Personal Safety Equipment



Safety glasses, good ones with side shields, protect against flying objects (scale, sparks, etc.)

Always wear the correct welding hood, shield or goggles when welding. #5 is good enough for oxy-acetylene welding.

For arc welding of all types I prefer a solar-powered welding helmet. Get one that allows you to adjust the shade provided and the response time for the darkening upon detection of the arc. Response time is something in the neighborhood of 1/25,000th of a second so it's pretty quick. In between welding, it turns almost clear so you can see your work without removing the helmet. Harbor Freight regularly has them on sale (and you can find a 20% off coupon and use it).


A leather apron, these can be purchased at any welding supplier (along with gloves, eye and ear protection).

The object of the boots is to protect your feet and ankles (duh). Mine have steel toes because, invariably, I drop a piece of metal while working. It only hits my foot if it weighs at least 10 pounds.

Gloves - Numerous types are available. Welding gloves, designed for quick exits when it becomes too hot are generally cumbersome and worn mainly by welders. Leather gloves are the prefered glove and can be purchased pretty much anywhere gloves are sold (I buy mine at Costco, in quantity since I go through about 3 pairs every few months).

Always wear 100% cotton when working with fire or hot materials. Most synthetics are flamable and melt, adhearing to the skin as they burn.


Hearing protection (optional but highly recommended). Shop noise varies a great bit and many smiths blame anvil noise on hearing loss.
paper respirator
A respirator is always a good thing to have on hand. Initial lighting of the acetylene gas produces large amounts of soot. An absolute necessity when powder coat painting. I made sure mine fits under my welding helmet so that If I'm stupid enough to weld galvanized without grinding the zinc off, I'll at least be semi-protected from heavy metal fever.



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"One thing to remember is to talk to the animals. If you do, they will talk back to you. But if you don't talk to the animals, they won't talk back to you, then you won't understand, and when you don't understand you will fear, and when you fear you will destroy the animals, and if you destroy the animals, you will destroy yourself." -- Chief Dan George

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