The Foundry / Safety


This is an overview of basic safety practices for melting metal. This is not a complete guide and you should always be careful.

Since this hobby requires wrangling orange-hot liquid metal, it obviously comes with risks. Heat, smoke/fumes, and even splattering molten metal are part of the hobby. If you want to take up metal melting, BE CAREFUL!

With proper safety practices, you will hopefully never have a serious accident, but you should always be prepared for disaster.

First off, here's a list of the PPE I use:

This whole getup cost me $150-200. That's a bargain versus hospital bills and house fires.

You should also have a class B fire extinguisher ready to go. A hose is also handy, or even just a few gallons of water. (I use Tropicana orange juice jugs.)

These are some important rules to follow for your safety:

"But what if something does go wrong?" you may ask. This is a very important point to consider. Nobody is perfect, and sometimes things go haywire. You should be prepared for any accidents that might occur.

These should be your priorities in case of disaster:

  1. Above all, don't panic. If you're handling a full crucible, set it down, ideally in the furnace.
  2. If anyone is seriously hurt or there's a fire you can't put out, call emergency services.
  3. If it's safe to do so, take action. Turn off the furnace. Put out any fires. If metal has been spilled, wait until it's solid and douse it with water to cool it off.
  4. Once all immediate danger has been eliminated, let things cool down. Stay in the area for a while and make sure nothing is smoldering.
  5. Correct the cause of the accident and make sure your equipment isn't damaged before resuming work.

All of this safety stuff can be condensed down to this: keep fuel, fire, fumes, heat, and molten metal where it's supposed to be.