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Blacksmithing Safety

When it comes to blacksmithing you really have to give some thought to safety. You are working with metal that reaches temperatures that can seriously harm you. And you are hammering on metal that causes hot sparks to fly. And these sparks can also cause serious damage, particularly to your eyes. So I highly recommend you take some precautions when it comes to safety. You should read more about it and I will be posting more information to help you be safe when you are smithing.

 

Galvanized Steel - This is one of the most important aspects of safety when it comes to blacksmithing. Galvanized steel should not be used in any aspect of smithing. It shouldn't be put in a forge and it shouldn't be used as part of a forge. This latter aspect sometimes happens when people buy galvanized pipes to use as part of their forge. Galvanized steel gives off a toxic and even deadly gas when heated! So... don't use it. If you are in doubt about your steel being galvanized talk to an experienced blacksmith or avoid the steel totally.

Heat and Burns - We all know that the fire and the coals and the flames are hot and dangerous. So... take precautions against that. But, one thing we often don't consider as a beginner is that steel or other metals in your forge might not be glowing red but still might be dangerously hot! So be careful handling metals in your forge. The end of the steel or iron that is glowing hot is dangerous yes, but the other end that doesn't glow red might also be hot!

Long Sleeves Leather and long pants - Sparks fly and you can't predict when or where they will fly. You should always wear long sleeves and long pants when blacksmithing. You should also preferably wear some kind of a heat protecting welding apron.

Something like this welding apron:

Hobart 770548 Leather Welding Apron

 

 

 

Eye protection - It is absolutely imperative that you wear safety glasses or goggles. Here are a few different pair to choose from.

 

MSA Safety Works 10031205 Impact and Splash Resistant Goggles

 

Professional Comfort-Fit ANSI-Cert. Welding & Torch Safety Goggles - Flip-Up Style

 

Dewalt DPG54-1C Protector Clear High Performance Lightweight Protective Safety Glasses with Wraparound Frame

 

 

 

Repetitive stress injuries - If you are blacksmithing a whole lot you should be conscious of the fact that swinging a hammer thousands of times can cause serious repetitive stress injuries. So, be conscious of good hammer technique and watch for unusual aches and pains in your hand, shoulder and elbow. One thing to watch for is to not place your thumb on the handle of the hammer when hammering. Wrap your thumb around the handle.