Christopher Schwarz has commenced his annual “Anarchist’s Gift Guide” on his PWM blog, and though he and I have many of the same tools, products, likes and dislikes (he is, after all, my mentor), there are some things by which I swear that he’s unlikely to mention.
So over the next two weeks(ish), I’ll offer here 12 things I can’t live without, – items that would make great gifts for the woodworkers on your list (or to share with the non-woodworkers on your list so you end up with good stuff).
First up, the Elipse P100 Dust Mask. Yeah, the spelling of “Elipse” bugs me, but that’s the only thing I don’t like about this 3/4 face mask.
I bought this mask for use in the shop, because I get sore throats when I’m exposed to fine-particle sawdust – even one cut at the table saw sans mask (and yes the dust-collection kicks on automatically) leaves me needing a cup of tea with honey and a nap. So I always don my Elipse when using power tools of any kind.
But recently, I’ve been wearing this mask for hours-long stretches during my bathroom remodel project at home, which (so far) has involved taking down plaster walls and ceilings, taking up old flooring and –the horror! – finding black mold on the sub-floor in several areas. I feel much better for not having breathed any of that in. (If you care to read/see more about that, take a look at my personal blog or Instagram feed.)
The mask comes in two sizes (mine is the “Standard”), has replaceable filters, doesn’t fog my glasses and is comfortable to wear for at least 3 hours at a time. Accordingly to the manufacturer, it filters 99.97 percent of airborne particles (for those without facial hair), is highly resistant to oil, and is latex and silicone free.
I can’t praise this dust mask highly enough for the comfort and protection it delivers.
— Megan Fitzpatrick
P.S. I believe the price is slightly less at Amazon, but I love Highland Woodworking and prefer dealing with people I know (and can easily get in touch with via phone or email if need be). So the link above takes you to Highland.