Great idea! I wrote up a similar safety guide for part of a prop-making tutorial last year, and I think it's something that there is a definite need for in the cosplay community. If your project ends up online, please post a link, and I'd be happy to publicize it in my panels and workshops.
TheFontBandit wrote:A suggestion for one of the things that might be added to the construction section - respiratory safety and materials. It doesn't seem to come up quite as much in cosplay as another hobby I'm involved in (ball-jointed-doll customization), but people really need to read the labels on any sprays/sealants/paints/glues/epoxies that they're using and wear masks as recommended. Also when sanding down certain materials.
Most things aren't going to require a full-on respirator, but those little disposable white face masks are cheap and can really help save your lungs, depending on what you're working with.
^ Seconded -- with the strong suggestion of respirators and ventilation systems. This is something I always try to stress in my prop-construction workshops, especially for the following materials:
- Extruded polystyrene foam (a.k.a. blue or pink insulation foam, a popular prop-making material) breaks down into a fine particulate when cut or sanded, and it is EXTREMELY dangerous to breathe. As in, it causes pulmonary fibrosis, tissue damage and various types of cancer. A particulate-grade respirator is mandatory when working with this material.
- Resins (particularly polyester resin) emit toxic fumes for up to 99 years after hardening, even after the initial odor has faded. Not only does this make your house smell bad, but it will poison your pet canary and kill your brain cells. Resin casting is a good outdoor
- The process of sanding resin produces a fine plastic powder which will tear up the tissues of your nasal passages and lungs if you inhale it. See above re: mandatory respirator use!
Also, are you covering eye and ear protection? Safety goggles and foam earplugs are a must-have for working with power tools or certain chemicals. I think many cosplayers, coming at construction from the side (as it were), have never had the opportunity to learn proper safety protocol around tools. That might be another area to cover in greater detail, if you have the time/space to do so.