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Weld Burns

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
#1
The thread on TIG welders reminded me of something I've learned, unfortunately the hard way, from many burns suffered while welding.
The absolute worst thing you can do is ignore even a small one. Stop what you're doing and take care of it. I've found that I can reduce or even eliminate damage by immersing the burn in cold running water. Leave it under the water until it aches. Then take it out. It'll start burning again shortly, put it back under the water until it aches. Do this until you can pull it out and it doesn't start burning again. I'm not sure of the physics of this, my highly unscientific thot is that the heat energy in the burn will continue to destroy tissue long after the skin surface feels normal or near normal. This will take at least 20 minutes for a normal sized burn, be patient. There may be medical types on the board who will say this isn't the way to deal with burns, all I can say is that it works for me.

TS

"Teach you all I know and you're still stupid"
-- Howdy Lee
 

vwguy

Well-Known Member
#2
my burns are mostly irratating but not painful and i just leave em alone partly because im lazy and want to continue welding

how ironic is it that most people slow down for speed bumps yet almost all of us here im sure pin it
 

Ryno

Well-Known Member
#5
I've had many a burn while welding exhausts under trucks. The wire likes to crawl down my shirt. Feels nice. As far as the water thing. You're exactly right. Cool it down ASAP. DON'T use freezing cold water, because your body will go into shock. Let it air out as well, then start applying the neosporin, or patroleum jelly. Keep it hydrated, and it will heal 3x as fast. I was a firefighter for 4 seasons with CDF, I learned first hand.

Ryno

Build it like a Rhino, and Leave it be.
 

drtdevil93

Well-Known Member
#6
dont forget to protect your eyes too. i had the pleasant experience of going blind a few nights ago, and it started while i was on the freeway driving home. luckily i made it home, and when i woke up the next morning the damn things worked again. wahoo!!

erik
 

PATCO

Well-Known Member
#7
TREAT YOUR BURNS!!!! I was lazy like everyone else until I learned
the hard way. I was welding under a friends buggy and a big gob of slag
fell down my shirt sleeve and stuck to my forearm. It got me pretty good
and like usual I didn't treat it, but kept welding. It was just another annoying
burn. Four days later I woke up and my wrist and hand were swollen, my
hand was stuck closed, and my wrist was bent. Looked like I had a crippled
hand and hurt like hell. I thought I had f'd up the tendons in my wrist. The
next day it was even worse and my elbow was hurting so I went to the
doctor. The doc said I had an infection or permanent nerve damage. They
treated me with heavy doses of antibiotics and in a few days it felt a lot better.
In several weeks it was back to normal. It turned out I had a very bad
internal infection in my arm and hand. The actual burn was healing nicely
and looked fine. The doc said that left untreated I would have lost my hand,
arm or even my life!!! Sorry for the long post.

PATCO
 

drtdevil93

Well-Known Member
#8
i had the same thing happen, but on my ankle. the doctor told me if i went even a couple hours more he would have had to amputate my ankle. dont be the tough guy!! its hard to be tough when you have no foot.

erik
 
#9
Keep coming with the stories guys you are making it real easy for me to take the Trophy Bronco to the shop and drop it off to have built. I guess the price of fabwork far outways losing a limb.. :)
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
#10
Had a friend who was stick welding overhead and a big chunk of slag managed to get under his leathers and shirt. His natural reaction was to suck in and it went further down and next thing he knows it's at his waist. His reflex was to suck in his stomach and it went down past his belt. His hood, gloves and shirt went flying. I thought he had caught himself on fire. Wrong....Ended up with severe burns to his "hootus"..................................Very unpleasant..................
 

Greg

Well-Known Member
#11
We wire-feed magnisium where I work. If anyone has ever put water on burning mag you'd know the O2 seperates and makes the burning way more intense. Well, the worst weld burn I got was after laying a pass, I raised my helmet with my gun hand and a burning peice from the end of the wire went down the back of my shirt (stupid I know). But you must understand that the parts are pre-heated to 3-400 degrees so you sweat alot. Not only did this ball of burning mag burn my back it exploded and left burns all over my lower back and on my ass as it went down my pants. Haven't done that since.

Greg
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
#12
The worst burn I've ever had was when I exceeded the duty cycle of the coolant tubes to the 200 amp torch being driven my an old Lincoln 300/300 power supply (rumored to be capable of ~400 amps). The silver plated braided lead inside the return tube got hot enough to melt the plastic tube where it lay across my forearm while I was welding a big aluminum casting. Because of my previous experiences with burns I used the technique I started this thread with and do not even have a scar to show for it. I did have a mark for a couple of years, but for far less time than you have most scar tissue.
I'm glad that this thread has taken the direction is has. It was not something I had planned or even thot of, I was just intending to share something I'd learned the hard way. Maybe a few more of us are now thinking about what we're doing and the possible consequences of a moment's inattention. Don't stop fabbing really cool stuff, just think about what you're doing when you do it. My 'College Study Skills' class had a saying that applies. "Be here, Now." Like that tv show used to say, "Let's be careful out there."

TS

"Teach you all I know and you're still stupid"
-- Howdy Lee
 

FABRICATOR

Well-Known Member
#13
Straight water works just fine in a "total loss" system, however it can build up minerals (etc.) in the torch head. This can usually be blown back out (backwards) with compressed air. It helps while doing this, to take off the two water hoses and stick a thin, strong wire all the way up into the torch head.
The reason you should not use just water in a re-circulating system is the same reasons you don't do that in your car. In a 1 to 3 gallon fan cooled re-circulating system, you won't have the mineral build up problem with a regular water/antifreeze mix, because "new" water is not being introduced all the time. In the big tank system of 20 gallons or more, it would be best to use water with minerals removed instead of letting your torch collect the stuff. At all costs, avoid burning the precious ojos.

<font color=orange>The best ideas are the ones that look obvious to the casual observer.</font color=orange>
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
#14
While on the subject of weld burns and the mention of protecting one's eyes I would like to stress the importance of eye safety. Flash burns to the eyes are painful at best and can have serious consequences. Equally or more important is eye protection when grinding/cutting etc. If you have never had a sliver of metal in your eye, trust me you don't want to. Even if you do manage to get it out without out going to the emergency room there is a good possibility of a rust ring forming, which has to be removed by drilling. No, I'm not kidding. Unfortunately over the years I have had to have it done several times. Protect your eyes. Don't mean to discourage anyone from working with metal. Just be careful..............
 

evan_clanin

Well-Known Member
#15
i think the worst is when you get arc burn to your eyes, i was in the hospital 2 times in the same week
 
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