elkdoc

Safety glasses for forging...

Recommended Posts

Hey folks, first post here! :D

Just wondering what type of safety glasses y'all are wearing? I've just got regular safety glasses now, but I'm looking for some tinted ones with a design that I like. Fire is mesmerizing, ya know!

Seems like I remember seeing some purple-tinted specs one time. That'd be cool, as I don't mind looking like a hippie :wink: However, safety first, and if they don't protect, then what's the use?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allright... After some more research it seems that didymium safety glasses are out. Looks like they're in pretty widespread use but it appears that they don't offer the IR protection we probably need. I'd hat to bake my eyeballs! :shock:

Looks like it's back to good ol' green lenses. Hate that stuff, but whatcha gonna do? :roll:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wear normal safety glasses. No tint. For me the reason I want plain glass is to be able to distinguish the colors of the heat in the metal. I only look into the fire when forge weldeing. And even then it is peeking in and looking over the fire for sparks.

No matter what you decide just as long as you wear them! :mrgreen:

Peyton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wear clear Safety Glasses and use the 1/2 size clip-on welding glasses that I bought from Centaur a few years ago. They don't sell them anymore... they sell some didydiddlesomething clip-ons for $127. However, you can go here and see what I'm talking about:

http://www.fendall.com/fendall/products/eyewear/filterlens_mn.html

The only place I could find on the internet that sells them now is here:

http://www.waleapparatus.com/categories/eyewear.asp

Click on "Shaded Glass Clip-on Flip-ups"

They are a bit salty, but I've been using the same pair for at least 6 years and they are still fine. The reason I like them is because you can ease them up or down depending on how much you are looking in the fire, and as you bring stuff out of the fire, you can clearly see from the bottom half of your glasses.... more if you have them flipped up slightly. I've worn them on my prescription glasses and clear safety glasses. I can take them off when I'm not forging. They are much easier to get used to than bifocals. :D

One thing to be careful of... the springs are wire and will scratch the glass if you aren't careful with them. Since I have dedicated safety glasses for forging, it doesn't make any difference to me.

You have to get used to the tinted glass masking the real color of the pieces coming up to heat, but it was easy enough to adjust to that. What I particularly like is being able to look into the fire and bring stuff out of the fire without having a blind spot from the glare just as I'm trying to forge weld.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted this today over on Forge Magic -

Speaking of normal blindness, I had to have cataract surgery when I was 42. Although I have also spent many hours outside in the sun, the doc said the IR in the fire likely contributed and that he had read many older smiths went blind before the surgery was available. Something to consider when you are staring at a bright fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check the OSHA Regulations, they specify the specific shade rating for various welding applications. I would choose eye protection that had a shade rating a little lower than what is considered safe for A/O welding/braising for protecton from IR radiation from a forge fire. Perhaps a good solution would be clear safety glasses with a tinted flip up full face shield. Just make sure that the face shiled is rated for A/O welding and not just tinted plastic. Just because it is tinted does not mean it is rated.

Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May have been about 40 years ago I got a piece of steel in my dominant eye. I let it go a couple of days until it got a nice layer of rust around it. The Dr. said the best course of treatment was for him to clean the area with a high speed rotary grinder, (dremel?) Althought the area was numb from meds I was absolutely terrified. All went well and I have no visual loss from the injury. However I do have an almost paranoia from the incident. I wonder if the injury caused blindness what I would have done throughout life as a result of my not wearing protection while grinding. In the chat room I have heard others relate similiar tales. I feel very strongly that as a smithing community we should look out after each other in this area and not feel offended if someone offers a pair of glasses or a full face shield when we are about to put our vision at risk. If you visit my shop you will get the offer for sure. Pictures of events on here recently reminded me of the need. Work safe and get on with life with both eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point Rich (pun??? all pointy objects in the eye must be a BAD point). I must say that I do wear safety glasses in my shop most all the time, and since I wear glasses almost always, they do function as eye protection to some extent.

I was recentely told that I will need safety glasses to start instruction under the smith at Ardenwood Historical Farm. The smith had some great old vintage safety glasses on, and being that I like old and vintage things, I had to ask him about them. He told me if I was to go on ebay and do a search on vintage safety glasses, I would find many, many hits...which I did, and found a clean pair which I'm waiting to arrive.

I'm am content to take the time to make sure I do this craft in a safe, and workable environment, because not only my eyes, but I want to function in life with all my fingers and toes if possible. I'm sure there might be some reason why folks feel that safety glasses are not important, such as getting fogged up or covered with smoke and preventing you from seeing, but see those exceptions as always being present. For the majority of work I can't imagine how wearing safety glasses could be bad.

In some ways I think I'm fortunate the smith is requiring me to be safe, and I hope it places the proper values into me so that I won't do something stupid, and possibly end up without an eye or similar.

Thanks for reminding us.;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Rich and Alan
great that you picked up this point! I am wearing pretty much all the time some eye protection, even in summer if it is very dissapointing to clean the lenses (inside because of sweat) each couple of minutes. But - this is allways better then to risk to get some objects "burned into the eye".
To end up here some thoughts: We have many pair of glasses, but only one of our own eyes! All the Best to all of you, kind Regards, Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have had the unfortunate experience of a piece of steel removed from my eye. It happened while I was wearing safety glasses. I was replacing some boards in my patio deck using an electric drill to drive the deck screws. the screwdriver bit spun out on the head of a screw and ripped out pieces of metal. One went under my safety glasses and imbedded itself in my eye. The point here is safety glasses are not enough in many instances. They are made to protect the eyes from a foreign object that is coming at the eye at close to a 90 degree angle. Objects can come in from the bottom and the sides. Take a close look at what you are doing, a full face shield or goggles may be in order.

woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a related topic, I have read a recommendation that I wear #2 or #3 shaded glasses when looking into a forge at full heat (fire welding temperature). I wear corrective lenses, and I was wondering ... do you order these from your local eye-glass maker, or do you special order them?

By the way, I have read (and I believe) that sun glasses don't help, and actually HURT your eyes, as your eyes dilate. Common sun glasses protect against UVA and maybe UVB, but do not shield against infra-red light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm quite nearsighted and am wearing bifocals now to boot; but I *ALWAYS* wear safety glasses as my regular prescription glasses are safety glasses, yup even got the little "S" in the lenses.

Funny thing, getting safety glasses turned out to be *cheaper* than getting "regular" glasses and the style was just what I've been wearing for years.

I do advocate a shield on top of the safety glasses as I am paranoid about my eyes! (every time folks suggest I get contacts or laser surgery I drag out old pairs of glasses and show them the scratches, chips and burns on them and remark how it was so much nicer to have them on the glasses rather than my eyes!)

Thomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lost the vision in my right eye when I was 20 years old in the Navy from a gun breach exploding.

I have no depth perception now and it took me about 5 years to be able to tell the size of steel from a distance. I don't play baseball or things like that as I have no idea where the ball is when it gets about 20 feet from me. I also don't try to catch things that are thrown to me for the same reason.

You don't appreciate what you have till you loose part or all of it. Then its too late.

But I have always worn safety glasses when working mostly. I have had many many foreign objects removed from my eyes over the years and it always happened when I was wearing safety glasses, as the object evidently it near the bottom or side of the glasses, bounced and hit the inside of the lenses and then zap right into my eye. I can't stand a face sheild but it is a good thing to wear as it also protects your tender widdle face. LOL

I sweat quite easily and a lot so I use those tennis or sport elastic head bands to keep the sweat from getting onto my glasses. sometimes I have to remove and squeeze out the sweat every 20 minutes or so. My wife found some black ones, whooppee, they don't show the dirt like a white one. I have one in each vehicle and a couple in the house for use when mowing etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To fairly closely quote our dear late friend Jim Wilson, "You can walk with a plastic leg, you can grasp with a plastic arm. But, you cannot see with a plastic eye".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim:

There was quite a discussion on the subject of eye protection for forging a while back on Anvilfire. You might do a search of the archives there.

Woody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To fairly closely quote our dear late friend Jim Wilson, "You can walk with a plastic leg, you can grasp with a plastic arm. But, you cannot see with a plastic eye".
That's a great quote, I might use that on my sig...any reference to one of Jim's posts with that quote in it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On anvil fire's email list they spoke about didymum (or however its spelt) glasses. Apparently they are mainly for glass blowers, and block a light given off by sodium, or some such thing. Basically the concensus was that they didn't give too much (if any real) benefit at the forge.

But I'm not an experienced guru, so if anyone wants to correct me please feel free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, I wanted to add that the vintage safety glass I bought recentely, have metal mesh around the outer and bottom portion of the glasses, that fold when they're closed up. This metal mesh actually seems to protect the exposed area of glasses, making them somewhat more akin to goggles.

I wonder why safety glasses are not made like that today? At least I haven't seen them like that and most I see are like modern style rayban or similar fashion glasses, or big ugly square plastic goggles (I have a pair of those also, but they fog easy as I sweat). Those will at least protect pieces of metal from entering the eye as they seal on the face.

The vintage safety glasses are quite cool, IMO, not only as far as functionality but looks also. Of course, I tend to like old things, so not surprising I would like them.;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Irn, Woody, Rich, Thomas or anybody who is knowledgable with this stuff...As we are on the eye ware subject...
I definately could and maybe others could too... use a little advice from those more experienced with eye protection. I have to be honest I know how important it is but many times I wonder what type of safety glasses are correct. I use a face shield at the grinder or with whizzers because that stuff flys everywere. But for the forge I have bought clear/tinted wrap around style('cause they look cool, sheepish grin)
Now I have heard of didium sp? or something like that glasses and other such stuff...will they protect better from the different light spectrums what does it do and what do we need to be best protected. I am serious about this now because I have been flashed welding before (that is not fun) and don't want to do damage to eyes. Certainly don't want to be the "blind blacksmith guy" telling my horror story at the next NJBA meeting when I could have asked for advice and been safe.
Thanks TIM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest problem gettng safety glasses is that everyone wants to sell you stuff rated for arc welding. Unfortunatly arc welding does it's primary damage in the ultraviolet range and the blacksmith's forge in the infrared range---opposite ends of the spectrum!

So you are looking for the gas welding or foundry worker type of protective lenses---or wear protection against projectile matter and don't spend all your time looking into the forge! (Why I don't like gas forges at "eye" level)

I get full eye exams every year as a diabetic and after 25 years of hobby smithing there is no evidence of eye damage so far.

Thomas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thomas,

Just to follow up, I bought a pair of old safety glasses off ebay. With a slight tweaking, they are very nice and cover around the eyes as well as from the front (metal mesh on the sides).

However, as a friend pointed out, the rayban style safety glasses also fit snugly to the eye and pretty much seal the bottom from anything getting up in there also. I like the vintage stuff though, if for nothing else but because it's cool.:cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had stuff dug out of my eyes 4 times. 3rd time the ER doc infected me and I went to an opthamologist to get fixed after that. Grinding wheel mostly but last time was steel. Jim Wilsons quote is the best. Good Jackson face shield will absolutely let stuff in too. Guess my face is shaped funny. I normally wear glasses for all hazardous operations. Gas forges WILL create mega scale and it will bounce off your glasses. This is a new learning experience for me. Setting in front of a belt grinder or handling a die grinder with varoius bits seems to be the worst. I do have a first class pair of goggles and have not had anything dug out here at home since getting them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have had stuff dug out of my eyes 4 times.
Yikes, I'm gonna try to learn from your mistakes. Seems that you have since.
Jim Wilsons quote is the best.
Isn't it now...it really make one realize how true it is.
Gas forges WILL create mega scale and it will bounce off your glasses. This is a new learning experience for me. Setting in front of a belt grinder or handling a die grinder with varoius bits seems to be the worst. I do have a first class pair of goggles and have not had anything dug out here at home since getting them.
Seems that most folks are often lazy to put them on, the biggest cause fo eye problems I suspect. Most of us know the safety of wearing them, and most of us buy a pair of some type of safety goggles, glasses, face shield, or similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now