Author Topic: A Close Call  (Read 9226 times)

Offline efishnc

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A Close Call
« on: 02/08/15 16:15 UTC »
This isn't just for those newer to melting lead and/or plastic, this is for all of us... WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!

I have been casting lead for almost 40 years and I only had one explosion in my younger years when I didn't know any better... until yesterday. 

It was a warm day and I have been working hard so I needed a little comp time in the garage. I got the Lee pot up to temp and was going to clean the slag from the lead with a spoon that I had used for years, which had a little slag on it from last time I used it.  Given that my garage is quite dry, I never gave a thought that there could have been moisture in that little bit of slag.  My intention was to warm the spoon in the molten lead to scrape off the dross (without having any lead cool around the spoon); however, when I dipped the spoon in, ka-BLOOEY! 

I immediately flinched and milliseconds later I could feel a few hot spots on my face, including some on my forehead and one in the corner of my eye (but not in my eye).  The hot lead pretty much ruined one of my favorite jackets, but I can't complain as the skin on my face fared far better than the nylon did.  When I went in the house to look at myself in a mirror, I was amazed at all the wasted jigs I was wearing, and the most sobering of these was mounted on my right eyelash... the same one that I felt in the corner of my eye... praise God he allowed my reflexes to beat the blast. 

The molten lead went at least 29" above the rim of my hot pot on the counter (as I measured the silver spatters on the cabinets afterwards), which is about 6" higher than I stand at 6'2".  Oh yeah, my hat took a little heat as well, but I was able to clean that up with no real noticeable damage.

I have been wearing safety glasses when I shoot my plastics because I am still somewhat new to it, but have been molding lead so long that I have gotten a little too complacent with the potential dangers associated with it... not anymore!  The big bottom line here is protect your eyes when working with the hot stuff... (it's far easier to live with scars on the skin than loss of sight)... WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!

Online DF

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #1 on: 02/08/15 16:52 UTC »
Yikes, glad your ok.  For some reason I have no problem wearing a respirator when pouring plastics but can't get into the habit of wearing safety glasses. I know dumb. Thanks for the wake up.

Offline BareKnuckleJigs

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #2 on: 02/08/15 17:07 UTC »
Ain't no hill for a stepper!  Beat dat lead like it stole sum'm!  Fine Job Sir!

I wear this ALL the time...

.El Gnaw.

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Offline Kasilofchrisn

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #3 on: 02/08/15 17:37 UTC »
Another thing often overlooked is prescription safety glasses.
Or you can get OTG (over the glasses) safety glasses.
They are safety rated and have side shields to protect your eyes from all sides. I wear mine religiously when casting.
Regular prescription glasses are not rated for impacts and do not have side shields.
Glad to hear your safe!

Offline Dfiene1

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #4 on: 02/08/15 20:00 UTC »
I always use a splatter guard as well as the glasses. It doubles as a flat surface to preheat hooks and molds.


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« Last Edit: 02/09/15 07:33 UTC by Dfiene1 »

Offline 2XL

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #5 on: 02/09/15 08:24 UTC »
Moisture is a problem for me in my garage come warm days in winter. It's not that my garage has a leak or anything but warmer days especially after single digit weather always leads to condensation on the floor and everything metal. I'm sure any of us who have an unheated garage or shed and live in the north country know what I'm talking about. That's why I don't pour lead or store my jig making stuff in my garage. Though moisture is the reason I don't pour lead or store my stuff in the garage it was because I was afraid of what the moisture would do to my lead pot , hooks etc = rust. It never even occurred to me that that condensation could lead to what happened to you efish.

It's a sobering thought at what "could have been" in your case and a reminder to me as to how much I take safety for granted when I pour jigs. I've been pouring lead for almost 30 years now and have had few little spatters on my hands but I have never worn safety glasses. I just assumed my regular glasses were good enough. Not anymore. I'm glad to hear that you only had a close call vs some serious burns and or losing an eye. Scarey stuff.

I really like that spatter guard idea D. I usually have a mold or two sitting on top of my pot but not always. I'm going to rig up a similar deal for my lead pot.

Offline Dfiene1

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #6 on: 02/09/15 08:38 UTC »
I have to give credit to my dad for that one. He created it for me when I was a young kid just getting into the hobby. Another safety modification I have done is drill a hole into the baseplate of the lee lead pot. I then drilled a hole through the workbench and attached a catch can under the table. This way if the gate clogs on the lead pot, the lead goes straight into the catch can instead of splattering everwhere. None of this replaces the need for safety glasses.

Daryl

Offline Denny Welch

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #7 on: 02/09/15 11:56 UTC »
I'm glad you're ok, Fish.  Sometimes we need these type wake-up calls.  I think we take it more seriously when "one of our own" is the one who almost got hurt.  We all learned something from your experience.  Thanks for sharing it.
Until next time.

Denny

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Offline Denny Welch

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #8 on: 02/09/15 11:59 UTC »
Ain't no hill for a stepper!  Beat dat lead like it stole sum'm!  Fine Job Sir!

I wear this ALL the time...



Hey Bones...where did you get that face mask?  It looks serious.
Until next time.

Denny

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Offline Botanophilia

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #9 on: 02/09/15 12:31 UTC »
I'm glad you're not seriously injured!  I wear my respirator pretty religiously.  I should probably wear safety glasses.  I also need to learn to keep my gloves on, hopefully I don't need to learn that the hard way.  I just HATE wearing gloves. 

Online Lamar

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #10 on: 02/09/15 16:02 UTC »
  I'm glad your not hurt too. I always wear a respirator, gloves and safety glasses. I even put a towel over my legs when I'm sitting down just to give me that extra layer. Maybe 25 years ago I was grinding a piece of metal and a small piece went into my eye. In a lot of pain I went into the eye doctor and he put some drops in my eye that numbed it up and took a grinder and told me to look straight a head and not move. He ground that piece out and trust me I never moved but it seemed like the whole world did. If the piece would have landed a fraction more towards center today I would always be seeing a black spot. A hard lesson learned. Today I take safety very seriously. Just last week I made sure that one of my employees knew if he ever went into an attic again without wearing a mask he would not be working for me. Now at the age of 56 I see that the safety rules we broke when we were younger effect our lives when we get older. Always safety first.

Offline efishnc

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #11 on: 02/09/15 17:20 UTC »
I never realized how often I rubbed my eyes in a day until now because it hurts every time I touch the area where the lead hit my eye... quite tender there.  Even though I have a couple of other "reminders" on my face, there is no real pain associated with them.  I can live with being a little less pretty, but wrecking my shootin' eye would have been a real loss. 

Familiarity makes us think we got it all under control, yet there can always be that one time.  The worst part of it is there will still be someone reading this thinking that it won't happen to them because they are so careful... yup, that's basically what I thought for 35 years... not anymore.

Online ctom

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #12 on: 02/10/15 06:59 UTC »
Maybe 25 years ago I was grinding a piece of metal and a small piece went into my eye. In a lot of pain I went into the eye doctor and he put some drops in my eye that numbed it up and took a grinder and told me to look straight a head and not move. He ground that piece out and trust me I never moved but it seemed like the whole world did.

Been there too Lamar. Same procedure. I have safety glasses and goggles all over the garage to this day and never have to look far to find a pair.

Offline Carolina Fisher

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #13 on: 02/11/15 17:02 UTC »
Being an electrician , I have had everything from drywall dust , molten metal from self tapping screws , sawdust ,  you name it in my eyes , this is with a traditional pair of cheap safety glasses . I'm gonna go one step further and reccomend everyone invest in a pair with a foam seal . It will protect you from what a cheap pair from wally world won't and it doesn't cost that much more . You only have one pair of eyes . http://www.northernsafety.com/Product/28972/N-Specs-Venom-VRX-Foam-Lined-Safety-Glasses-with-Indoor-Outdoor-Lens. I have had too many things fall between the cracks of a traditional pair of cheap safety glasses .

Offline efishnc

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Re: A Close Call
« Reply #14 on: 02/15/15 12:34 UTC »
One week later:  the eye is no longer tender, and 3 of the 4 spatter scabs on the are gone. 

I'm not bringing this up to get any sympathy, but just to remind everyone again to protect your peepers.