We’d laugh, but we did almost the same thing last week:
Reader Weldo Says, “Do not wire weld in shorts, a tank top, and sandals. Not saying I did that, but if I had, the little burns from the slag would be on their way to healing pretty well. Man, I bet that would have hurt.”
In my case I was wearing tennis shoes. Hey, it was only a quick weld, right? Slag caught my shoe right in the mesh part, and by the time I managed to take it off it was gettin’ a bit toasty inside. I was uninjured (except my pride — dancing around the shop hollering “get it off get it off get it off” doesn’t do much for that), but I did change into some leather-uppered boots.
Reader — and fearless “Doh!” contributor — Eli says, “Make sure when you get your new wire welder you remember to wear long sleeves and long pants, or when you straddle those steel drums to weld them end to end, you’re gonna get a sunburn on the inside of your thighs you wish you never had. Also, just because they only shut their eyes on American Chopper while they weld doesn’t mean you can. A scorched retina tears up so much you can’t even drive yourself to the emergency room. Get a hood.”
We’ll admit to having pulled this one as well. Even if you don’t manage to scorch a retina, sunburned eylids hurt like hell. Ask us how we know.
It’s easy to forget that plasma cutting requires pretty much the same safety considerations as welding. The arc’s smaller, so it’s tempting to lose the hood. And just like welding up a leak in a tank, beware of cutting on vessels of any type — especially if they ever held flammable materials. A case in point:
Reader Andy says, “Once, I tried to make a jackolantern outta an old propane tank. Well, I was using a plasma torch, and, well, it shot about 10 feet up into the air with a big !woosh! Had to change the drawers after that…”
Finally, don’t forget the fire hazards of flying slag and metal chips. As reader Dean says, “I have an uncanny knack for starting myself on fire. Been that way since I was a kid.” We feel your pain.
We’re still kinda getting the hang of “Doh!” of the Week as it’s a pretty new feature, and we’re gonna try something new for next week by announcing the topic now and asking you to comment or send-in your favorite “Doh!” moments. We’ll collect the best from comments and email and post them in next Monday’s installment.
Next week’s toping will be wood shop safety. We already have a few great moments from our original request a couple of weeks ago, but why not go ahead and drop in your favorites as well?