hibjib10987

I was burnt by scale, have you ever been

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I'm sitting here trying to figure out a few things:

ONE - are these guys for REAL and VERY NEW and haven't experienced it yet?

TWO - are these guys pranksters and seeing how many of us they can goad into this discussion?

THREE - Why are all you people blacksmithing in the NOODE because of all the strange spots on your bodies you've been burned.

To borrow part of my uncle's schtick while he's demonstrating: "People, usually kids, ask me: 'Do you get burned?' I tell them, 'Do bears sleep in the woods?'"

I'm well used to the scale burns by now. Its the STOOPID burns that keep getting to me. Like... when you have a hot piece of iron in your left hand and want to reach for the hardie cutoff tool (butcher) with your right hand... don't cross your hands.

And when you're demonstrating at someone else's forge and forget that 1:Copper is a good conductor of heat and 2:a COPPER HOOD on the forge that is slightly lower than the one at home might BURN YOUR ARM if touched.

SEE?! I'm learning something new every day! :)

Bill

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Yes they're new, very new to the craft Bill.

It reminds me of Richard, a student that came to me via the internet a number of years ago at the tender age of almost 16. I told him I'd only consider taking him on after talking to his parents and discovered his folks had the same condition set. His folks, Deb and I got along wonderfully.

We established some ground rules, mostly mine and his folks wanted to be sure I wouldn't put him in needless danger. His Mom is from a fishing family out of Wrangle AK, born on a fishing boat, understood dangerous occupations and had no problem so long as we did it as safely as possible. It's the only way I work, especially with students.

Anyway, the whole time Richard was going back and forth from teenage enthusiasm (he wanted to make a . . . wait for it! . . . Sword!) and saying again and again how much he didn't want to get burned.

I told him the only way he could avoid burns was to stay out of the shop, kitchen, or anywhere else warmer than babyfood, OR get used to the idea he WAS going to get burned. Cut, bruised and otherwise abused too of course. :o

Probably 30 seconds into the second heat on his very first project a flake of scale half the size of a fingernail landed on the web of his tong hand. The kid didn't even flinch, just kept on hammering and waited till the iron was back in the fire to even say ouch. It raised a nasty blister and permanently laid to rest his fear of burns.

The only thing that really surprises me about the subject is I'm not covered with scar tissue to mid biceps.

Frosty

Edited by Frosty

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Hello "HeeBee GeeBee", Do you have a name? Just a first name will do just fine and is much more personable when you are conversing with a group.
Make one up if you like, if you are a "Mike" but don't want to use your real name on line then just go with "Joe" or "Mac", etc.
You would do well to look up a blacksmithing group in your area, such as the N.E.B. -"New England Blacksmiths".
Then you can get your Dad interested with such subtle suggestions as leaving a hammer under his pillow each night, or maybe taking out the hedge clippers and carving all the hedges in front of the house into the shape of an anvil... Just let him know you are REALLY interested and its not just some thing you will forget about in two weeks.
Who knows, maybe you'll get him hooked and then you'll forget about it...
Dan:)

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Yea I'm new to forgeing I was making a heart out of a old horse shoe today and got my first scale burn. It's going to happen just like when I weld at work some times them buggers find there way up over your helmet and down the back of your shirt :o You will get use to it atleast to some degree I figure.

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Make one up if you like, if you are a "Mike" but don't want to use your real name on line then just go with "Joe" or "Mac", etc.
Is it OK to use a different name on each post?

John ;)

Good Luck!

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Sure. So long as it's okay if each one of us gets to use a different post on you! :P

Frosty

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When I first started welding it was at a shop that built aluminum concrete forms. One day a kid I was working with, was making an overhead weld (about 2 ft. over his head) in an extremely difficult spot. All of a sudden he came out from under the piece he was working on dancing, screaming, and getting nekkid from the waist down. Apperently while welding he saw a bout a big ole goober of weld about to fall off the weld area.He instinctively ducked his head down so it wouldnt fall into his face. While it didn't land on his face, it did land on his neck. that bit of molten aluminum rolled all the way down his spine and setteled in the crack of his butt.
I know it's not nice to laugh at other peoples misfortune, but sometimes.................

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I think jack hammer bits are made of carbide... I believe that's a manufactured metal and I know that there's alot other manufacted metals, but I had my doubts if that could be forged. But, my doubts are only based on my inexperince, soo.. if it can be done let me know and I'll get into some bits of my own. :-p

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Most jackhammer bits are made from a medium carbon steel. Now being a good sized piece of metal and needing to be kinda warm to make forging it easier it's possible that they are spending more time in the forge and holding more heat when they come out? Both will lead to more scaling.

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I didn't mean no foul. As Frosty said - you just get used to it.

And any new smith might take Quenchcrack's advise to heart. Its one I was taught. Leave a wire brush next to your forge and give your work a quick brush if you see mucho scale aboard. You don't want that stuff to burn you or pattern your work... or maybe you do..:)

Bill

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I think the our kids at home were interested in forging with me until they asked about burns. They asked if I get burned and I told they yes, but it usually isn't so bad, because it is hot enough to cauterize it right away. It just stings for a few seconds then goes away (at least the ones that aren't that bad..). After sharing that with them, they haven't followed me out to the forge since..

Scale usually cauterizes, so I don't mind it that much at all, usually just a mild nuisance maybe. One time I did try to pick up a black hot piece of rebar though. Now that one hurt, and I had the lines from a piece of rebar across my palm for a good two weeks...

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While using the wrong tongs (was the only ones I had at the time) I had a piece of leaf material that was bright red glance off my forearm and it burned through at least 2 layers of skin, still have the scar (and several pair of new tongs) 2 months later. That one hurt bad enough to go run water on it for a few min!

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Hi everybody, i am new here, as i am into blacksmithing, but already i have many things to tell about burning my hide.
This spring while forging i forgot to wear my eye protection ( actually i was just lazy ) and a flying scale landed on my eye, i could feel it cooling in my tear.
Fortunately it was a small piece and not very hot but I cannot forget the feeling of a hot thing cooling on the surface of my eye ball.
Sice then I always wear eye protection when forging ( hope i never forget to :)).
And off course there are those times when you start dancing suddenly because your feet are on fire, you all know them don't you ?

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It's been a few weeks since I've had the joy of burning scale but tonight I just spent about 2 hours finishing a pair of scroll tongs and a few other small projects. I got 3 scale burns on my right index finger and one on my middle finger. Ahhhhhhhhhh, the memories :D

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I kind of wish I could have got my funny dance on video. Dropped a piece of red hot 3/16 by 2 in. metal in my shoe. Of course, I was being lazy that day and decided sneakers and shorts would be fine. Got a real nice, pretty scar on my left foot now. Its a nice shade of pink. But yea, you sort of grow immune to scale burns. I wonder if you could do a scale "vaccination" or something by getting alot of scale burns on your first or second day blacksmithing? I think they should start a new section in the photo gallery called "Blacksmithing Scars".

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I don't get too many scale burns. In fact, I don't remember any. I just got through with a week long demo, and only burned myself once. Tong handles got a bit warm. Not really hot enough to sizzle water or make my skin red, but enough to make me go: "wow, that's a little too hot!" A glove on the tong hand helps a lot. Also, wire brushing *away* from you. Also, keeping your hands away from the twist. Finally, don't put silica sand in your forge welding flux. The borax and boric acid sparks are much mellower. I have one nasty scar on my tong hand caused by not knowing how to control a coke fire. It turned to vesuvius and sprayed a whole bunch of people with molten clinker. Somehow, coal does not do that. The other scale burn-like scars were caused by grinder sparks. I had a nasty allergic reaction to the binder in an old wheel that I bought at a garage sale. Got real sick. These scars never heal, and they reopen whenever I eat overripe fruit or get a pollen allergy. Kind of like permanent hives. Now, I only use name brand wheels that I buy new. Another reason not to cut corners on the grinding wheels. Also, just in case, I wear a welding glove with a long cuff anytime there is a chance that grinding sparks will hit me. BTW, grinder sparks are much more risky for starting fires than flying scale.

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