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I Forge Iron

A Curious Thing

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  I was at a sale last weekend that had blacksmithing things and the seller had a gas forge to sell.  As I looked around his shop, I noticed buckets and racks with all kinds of galvanized and chrome bars, rod, pipe, etc amongst the other material.  I round about asked him what he made and if he used this stuff.  Yes, of course he did and I tried to impart what I knew about the dangers involved in using it, even pointed him here, but he wasn't interested as he said he wheeled his forge out into the driveway and "knew all about that stuff".  Long story short, he asked me to leave.  

  I have been wondering if that forge would be safe to use if someone bought it not knowing what it has been used for.  Would it continue to emit particulates and bad fumes, etc....  Or would it just all be vaporized or just "go away" after use?  

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Scott, what you are seeing1 there is an example of pure, Darwinian natural selection.  Stupidity or failure to recognize a cumulative negative effect is not a survival trait.  Unfortunately, long term health hazards such as the build up of heavy metals, smoking, obesity, fatty deposits in the arteries, stc. take awhile to take someone out of the gene pool.

Also, you have the attitude that if something does not immediately hurt you the negative effect will never happen,

And some folk are just so stubborn that they won't listen or evaluate a cumulative effect or a low but real probability of harm and refuse to use PPE, seat belts, vaccines, etc..  

There is a real response in some people to fear or danger of simply denying the danger.  There were people who just wanted to stay at their desks after the first plane hit the World Trade Center on 9-11 and had to be forced to evacuate.

As to whether a forge which had been used for galvanized, etc. metal I think that if I thought that a lot of residual metal had built up in it that I'd eaither run it outside for a tank or two of propane or replace the lining just to be on the safe side.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."


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I believe this is my favorite quote concerning habitual or stubborn stupidity.

"Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime: the sentence is death. There is no appeal and execution is carried out automatically and without pity."

Robert Anson Heinlein.  

I tend to think stupidity is a survival trait, who else would've been the first to try to kill a Mammoth with a rock or sharp stick? Tasted new plants, etc. When young we all feel immortal, bullet proof I'm amazed I survived when I look back at some of the really stupid stunts I pulled. 

The stubborn version is as George says, if it doesn't hurt now it never will. At one time there were old guys who said, I've been smoking since I was 10 and it hasn't hurt me. At one time, those guys are gone now, most earlier than necessary. 

I worked with drillers who did it they way they used to do it and weren't about to change. WHEW that was close I just deleted a few paragraphs reminiscing about some of the pure Darwinian behavior of some of the drillers I've met, worked with and refused to work with in my 21 years behind a drill rig. 

I don't know how I would've reacted to that maybe contaminated with carcinogenic hexavalent chrome forge. Walk away at any price or buy it to get it out of circulation before some innocent was endangered. I'd certainly use the need to reline and decontaminate it as a HARD bargaining chip. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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  Well I did walk away and also didn't buy anything.  I can't afford to buy his junk to remove it from a potential buyer.  Maybe I should have "accidentally" tipped it over and crushed it on the floor and left quietly.    That's what I was thinking about, is left over contaminants.  Can you decontaminate something like that?  I can see just the galvy but chrome?  I wonder what else he got up to with it.  It was pretty frustrating talking to him.

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