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Is anvil ringing bad for hearing?

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#21 son_of_bluegrass


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Posted 18 June 2011 - 01:41 PM

Hearing loss is dependent on loudness (measured in decibels) and duration. I believe the limit on loudness that is considered unsafe at any duration is 120 decibels. Generally speaking gunfire, within some distance from the gun, is louder than that. There are charts out there with estimates of how loud different noises are and charts for what duration is considered acceptable for a given loudness. Around 80 decibels is considered the point you need to wear hearing protection.

Here are some of the charts.

From this you may be able to estimate how loud your anvil is and the level of hearing protection that is needed.

Of course it isn't quite that simple. It is possible to lose hearing in specific frequencies from repeatedly being exposed to those frequencies. So if you listen to the anvil ring all day for years, you may find you can no longer hear that specific frequency.


#22 ianinsa


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Posted 19 June 2011 - 03:02 AM

I for one advocate the use of ear protection. I also don't always listen to my own advice!(I'm not sure that I can hear it! B) )
Having now seen that chart I should not go to ball games either?

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 02:22 AM

The rule of thumb I was given is ; if you are 2' away from someone, and you have to raise your voices to have a conversation, you need hearing protection. That is why I carry foamies with me everywhere I go now. I have been in many clubs, bars, venues, etc in Las Vegas where I put them in. I used to be somewhat self conscious about doing it, but no longer.

To answer the question about the shot string, my belief is it wouldn't matter how fast it was. Gunfire is just too loud, with a pistol being even worse due to the shorter distance of the muzzle to your ears.

Again, if you have ringing, you have done permanent, and irreversible damage to your ears.
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#24 Old N Rusty

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 08:39 AM

Permanent damage to my hearing began early with M80 firecrackers. Then as a M60 tank driver in Germany with a 105mm cannon directly over my head. It became worse. After I got out of green clothes, it was great fun to go on the bayou shooting snakes with a .44 mag. , more hearing loss. A career in heavy industry as a welder,with all the noises around. Hello, what did you say? speak up please! Oh it's my anvil ringing that causes my hearing loss, silly me, I thought it was the Little Giant 100. Even with ear plugs and ear fone protectors the vibrations go deep. I have my anvil firmly fixed , not because of the noise, crickets hush! but because any energy that moves the anvil when hammering is wasted energy. Those crickets! I know it was ROCK concerts. Not blacksmithing, couldn't be. What did you say?

#25 CurlyGeorge


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Posted 20 June 2011 - 09:04 AM

:blink: Dan, could you write a little louder, please? Danged crickets! :D
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#26 stuarthesmith


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Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:55 PM

stupid stuart has attenuated hearing because he scoffed as a young man at wearing ear protection......caveat emptor!
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#27 David Einhorn

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 01:19 PM

I usually carry a set of disposable foam 29 decibel ear plugs in my pocket every where I go. I buy them by the box.

#28 Nakedanvil - Grant Sarver

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 02:33 PM

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transform a yellow spot into the sun.” ~ Pablo Picasso ~

#29 WayneCoe


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Posted 07 December 2011 - 08:20 PM

I like a good heavy well welded 3 legged stand then caulk the anvil to the stand. You will be amazed how much that will dampen the sound. The stand is ridged and by making the anvil and stand one piece you have also increased the effective weight of the anvil.

#30 RandyScott


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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:07 AM

A lot of good info in the preceding posts... my loss is a result of an M80 detonating at arms length while looking at it, a motorcycle with no muffler, a big V8 with little if any muffler (back in the days of big iron), loud bands and a couple of years around F4's. In post #21 is a link to some really good info on sound and, if you scroll down, there is a chart of extra-loud sounds, up to 190 decibels. However, just stuffing your ears does not resolve the problem.

Sound is conveyed in two methods, via the ears and via bone. Ear plugs and ear muffs block the sound conveyed down the ear canal to the ear drum, via the hammer, anvil and stirrup and then into your cochlea. Bone, your skull, conveys the sound directly to your cochlea as the cochlea is encased in bone. The cochlea converts that energy into an electrical signal to your brain which interprets that signal to be a certain sound. Long term exposure to sound damages the 15,000 - 30,000 hairs in your cochlea to the point they cannot generate a signal.. therefore no sound perceived by the brain. So it is true! if you have profound hearing loss and a tree falls in the forest, it does not make a sound.. that you can hear!

Long term exposure over a certain level is cumulative and irreversible. The higher the decibel level, the shorter the time till damage has occurred. Extra high decibel level exposure can instantly and permanently damage your hearing. Most of the ear plugs I see only reduce the decibel level approx 30 decibels. so if you are shooting high power rifles with a wad of cotton in your ears, you still are receiving approx 120 decibels into the cochlea and damage will occur. Same is true in an industrial environment, or with anvils, or large power hammers.

Deaden sound as best possible, wear hearing protection, and get your hearing checked.

Also, if you have kids make sure their electronic devices can limit the amount of sound put into the ear buds, some of them can put huge amounts of sound out and they will have hearing loss in their early twenties.
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#31 Woody


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Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:35 PM

see this link to the OSHA Noise Standard http://www.osha.gov/...dards&p_id=9735 it is not only the loudness of the noise, any noise, but also the amount of time one is exposed to it. The louder it is, the less exposure time it takes to damage hearing. Hearing protection should be worn any time the noise level is over 85 db. Remember to check the db level of the hearing protection. That is the amount of sound over the acceptable level that the device will protect you from. Surprisingly enough, cheap foam ear plugs usually have a higher rating than more expensive ear muffs.
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