PapaDooks

Forge safety advice

32 posts in this topic

So the last few days while working in the shed i've had the young fella from next door in talking to me and helping out since he's on holidays and seems interested in playing in a shed and making things. now i've mainly just been grinding and welding but each step i've been pressing the safety point with him.ie eye protection. hearing protection. decent leather gloves to help reduce cuts n the such but it got me to thinking about safety when forging.

Obviously somethings like wearing decent shoes,nice thick gloves are fairly standard. what i was wondering about was things like eye protection to help IR. hearing protection. if anyone uses any form of mask(i'm pretty big on wearing masks when is a chance of particles in the air after having a lung infection that stole 15% of my lung capacity)

Thought's. idea's theory on the matter ?

 

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In my opinion it all depends upon what one is doing.

I do not worry about IR since I practically always cover the fire. My fire is black. That saves heat and is good for the eyes.

I have a silent anvil so I do not worry about ear protection when smithing but I have helmet intended for logging with eye and ear protection that I always use when grinding.

I never wear gloves unless there is a risk of "kickback" when straightening cold stock. Then I use a padded glove on my left hand - of course I use gloves and the usual stuff when stick welding.

I use a leather apron but more for looks really. It never had to save me from anything but dirt.

I have good forced exhaust so there is rarely anything in the air from the forge so I normally do not wear a mask. I do use a filter mask in the wood working shop when sawing dry timber I have much more stuff in the air there than in the blacksmith shop.

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papa,

I found that wearing shade 3 safety glasses has really reduced my eye fatigue.  It doesn't seem to be very popular among smiths, maybe because all color rendering is harder with a green tint.  I have more than one tee shirt with lots of little burn holes right where my leather apron stops.  Forge welding sends a lot of hot stuff in all directions.  I think a leather apron is a good way to go.

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I just spent 3 weeks recovering from scale that popped into my eye when I was twisting some small barstock. It got embedded in my iris and had to be removed and then a small area of my eye had to be drilled to remove rust-infused eye tissue. I do not recommend it. It was not pleasant and I'll never go in my shop without eye protection again.

 

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REALLY good eye protection is top on the list. Shaded glasses are an option mine aren't shaded but I don't stare into the forge. There is't a problem wearing shades it's just a matter of using them ALL THE TIME and adjusting your interpretation of color. Humans are really well adapted to adjusting to what is.

Protect your lungs! Oh yeah!

I only wear gloves if I have to get close to my forge mouth and it's dragon's breath, or weld, torch work, etc. I NEVER wear gloves around machinery that can grab, say a drill press, lathe, etc. if gloves get caught they'll drag you into the machinery quicker than you can do anything but break and bleed.

No synthetic clothes in the hot shop, natural materials only. Just a touch of sot materials, steel cinders, etc on synthetics melts it and sticks it to your hide to deep fry you. Rolling on the floor only presses it against you more tightly so that won't work to put out a clothing fire. Water's only a maybe, most synthetics are pretty water repellant so the blob of boiling polyester stuck to your side isn't going to get cooled off by the wet but any water that does is likely to steam scald you. NO synthetics. Leather is good even if it can get hot. Smooth top boots are good, hot stuff doesn't get stuck in the laces.

No loose clothing. No reason to take more chances of getting tangled in moving machinery or precariously balanced heavy, sharp, HOT stuff than necessary. Button those sleeves and shirts, NO scarves.

Hearing protection is a good idea even if you don't use LOUD tools regularly, you'll adjust in a while so you won't miss the phone, etc. and it's a good habit to get into. 

A safety talk and HARD rules for visitors is a good idea.

Frosty The Lucky.

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speaking of safety glasses, i wear glasses all the time for corrective reasons, are there anygood saftey glasses that fit over the top of them that anyone's had luck with? or any prescription safety glasses anyone's had luck wiht?

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Some spectacle wearers use clear face masks for eye protection that does not interfere with their prescription glasses.

Something often overlooked around hot/flame hazards is clothing material, always wear natural fibre clothing, if anything should happen, those man made fibres can melt and stick to the wearer....very nasty!

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My prescription bi-focal glasses are made from a poly-carbonate material that is rated as ballistic with a special coating. I don't remember the manufacture but every time I get a new prescription my eye care center has the record of them. I have had some pretty hard impacts on them over the last 10-15 years both on the range and forge with no damage.

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3 minutes ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

My prescription bi-focal glasses are made from a poly-carbonate material that is rated as ballistic with a special coating. I don't remember the manufacture but every time I get a new prescription my eye care center has the record of them. I have had some prety hard impacts on them over the last 10-15 years both on the range and forge with no damage.

yeah i have good ones too, bought them for mtn biking / snowboarding. But while grinding if i tilt my head too much stuff gets undreneath them just due to the style. so i'm looking for more of a safety style glass for more coverage, not so much against iimpact

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I will say that aprons aren't too bad of an option. Last weekend I had my shirt catch fire and burn a hole the size of a softball. Mama wasn't happy!

                                                                                    Littleblacksmith 

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only gets worse.  I have had my wife threaten my health and happiness ifn I was to wear one of my good shirts out to the shop---even just to take a look in the door.

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My trifocals are polycarbs with side shields and fit close to my face. They're right off the shelf at my eye doc's. I still wear a face shield when grinding, brushing, etc. and have goggle type safety thingies that fit over them for really dusty work. Saw dust irritates my eyes more than most other dust.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yeah, I forgot about forge welding. Of course an apron is a must - and I wear glasses all the time but not tinted. And I avoid syntetic fabrics.

I do no know what I do wrong :unsure: but I never burn holes in my clothes when smithing. Bonfires are different in that respect

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On 4/12/2017 at 7:17 PM, Frosty said:

My trifocals are polycarbs with side shields and fit close to my face. They're right off the shelf at my eye doc's. I still wear a face shield when grinding, brushing, etc. and have goggle type safety thingies that fit over them for really dusty work. Saw dust irritates my eyes more than most other dust.

Frosty The Lucky.

I have the same issue with sawdust. In fact if i do sanding and am too close i always end up with horrible styes in my eyes the next day

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In general there are three ways of dealing with hazards. After doing an assessment of all potential hazards you control them using:

1. Engineering controls, which are physical changes to your shop, tools, and processes, to reduce hazards

2. Administrative controls, which involves changing how you do things

3. PPE, which is used to protect yourself as a last resort

 

I hope this helps, and if you are looking for more info on safety, look up the worksafe BC website.

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On 4/14/2017 at 6:41 AM, brickman said:

I have the same issue with sawdust. In fact if i do sanding and am too close i always end up with horrible styes in my eyes the next day

The type of wood has a lot to do with how serious even dangerous an irritant or toxin wood dust can be. Slag posted a terrific source of wood toxicity info. Reading some of the entries made me think a hazmat suit and respirator isn't out of order for some types.

One technique I developed for eye safety in a dirty environment is to 1, NOT take my eye gear off till I'm dusted, nude and standing in the shower, eyes closed. Once I've showered in cool water shampoo and rinsed I open my eyes and heat up the shower. A HOT shower right away opens your pores and allows irritants a way in. Keeping your eyes closed till you've washed your face a couple times is self explanatory, your eyebrows evolved to catch junk before it falls into your eyes. Use them as designed. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty's favorite eye protection:

IMG_20160421_105914034.jpg

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I heard he tried applying it from the source once and had some issues with the applicator.

On the other hand I cannot suggest my method of cleaning dust off my hair by impacting my head on the concrete floor *hard*, either.

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I have used 50 different types of eye protection over the years.. Until last year I found all of them pretty much useless and causing more problems then they solved..

Last year I found a set of goggles made by "Clic" and love them I wear them nearly all the the time and they do not fog unless I am just standing still..  My only complaint with these is when heavy forging I start to sweat and the sweat can fill the bottom edge of the lens with it..   Otherwise out of the 50 including full face masks they are a solid 10.. 

On 5 different occasions while wearing safety glasses I got metal in my eyes while forging as the scale would find its way around the sides.. Once even with those vinyl full goggles..  In between these uses I just do it the old fashioned way by squinting and in fact in 38 years I have only gotten stuff in my eye once without safety glasses while forging..  It was after forge welding and I hit the metal while cold and the flux popped of and nailed me in the eye.. 

Personally my safety track record forging far exceeds any other safety anything.. I don't wear gloves while forging at all,  

The only consistent thing I do wear is hearing protection and wear a leather apron when doing any forge welding or heavy heat work..       I wear cotton clothing or a cotton blend with spandex..   Haven't had any melting issues.. 

Burns, well they are part of the job and after all these years I got used to it..  I prefer 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 1st degree burns while at the forge.. Mind you I prefer not to get burnt at all but its a dangerous job..  Like I said still the safest place I work in.. 

I have found that over the years the sulfur from the clinker when I pull it from the firepot bothers my lungs now more than it used to but I have also done a lot of metal fabrication and welding..  This stuff is bad.. 

 

The worse work for eye damage is automotive exhaust repairs..   I'd rather stab myself in the leg with a knife than do exhaust work on used, rusted systems.. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

........Burns, well they are part of the job and after all these years I got used to it..  I prefer 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 1st degree burns while at the forge.. Mind you I prefer not to get burnt at all but its a dangerous job..  Like I said still the safest place I work in.. 

Burns....aka blacksmiths' tatoos. :D

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9 minutes ago, arkie said:

Burns....aka blacksmiths' tatoos. :D

:) I did have one that looked like a smiley face for about 5 years till it faded.. :) 

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JLP, any chance of sharing an online image or stock number for those Clic goggles? Der Google just wants to sell me random junk these days.

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7 hours ago, John McPherson said:

JLP, any chance of sharing an online image or stock number for those Clic goggles? Der Google just wants to sell me random junk these days.

http://www.littlegorgeousthings.com/clmaclspgo.html

 

This is where I bought both pairs I have.. I also bought an extra set of lenses..  I have a set of double lens and single clear..  They both are great.. I have a fairly long but narrow head so regular size works well.. My friend has a rounder head and he does well with the regular frame size also.. 

My only complaint " It would be nice if they made them a little bigger size wise.. I have a hard time looking straight up with neck fully up  without the magnets letting go..   But these are still the best I have ever used..  Here is just a few pairs I thru into a box as backups bought over the course of a month when I went on the eye protection hunt.. 

MFG,s website.. 

https://www.clicgoggles.com/CliC-Goggles.html

goggles_iridium_lens_open_400.jpg

20170525_134319.jpg

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Are those clics readers? I have had 3 pare of clic readers, I just got real rx glass but still wear the clics in the garage  

Looking at their website they do not come as readers to bad.

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1 hour ago, Daninghram said:

Are those clics readers? I have had 3 pare of clic readers, I just got real rx glass but still wear the clics in the garage  

Looking at their website they do not come as readers to bad.

It says on the place where I bought mine from that they can be fitted with prescription lenses..

My friend uses the readers and that's how I found the goggles..

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