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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2023-12-07, 12:16pm
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Default Worst Burn, and How Did You Get It?

I recently got my worst one yet in 30 years, and I figured it would make an interesting topic and hopefully a cautionary tale for some of the newbies.
For me, it was just two weeks ago.
I was setting up my little HHO or Hydrogen hand torch to make something like a miniature glass frog for the wife for Christmas, or so I thought. I got it attached to my regular torch, set up like one of those stacks, and had a magnifying glass attached to the front of my table so that I had to actually reach around the thing to work (very tiny scale stuff) and for some reason, I went to pick up a green stringer for the tiny little frog legs and I hear this vreeeeep sound, which was that little 1/2 inch flame cutting my left ring finger nearly in half. I don't know if any of you have worked with an HHO torch, but it is for all intent and purpose, a light saber.
I got my first fourth degree burn out of it, and two weeks later it still looks pretty rough.
I learned a valuable lesson about changing your station around, anything new is going to change the way you reach around and move, so if you change anything, be a little extra careful. If you do get into Hydrogen, that stuff is anywhere from 250F up to 15000F depending on the material you are heating with it, don't underestimate it!
When I teach people, I teach them what I call the left and right zone, keep things in either zone and try not to cross your arms or hands from one zone to the other. It worked well for me for thirty years, and the one day I broke my own rule, I got nailed LOL

I'd love to hear you guys' 'learn burn' stories though.

PS. Those little Manuka Honey bandages are absolutely miraculous for burns!

Last edited by jesnbec73; 2023-12-07 at 12:35pm.
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  #2  
Old 2023-12-07, 7:26pm
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Eileen Eileen is offline
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Yikes! That sounds pretty awful!

My worst doesn't sound too bad in comparison. I was making a murrini and had the medium/large chunk of hot glass break off the punty and roll toward me and off the table. I reacted by catching it between my legs (wearing shorts) but only for a millisecond, then opened my legs and let it fall to the floor. Amazingly the scar was only temporary.
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  #3  
Old 2023-12-07, 7:42pm
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Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
Yikes! That sounds pretty awful!

My worst doesn't sound too bad in comparison. I was making a murrini and had the medium/large chunk of hot glass break off the punty and roll toward me and off the table. I reacted by catching it between my legs (wearing shorts) but only for a millisecond, then opened my legs and let it fall to the floor. Amazingly the scar was only temporary.
Oh wow, yeah that would be a good one for sure. I guess the lesson there is 'just let it drop', definitely had a few of those as well. Ah the immortal question, "Do I trust this punty?"
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Old 2023-12-12, 4:47pm
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Mine happened back in May. I had a honking sized bead building on a mandrel and had it in my left hand. I accidentally touched a piece of hot glass to that hand - not a bad burn, but I reacted to it and grabbed the honking bead with my right hand. I mean I GRABBED it. So stupid. Had 2nd and 3rd degree burns on a good portion of my palm. Put me outa commission for quite a while. I have a golden rule - consider EVERYTHING in front of you could be hot. Well, it would be a duh that the bead is hot. ��♀️ Lol. Mine was mostly a case of trying to do more than one thing at a time and not paying attention. Never a good idea when working at a torch and handling hot things. Wish I had known about those honey patches.
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  #5  
Old 2023-12-12, 5:53pm
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Originally Posted by Brontobrat View Post
Mine happened back in May. I had a honking sized bead building on a mandrel and had it in my left hand. I accidentally touched a piece of hot glass to that hand - not a bad burn, but I reacted to it and grabbed the honking bead with my right hand. I mean I GRABBED it. So stupid. Had 2nd and 3rd degree burns on a good portion of my palm. Put me outa commission for quite a while. I have a golden rule - consider EVERYTHING in front of you could be hot. Well, it would be a duh that the bead is hot. ��♀️ Lol. Mine was mostly a case of trying to do more than one thing at a time and not paying attention. Never a good idea when working at a torch and handling hot things. Wish I had known about those honey patches.
Yeah those honey patches are nothing short of a miracle. That sounds like a pretty bad one, it took me years to learn how to react to getting burned, you literally have to ignore your instincts.
I let a good friend of mine try torching one night, he got a pretty decent gather going, about the size of a quarter or so, and I have no earthly idea why, but for some reason he just reached his other hand up and grabbed it. It happened so fast I couldn't stop him from doing it, but this plume of smoke came off his thumb, and to his credit, he very calmly set the rod down and said simply "I'm done."
A few years later he got finger printed for a job at the Post Office and the lady that did it asked him about his missing thumbprint. That glass was so hot, it was still squishy and left a thumb shaped impression in the glass.
I've not done a lot of teaching, but when I do, now the first thing I tell people is that the glass is hot, and it's going to stay that way for a lot longer than you think it will.
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Old 2023-12-13, 6:41am
Brontobrat Brontobrat is offline
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Originally Posted by jesnbec73 View Post
Yeah those honey patches are nothing short of a miracle. That sounds like a pretty bad one, it took me years to learn how to react to getting burned, you literally have to ignore your instincts.
I let a good friend of mine try torching one night, he got a pretty decent gather going, about the size of a quarter or so, and I have no earthly idea why, but for some reason he just reached his other hand up and grabbed it. It happened so fast I couldn't stop him from doing it, but this plume of smoke came off his thumb, and to his credit, he very calmly set the rod down and said simply "I'm done."
A few years later he got finger printed for a job at the Post Office and the lady that did it asked him about his missing thumbprint. That glass was so hot, it was still squishy and left a thumb shaped impression in the glass.
I've not done a lot of teaching, but when I do, now the first thing I tell people is that the glass is hot, and it's going to stay that way for a lot longer than you think it will.
Oh my. This is why I have resisted teaching. So afraid of someone doing something similarÖ or catching my studio on fire. Lol.

And yeah, I have been working at a torch for many years and thatís what surprised me the most - what the heck? I have never done anything like this before - remotely. As an aside I am considering getting some kevlar gloves mostly to keep the heat off of my hands and arms when Iím using my big torch for boro - a recent development and didnít realize how much a difference there would be 👀. They have some that have cut off fingertips.
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  #7  
Old 2023-12-13, 6:45pm
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I have some of the fingerless gloves as well as sleeves and they're a lifesaver when you have a bead bigger than an inch.
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Old 2023-12-16, 11:22am
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Strangely, my worst burn was not on the torch. It was when I was taking a baked potato out of the oven. I twisted my arm to get a better angle on it and my arm brushed up against a heating element. I still carry that scar - it kind of looks like a crescent moon. The ones I get at the torch just don't compare or leave a scar. I used to be a sou chef and so I guess my hands are all battle hardened from getting burned there. I'm also pretty careful at the torch.
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  #9  
Old 2023-12-20, 10:26pm
ewagnerfrog ewagnerfrog is offline
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Default Worst burn

A rod of shock glass spit a hot piece into my nostril... Hard to believe if it hadn't happened to me. Ernie Wagner
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Old 2024-01-02, 9:55pm
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A rod of shock glass spit a hot piece into my nostril... Hard to believe if it hadn't happened to me. Ernie Wagner
Good lord! I literally laughed at that one, but kind of a horrified laugh... I'm going to have nightmares now every time I hear that tink sound. I quit wearing my wedding ring over it, sounded just like a piece of glass heading towards you everytime it hit the glass. Right in the nostril, wow I wonder what the odds are on that one?
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Old 2024-01-02, 9:57pm
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Originally Posted by ESC View Post
I have some of the fingerless gloves as well as sleeves and they're a lifesaver when you have a bead bigger than an inch.
I saw those on a website just the other day and wondered what they were for, then after making a larger marble last night and looking at my reddened hand I think I have figured it out, do they make that much of a difference?
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Old 2024-01-03, 10:34am
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They really do. My fingertips are pretty calloused and don't seem to register as much heat as my fingers and palms.
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Old 2024-01-03, 12:37pm
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They really do. My fingertips are pretty calloused and don't seem to register as much heat as my fingers and palms.
Yeah, I've pulled so many stringers and grabbed them hot, that the fingertips on my left hand are immune to heat now.
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Old 2024-01-03, 12:40pm
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Originally Posted by Listenup View Post
Strangely, my worst burn was not on the torch. It was when I was taking a baked potato out of the oven. I twisted my arm to get a better angle on it and my arm brushed up against a heating element. I still carry that scar - it kind of looks like a crescent moon. The ones I get at the torch just don't compare or leave a scar. I used to be a sou chef and so I guess my hands are all battle hardened from getting burned there. I'm also pretty careful at the torch.
Yeah the elements in the oven are a nasty burn. I did many years of being a line cook as well, almost miss it. Almost lol
People have no idea how hard of a job that is. I remember the day we finally got around to hiring a crew to come in and do our floors, it was life changing
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