Here's my contribution to the safety discussion. Some of you have probably
heard me harp on the hazards of organic solvents before. At least partly
as a result of careless but casual exposure in the past, I have developed
an allergy to solvents. This is not only a long-term health worry, but
it's a real pain and seriously limits my enjoyment of several of my
Here are my suggestions on how to avoid getting sensitized to solvents:
1) Wear an OSHA-approved mask with solvent filters whenever you work
with anything containing solvents, even outside. That means staining
the deck as well as cleaning car parts. I won't even apply touch-up
paint without my mask.
2) Don't use hand cleaners containing solvents. Almost all of the
hand cleaners on the market do. Solvents are absorbed through the
skin. I now use something called "Fast Orange" from Permatex.
Works great, smells good, no solvents.
3) Don't even think about painting a car yourself unless you *and everyone
else involved* are wearing a respirator. In fact, I wouldn't do it
again under any circumstances. The amounts of stuff involved are
just too large.
4) Wear disposable gloves when working with epoxy or polyester resins
(including body filler.)
As for TerriAnn's question about avoiding getting solvents on your skin
when cleaning parts, I don't know a good answer. It's possible that
disposable gloves might work for some cleaners, but some would probably
eat the gloves. Has anyone tried this?
What are generally usable jack points for older cars? I usually
figure that anywhere under the frame of a separate-frame car is fair
game. I know people often put a floor jack under the differential.
Are there other standard points which are usually safe (both for the
car and for the worker) to place a jack or jackstand?