Safety Tips, anyone?

Ok, obviously, "don't drop hot steel on your feets" is the first safety thing we need to think about, but what abut others? Any chemical hazards or others people'd like to share?

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DJ Radio6 years ago
acidbass6 years ago
always be calm if something does go wrong you just need to chill out and DONT panic or that will just make things worse
keltic887 years ago
Consider every piece of metal near, on, or in the proximity of the forge to be hot enough to cause severe burns. Just because it's not orange-white doesn't mean it won't cause 3rd degree burns. As far a safety glasses go - I use green tinted glasses that they use for brazing? Allows you to see the steel better in the forge fire.
Beware of uncalcined molds. Wednesday before last (the 6th) I was casting aluminum when a steam explosion launched molten metal at me, resulting in a third degree burn on my right foot. This was caused entirely by my own inattention; I had mixed up a still "green" plaster mold and the calcined one I had planned to use. Anyway, I've now got a heck of a reminder on my right heel to always be sure I'm using a calcined mold and to never cast without full casting protection (I had a faceshield, leather apron and gloves, but neglected to use my leather boots).

Don't let this be you. Never be careless with the kind of temperatures we deal with.
never re-shingle your roof in the winter
But if you do, don't eat the yellow snow....
just curious, why is there yellow snow on the roof? lol
<> and those aren't raisins either.....
lmfao lmfao nice
Aeshir9 years ago
Don't be caught saying "oh, hello gravity!" after falling off a cliff. In general, beware of gravity.
jtobako Aeshir9 years ago
Geeze...there went my Plan to ignore gravity by not knowing about it.

Thanks a lot, you !@#$%&*(

: )
Aeshir jtobako9 years ago
Just remember, gravity is your friend (it helps you stay on the ground and not float into space and get frozeded). Except if you're a skydiver, and your parachute doesn't work. Then it kinda doesn't like you. A lot. It wants to kill you. Hmmm...it seems the forces of nature have a grudge against me...how inconveniant!
jtobako Aeshir9 years ago
NNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now selling pre-plotted moon house lots by dragging myself up by my bootstraps into orbit and jumping off the space station down onto the moon (and the same way back) won't work! You nasty, nasty...TEACHER! Oops, now I'm going to get my mouth washed out with soap...
Aeshir jtobako9 years ago
Vendigroth (author)  Aeshir9 years ago
stupid gravity..... without gravity, i could have invented the flying chair or something, but NOOO, newton had to go spoil things for the rest of us, didn't he
If there was no gravity, someone would have invented it way before you were born.
Too late with the flying chairs:

Hacking Matter: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms
Dude, you lot are completly and utterly undiniably HILARIOUS!
Hydrogen Hydroxide, and now gravity conspiring to kill me. Damn. Reminds me of a joke. What's the difference between a bad golfer and a bad skydiver? WHACK!.......Damn! Damn!......WHACK!
Vendigroth (author)  DeusXMachina9 years ago
ROFL i'll have to steal that one...
jtobako jtobako9 years ago
Hayyyy, shift 6 creates superscripts... Anyone know if there is a list of such for instructables?
lemonie jtobako9 years ago
Oh yes I found that the caret gives you superscript.
I've also learned (through a Forum post) that double commas give you subscript.
(they behave as toggles)
jtobako lemonie9 years ago
Yes, I saw that. I seem to have a habit of following your posts around : )
lemonie jtobako9 years ago
When you find an interesting comment or person it's often worthwhile clicking on them and looking up their posts. However, you then get a bit of a feeling that you're staliking someone or something...? L
Not really, since I'm fairly certin your a guy, cause if yu weren't, well (gulp) um, that would make a grade B internet shadower... Argh! Is your picture really you or somebody else? It's the same body that stuck their head in a dryer, please say yes, oh please, please, (infinetly long repetation of plees, cut short to give room for everbody else and save the fourth demension),...
See to have missed this first time 'round... Yes L
sonaps Aeshir8 years ago
I have experience with the cliff part, and a 17 inch scar to prove it (no surgery, as I feel my leg hit something) and you are correct about beware of it in general, I've broken 3 toes with hammers, cracked a rib out of a tree, and gotten 2 concussions falling down stairs, I am generally clumsy
I do hope that of us wear eye protection. That maybe good idea.
If it's a propane forge, make sure to turn it off right away if you smell gas...a leak
for that matter, make sure you "turn it off" in the proper direction when finished *faroooph* whoops....
Ferrite9 years ago
Use common sense, and if you aren't sure if the metal is hot, hold the back of your fingers over it, it is a very sensitive part of you body.
lemonie Ferrite9 years ago
Yea, and what about e.g. spitting on it instead of endagering sensitive parts of your body?
VIRON lemonie9 years ago
Spitting on some hot metals is a very bad idea. BOOM!
lemonie VIRON9 years ago
What, like molten sodium?
VIRON lemonie9 years ago
Sodium doesn't have to be hot. Magnesium and Aluminum and possibly titanium. And sure, if your Li-ion laptop blows up, don't try to put it out with a cuppa coffee!
tech-king VIRON8 years ago
also bad to spit on: lime. on contact with water, lime produces an exceptionally hot exothermic reaction. a Japanese farmers barn burned down when his cat urinated on a bag of lime once.
Um, do you mean "slacked lime" as far as contact with plain water is concerned? Urine is another matter, it has both ammonia and lactic acid in it and that will react with regular lime.
Vendigroth (author)  tech-king8 years ago
Not to mention the caustic sodium hydroxide produced....At least that stuff provides its own soap to clean your hands with....
lemonie VIRON9 years ago
Which hot metals then, w/ref BOOM! (I don't know)? I haven't spat on hot aluminuim, magnesium or titanium. I have tried to burn magnesium, take a bit of getting going, I thing spit would put it out? L
jtobako lemonie9 years ago
VIRON doesn't (and hasn't) had a clue.

Magnesium burns hot enough that it can disassociate water and use the O2 to keep burning. Not sure of titanium, but the 3000+ degree oxidation temp suggests something similar to magnesium. I've done water casting with aluminum (dump molten aluminum in a large bucket of water slowly-makes neat random shapes) without a problem. You don't want to get a small amount of water under or inside an aluminum melt (like spilling on concrete or adding a can with a little water in it) because the steam can throw the liquid metal quite far. Water ON an aluminum melt just boils away-as light as it is, it still sinks in water : )
VIRON jtobako9 years ago
And what does the greater volume of dissociated H2 do?
jtobako VIRON9 years ago
Adds to the gassing off, along with the excess steam that isn't disassociated and the magnesium oxide. Look into how chemistry works. Each element is ranked by how reactive it is-the more reactive elements can 'steal' from less reactive ones. Aluminum can 'steal' the oxygen from rust, better known as thermite.
VIRON jtobako9 years ago
Ok, so somehow water on molten magnesium in a forge is safe, but elsewhere it goes BOOM! Sorry, I don't think I have ever "committed forgery". :)
jtobako VIRON9 years ago
Molten magnesium is burning if there is any oxygen available-so no, it isn't safe. And magnesium does not go boom-it's a very stable element, used in light weight transmissions and occasional small engine housings.

You aren't looking at the mechanics-water becoming steam creates pressure. If there is something ON TOP of the steam, it can be dangerous. If the steam is on top, there is nothing to for the steam to throw.

Look up Dihydrogen monoxide to see what an incomplete understanding of what is dangerous can do.
thats a pretty cool link. awesome "project"...
VIRON jtobako9 years ago
Whatever. You're not looking at the chemistry. If you did you'd go blind anyway. And mechanically, you're saying a surface explosion makes no waves.
jtobako VIRON9 years ago
It's not an explosion-the heat reaches the water before it gets to the surface (the water never touches the surface) and creates a steam blanket. The steam blanket has an insulating effect, preventing spontaneous gasification of all the water.

When I'm melting metal, I use a welding filter. Am I still not looking at the chemistry?

If you have a crucible of magnesium large enough to worry about waves, you are at a commercial smelter and don't have to worry about water. Of course, there is the problem of getting the water past the inert atmosphere needed to melt magnesium in the first place...

Go back, you are thinking of ALUMINUM and typing MAGNESIUM.

Your whatever shows that you don't care about what you are saying, only that you want to win an argument.
VIRON jtobako9 years ago
OK, You win. May the forge be with you.
acer73 jtobako9 years ago
that is why they use it to ignigte thermite
jtobako lemonie9 years ago
Water boils at 100 C, so unless you can comfortably hold a heavy object at 99 C it's not a good test. The back of the hand test is good because you SLOWLY approach the metal, not touching it until you are sure of the temp.
Vendigroth (author)  jtobako9 years ago
quite frequently, i do spit on things to determine the heat, or lick my hand and touch it. As for the boiling point, the spit (or water, if you don't want to upset the elderly) starts to steam after a few seconds anyway.
After a few minutes at the forge, I'm not licking my hand. After a half hour or so, I probably couldn't get enough spit to use. I will use a handful of quench tub water to cool off/check the temp of something, but I don't trust the test much.
Vendigroth (author)  jtobako9 years ago
dehydrating, isn't it? so that's a good idea, and also throws up the point of personal safety: You're working in a hot, dry environment, you'll lose a lot of water as sweat; Keep a drink handy.
Nice, I only burn the most sensitive part of my body, not one of the more sensitive places.
I have found that having drunk friends over while working by the forge is not safe. Poor fellow still have a nasty scar.
The idea isn't to touch it and burn a sensitive part of your body, but to hold your fingers over it to feel the radiant heat so you don't grab it and burn yourself.
sonydude9 years ago
be careful with zinc coatings on metals. they will cake up a forge and give off toxic fumes. Do it out side far away from people
How is zinc oxide going to 'cake up' a forge? It vaporizes into a fine, white powder (sometimes with a yellow cast).
Vendigroth (author)  jtobako9 years ago
looks like im not the only one who goes to anvil fire poor paw paw
Our cats are all that smart either. Poor fur.
It's dangerous if you breath to much, a small amount isn't going to kill you (nor is a large amount-the secondary pneumonia does), but how does it 'cake up' the forge?
Vendigroth (author)  jtobako9 years ago
i don't want to die of zinc or pneumonia. I'd guess that the zinc compounds evaporate, then when they dip below the right heat, go straight from a solid to a gas, thus forming deposits around the exhaust bits of the forge. Next time you fire up, it'll get warm again and give off more zinc
The zinc oxidizes/burns quickly, something you have to be careful about in a brass or zinc melt. A forge doesn't have an exhaust to 'cake up' unless you assume a gas forge, but all the zinc oxide (from burning) that I've seen is a fine powder. I'm not saying that vaporized zinc oxide isn't dangerous if you get too much, just that the original post was not helpful without more info : )
VIRON jtobako9 years ago
I imagine it "snows", as an interpretation of "cake up".
jtobako VIRON9 years ago
Still doesn't make sense. There's more ash (which turns to clinker, a very different thing than 'cake up') even with great coal than you would get with a heavy zinc coating. 'Cake up' would be the cementation of the coal or charcoal to the point that it won't provide sufficient heat. Small pieces of coal will coke up into a larger mass that provides a more focused heat, but that is a good thing, not the bad thing that was described.
Vendigroth took the words out of my post. the link at anvilfire.com has the pic of the deposit of zinc oxide. (cake up wasn't a good word to use)
If you touch it, it's a fine powder, easy to disturb (that's why the pic shows the pipe segments still in place). I thought of nominating him for a Darwin Award just after it happened, but couldn't come up with a good bit of humor to add.
ok... i am going to get on with life if zinc is burns to a fine powder i am fine with it just dont go breathing it
Goodhart8 years ago
Here's one: keep your hands OUT of the parts cleaning solvent unless you have heavy gloves on.....if you lose sensation in your hands for ignoring this one, I feel for you. (wait, that didn't sound quite right).
jtobako9 years ago
Let it fall, don't try to catch it. Don't put anything in the slack tub you don't want in a wound-such as salt or antifreeze.
this applies especially to the cheap slide in tips of 45 watt soldering irons when they come flying out at your legs and vintage 1990 Saturn floor mats.
Using a chisel or hardy-cut, on hot or cold metal, can be dangerous. As you finish the cut, sometimes the unsecured end will fly off pretty quickly. This is one of several reasons to keep any spectators at a safe distance from the work. Also, when it comes to gripping iron with your tongs, tighter is safer. I nearly had a piece of orange-hot iron stab me in the neck from not being more careful with my tongs.
KentsOkay9 years ago
Hey, is it all right to use gloves or not?
If you do wear heavy leather gloves I also heard its better not to: 1. It will teach you to check for hot metals 2. The day you don't wear your gloves you can burn your hands If anything say you don't want to rough up ur hands then you should get the really thin but strong ones, also know as second skin
It is okay, but make sure you can get them off easily so if they ketch on fire you can get them off and not burn your hand.
Vendigroth (author) 9 years ago
For all forges, have a CO alarm ready and in working order. Test it weekly (CO is carbon monoxide) Furthermore; every week or so, inspect your tools for damage, any loose screws, ect. If anything fails in use, the results could be tragic.
CO alarm need to be correctly positioned.
As Tool Using Animal hot zinc is bad news, as is brass.
I've got plenty of chemical hazards if you want a list.

Vendigroth (author)  lemonie9 years ago
What are the hazards of prolonged heat on aluminium? Not including melting, obviously, i don't think i'd get it that hot. Does it form gases or anything?
You can test the alarm circuit, but how do you test the detector-or do you just trust it-in which case why would the alarm circuit be bad but not the detector? I understand checking the battery, but winter here kills any (outdoor) battery quickly.
Vendigroth (author)  jtobako9 years ago
there's a "test" button on mine, i assume it tests the detector AND the batteries my forge is inside-ish, but i always have the big sliding door all the way open, so lots of ventilation As for someone in colder climes, why not keep the detector inside, but take it out when you use it?
The test button usually only checks the battery-the americonium? in a fire detector is only rated for something like ten years. I forge outside, so as long as I keep my head out of the smoke, I figure I'm fine (that's why my forge has a chimney).
Austringer9 years ago
When quenching a piece of pipe, point the not in the water end away from you.
When (BEFORE) you put a piece of pipe in the forge, tape, seal or plug the other end or it will act like a chimney and the whole thing will heat up (and you will burn your hand when you go to grab the 'cool' end).
Lextone9 years ago
Avoid polyester blend clothing under your leathers Especially your socks and undies. Cotton and wool burn slower, and fall away from you. Polyester blends melt first, sticks to you, then burns very hot.....it will leave nasty scars. Make sure your shop is well lighted and properly ventilated before starting. Never rush.
Punkguyta9 years ago
Ha ha, would you look at that, I'm actually going to a whimis course in a couple hours, just swell, I'll write you a summary or something when I get back :-P
Don't forge galvanized materials.