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Dust Concerns

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Evan Pearson, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. Evan Pearson

    Evan Pearson

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    Hello! I'm brand new to turning; thank you for accepting me in to the forum! I know this topic is discussed in many places but I'd very much appreciate some direct feedback. I'll try not to be too long-winded here.

    I recently became interested in turning so I took a class at the local WoodCraft and I loved it! I started researching and watching videos and decided to go for it, so I'm planning to set up a lathe work area in my garage soon.

    However, I bought the AAW Woodturning book for beginners and as I read through the section about dust, I started to feel very worried. The book brings up concerns like asthma, cancer, skin issues, fire, and even explosion. And it basically just says make sure to collect the dust and be careful. I have two toddlers and I really started feeling worried that this hobby would effect them if dust comes in the house on my skin or clothes, ends up in their bath water from my showering, or sneaks in the house through the air. The worry is at the point that I've been thinking at times I should scrap this idea and return my equipment while it's still in the box.

    I bought a 1-micron ceiling-mounted dust air filter which I'll run during and after each time at the lathe and I'll wear a good respirator. I'm planning to wall off a small area for the lathe with simple plywood to keep dust from going all through the garage on other tools and the kids' toys. There is no window in the garage but there's a door to the back yard close by to this area. I wasn't going to get a dust collector at this point as I'm trying to keep the cost down.

    My two questions: 1-With a separated area, the air filter, and knowing this is a hobby I won't have much time for, how important would a dust collector that mounts to the lathe be? 2-With basic precautions will this be a safe hobby for my kids? I'm more concerned about them than about myself.

    Thank you all!
     
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  2. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    As far as collection goes, you have two of three bases covered. Point source collection, at the lathe or where ever you sand, is very important.
    By having a dust collection hose or collector by the lathe you will collect a high percentage of the dust you generate. The air cleaner will help get the rest.
    The respirator ( along with a face shield ) are just good common sense when engaging in dust creation.
    Think about a 2 stage collector with a good filter media, not filter bags.

    As far as the kids go, for a variety of reasons, it might be best to keep them from the dust until they are old enough to wear the protective gear and safely use the equipment if they are interested.
    I usually have a set of clothes for shop and house and at the very least vacuum my clothes before going into the living areas for any length of time.

    The dangers of wood ( or stone, etc ) dust are, for most people, a long term issue.
    Some people have reactions to various types of wood dust. Some are noted for their irritant properties.
    It is always a good idea to have an idea of what kind of material you are working with. Wood, finishes, solvents, etc.
    A couple of times I have found out after the fact that a wood had unpleasant properties.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    First put your mind at ease but continue to keep your safe-guards in place.

    With rare exceptions wood dust is not toxic. Some individuals develop allergic reactions to some woods - especially to the wood dust. A very few species of trees are toxic.

    The danger from wood dust is breathing the airborne particles which can potentially cause various lung and sinus deseases. Or exacerbate existing conditions. A hobby Turner is unlikely to have enough exposure to cause any problems.
    Those with allergies to a species of wood often have reactions to skin contact with dust, sap, shavings.

    Wearing a respirator and collecting the dust at the source or evacuating the dust from the shop virtually eliminates the risk of o much exposure.

    It is rare that an unprotected hobby woodturner will breath enough dust to cause illness.
    However why be that rare individual.
    Also the effects of wood dust like many other hazzards in our environment tend to be cumulative.

    Breath enough wood dust you will likely get sick. Breathing small amounts of dust infrequently probably won’t hurt you. I rarely wear breathing protection when turning green wood because there is very little dust. I almost always wear a respirator when turning or sanding dry wood.
    When I demo I don’t wear a respirator - its a small exposure. Also in demos I do what I can to not produce dust.

    A good comparison example is mercury poisoning. I live in Florida. All of our freshwater lakes have mercury at various levels. Mercury is primarily from burning coal. The department of natural resources published recommended limits for human consumption for each species of fish. Those at the top of the food chain get the most mercury. The mercury builds up in the body. The body has some capacity to rid itself of mercury.
    If we stop putting mercury into the lakes it will eventually drop to levels not requiring dietary limits. To connect back to wood turning the Florida woodturning Symposium is on the shores of Lake Yale. 7B13C436-B2F7-4D51-A913-8777070AEBE5.jpeg

    You may be too young to remember when lead was added to gasoline. Then they figured out we were poisoning ourselves with lead. Same sort of thing except we have to breath air eating fish is a choice. Breathing wood dust is a choice.

    The bottom line is repeated exposure to hazardous materials build up in the body.
    Achnif us can tolerate different levels of materials.
    Get too much and the body gets sick.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  4. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    You have gotten some good advise from Al and Mark. Dust sensitivity is something you do not know until you get one. I have heard of some people allergic to cherry and have two in our club allergic to Chinese Tallow. These are usually allergic rhinitis or sinus allergies. Protective clothing and breathing protection does it for most people. Stick with domestic wood to start with and that will reduce risk, also there are charts for toxicity risk if you want to see that.
    Dust collection is essential for the long run. It will do little good for the turning but is a must when sanding starts. For this you could start with a shop vac or single stage dust collector. As Mark gave you an idea for a best case system it is also a big investment as most turning tools are also a big investment.
    At any rate welcome to the crew and do not let these concerns scare you off just be prepared. Do not hesitate to ask and you will get many different sides of the question answered.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  5. Evan Pearson

    Evan Pearson

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    Thank you all very much! It helps a lot to get some level-headed information. The cost and size of a 2-stage collector is not feasible for me at this time, but I'm looking at some more basic options now.

    I've also looked for info on fire safety around dust, but I have really only found articles about commercial environments. I know I'll be working around relatively small amounts of dust, but what are the fire risks in a home hobby setup? My mind firstly goes to the bench grinder.
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the AAW forum, Evan.

    The main concern is breathing fine dust. If nothing else, breathing dust while sanding dry wood can cause a sinus reaction that is similar to hay fever. Use a high quality dust mask rated at least N95 ... a mask that is rated N100 or P100 would be even better.

    Tropical woods like rosewood are more likely to cause allergic reactions. Most domestic woods are OK. Blow or vacuum all the dust off yourself before going in the house and it will help to maintain domestic tranquility. Also keep your shop clean and you should be fine.

    When I am sanding I have the shop vac hose tied to the tool rest so that it is only a couple inches from where I am sanding. This probably collects 95% of the dust. It's nice to have a big dust collector, but you can get by with a good shop vac if you make sure to place the hose very close to the work.
     
  7. Evan Pearson

    Evan Pearson

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    Thank you! I do have a shop vac and I looked at those cyclone-style separators that attach to the vac, but I'm thinking I'd be better off with a basic bag-style collector. It'd probably put my mind more at ease.
     
  8. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    I worked with a shop vac collector for years.
    I bought a HEPA style filter element for the shop vac and a small trash can lid separator to catch the chips and chunks.
    A bit noisy, and the nozzle has to be a bit closer to the work. It did the job at a very reasonable cost
    Bag style collectors are ok with the high quality bags. Their rated filter size ( microns ) is usually for a 'loaded bag'.
    That is, the bag has built up dust on the inside that aids the filter process. Before they 'load up' they leak fine dust.
    The really fine dust is the bad stuff. The advantage of the pleated canister filter elements is that they start at the rated size.
    Unless you have a leak in your collection system the dust stays in the collector ( until you dump it, which can be quite a mess if you are not careful ).
     
  9. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Good advice from all. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Woodturning.
     
  10. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Your question on dust explosion or fire is one many ask. As far as I know and anything I have read on that subject : there are no recorded incidents of home shop explosion due to dust. to get an environment that would cause explosive risk the air would have to be full of dust to the point of whiteout and a spark would have to occur at that time. This is what happens in grain elavators but there you may be talking about 20-45 minutes of shifting grain. Home shop will not produce that concentration. Now as to fire if you use DC on a metal grinder and get a spark into sawdust there have been fires that smoldered for hours before ignition. So for this be careful and do not let metal objects (screws and small tools ) get sucked into the DC as when the metal hits the suction fan a spark could be created.
     
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  11. Bill T Tucker

    Bill T Tucker

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    This is a very knowledgeable crowd who have shared many good suggestions. They are right, the very fine dust that you can't see causes the most concern, especially metal dust from grinding tools. There was a guy that put a large fan behind him and opened the garage door whenever sanding or turning dry wood (not very popular with the neighborhood HOA). Then there are turners that sand at very low speed, usually reverse, with cloth backed sandpaper dipped in mineral oil. All of this is just an illustration that this is an inventive bunch with 101 ways to solve every problem so feel free to try your approach. If it seems to work, tell us about it. Most importantly...Welcome!
     
  12. Alex Leibowitz

    Alex Leibowitz

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    how does a 3m Versaflow compare to the Sundstrom SR 500?
     
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    There are numerous configurations of both the 3M Versaflo series and the Sundstrom respirators so you would need to know what specific configurations of each to compare. The SR500 is only the part worn on the waist that contains the fan, filters, and battery. You might want to consider the SR700 instead which is for particles only and probably costs less although the SR700 has lower air flow. There are numerous options for the headgear and the SR540 headgear is somewhat comparable to the Versaflo units except that it is not a full helmet and lacks side protection unlike the Versaflo that I have.

    The SR500 blower has two speeds ... Standard delivers up to 6.2 CFM and Maximum delivers up to 8.5 CFM. My Versaflo helmet is being used with a BreatheEasy turbo unit and when used together is rated at a minimum of 10 CFM. The BreatheEasy turbo unit is bulky compared to other options, but it can be used with a number of different filters whereas the Versaflo blower unit is for HEPA particulate filters only.

    The Australian certification standards are different from US standards so it would be impossible to say how the impact and filtration test results line up against each other, but I assume they are reasonably close.

    I was able to put my system together for a fraction of the retail price by perusing eBay and everything was new. Here is a long thread about the Versaflo M-407 and the BreatheEasy turbo unit that would be worth reading if you are thinking about the Versaflo. The only reason that I bought the M-407 was the great price ... otherwise the M-200 series or M-300 series would be my choice.
     
  14. Brad Winesett

    Brad Winesett

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    I use a wet grinder for my sharpening. No chance of sparking with a continuous water bath. I use the Grizzly version of the Tormek, much more reasonably priced. I do use the Tormek jigs though.
     
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  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome, Brad.
     
  16. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    I have a lung condition, unrelated to dust, but dust can aggravate it. For a year or two, I simply wheeled my lathe outdoors and turned, standing slightly upwind. letting the breeze take the dust away. Another system, in more temperate climates, is to simply use a box fan behind the lathe in a window and exhaust it out doors. Something I have also done in nicer weather. I used a shop vac for a bit and then got a dust collector. It seems a bit cumbersome but it works much better.
     
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  17. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes

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    I'm still formulating the set up in my brain but dust has been a concern for me as well. My shop has no windows and only one way in and one way out in a 12x8 room with an 8 foot ceiling. There is an ac unit that the previous owner placed in the wall, however I rarely use it. I have considered the idea of having a movable lathe to take outside but that seem so cumbersome and I feel would take a good bit of enjoyment out of the process if I had to drag a 300lb hunk of metal over a threshold each time I wanted to turn. I like the box fan idea, let me pose another question in regards to dust collectors. Someone mentioned the hassle of emptying the bags when it comes time, would it be considerable to simply run the collection hose out of the door and allow it to "return" to nature or will this make a wonderful mess and coat half the neighborhood in wood dust? I want to be a considerate neighbor just a bit ignorant as to how much dust will truly be produced.
     
  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Joshua, my lathe is around 800 pounds and I roll it outdoors because the dust and shavings would be intolerable if I used it in my garage. I have a set of wheels that I put on the lathe to move it and then remove them once it is positioned on the driveway apron. I use a Harbor Freight trolley jack to install and remove the wheels.

    Dealing with dust indoors is a big issue, but outdoors it isn't. I use a big scoop to pick up the shavings on the driveway.
     
  19. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes

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    Perhaps a mobile lathe is something I need to reconsider then, I think I would greatly enjoy turning outside rather than in a cooped up shop. I have a covered open air carport that would be perfect rain or shine and I live on a hill, what I couldn't sweep up I'm sure the pressure washer could take care of. Thanks for the input Bill.
     
  20. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Also, I have my small Jet mini lathe on a Harbor Freight hydraulic cart so I can roll it around and raise and lower it to the desired height. When it is parked in the garage I have it lowered so that I can step over it to get to my garden tools.

    Here's me turning out on the driveway. I still need dust protection since my nose is still very close to the source of the dust.

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes

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    Your wisdom is making me smile Bill. Laying my cards on the table I'm heavily considering the JET 1221. My main goals are to turn bowls and indian clubs. Most indian clubs from my experience in using them are usually 15 to 20" which the 1221 can accommodate. I'm really liking your idea of turning outdoors and I've spent the last hour searching the internet for mobile lathe stands, I had not considered a hydraulic cart, my shop sits behind my carport which is where the lathe will be stored so it's about a 20ft travel distance to where I would be turning across pavers. I'd like to see your set up when you have time to snap a pic of it, certainly no rush as I'm still very much in the planning and research stage of this endeavor. One more question regarding the cart, I've read a lot of advice about vibration and having a stable platform, I assume this works for your needs? I'm also favoring this idea because it would allow quick adjustment for different height users should my wife or family members wish to turn.
     
  22. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Note that @Bill Boehme ‘s neighbor has erected an orange debris barrier. Was it for wood chips?
    :)

    Another method of moving a lathe is using trailer jack wheels. These are cheap and a few cranks gets it off the floor.

    Our club lathe has a trailer jack on one end and a set of wheels on a hinge on the other end.
    A lever lifts the two wheel end to Flip the wheels
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  23. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    our club bought this for our Jet and it works very well.
    http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Mer...ode=packard&Category_Code=lathes-acc-mob-lift

    For our One Way it was not no easy . Considered the One Way wheels but meant we would have to get on the floor to set up. Ended up getting fixed casters and then blocking the lathe up when turning to eliminate vibration. Considered Al's idea also for this lathe. If you do that do not jack it up too high as lathe may tip.
     
  24. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Harbor Freight has two sizes of hydraulic carts. I have two of the larger heavier carts ... one for my Jet mini and the other for my miter saw. They are very sturdy and I've never had a vibration problem.
     
  25. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The neighbor was doing an HGTV caliber remodeling project with walls torn down, floors ripped up, and all new kitchen appliances. My contribution to the debris field was inconsequential. :)
     
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  26. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes

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    I like the idea of having retractable wheels similar to that of the trailer jack which would allow the stand to sit on the ground when fully retracted. I saw some levered castors at rockler earlier today and they may be a bit more fluid in use. I'm still figuring. Thank you all for your help and ideas.
     
  27. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Joshua I think those casters at Rockler are only rated at 100# each for a total of 400. Not the best thing to have wheels so close to the weight of the item to be moved.
     
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  28. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes

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    @Gerald Lawrence acknowledged sir, I had not considered that detail. Good insight.
     
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  29. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    Pneumatic tires or semi hard tires will roll over small rocks and imperfections better.
    Most of my shop is on one sort of wheeled device or another.
    On cement all is easy, once I hit the threshold of the garage and the asphalt takes over not so much.
    Those little rocks can bring things to a halt, or change the direction of travel of the harder wheels.
     
  30. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes

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    Yep! Mark I was thinking the same thing regarding the rubber tires. I've decided the mobile stand is the way to go even if I end up doing a DIY version, which I think will be better as it will afford me the ability to tailor it to my size. Again much appreciation for the insight.
     
  31. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Just wanted to address the question of venting DC to the outside. A lot of people do itand leave the cleanup to nature, but you want a reasonable distance to your next door neighbor.
    But, if I had the option, i.e. climate, I would turn outside.
    You might be able to build a ramp for your workshop threshhold to mitigate the bump, or if it's not essential, remove the threshold entirely.
     
  32. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    FYI - I used 2 Portamate PM-2500 bases to put wheels under my Nova Galaxi. I used the swivel castor ends of each base, connecting the plates together across each end of the lathe legs. Used some of the remaining steel rails to bolt the plates to the legs. The swivel castors raise and lower. Both ends raise and swivel, and there are no rails in the way along the length of the lathe. Castors are 3". Lathe rests on the corner plates, and then height adjusting bolts with rubber heads rest on the floor. These bases are rated for 650 lbs.
     
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  33. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Do you have a picture? I'm not following how the "remaining steel rails" were used.
     
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  34. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    Pics do help a lot. These were in correct orientation when loaded.

    IMG_1937.JPG


    IMG_1939.JPG


    IMG_1936.JPG


    IMG_1938.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2019
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  35. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I straightened the last two images. If you took the picture with your phone, mobile device, or many P&S cameras and you have the screen orientation locked (or maybe it's the other way around ... I forget) the result is confusion over which way is up. Anyway, you can experiment to see if changing that setting fixes the problem.
     
  36. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    Yes I figured that was it. Is there a way to rotate the picks in the message editor, or were you able to do it as a moderator?
     
  37. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I just did it on. My computer using GIMP (free software).
     
  38. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    I downloaded the pics from my iphone to pc, then used the microsoft pic editor to rotate, saved, then uploaded to here from the pc. I guess it didnt change the original file metadata?
     
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  39. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I noticed that some picture editing software is devious. GIMP, for instance, has rotation in two different menu places. One is under View that only rotates the image for viewing on the screen, but doesn't actually change the file. There is a different rotate for changing the file.
     
  40. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I have had that problem and it seems that turning the pic in software (windows or picasa ) only turns it for you view and when it is posted goes back to origibal orientation. Wonder if cropping the photo after turning would work?
     

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