Blacksmithing is a rewarding career and hobby for many people, but it can come with its fair share of harsh conditions. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you have all the personal protective equipment you need before you start smithing. Use this checklist of the essential safety gear for every blacksmith before you get started.
Safety goggles are essential PPE for a blacksmith. Many tasks can put your eyes at risk, from hammering to smelting to metal twisting. Protect your eyes from shrapnel with a professional pair of safety goggles or glasses. UV protection glasses can also help protect your eyes from harmful light radiation during the blacksmithing process.
You should pay attention to the air quality of your workshop while blacksmithing. Certain working materials and metals produce toxic fumes during smelting, which are hazardous to inhale. We recommend using a respirator with HEPA filtering abilities. This mask will protect your lungs and airways from inhaling pollutants while hovering over your forge.
Heat-resistant gloves are vital PPE for blacksmiths due to their proximity to the furnace and hot metal to their hands. Welding gloves offer some of the highest levels of heat-resistance and protection, but can be cumbersome to work in, leading to more accidents. Leather gloves are also heat-resistant and offer more control. Highly experienced blacksmiths prefer to work without gloves to avoid impeding the metalworking process. However, for certain tasks like metal twisting or hammering, gloves are always recommended.
The Right Clothing
The clothing you wear while blacksmithing is also a crucial safety detail. Always choose natural materials like cotton for your forging wardrobe. This is because synthetic clothing materials melt more easily and could damage your skin. Wear thick cotton shirts and denim pants to protect your skin. You should also invest in a heat-resistant apron or smock to wear over your clothing.
Fire Safety Materials
Finally, ensure your workshop has the right fire safety gear. Always have a fire extinguisher at the ready in case a fire from the forge spreads. You should also have water on hand to quench your metal objects, put out fires, and soothe burns.
Before you step into the blacksmithing workshop, take stock of the essential safety gear for every blacksmith. Never start the smithing process without these items on-hand to protect yourself from harsh forging conditions. If you find you need any metal forging equipment or tools while stocking safety equipment, check out our selection at Cast Master Elite.