PapaDooks

Forge safety advice

32 posts in this topic

Excellent! There are places that I go that require safety glasses that seal to the face, and I really hate the cheap issue glasses.

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I found a couple different styles of bifocal safety glasses on Amazon.  I bought them originally for Mtn Biking to keep a limb or dirt out of my eyes but need reading glasses to read anything, including maps.   Pretty cheap options too.

I found a couple different styles of bifocal safety glasses on Amazon.  I bought them originally for Mtn Biking to keep a limb or dirt out of my eyes but need reading glasses to read anything, including maps.   Pretty cheap options too.

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Man, I need to get my eyes checked. That last comment has me seeing double.

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when you're walking with hot stock, hold it like you'd hold a knife while walking, down by your side. had a visitor in the smithy, my flatmates girlfriend and I realized that I often forget to mention that part when I saw yellow steel and felt the heat fly not much more than an inch from my face when she was going to the anvil, If you can't hold it like that, yell something like "hot steel coming through" loud and clear 

Other safety advices that I find very useful: If you're not sure if something is hot, SLOWLY pass the back your hand or fingers over it, the skin is thinner there and if you do get burnt, it's atleast not in the inside if your hand.

 If you're not sure, ask, even if it sounds dumb, it's always better to seem dumb for a few seconds rather than being dumb for the rest of your life, injured or worse (for the internet though, it often helps to do some research first, since you're already on the internet)

Use the right tool for the job, just a few hours ago I stopped my flatmate from most likely ruining a perfectly fine flathead screwdriver and told him to make a punch instead, thankfully he went on a little bit of a tool making/fixing spree and now we have a ball punch, slot punch, 2 refinished punches and a new edge on my cut off  which my flatmate managed to dent within an hour after filing it 

SAFETY GLASSES, there's a saying in Iceland, a good song is never too often sung, but this is a sllightly different song, I've been getting lazy with the glasses but today I got a very stern reminder, I used some charcoal to help the coke along and I was gathering my tools and getting ready to start forging, I hadn't put my glasses on yet since I wasn't doing any work that could throw stuff into my eye, or so I thought, I looked at the fire to see how it was going and then I heard that familiar sound when wood pops when it's burning then a tiny piece of burning coke nailed me right in the eyelid, thankfully I flinched and blinked, now I have a tiny blister on the edge of my eyelid, it's literally less than 0.4 MM from my eyeball, (1/64 of an inch for those who understand that better than metric) from now on the first thing I'll do when step into the smithy is put on a pair of glasses if I don't already have them on

If you're working with other people in the smithy, make sure you know where they when you'll be taking anything hot out of the forge or carrying heavy stuff, you don't want to suddenly bump into your friend while holding an anvil or hot stock, it's also a good practice if youre working alone to quickly glance at the anvil or the path you'll be walking before bringing the piece out of the fire or picking up the heavy thing both to get used to doing it and making sure there are no obstacles or just to make sure the hammer is where you put it down.

Make sure the tongs you're using fit the piece you want them to hold, I hope I don't need to explain that one, flying steel isn't fun, especially if it's hot, unless you're on the shooting range or hunting

When you  brush the scale off, make sure you're brushing it in a safe direction, safe being something that won't catch on fire like the newspaper that I was too lazy to pick up

that's about all the safety tips that I can think of that I didnt' see/forgot that I saw in this thread. a

 

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8 hours ago, Dabbsterinn said:

 

Other safety advices that I find very useful: If you're not sure if something is hot, SLOWLY pass the back your hand or fingers over it, the skin is thinner there and if you do get burnt, it's atleast not in the inside if your hand.

all good info.. Except the back of the hand..  The skin on the back of the hand is much thinner and much more likely to be damaged or burnt vs the palm which is usually work hardened or callused..  Be very careful using the back of the hand to get a reading on temperature.. 

Best to assume anything on the anvil, forge or in the vise is hot.. Also keep in mind that the vise can get very hot.. Hot enough to burn quite easily depending on size of jaws especially when working in a shop that shares equipment and tools.. 

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1 hour ago, jlpservicesinc said:

all good info.. Except the back of the hand..  The skin on the back of the hand is much thinner and much more likely to be damaged or burnt vs the palm which is usually work hardened or callused..  Be very careful using the back of the hand to get a reading on temperature.. 

I use the back of my hand to test heat all the time, but not by touching. Precisely because the skin is thinner and more sensitive to heat, you can feel differences in radiated heat without actually having to touch the metal. If it's hot enough to burn you, you'll feel it while the back of your hand is still half an inch away.

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I would never trust myself with getting the back of my hand anywhere close to hot metal even within a 1/2".  

I'm usually moving at break neck speed.

  For me I understand my limitations and dislike getting burns on the backs of my hands..  because the skin is that much more sensitive a burn to that skin will be far worse than to a palm or finger. And it also takes longer to heal and the scarring will be far worse if you do make contact..

While I don't recommend it for anybody else, after all these years, I just touch it with my finger quickly.   Again i know my limitation after 38 years..

Between everything I've done with my hands blacksmithing, farrier, rock climbing, welding, martial arts,  the palms and fingers are not very sensitive to pain. I get burns on them and don't even notice..  but the backs of my hands give me good food for thought with each burn.

 

If you do use the backs of your hands just be extra careful is what I was saying..

If you wanted to not put yourself in danger at all you could carry a length of candle in your pocket and just smear it on quickly if you weren't sure it is hot..  some danger from flare up but I still can't even give thought to the backs of the hand..  makes me shiver..

To each their own. Just be aware if you do make contact.  A simple 1st degree burn on the palm can easily turn into a 2nd or 3rd degree burn on the backs.

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