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  1. #1
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Pitching in to make simple surgical-style face masks

    We've started to manufacture simple, reusable, washable/dryable surgical masks in our Seattle factory to be part of the nationwide mask-making effort. More here: https://www.tombihn.com/blogs/main/masks-ppe or read below.

    Pitching in to make simple surgical-style face masks-mask-made-seattle-4-jpg

    UPDATE: We are now at our capacity to manufacture simple, reusable, washable/dryable surgical-style face masks in our Seattle factory.

    Please note: these are not medical-grade masks. We’re a backpack factory and we’re making masks as part of the mask-making effort due to the shortage of surgical masks and other PPE (personal protective equipment) that our healthcare community is facing.

    The masks we are able to make are simple cotton surgical masks that can be washed, dried, and reused. They can be worn by those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or over N95s in an effort to extend their life. Make no mistake: what we’re making is not first rate medical equipment — but we do hope they will help in the situations in which their use is appropriate.

    All of this is evolving and changing very quickly. We’ll post updates as often as we can.

    The mask pictured was patterned by Kaas as part of the "1 Million Masks" effort. If you're a manufacturer or home sewer and want to help make masks, please follow the link above.
    Last edited by Darcy; 03-23-2020 at 02:23 PM.
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    And just for you guys, since you know us and all: Nik came up with this mask design which I thought was very clever but likely not as useful as the basic tie-strap design. Still, I thought you would all want to see it...

    This design allows one to use rubber bands to secure the mask around the ears. The mask can still be washed/dryed if the rubber bands are removed; just add new rubber bands after it's laundered. Note the hardware he used Smilie

    Pitching in to make simple surgical-style face masks-nik-rubberband-mask-jpg
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post

    As a small business in Seattle that provides solid wages and benefits, we must consider the cost of making these masks — both labor and materials — and while of course we would not make or take a profit, wages and materials are not insignificant costs. We are considering options to fundraise to help pay for the masks we donate directly to healthcare workers.
    At the very least a Go Fund Me or PayPal to start so we can chip in Smilie
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  4. #4
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    This is great. Thank you for doing this.

  5. #5
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    @Darcy , this is amazing (and I love the mask with rubber bands).

    I don't know if this is a good fit for your team, but there is a PPE clearinghouse project started recently, with more info here: https://www.projectn95.com/.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  6. #6
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    As a suggestion, though this might be extra work to set this up, if it were possible to add a link in the purchases for mask donations, perhaps making them in increments of 10, I imagine many people would be willing to donate funds towards mask purchases for health care workers. For simplicity, they could even be done as $1 per mask if that is easier. Sort of the same spirit as the cranes where proceeds went to charity. While I can only speak for myself, I would certainly be willing to purchase some masks that would be donated by Tom Bihn to medical staff.

    Thank you for shifting your production efforts to such a worthy cause.

    ETA: To clarify, I meant fund masks that Tom Bihn would directly donate based upon requests received from health care staff.
    Last edited by NWhikergal; 03-23-2020 at 08:26 AM.
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

  7. #7
    Forum Member xyppy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    At the very least a Go Fund Me or PayPal to start so we can chip in Smilie
    Or can you do something like the donation cranes in a variety of donation amounts? Make them donation masks where the donor doesn't receive anything but the warmth in their heart for donating?
    Spring

  8. #8
    Registered User kewlguy919's Avatar
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    I freaking love this idea, it makes me so happy to see this happening state-side Smilie

  9. #9
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    Yes to all of this. Keep us posted on how we can help.

  10. #10
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    I think it would be worthwhile to have a lab test what size particles (microns?) can get through the materials you are thinking about using. People who might wear the masks for protection, or for protecting others, need to know that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Navy View Post
    I think it would be worthwhile to have a lab test what size particles (microns?) can get through the materials you are thinking about using. People who might wear the masks for protection, or for protecting others, need to know that.
    You have a good point.
    I believe what TB and home crafters are doing falls under this until/unless they get the proper materials:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...ace-masks.html

    "HCP use of homemade masks:
    In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face."

    I have a quilting friend in Maine who's making masks as part of on-line group, for that 'under the faceshield' purpose. He daughter is in the medical system there... their hospital is accepting them as 'just in case/backup' supplies.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by G42 View Post
    You have a good point.
    I believe what TB and home crafters are doing falls under this until/unless they get the proper materials:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019...ace-masks.html

    "HCP use of homemade masks:
    In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face."

    I have a quilting friend in Maine who's making masks as part of on-line group, for that 'under the faceshield' purpose. He daughter is in the medical system there... their hospital is accepting them as 'just in case/backup' supplies.
    Please define "HCP" and "PPE". Don't want any misunderstandings on this topic!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Go Navy View Post
    Please define "HCP" and "PPE". Don't want any misunderstandings on this topic!
    Sorry, it's in the full CDC post

    Healthcare Personnel
    Personal Protective Equipment
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  14. #14
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    Just a thought, but what about making a mask that takes .3 micron filters that are widely available? .3 micron filtering is what makes something N95 from what I understand.

    You could coat the mask so only air went through the filter insert.

    I happened to find these filters on Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/Synthetic-Fil...07&sr=8-9&th=1

  15. #15
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/...ce-mask-virus/

    (It references a university study which compares the level of protection offered by a variety of materials.)

    And at the end of this article there are some other studies mentioned:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cloth-Face-Mask/


    Quote Originally Posted by Go Navy View Post
    I think it would be worthwhile to have a lab test what size particles (microns?) can get through the materials you are thinking about using. People who might wear the masks for protection, or for protecting others, need to know that.

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