is available on some milling machines as well as an accessory that is easily installed.

A Clean Shop Environment

Graphite dust is highly conductive and has been responsible for the damage of many expensive tools and machines. Glass scales can give false measurements due to the settling of dust. Electronic equipment can be short-circuited by the dust as well. The grimy nature of graphite makes it especially annoying if it accumulates on work-benches and desks.

It is in the best interest of everyone to make every effort of maintain a clean and pleasant atmosphere in a moldmaking or EDM shop. The toolmakers will be happier, the work will be better and the machinery will perform as it should. It is also very impressive to visitors to see a clean, dust-free shop.

Source by Randy Hough

What Kind of Netball Equipment Do You Need?

When you start playing a sport like netball you will have to take the time to learn the rules of the game and also how to play. You will take time to study the moves, positions, and list of things you are not allowed to do. You should also think about getting some netball equipment so that you can practice at home or if you are introducing the sport at your school.

Netball is a sport that is similar to basketball and is usually played by women only, although men’s netball is a growing sport.

The differences between netball and basketball are the fact that instead of running with the ball and dribbling, in netball you are not allowed to move when you have the ball. If you are passed the netball you have to stop, keeping the landing foot on the ground at all times whilst you can lift the other foot to pivot in another direction before passing the ball on to another player. Each player is only allowed within certain sections of the court and the netball ring is much higher and smaller than that of a basketball ring and it doesn’t have the backboard to assist players in scoring a goal.

The netball equipment that you need will consist of a regulation size net without a backboard and a netball. A regulation netball post can be free standing so that it can be wheeled away when not in use or it can be socketed, so that it screws into an underground socket. These are available for use on both indoor and outdoor netball courts. The regulation height of the ring is ten feet, but posts will also usually have two lower settings for infant and junior netball. If you don’t have room for a regulation size post in the garden there are garden style sets available with posts which separate into sections and fit into a polythene base, like that used for sun shades or alternatively you can purchase wall mounted netball rings to fix on an existing wall. These are useful for younger players as the wall will act as a backboard to assist them in scoring until their skill and confidence increases.

The netball is not as hard and heavy as a basket ball and is meant to encourage a fast game, even though you are not allowed to run with the ball. Netballs are available for either indoor use, outdoor use or a combination of both. Netballs come in two sizes size 4 is for juniors and size 5 is for senior netball. If buying a netball for home use then a training ball will be sufficient, if buying for a school or club then you will need several training balls and then one or two match quality netballs for use in competitive games.

The netball team is made up of seven players and each player has a position. This is indicated using a netball bib or Velcro patch with the positional letters printed on it. Each position has certain parts of the court which they are allowed to operate within and the rest of the court is out of bounds. Most clubs and schools will have at least two sets of bibs so that they can practice with two teams and also so that they can swap sets if the opponents’ bibs are the same or similar colour when playing away. It is important for both teams to have a set of bibs because the positions and where the players can go are a vital part of the game so the umpire will need to know who is who on the court to rule effectively. It isn’t possible to get away with one team being bibs and one team being non-bibs as it might be in football, they are a vital piece of netball equipment. Bibs are sold in sets of seven for the whole team and some netball dresses come with the positional patches included. Reversible bibs are also available so that teams only need carry one set with them when playing away from home and they can swap the colour they wear if necessary.

Netball uses very specific rules and you have to play within a strict pattern and layout otherwise you get penalised. To practice these positions you will make use of netball training equipment like cones where you will have to stop and start running, weave in and out of them, and practice throwing and catching techniques.

Another important piece of netball equipment is a good pair of netball shoes. These are designed specifically for the strains of netball focusing on the pivot points and on cushioning and grip. Some are designed for outdoor netball, some for indoor and some for both types of game.

The last thing that you will need is netball clothing. For training you will just need tracksuits and possibly baselayers to keep you comfortable and improve your performance. When playing in matches most schools and teams will have a netball kit. This is usually made up of a skirt and a blouse with lycra pants underneath but now skorts and dresses are becoming more popular. A skort is a skirt with a built in pair of undershorts and the netball dresses are all in one top and skirt combined usually with Velcro style fixings to add positional patch bibs to.

These are the only items of netball equipment you will need. The players are not required to wear any head gear or guards, as it is not a full contact sport. In fact contact is prohibited and you can get fouled for pushing, leaning into or obstructing your mark or another opponent unless it was an accidental collision which is very unlikely.

A full range of netball equipment can be found from online specialist suppliers and some good sports shops.

Source by Shantelle Hynes

3 Tips For Renting Vs Buying Your Snowboard Equipment

Smelly boots, chintzy bindings, and rock-beaten decks; this is the common snowboard rental experience. How long do you have to use this second-hand crap anyway?

Plus, renting equipment is generally a hassle and can get expensive fast. Wouldn’t it just be cheaper and easier to invest in your own gear and pay a one-time fee?

Keep these tips in mind as you consider whether or not owning your own snowboard equipment would be worth it…

1. For first-timers

If you’ve never been snowboarding before, you should always rent–in fact, you may want to rent the first few times you head to the hill.

Rental boards are tailor-made to help a new rider through the learning process. Plus, with a rental board you don’t have to worry about damage when you ride off of the trail and into the dirt.

Even if you are planning a longer vacation and the price of renting seems greater than buying, you are better off sticking with the rental equipment. You might find that after the first few full days of snowboarding, you need a few days off to recuperate; you won’t be needing a board the entire vacation after all.

2. Don’t rent, demo

If you can shape turns down a green slope, it might be time to start thinking about customized gear as you start to further advance your skills.

But if you don’t get that many days on the hill, maybe you don’t need to spend all of that money just yet?

A renter who is looking for an upgrade without making a commitment should consider demoing. Demos are legit, name-brand board, boot and binding models available for rent from most rental shops.

Demos usually cost a bit more than average rentals, but they are a great way to start shopping for your first setup by testing several available-for-purchase models. Demos are like sticking your toe in the pool, instead of just jumping in.

3. Go feet first

If you are really itching to get out of your rental gear, but you are unsure how much you will ride or you simply don’t have the cash for a decent full setup, consider spending some dough on your first pair of snowboard boots.

Boots are the single worst part of the rental experience. Most rental books reek something fierce; they are all packed out from having so many pairs of feet in them and usually the liners are so beat that the boot offers virtually no support.

Probably 80% of the difficulties people experience when using rentals come from poor boot fit.

One thing in snowboarding you will hear over and over, “Boots are the most important piece of your equipment”. Since boots are the first step in relaying your movements into snowboarding, they should be the first piece of equipment you invest in.

I guarantee that owning your own pair of custom-fit boots will make more of difference on snow than any board or binding will. This article from the Angry Snowboarder features excellent tips on getting a boot that’s practically made for you.

One final tip: you will know when you need to buy your own snowboard gear. You will feel like your rental gear doesn’t turn hard enough, or go fast enough, or pop high enough; and depending on which of those it is, you will also have a good idea of what to look for in your first setup.

Source by Lou G

Considerations When Buying A Wood Lathe, Woodturning Tools and Other Equipment

There is a huge assortment of woodturning tools used to shape wood and many styles of faceplates and chucks and all of their attachments that are used to attach the project to your lathe. So start small and cheap until you know where your interest lays. Woodturning generally starts as a hobby; as ability and desire develops sometimes it will move into some type of business.

General tool groups of cutting tools for the wood lathe are gouges, skew chisels, scrapers and parting tools. Each of these tool groups are split into several sub categories as in the gouges; there are detail gouges, spindle gouges and bowl gouges and these are split again with different diameters and thickness of the individual tool. You can see it is very easy to acquire many different tools.

Not only do tools need to be kept sharp but they need to ground to angles that conforms to the design of the tool. Most workshops will have an array of files, hones, whetstones, low speed girders, high speed grinders and grinding wheels that run in water. Grinding wheels are made from aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, ceramic, diamond and cubic boron nitride. The point to all this is to show the large variety of choices and to go slow when you begin; work into these tools slowly. Best way is to make a friend of an experienced woodturner.

Most grinders for wood lathe tools use various jigs to grind the compound angles, the bowl gouge can be very challenging without a jig to control the angles. As an example; the simple scraper should be sharpened at about a 30 degree angle, if the tool is sharpened at a greater angle it becomes grabby and will cause gouges in your work. Many wood turners will use tools straight from the grinder because the wire edge on a sharp tool will leave a very fine cut on the wood.

All the lathes, tools and grinders the quality of your project ends up with pieces of simple sandpaper. There is a variety if sand paper made from different materials and coarseness. You can sand by hand, or use an electric sanders or pneumatic sanders. Be sure and consider dust collection, sanding will fill a shop with dust very quickly.

Woodturning is a fascinating art and I do not write this article to turn anybody off, quite the contrary. I like to see other people take up woodturning; I only hope to make your journey quicker and smoother. There are several woodturning projects with pictures that show how to make them and there are also some tech tips, all on my blog.

Source by Steven Nicholson

Medical Equipment Commonly Found in an Ambulance

As you know, paramedics can work in a number of different environments. If you decided to go into the ambulance service route, you may be wondering what type of medical equipment does an ambulance contain. Or, what type of medical equipment will you need to learn how to use. As a paramedic that works on an ambulance, you will use sophisticated equipment and tools, meant to provide basic life support (BLS) and advanced life support (ALS). Here are some of the types of medical equipment you can expect to find on an ambulance.

Ventilation and Airway Management Equipment: This includes supplies and equipment used to regulate airflow. Medical equipment meant for this can include portable and fixed oxygen apparatuses, tubes, masks, and bulb suction (for infants).

Monitoring and Defibrillation: Blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and stethoscopes will be used to monitor vital signs. Heart defibrillators, more commonly referred to as

Immobilization: To help stabilize a patient’s injuries, you will find equipment used to immobilize the injured individual, like splints and cervical collars. Bandages can be used to control bleeding. Backboards and immobilization devices for lower and upper extremities can also be found in an medical emergency services vehicle.

Obstetrical: In the event that emergency you’re responding to involves a pregnant individual, the ambulance will have equipment and supplies to aid in delivering a baby. Items include warm blankets, clamps, a heat source, and sterile utensils and gloves.

Infection Prevention: To ensure that you are able to work in a safe manner, the ambulance will contain medical supplies to help prevent the spread of infection. Items like shoe covers, gloves, masks, and disinfectant solution will be in the ambulance.

Injury Prevention: Restraints, a fire extinguisher, and protective helmets are some of the equipment that you will find on an ambulance to aid in preventing an injury.

At the Advanced Life Support level, an ambulance will contain all of the equipment for Basic Life Support in addition to more sophisticated equipment listed below.

Vascular Access: When emergency care requires penetration of the skin, an ambulance will contain needles of various sizes and types, as well as syringes and tourniquets.

Portable monitors/defibrillator and blood pressure devices are some additional advanced equipment that paramedics will make use of during an emergency medical situation requiring ALS care.

Medication: The medication that is in an ambulance will need to meet the requirements set by the American Heart Association’s Emergency Cardiac Care Committee. Types of medication you can expect to make use of while working in an ambulance include analgesics, antiepileptic medication, cardiovascular medicine, and sodium bicarbonate. By no means is this list inclusive of all of the medicine paramedic ambulances carry.

Extrication Equipment: In some instances, you may need to use some special tools to aid in extricating an individual. Extrication tools, tools that are aid in freeing or removing an injured person, can be used to disassemble, spread, cut, or pull. Disassembly tools can consist of wrenches, screwdrivers, and bolt cutters. Ropes, chains, and air bags are great tools to help pull. When material needs to be cut, saws and/or an air-cutting gun kit make help you get to your patient and free them from being trapped.

As you continue on your path towards becoming a paramedic, you will be thoroughly trained on all of the equipment that you will need to know how to use, so that you can be prepared to handle any and all emergency situations.

Source by Lawrence Thompson

Irish Cooking Equipment- 3 Popular Cooking Appliances

We all know that the Irish are famous for their pubs but what most of us do not know is about the wonderful meals Irish people serve. This is the magic blend of Irish cooking equipment and their recipes. One of the most popular Irish dish is the Irish stew. Usually slow cookers are used as the cooking equipment to cook most of the soups and stews. Along with cooking soups and stews these slow cookers can also be used to prepare entire meals. These slow cookers are very famous and can be seen in homes worldwide. Some of the popular Irish cooking equipment are:

1) Irish cooking equipment also includes a slow cooker as a typical appliance used to cook food. It is also referred as crock-pot. It resembles of a large pot is an electrical appliance. Various types of recipes may be cooked in this crock-pot such as meats, stews, soups etc…

You can find numerous magazines that has recipes that can be cooked using slow cookers. You can cook food that require different cooking times by adjusting its heat setting. Most of us have faced problems such as scorch or sticking in those traditional pot we used to use on stove but crock-pot does not have any such problems.

2) For fried food lovers, Irish recipes have so much to offer. You can use deep fryers as your cooking equipment for all such dishes. Although there are many other ways to prepare these dishes but deep fryer is known to be the easiest way for all these recipes. You can prepare any of these leading recipes such as sausage or bangers that need to be deep fried in hot grease.

Boxty, an Irish potato cake requires it to be deep fried in a deep fryer to be cooked. Just by frying this in a deep fryer you get a delicious dish and is not at all difficult.

3) Another famous Irish cooking equipment in its line up is a broiler. Broiling meat is the best way to prepare it deliciously. It is also known to be the most healthiest way to cook the food. It allows the meat to absorb juices which results in great taste and is very healthy. Therefore, juicy and tender meats are broiled using this Irish cooking equipment.

Most of the people imagine a green man who is running around, whenever we talk of Ireland. Ireland is a place you should visit. Local pubs are known to be the gathering place for great time. You can enjoy the place with your friends or family. Although Irish cooking equipment is there to serve you but you would also be endeavored with the fellowship and hospitality of this place. You can learn these Irish dishes and cook them using an Irish cooking equipment to impress your friends or family.

Source by Abhishek Agarwal