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littleblacksmith

Whats your worst injury?

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So what's your worst injury in blacksmithing? Maybe we can learn from it! the easy way!

Mine would maybe be hitting myself in the head with a 10lb sledge hammer, ended with a trip to the ER...or getting hit in the face with a RR spike=chipped tooth, burned face, and a mouth full of blood.

                                                                                                                                         Littleblacksmith

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Being reletively new to the forge, nothing more than a warm palm. Over a lifetime, including three careers a broken finger, twice. Some people never learn!

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15 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

Being reletively new to the forge, nothing more than a warm palm. Over a lifetime, including three careers a broken finger, twice. Some people never learn!

that's fine, I got hit by a railroad spike twice. and for the same reasons.!

                                                                                                             Littleblacksmith

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My smithing injuries have all been pretty minor -- the occasional burn here and there. 

Now, woodworking, on the other hand -- I long ago lost count of the number of times I've been sewn back together after a knife slipped, a shaper kicked  back, the time my finger got caught in a bandsaw blade.....

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I have been very fortunate in the forge, no serious injuries to speak of. Minor ones include holes poked in hands & elbows from sharp metal (Bandaid types) and one burn when a very hot piece of slag while welding burned through the top of my tennis shoe (leather boots from then on).

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I got a steel splinter in my eye it had to be drilled out not fun.I was welding at a shipyard along time ago and had a glob of 7018 land on the tongue of my boots which happened to be Kevlar .Anyway there was a spalling reaction burned right into my ankle all I could was dip my foot over the slip to put it out.

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Besides burns of various severity, and getting my finger caught in a grinder, (never since have I worn gloves with power tools), I  have been lucky enough to avoid most injury while smithing. My recent 3 month farriers apprenticeship left me with 2 handsome parallel scars on my forearm from nails sticking out from a hoof when the horse acted up. That and on my last day, I managed to break my big toe with the assistance of a 16hh Tennessee Stomping Horse who thought it would be amusing to grind his sizable #2's into the top of my foot. Need I say this was followed by a large amount of jumping up and down on my other foot and a large amount of horse smacking.:ph34r:

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yep, forgot about the time I got my finger caught in the wire wheel on the bench grinder. it was kinda cool because of the pattern it left though.

                                                                                                                         Littleblacksmith

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Blacksmithing? eh.. just some lil burns, a few srapes and cuts and not the worst lil bit I've had stuck in my eye. 

Worst injury was a lil wood carving accident many years before.

Bad things can always happen. Just Pay Attention to what you are doing to mitigate injury. Then again sometimes you think about what you are doing, without thinking about HOW you are doing it.

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As I'm sure most of you are, I have to be very conscious of safety around the forge - especially because most of my work is done with people watching. No one wants hot scale between their toes or showers of sparks or, worse still, a flying hammer head or a hot railway spike.

So as a result of being extra careful at the forge, my injuries seem to be around the home forge or workshop. And some not even connected with the workshop. You feel a bit of an idiot when you forge hot steel all morning then come home in the afternoon and burn yourself on the muffler of the whipper snipper, as I did yesterday. Or get a nasty burn while reaching over the boiling jug to get a spoon of sugar for your tea.

Something to do with letting your guard down I guess.

I did have one very serious burn from an oxy torch which got in the way of my thumb. That blue flame cuts deep. I posted a photo of the damage on this site some years ago, but I won't repeat the pain. Too ugly.

 

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My worst metalworking injury took place when I was setting up a shop for a summer camp at Bucks Rock in New Jersey around 30 years ago.  I was on my own and had just had a 15 minute introduction to arc welding, so of course I was tasked with welding some cut off angle clips onto a convenient I beam column to be able to screw on a wood fascia board for mounting tools and notices.  I welded the bottom two brackets on with minimal trouble, but when I got to the top two I had a problem: no ladder.  I improvised by placing a cinder block on end, standing on the top 8 x 8 end and welding just above my head.  Was having a bit of trouble welding in this position, and still didn't know all that much about what I was doing. I remember trying to decide whether I should strike the arc at the bottom of the bracket and weld "up" or at the top and weld "down".  Then I realized how unstable my footing was and thought (incorrectly) that if I started to fall I would have to be careful not to grab the column with my left hand as I had the stinger in my right (now I know better, of course).  Needless to say the next moment the cinder block cracked and down I went.  Next thing I know I was picking myself up off the ground and trying to figure out why my tee shirt had blood all over it.

The old beat up fiberglass welding hood I was using must have had a sharp bottom edge, as when I fell it grabbed my throat and opened it right up from around the hinge of my jaw to my Adam's apple.  Got a photo somewhere, but don't need to gross every one out.  40+ stiches later on two layers of skin on my throat and a bunch of nurses in the emergency room telling me about how lucky I was to still be around had me looking suspiciously at cinder blocks for some time.  Definitely should have known not to trust them, as a family friend lost his father to a cracked cinder block being used as impromptu jack stand extender while working under his car.

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30 gallon barrels make a poor ladder as well. :( And trim above a garage door will not save you. Don't worry, my hip didn't bend the edge of the barrel and the back of my head didn't crack the concrete. Had to nail the trim back up tho. 

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On 4/18/2017 at 10:17 AM, Latticino said:

My worst metalworking injury took place when I was setting up a shop for a summer camp at Bucks Rock in New Jersey around 30 years ago.  ...

Ouch! sure does sound lucky! Now you can be "Latticino the lucky"

                                                                                                                     Littleblacksmith

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Almost slit your throat with your welding shield, ouch. One more reason to button your collar eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Blacksmithing injuries have been mostly hot hand,  hot sparks inside top of boot.  Day job, trigger thumb resulting in operation, Herniated Disc from unloading 5 gal pails of motor oil and slipping on snow behind the truck operation resulting, meniscus tear in knee from sliding under tractor from ice in step, operation resulting.  That was the worse as 8 guys were watching when I did it in front of our little country store and they all ran over laughing to help me up.  Day Job ones were from things I did everyday but  not as careful as being in the shop knowing everything in there wants to burn you, cut you, or fall on you.

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So far touch wood just a few minor burns and a bit of flash burn from welding in a short sleeve shirt.(didn't realise was an inch gap between shirt and gauntlet's)

Did have to shove my hand into quench bucket full of water through when not thinking i just grabbed lump of 5/8 i had at working temp that slipped. had on said gauntlet's but was still a might warm on the ol palm.Now i have the motto of " everything metal is too heavy to catch"

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"If the floor wants to look at a piece of steel you are working; it is excessively rude to get in it's way!"

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Sometimes, re-engaging brain when carrying out a repetitive hand action is beyond us. Peening over the end of a mild steel rivet onto the body of a padlock with an engineering hammer whilst the spare hands' index finger is still examining previous attempts brings an extreme instantaneous pain to remind you but by then, its far too late! The upside was there are only so many stitches you can fit onto an index finger-throb throb!!

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