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I Forge Iron

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Years ago, I was welding for a mine/quarry operation when the lead got a serious flash burn when tightening the lugs on a 3 phase contactor.  So the plant manager sent over a roust-about to help me out.  Now we always  yelled "watch-it"  whenever we struck an arc.  Yes, you can see where this is going.  After a few minutes I realized the guy's eyes were red and watering.  The take away...make sure the other guy knows what you mean by watch it and don't mess with 3 phase even if it cost $1800 to spool-up the mills again. Keep in mind that this was the same operation where they dropped dynamite off the powder truck and a Terex loader ran over the dynamite blowing out a brand new tire.  The solution was to place dynamite inside the tire and blow it outwards and claim the tire was defective. Oh and did I mention watching a loader go over the edge of the pit because the driver didn't set the brake?  Then there was the time they blew-up a silo 'by accident'. It took me weeks to weld that sucker up.

 

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  Dang, you had soms real winners there didn't ya.  I don't feel so bad about clipping a wire on a conveyor with the forklift while I was locked out a couple months ago.  Luckily the electricians were on hand and had it spliced back together by the time we were ready to run.

  What kind of operation was it?  I'm just at a gravel pit.

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The product was crushed granite graded through a series of screens for different grades used in carpet/cosmetics/ pharmaceuticals.   

  And then there was a time when they put a live bobcat in one of the guys pickup truck.  The bobcat was under the seat and when he started to drive off, the bobcat clawed it's way up his leg which then caused him to abandon his moving vehicle.  Well, the only I can add is "TENNESSEE"  Well, there was this one time.........

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I've done a lot of stupid stuff, notably tack welding with my eyes closed and accidentally flashing myself. In all my years of stupidity I've never gotten a flashburn. My welding instructor told me that some people are naturally more resistant to it, especially people with darker colored eyes. Although the only time I ever longingly stare into my forge is when I'm forge welding, got to see what I'm poking at afterall.

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Yes there is great variability in how people react to different things. For example my grandfather smoked unfiltered camel cigarettes for 50 years and didn't die of lung cancer; but I certainly don't suggest it to my friends!  We tend to react on the side of excessive caution here and let people decide to go against good advice on their own. (Shoot my immune system decided to gang up on my pancreas against my heartfelt suggestions; we can't force others to follow our suggestions...)

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When I started learning to weld, "Watch it!" was the standard warning but the instructor in my high school "Heavy Metal" shop class stomped that one first day. Mr. Harding's logic was inescapably right so we learned to say loudly, NOT shout, just loud and clear "EYES!" though, " Striking an ARC!" was . . . acceptable. Folk who aren't familiar with a welding environment will automatically LOOK at the person saying "Watch it!" same for "Look out!" or "heads up?" What kind of warning of a trip hazard is "Heads UP?"

"FEET!, HANDS! HEAD!, EYES, HOT HOT HOT, HOT METAL, MOLTEN METAL," etc. are good warnings. They tell a person exactly what's at risk or what the hazard is, just like the waitress at the coffee shop saying, "Behind YOU" as she carries whatever behind someone.

My "Sparky" coworkers would say, "Live" as a warning to just stay back a good 20', if you were already that far back and they said it to you they meant you should go set cones a LOT farther back. Some overhead signs State DOT were responsible for run on 660v but we'd get called out on down power lines in emergencies and some transmission lines carry 7,000v or higher. We knew enough to just barricade as far away as possible and control traffic till the pros arrived.

Funny how you don't have to explain what "LIVE WIRES!!" means to anybody who survived their early teen years.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Quarry Dog,

I picked up a set of shade 3 safety glasses.  The spots and headaches you mentioned are gone for me as well.  They do take some getting used to.  I like your term "Greenscale" it's very accurate!  I found a pair that are wraparound lenses with a sweat bumper.  It keeps all the junk outta my eyes without getting fogged up or leading to sweat drips on the lenses.

 

The sweat drip thing drives me crazy in summer around here---any chance you can point me to the brand/style you are speaking of so that I can chase similar down?  A simple search isn't really giving me what I think would work well.

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The sweat drip thing drives me crazy in summer around here---any chance you can point me to the brand/style you are speaking of so that I can chase similar down?  A simple search isn't really giving me what I think would work well.

Whenever I'm going to do anything likely to make me sweat, I put on a kaffiyeh/shemagh/masarh. Does a fantastic job of soaking up the sweat, plus it makes the neighbors think you're a terrorist.

This is the method I use.

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Whenever I'm going to do anything likely to make me sweat, I put on a kaffiyeh/shemagh/masarh. Does a fantastic job of soaking up the sweat, plus it makes the neighbors think you're a terrorist.
This is the method I use.

That makes my head sweat just watching the video. I'd recommend against looking like a terrorist in these parts, Alaska is a concealed carry state. Joking aside there are lots of folk here wearing various head wraps so that alone is unremarkable.

How do you get a welding/face shield over it?

Frosty The Lucky.

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I found them at uvex...now just have to find a version that includes magnifiers for old-man eyes.  

I climb equipment stairs and ladders all the time for work and this darned bifocal thing really sucks in the real world.  I use prescription safety glasses now but I'm not really happy with them so want to try something new anyway.  

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  I know I'm a little late on this part of the conversation, but whenever I'm hammering at the guild shop, it's a standing rule that whenever you're about to set a forge weld (or attempt to) you sound a lively "Welding!" so everyone is ready for the pop and flux sparks.  We also avoid forge welding at the demonstration forge (we're in the middle of a fairly busy public park) when little ones are around.  The splatter arc is about eye level for them.

  Their welding area is behind one of those red curtains, so "Watch it!" or similar does not apply, although if I'm showing someone something I either say "Arcing!" or "Ready?" and wait for a response to make sure their hood is down.

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