Historical records show that blacksmithing started as early as 1500 BC among the Hittites (an ancient group which comprised of Indo-Europeans who later moved into Asia). During their migration, the Hittites spread their blacksmithing skills with them.

And thanks to the knowledge of forging hot metal into different objects or products, we have been able to enjoy and delight in intricately designed items that enhance our living standards.

So, if you are aspiring to be a blacksmith or you are already one, and you can't help but ask what the most common blacksmithing mistakes are and how you can safely avoid them, then read on as I got you covered through this article.

7 Blacksmithing mistakes and how to safely avoid them

Below are some of the common blacksmithing mistakes and easy but effective tips on how to safely avoid making them.

#1. Working in inadequately ventilated rooms or shops

Most blacksmiths use gas forges to perform their blacksmithing jobs. Different gases are produced during the forging of metal, with carbon monoxide being primarily produced. Working in an inadequately ventilated room predisposes one to inhale carbon monoxide, which may deprive one vital organs of oxygen when breathed in even for a few minutes.

It's estimated that at least 430,000 people in the USA lose their lives due to carbon monoxide poisoning. This makes it essential that every blacksmith work in a room or area that has adequate ventilation. You can improve your shop's ventilation by;

  • Installing HVAC filters and attic vents
  • Placing exhaust fans near windows
  • Opening windows and doors

#2. Safety equipment

Like any other job, blacksmithing also poses serious health issues; thus, you should always have and put on your safety equipment before performing any blacksmithing technique. In order to avoid injuring yourself, please consider getting yourself the following blacksmithing safety equipment or accessories;

  • Protective blacksmithing eyeglasses
  • A face mask helps filter out the fine ash and black soot
  • A blacksmithing apron
  • An explicit blacksmithing pair of gloves
  • Heavy-duty safety boots
  • Standard earplugs

#3. Disorganization

Please note that a blacksmithing job entails the use of sharp, hot, and potentially hazardous objects that, when placed in a disorganized manner, may cause life-threatening injuries. So, make sure that you always keep your working area clutter-free and properly organized.

Consider installing metal cabinets to store sharp tools and metal buckets to store hot tools. Always make sure that you place tools that you are not using away from your working area or surface. After every forging session, please take time and clean your working area.

#4. Wrong or incorrect hammering techniques

As a blacksmith, you have to know the proper hammering technique lest you injure your wrist, elbow, or shoulder. Make sure that you take breaks during the hammering periods. It's also vital that you ensure that you start hammering your metal at the right temperature.

This ensures that you don't strain your muscles. NEVER use a carpenter's hammer, as you not only risk injuring yourself but also missing out on the proper hammering techniques.

#5. Failure or forgetting to clean the ash trap

Neglecting or forgetting to clean the ash trap is another common mistake most blacksmiths make. An ash trap can be a source of carbon monoxide and may also predispose you to get burns just in case you accidentally touch it when it's still hot. Thus, it's vital that you routinely clean your ash trap.

#6. Wearing polyester clothing

Despite polyester being slow to catch fire, it can cause severe burns to the wearer once it gets ignited. Thus, you should avoid wearing polyester clothing when blacksmithing. Consider putting on clothes made of wool or cotton fabric.

#7. Forging without putting on a face shield

Flames or flying hot metal particles are some of the hazards a blacksmith faces during a forging episode. To ensure that you are on the safe side, please make sure that you perform a forging maneuver while putting on a face shield.

Key takeaway

Working in inadequately ventilated rooms, forgetting to clean the ash trap, forging without putting on a standard face shield and safety equipment, putting on polyester clothing, employing incorrect hammering techniques, and working in a disorganized area are some of the common blacksmithing mistakes. Consider implementing the above-mentioned safety tips for healthy, ideally hazard-free, and economically gratifying blacksmithing job.

Author's Bio: 

This Article Penned by Benjamin Kirby Tennyson