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!