We live in a post-industrial world, where many people don’t work manufacturing with their hands. Some of our most important workers of today sit behind a computer all day. Even when they’re not at work, most people spend hours of their day online.
However, in the last few years, the legendary craft of blacksmithing has made a comeback. Metalworking is a great way to get yourself in touch with your industrial past. It’s also a good way to get some exercise.
Unlike sitting behind a computer, you have to make sure you stay safe when you operate forging equipment, or you can suffer serious injuries. This article will walk you through a brief guide on how to stay safe while blacksmithing.
Wear the Right Equipment
There’s no better way to get injured in the world of blacksmithing than wearing the wrong equipment. Make sure you wear a baseline of long sleeves and long pants. Sparks fly, and you can easily get caught in one of your limbs if they aren’t covered.
Make sure you tie back any long hair you have or keep it under some kind of hat.
You also need to make sure you wear a heat-resistant apron and protective goggles. These will prevent excessive levels of heat and light from causing you harm.
Wear a good pair of gloves for handling your hot steel. We strongly recommend using large one-size-fits-all gloves as opposed to fitted gloves. This is because if your gloves catch fire, or something burning gets inside your glove, it will be easier to throw the glove off of your hand.
Check out this great resource to learn more about blacksmithing protective gear.
Do Not Use Galvanized Steel
Galvanized steel is steel that has a chemical coating on it to prevent it from rusting. Make use you do not use any sort of galvanized steel when smithing. When you heat up galvanized steel, those chemicals will get out into the air, and you’ll breathe them in.
Use Proper Form
Repetitive strain injuries are also a problem when it comes to blacksmithing. You will have to repeat the same motion a lot, and so it’s possible to develop joint or muscular issues. Make sure you wrap your thumb around the handle of the hammer, rather than placing it on the handle.
If you notice any strange pains and aches, make sure you stop for the day and give yourself a break. It might feel discouraging to stop for now, but it’s better than getting an injury that will keep you from smithing in the future.
Stay Safe When Blacksmithing
Blacksmithing is a great way to get yourself in touch with your culture’s past. However, it is a lot more dangerous than some of the things we do in everyday life. Make sure that you wear the right equipment, stay away from galvanized steel, and use proper form when you’re blacksmithing.
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