Metal working involves a certain amount of inherent risk. Many of the tools and techniques used at Adam’s Forge are capable of causing great bodily harm and even death (and certainly pain). Metal is hard, often sharp, sometimes hot (over 2,000 degrees F). Tools can burn, cut and abrade. These are merely examples and not a complete list of dangers. If we are all aware and use safe practices we can minimize those dangers, hence the need for a safety policy.
Each smith is responsible for their own safety, as well as the safety of others nearby. Participants must have instructor clearance before they use any tool.
HYDRATION: If you’re not sweating you’re probably not doing it right. Water works perfectly!
COTTON, WOOL, and LEATHER: Nonflammable material is REQUIRED at all times. Tee shirts and jeans are perfect.
LEATHER, COTTON: Nonflammable and with the toes covered to protect the feet from the constant production of hot and sharp metal fragments which rain down on the feet constantly is REQUIRED at all times. A steel toe is optional and provides protection against a dropped hammer or work piece. Boots, with the pants outside the boot top will prevent the hot and sharp metal fragments from getting in and burning your feet.
GLOVES: Are optional when working at the forge. Cuts and burns are frequent when working with metal. Gloves will protect your hands and forearms. However, gloves can be dangerous when working with powered machinery that can catch the glove and pull your hand into the machine. It is recommended to have a pair available. We have gloves available for you to borrow.
When working with hot material the glove should be loose so it can be quickly removed if it becomes too hot. A glove cannot be used when wet as it will transmit heat very quickly. You don’t want to steam your hand. Rubber or plastic gloves cannot be used as they will melt onto the skin causing severe burns. Gloves are not usually needed when using tongs to handle the hot material.
KEVLAR GLOVES AND MITTS: Provide excellent heat and cut protection. More expensive than leather.
COTTON mill gloves are quite acceptable although they are somewhat less heat resistant.
LEATHER GLOVES, MITTS, and GAUNTLETS: Leather provides good protection from cuts and fair protection from heat. With prolonged heat exposure they will deform. Gauntlets, also known as welding gloves, extend partway up the forearm and provide extra protection. No part of the glove should be flammable as is common with cheaper gloves which are only part leather.
APRON: An apron is optional. Excellent heat, abrasion and dirt protection. It can be heavy and expensive. Available as a full (bib) or half length.
COTTON (DENIM): Light weight, inexpensive, and provides good protection against dirt. It is poor at heat protection but adequate to start learning.