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hi, So I'm very new to blacksmithing and I'm having an issue. When I'm hammering sparks and bits of metal like to fly under my gloves and it burns my hands I just don't know how to stop that from happening. Is there some kind of clothing that will stop that and keep in mind I am only 14 so I cant drive and I'm on a low budget but with some guidance I can jerry reg up other things that will work the just as well.

 

 

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Don't wear gloves, old timers would have a piece of flexible leather  that was large  enough to cover their hand (about 10" x 8") with a slit cut across one end to slip over the hand like a bracelet, giving free access if you should need it, and they fit both right or left hand.

 

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The LAST time I wore gloves while smithing I had a piece of white hot coke flick up inside  the cuff of my glove , it burnt , blistered , burst , bleed before I could get the glove off .

NEVER wore gloves while smithing after that .

That was 18 years ago , still have the scar to remind me of it today

 

Dale Russell

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I'm a no gloves smith too. If you are having a lot of issues with that you have something wrong in your process; probably too much scaling; however as you haven't included any info on that it makes it hard to troubleshoot the root cause.

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Im  right handed,,and wear a glove on the left hand with the cuff turned back toward the hand, there has been times I was glad it was on and also able to come off quickly

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Another aspect of glove use is that you get used to holding stuff that is too hot and someday you won't have a glove handy or it will have a hole in it and your habits will have you giving a good firm handshake with Mr Pain.

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IF you want to wear gloves, like the leather palm cotton top work gloves that are everywhere, cut the cuff off. That way it is difficult to anything to get into the glove, and the glove can come off quickly.

Many do not wear gloves. The issue becomes holding things too tightly, a hole in the glove, a wet spot on the glove giving you a steam burn, and etc. If things get too hot, you can not just turn the hot metal loose, as the heat continues through the glove and into the hand. The glove must come off for the heat to stop.

 

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If you continue to wear a glove, I wouldn’t recommend duct taping it on... there are times when getting the glove off really fast is necessary... :wacko:

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I wear a long welders glove on my non hammer hand in order to hold tools close to hot metal.   I have never gotten hot stuff in it.   These gloves go up close to the elbow.

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I do the same, but it's best to learn without them. One thing Michael didn't mention is how he is holding the hot steel. A pair of vice grips will put your hand too close to the hot stuff. Tongs will give a distance from it so hot scale isn't usually a problem.

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5 hours ago, michael klemz said:

... When I'm hammering sparks and bits of metal like to fly under my gloves and it burns my hands ...

I assume you mean inside your gloves ... ouch!

I use gloves whilst forging or doing anything in the workshop. I use fingerless gloves. Your non hammer hand will suffer from vibrations and burns. To prevent vibration I take a lose hold to the steel and use fingerless gloves. To prevent burns I don't grab anything that is hot. A full leather glove in your left hand is a double edged sword. You could of course buy yourself a long sleeve welders glove. I have one that goes all the way to my armpit that I use to weld heavy stuff with core wire that spatters a lot. Never for forging. You want to be able to take the glove off in a hurry. You will never need to take a fingerless glove off in a hurry because your fingers will tell you not to grab the stuff before you do.

To find good leather fingerless gloves is a bit of a task. MMA gloves used to be the way to go, but most are now synthetic. Majority of ebay fingerless are just for show, full of holes, studs and paperthin. i found some meant for wheelchair use that are OK. Still hoping for MMA leather gloves to come back. Weight lifting gloves if full leather are also good because the padding is on the palm and not the knuckles 

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No gloves for me. They reduce the sense of feel on my hammer hand and for my tong hand...well, that's what tongs are for.

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Only wear a glove on my tong hand when thing get a little warm like stock getting shorter and warmer and punching when the radiant heat gets a bit much. As far as just forging that is. 

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duct tape end of gloves close .

ABSOLUTELY NOT. If you are going to wear gloves they must be able to be thrown off immediately. Do not wear gloves for forging!!

I wear gloves when I am using the Power Hammer, but they are always ready to be thrown off. I never ask students to wear gloves. I don't deny them to use gloves, but after a little bit, they realize they are in the way and don't use them anymore. Yes there are times when you are holding a Punch, that it is justified. Eye and Ear Protection is an absolute MUST!!!! Only wear cotton clothing, NO SYNTHETIC FIBRES!! Leather boots, welders have a leather flap that protects the shoe laces. No sneakers!! unless you want to do the 'Crazy Dance'. You will learn when you get a hot one inside your shoes, there is no way to get at it fast enough!!

Neil

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I MUST use glove on my hammer hand, because I keep getting a xxxx blister. Could'nt find any other solution. I use a glove made of some kind of rubbery cloth. It's tight on the hand, so nothing gets inside, and it gives reasonable "feel".

True, there is a risk that if you touch something hot, the glove will retain the heat (been there done that...). So I keep a "mental awarness" to instantly plunge the hand in the water barrel in such accident.

When working close to a very hot piece (like forge welding, or chiseling) I cant bear the radiated heat, and must wear heavy welding gloves. When I took blacksmithing class, there where wonderfull asbestos gloves for this.

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5 hours ago, lyuv said:

I MUST use glove on my hammer hand, because I keep getting a xxxx blister. Could'nt find any other solution.

If you feel a blister coming on (that is, if a spot on your hand starts getting red and feeling hot), tape it up with athletic tape or surgical tape before the skin layers separate and fill with fluid. 

You can also reduce the risk of blistering by putting weightlifters chalk or climbers chalk on your hands. I use a liquid chalk, which is finely ground chalk mixed with rubbing alcohol. Rub a few drops on your hands, and the alcohol evaporates, leaving a thin layer of chalk behind. I find I use it most when the weather is hot and humid and my hands get particularly sweaty.

Eventually, you'll build up enough callouses on your hands that blisters won't be as much of a problem.

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Personally I hate gloves, dangerous little buggers. I've had hot slag pop up into my gloves while cutting the cable from a crane hoist, right in front of the owner no less. I'll tell you what, you can not get the gloves off fast enough and the dance you do is apparently pretty comical.

Some of the worst job site injuries I have seen are from gloves. They burn and they get sucked into rotary tools and gears. It's nasty stuff.

The only times I use gloves are for welding, o/a cutting, hazardous chemicals, and picking up sharp trash( like when I demo ceramic tile). For welding and cutting I put sleeves over the cuffs of the gloves.

Another big problem I have with gloves is that you can't feel anything with them. I've had some serious close calls with loosing fingers because I had gloves on and couldn't feel the danger I was in. 

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I weare thin mechanics gloves only when I shoe in the winter. This is the only time I forge with gloves on.

as to blisters, a properly profiled bare wooden handle should cute that. I find that most hammers have to large a handle, this leads to a death grip and fatigue. I also find rubber and glass handles to be problematic, as they are two large and can not be rasped to shape. Lastly the factory varnish is also a problem.

The way on grips the hammer also has an effect. Not to tight, some one should be able to snatch the hammer from your grip, palm over the hammer and thumb and index finger on each side. I also recommend a award grip, that is tight at the pinky (loss of your pinky reduces grip strength buy 60%)and progressively loser to the thump and index fingers. You are using the weight of the hammer and your form to throw the hammmer at the steel, not drive it threw the anvil with brute strength.

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Two ilistrate, my too heavy hammer (4#). The handle on these things are just to big

 

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See how I have rasped it to shape? This is a simple and effective shape, about an inch buy an inch and one half.

 

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You can see that the ball peins have a smaller handle than a hand sledge, and the hammier handle industry makes a blacksmithing handle that is smaller than a hand sledge handle, in my way of thinking, if I have to reshape a factory handle anyway why buy one? Jerry buys 5/4 hickory lumber from his hardwood dealer, I buy hoe handles, or repurpose broken tool handles. 

 

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This grip is more fatiguing and has less control than this grip

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9 hours ago, lyuv said:

I MUST use glove on my hammer hand, because I keep getting a blister.

You are getting a blister most likely because the hammer handle does not fit your hand. Locate and fix the problem and you will remove the cause of the blister.

Wooden handles are generally preferred for hand tools. Take an old hammer, remove the factory glaze, or the crud and dirt from the handle surface with some 100 grit sandpaper. Using a rasp for heavy wood removal, or sand paper for lighter wood removal, dress the handle to fit your hand. Use the tool for a while, minutes to hours, and redress as needed until the handle feels comfortable in your hand, and comfortable to swing. Use it a day or so to be sure you have the fit right.

Mix some BOILED linseed oil and mineral spirits half and half. Use a piece of soft cotton rag and wipe the mixture on the wooden handle until the wood no longer absorbs the mixture. Come back in a couple of hours and wipe it down again. Repeat as needed until the wood no longer absorbs the mixture. Then continue the application once a day for a week or more. You can tell when the wood has had enough when no more of the mixture is absorbed. Before use just give the handle a quick wipe to remove any excess. You can wipe any excess mixture from the rag onto the metal hammer head, so you do not waste any of the mix.

ALWAYS dispose of the mixture soaked rag properly. They have been known to generate heat and spontaneously catch fire. I prefer under water in a closed container or burned in the solid fuel forge. Rags are cheap. 

If this hammer handle dressing and finish is to your liking, then apply it to your other hammer handles and wooden handles such as the shovel, hoe, rake, etc. as a protective coating. 

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And let's be honest, here: smithing without gloves does mean that you will occasionally get burned by an errant bit of ember or hot scale. Yes, that is annoying, but it's a small price to pay for avoiding the much greater problems that gloves can bring.

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I hadn't realized how sloppy practice gloves could cause till I taught a class one day and they fried one of my leather welding gloves. Use Tongs!!!!!!!

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