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I Forge Iron

Safety gear and equipment

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I am a great hypocrite in the area of safety advice, but I am sure that you are going to get a ton of good advice concerning proper equipment.

However, my number one suggestion would be to insure good ventilation. Keeping the air clear is going to cover you on a lot of stuff, especially the stuff that you can't see (carbon monoxide, etc.).

A window and a breeze, or a good fan, can go a long way in staying safe.


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Make a list of body parts you can do without. It is up to you to protect what you want to keep.

Eye protection is a must. Glasses, goggles or full face shield.
DO NOT stare into the fire. Shade 2 or 3 gas welding goggles take care of a lot of the IR from forging.
Aprons to protect both the body and the clothes.
Gloves, usually you work barehanded, but have gloves available if needed.
Shoes, steel toes if possible, and with metatarsal arch protection if available.
Smoke but DO NOT inhale. If you run a gasser get (and use) a CO detector.
100% Cotton clothing as plastics stick to the skin when melted.

As to fumes, work outdoors. A fan will move a lot of the air and fumes out of your way, but into the yard next door. Set the air to blow shoulder-to-shoulder so the air currents do not eddy in front or behind you. This is also good for welding fumes. If you work inside, use a hood and chimney to move the smoke and fumes to the outside of the building or structure.

As to metal, try to avoid any plated metal or painted metal. Use lots of fresh air even if it is bare metal.

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