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I Forge Iron


Torphichen Tin

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So obviously welding burn is a thing, ultra high UV etc etc. I've had that and it feels like sunburn. But I just fired up a new forge yesterday and spent the afternoon at it. Today the side of my face that was facing it the most feels sun burned. Its really sore, shaving was painful this morning. Can a forge radiate like that?? 



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A propane hot box, open face lined with refractory. Just a home made one based on a farrier model. My anvils to my right, the forge to my left so that's why I'm thinking it might have something to do with it as its the left side of my face that hurts. Thanks for any advice. 

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Sun screen won't protect you from IR. UV causes a whole different radiation damage, it breaks up cells and causes high energy chemical changes where IR just cooks you like a toaster. Stand farther from your forge, you can't stand within 10' of mine for more than a couple minutes without IR burns. It's nothing like getting flash burns electric welding, I have that T shirt too.

Face the forge's opening at 90*, stand farther away or wear protective clothing. You do want t keep an eye on your steels in the fire but do NOT stare into the forge! It will cause cataracts.

Welcome aboard, glad to have you. Remember, we LOVE pictures!

Frosty The Lucky.

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My gasser is mounted on a swivel post on the "off" side of my anvil. When I'm on the working side of the anvil I have plenty of room between me and the forge mouth but if I need to move to the other side of the anvil for some oddball reason I just turn the forge 90 degrees so the mouth is pointing away from me while in that position. I keep a pair of shade five torch glasses on my forehead and if I open the large hinged door on the side of the forge I flip the shades down to look inside. I also have several pairs of tongs with longer reigns for fetching work out of the gas forge. When I transitioned from coal to gas it took a few weeks to work out the particulars but by identifying and addressing the safety issues peculiar to forging with LP I'm a happy Blacksmith! My coal forge gets lit one day a week now and the rest of the time it's gas. I wear a respirator while running the gas forge too but there are plenty of threads here about airborne fibers!

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