Metal Shop - Safe Work Practice Manual

General

 

  • Regularly review the Safe Work Practices Manual-this is an important resource.
  • Know the material you are working with and read the SDS labels and information sheets to ascertain the proper safety precautions you should take.
  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment when working in the workshops. For example, you may need to wear a respirator and work in a ventilated environment based on the information provided with this material.
  • All materials, supplies, and works in progress must be stored appropriately with the understanding that W840 supports all studio programs.
  • If you are unsure about which tool to use or how to use it consult the safe work practice manual, a Technician, and your Instructor before starting.
  • All placement of art outside the 8th floor must be approved by OH&S through the completion of the Art Placement Form.This form is on the OH&S website of the university and must be completed five days prior to the installation of your work.
  • Do not use headphones or personal listening devices in workshops.
  • Be aware of the impact of your work on the work of others in the woodshop.
  • All containers must be labeled, do not use food or drink containers for any controlled substances such as paint thinner, glue, patina solutions, etc.

 

Housekeeping
 

  • Do not block fire exits and fire-fighting equipment.
  • Store materials in designated storage areas or in your studio spaces.
  • Wash charcoal dust and paint off table tops at the end of each work period as studios are shared spaces.
  • Keep your studio facilities and classrooms clean and tidy.
  • Respect your work and the work of others.
  • Keep all disposal bins tidy with no projecting articles.
  • Clean up spills immediately in order to avoid a slipping hazard.
  • Remove large projects immediately after they have been graded to open up space to make more work.
  • Keep aisles, walkways and stairs clear.
  • Clean and put away all tools and materials in designated storage areas when job is done, and at the end of each workday.
  • Wear the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment when working in Art Studios and Workshops.
  • Sweep floors, equipment, counters, and tables after completion of tasks and at the end of every workday.
  • Avoid causing trip hazards with extension cords and air hoses.
  • Be aware of the impact of your work on the work of others in the woodshop.

Each person in the School of Fine Arts is responsible and accountable for his/her own safety performance. It is important that each person understand that he/she is also expected to work in a manner that will not cause harm to any other person within the University community. Art materials can affect the body in various ways. There are three major routes of entry: inhalation, ingestion and skin contact.

  1. Inhalation: The most common ways that foreign substances enter the body are from vapors, fumes, dust, gases or mists that can be inhaled into the respiratory system. The substances may damage the nose, mouth, and upper respiratory tract, lungs or be absorbed into the bloodstream and travel to other organs in the body.
  2. Ingestion: Substances may be accidentally or willingly ingested through the contamination of food, drinks, cigarettes and hands. These substances may affect the mouth, throat and/or stomach or be absorbed into the bloodstream.
  3. Skin Contact: Substances may attack or destroy the natural protective barriers of the skin, damaging the skin itself, and enabling toxic chemicals to enter the bloodstream, where they are carried to various organs of the body.It is imperative that eating and/or drinking do not occur in any work area.

It is imperative that eating and/or drinking do not occur in any work area.

All students are required to participate in the Safe Work Practices. This includes participation in training and instructional workshops, reading the information sheets that accompany the training sessions, and signing off on their understanding of the information before beginning work in the studio facilities.

HOURS OF OPERATION –W840 Sculpture

Once the training requirement has been met Students are allowed to work in the Sculpture Facilities W840 according to the following schedule:
8:30 am – 8:00 pm Monday–Thursday
8:30 am – 4:30 pm Friday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday

Summer Schedule
8:30 am –4:30 pm Monday -Friday

It is the responsibility of every person in the area to be aware of his or her surroundings, which in turn will create a safe working environment. Particular attention should be paid to the following:

  1. Telephone: located inside the studio at the exit. Emergency numbers are posted beside each telephone.
  2. First Aid Kits: located in each area and are clearly marked. These are for emergency first aid procedures only. Do not use supplies for any other use.
  3. Eye Wash Stations: located in each area and are clearly marked. Eye wash stations are tested every month, by the department Safety Representative.
  4. Fire Extinguishers: located in every working area.

The following materials and substances cannot be used in student projects: ammunition or explosives, flammable liquids, biohazardous material or waste.

WHMIS information sheets and proper labeling according to WHMIS regulations must accompany all controlled products. WHMIS training is provided by OH&S, as a student you must complete the WHMIS Online Training Course offered through OH&S on Moodle.

Material Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are provided in all studios for all controlled products supplied by the Department of Art to support instruction.

Controlled products for your personal use must also have appropriate WHMIS labels and accompanying SDS information sheets.

  • All containers must be labeled (including harmless items like distilled water). The label should contain the proper name of the material (Turpenoid, Varsol) and the name of the user if appropriate, a statement of hazards should also be listed.
  • Do not use material from unlabeled containers. The need for adequate labeling extends far beyond the immediate individual user, as they may not be present if the container spills or breaks.
  • It is important that no unidentified materials are left in unlabeled containers, jars, or bottles. Proper labeling is important since it is difficult and costly to dispose of unlabeled chemicals.

Each individual has the responsibility for seeing that waste chemicals are safely collected, identified and stored for disposal, and that anyone involved is fully advised of the need for any special methods or facilities for proper disposal.

Handling of Waste

Chemicals are everywhere: they can be found in animals, plants and water as well as in many commercially available products including medicines, detergents, paints,and foods. The risk may be low, but present. In order to keep the risk to a minimum, all chemical waste must be disposed of properly. Once a material is declared a waste, the first responsibility for guiding its proper disposal rests with the worker. He or she is in the best position to know the degree of hazard posed by the material they haveused and must provide sufficient information to fit it into the correct channel for disposal.

Some Acids & Bases

The following acids and bases have been approved for drain disposal while flushing drain with water, if the pH range is between 3 and 11 (prior to draining).

Sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide.

Any chemical which qualifies as a hazardous waste must be collected for proper disposal through OH&S. A waste may be designated as a hazardous waste if it meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Acute hazardous waste is a waste which has been found to be fatal in humans in low doses or, in the absence of data on humans, has been found to have, in laboratory animals:
    • An oral LD50 (Lethal Dose of 50% of the test subjects) of less than 50 mg/kg.
    • An inhalation LC50 (Lethal Concentration) of less than 2 mg/l, or
    • A dermal LD50 of less than 200 mg/kg.
  2. A waste is hazardous if it contains any of the toxic constituents listed in the regulations.
  3. A waste is hazardous if it exhibits any of the following characteristics:
    • Ignitability
    • Corrosivity
    • Reactivity
    • Toxicity *
    • Sharpness
  4. Each Studio generating chemical waste in the Department has a designated location within the room for waste accumulation.
  5. Hazardous Waste Disposal containers are located by the sinks in most studios. As well sharps containers are located in various studios for the safe disposal of glass, knives or saw blades.

All workplace hazardous materials must be identified and disposed of according to Provincial Regulations. No substance that may affect the Environment, Plant, Animal, or Human Life can be disposed of in the garbage or flushed down the sewer system. Consult with a Technician before you act.

Effective ventilation is the best method for controlling contaminants generated and released into the studio atmosphere. There are two basic types of ventilation: general and local exhaust. Local exhaust ventilation is required when working in:

Painting Studio W817
Metal Shop W840
Advanced Studio W823
Kiln Room W890D
Wood Shop W840A
Clay Mixing/ SlurryRoom 890A

Spray Booths are located in W840 + W520, use these when spraying fixative to drawings or when using spray paint. If the contaminant is highly toxic or large amounts of the toxic material are produced a respirator must also be worn.

As a result of the hazard assessment performed by the Technical Staff of the Department of Art working alone is not permitted. All work planned after 8:00 pm must be done with another student. Any Students found working alone in any studio area will be asked to leave the facility by Security personnel. The buddy system should now be enforced in all of the following workspaces: W817, W823, W869, W871, W890, A, B, C +D, W520,L804, W844, W842, and W748 A-K. Excerpt from Art Safety Policy (1992);

In addition, students working after hours are required to have a buddy present. A buddy is another student who is enrolled in and cognizant of the School of Fine Arts Safety Policy. The buddy must remain within the same studio at all times.

The University of Lethbridge now has a Working Alone Safely Login that informs Security that an individual is working alone on campus. All Faculty,Staff, and Students are asked to use this system to login and out with security when they are on campus after regular hours. This policy was developed through the guidelines found in the booklet “Working Alone Safely: A Guide for Employers and Employees” as developed by Alberta Human Resources and Employment.

Fire

In the event of fire, please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 911 or 403-329-2345.

Action to be taken (R.E.A.C.T.)

  1. Remove those in danger.
  2. Ensure the room is closed. This step will confine a fire to the room of origin. This will also prevent the spread of smoke and toxic gases.
  3. Activate the fire alarm. This will occur automatically with smoke and heat detection equipment. There is nothing wrong with calling the Fire Department for assistance and providing details of the fire.
  4. Call the Fire Department. 911 or 329-2345. A person should be designated to call the Fire Department even though the building alarm system is automatically connected to the Fire Department.
  5. Try to extinguish or control the fire. If there is any doubt in the mind of the person(s) attempting to extinguish the fire regarding their ability to do so, then confine the fire to the room of origin by closing the door.
  6. Evacuate.
  7. Keep people from re-entering the building until directed to do so by the Building Fire Warden of Campus Security.

Air Contamination

Should you smell any foreign or unrecognized odors, please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 403-329-2345.

What to report:

  1. The location of the odor.
  2. Time the odor was first apparent.
  3. Any physical symptoms experienced by persons in the affected area, ie. headache, feeling of nausea.
  4. Any information suggesting the odor's origin.

Open any windows or doors to attempt to dilute the polluted air with fresh outside air. Stay out of the affected area and await further instruction by safety personnel.

Chemical Spills

Should a chemical spill occur in your area please phone the following EMERGENCY number immediately: 403-329-2345.

What to report:

  1. The location of the spill and any evidence that tells what the chemical could be, ie. an empty bleach bottle lying on the floor indicating the substance may be bleach.
  2. Any odor, ie. a strong smell of ammonia.
  3. Any visible chemical reaction that may be occurring, ie. a substance bubbling on the floor.

When proper personnel have been notified, no one should enter the contaminated area. If an odor is present, open a window and post a guard outside the odorous area keeping untrained persons away. NO ATTEMPT SHOULD BE MADE TO CLEAN UP THE SPILL. Await arrival of emergency personnel.

Overview

There are times when exposure to toxic materials cannot be prevented, and as such any person working in the area must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. Contact the Technician, your Professor, or OHS for assistance in selecting the correct PPE. It is not only important that the correct PPE is worn but that the equipment fit properly. For instance,respirators must have a mask to face seal and facial hair prevents a tight seal.

General Information

For detailed information please refer to information sheets included in the Workplace Safety Manual located in W840.

Eye Protection

  • Prescription lenses and sport glasses are not an acceptable substitute for proper, required Industrial safety eye protection.
  • Contact lens should not be worn in Art Studio Environments. Contact lens may trap or absorb particles or gases causing eye irritation or blindness.
  • CSA approved eye protection must be worn when working in W840 and elsewhere when the activity demands it.
  • Eye protection should fit properly, with or without prescription lens.
  • Return glasses to the proper storage rack face up to avoid scratching lens.
  • In this storage rack you will find a variety of styles pick the one that fits you best.

Hearing Protection

  • There are two common types of hearing protection: earplugs or earmuffs.
  • One or both types must be used when working in W840 and W890B (grinding room) and at all times when equipment is operating.
  • These studio workshops are high noise areas and hearing protection is a must even if you are not the one making the noise.
  • Hearing loss, which normally occurs over an extended period of time, is one concern in high noise areas. The immediate effect of high noise areas is fatigue-when we are tired we make mistakes, some of which could be serious.

Foot Protection

  • Students are required to wear good solid shoes when working in Art Studio. Leather shoes with closed toes are best. These protect your feet from most substances used in studios-for example,spills: photo chemicals, acids, and paints. Open-toed sandals should not be worn in any studio, and are not permitted in W840.
  • If you have safety boots wear them and if you know you are going to live in these studios buy some safety footwear.
  • Employees must wear safety footwear in the above areas and in the performance of the majority of their duties.

Respiratory Protection

  • Dust masks must be worn in W840, W840A, and W890 A, B, and C when the activities in these areas are dust producing.
  • Local ventilation and air extraction equipment must be utilized in the above studios depending on the nature of your activity.
  • Spray Booths are located in W840 + W520, use these when spraying fixative to drawings or when using spray paint.
  • If the contaminant is highly toxic or large amounts of the toxic material are produced a respirator must also be worn.

Limb & Body Protection

Due to the variety of studio activities you must consider further personal protection that may take many different forms such as leather gloves, nitrile gloves, leather/chemical aprons etc.

Generally the following rules apply when working in studios and shops:

  • All rings, bracelets, necklaces, and watches should be removed. Long hair must be tied firmly back and tuck in. Short sleeves should be worn when working in the wood shop and shirttails must be tucked in.
  • If you bend over nothing should fall away from your body.
  • When working with metal or hot processes long sleeves should be worn, and clothing should be made of natural fibers. Synthetic fibers melt onto the skin and can cause severe burns.
  • Shirttails should not be tucked in when working with hot processes, no cuffs, and pocket flaps should be closed. You want any hot particle to be able to pass through your clothing and not to become trapped against your skin.
  • Shorts and open-toed shoes or sandals should not be worn in the studios. You must keep in mind that many of the products you will use are absorbed through the skin, and could be corrosive.
  • Wash hands and arms thoroughly before leaving the studios after working with potentially hazardous material and before eating, drinking, smoking, etc.

This space will operate on a one-week rotating schedule, and it is your responsibility to schedule your time in this space. At the end of the exhibition period the following procedure must be followed:

  • Get the paint kit from technicians. In this kit you will find the following supplies:
    Paint Brush, Roller sleeve and handle, pole sander and sand paper, Extension Pole, Wall Filler, putty knife, Tape, White Latex paint, Paint Tray and drop cloths, brush, and roller spinner.
  • Lay down the drop cloths tight to the walls, if necessary tape these down with painters tape. They should overlap each other by 24”.
  • Remove all nails and fastening devices, with pole sander lightly sand the walls, smoothing out the dimple caused by your nails.
  • Prepare a small quantity of wall filler and apply leanly to all nail holes.
  • When this is dry lightly sand the walls again taking care to make the walls as smooth as possible.
  • Stir your paint well and only use the latex paint provided.
  • Fill the paint tray with a moderate quantity of paint working only on the drop clothes.
  • With a paintbrush first apply a brush coat on all filled areas, then carefully cut in the edges of the walls. Do not paint concrete, floors, baseboards, or electrical outlets.
  • Once you have finished cutting in use the roller to apply a light even coat of white latex paint to the walls.
  • After you have completed the painting scrap excess paint from roller into tray, with a brush, clean paint tray returning excess paint to paint can.
  • Roll or fold up your drop cloths and sweep the area before returning paint kit to W840.
  • Return all used painting equipment to W840 and carefully remove the roller sleeve and thoroughly rinse it in the sink making sure all paint is washed out of roller and paintbrush.
  • Using the paint spinner in the sink fit roller sleeve over end of spinner and spin roller to remove excess water. Stand damp roller sleeve upright for finally drying.
  • Using the paint spinner, place brush handle into clamp and spin to remove excess water. Smooth out the bristle while brush is still damp and lay brush flat to dry or hang on wall over sink.
  • When working in the metal shop ear and eye protection equipment must be worn.  Also protect your hands with leather gloves and your body with leather garments.
  • Wearing the proper PPE also helps to make you feel more comfortable with new processes.
  • Clothing and shoes should be made of solid, natural materials.
  • Never wear polyesters or synthetic materials when working with hot processes, as these will melt causing severe burns.
  • As with all other studio practices, do not wear contact lenses.
  • Wear long sleeved shirts without pockets. Do not tuck in shirttails. Wear long pants with the cuffs rolled down.
  • You must wear a variety of eye protection equipment including protection for flying objects and Shade 6 protective lenses for gas torches, forge or plasma cutting.
  • For electric welding ARC welding, MIG welding or TIG welding you must wear welding helmets with shade 10 lenses to protect your eyes from the ultra violet light created by the electrical arc.

 

  • If you are upset or otherwise preoccupied spend your day somewhere else.  When working in the metal shop, all of your attention should be on the task before you.
  • Never use equipment that you have not been trained on. Read safe work practice and ask for clarification before you start.
  • Be thoughtful and deliberate. Allow yourself both the time to complete a task and the time to develop the skills necessary to complete the task.
  • Observe your work site and consider the work and safety of others.
  • Clean up is an essential part of your practice and greatly affects the quality and safety of your work experience.  Metal debris should constantly be removed from the floor and work surfaces.
  • The metal cut-off saw is an abrasive saw that uses a silicon carbide disc.
  • Wear eye, hearing and hand protection.  Wear a dust mask during prolonged use of abrasive tools in the metal shop.  A face shield must be worn when working with tools and equipment that utilize silicon blades.
  • Metal cut-off saw will cut ferrous or iron based metals only.
  • Do not cut any nonferrous metals like aluminum, copper or brass. These metals adhere to the blade and can cause the blade to become unbalanced.
  • Some non-ferrous metals such as aluminum will cause an explosive situation.
  • The metal cut-off saw is similar to the miter-saws or radial-arm saw. It is designed to cut long narrow pieces of metal into shorter pieces (cross cutting). Unlike the woodworking equipment the cutting action is considerably slower due to the abrasive disc.
  • Position your steel on the cutting table and securely clamp your stock.
  • Wearing your PPE, turn on the saw. Blade must be rotating at full speed before it comes in contact with the steel otherwise blade will break.
  • With steel firmly clamped, draw cutter-head down into material listen to the motor and apply constant pressure without overloading the motor.
  • Allow cutter-head come to a complete stop and return to the upright position at the end of the cut.
  • Do not put your hands in red zone of metal cut-off saw for any reason.
  • Always cut moderately, applying firm and constant pressure.
  • Heat is a natural by product of friction, so both ends of steel will be hot and can burn unprotected fingers.
  • Sweep metal filings from equipment, floor and work area when you are finished working.
  • The metal cold cutting chop saw uses special dry cutting carbide saw blades for cutting mild steel and stainless steel as well as nonferrous metals such as aluminum.
  • Wear eye, hearing and hand protection. A face shield must be worn to protect from metal chips and shards.
  • The metal cold cutting saw is similar to the miter-saws or radial-arm saw. It is designed to cut long narrow pieces of metal into shorter pieces (cross cutting). Unlike the woodworking equipment the cutting action is slower.
  • The cold cutting saw should not be used for cutting thin pieces of pencil rod.
  • Position your metal on the cutting table and securely clamp your stock.
  • Wearing your PPE, turn on the saw. Blade must be rotating at full speed before it comes in contact with the stock otherwise you risk damaging the carbide teeth on the blade.
  • With metal stock firmly clamped, draw cutter-head down into material listen to the motor and apply constant pressure without overloading the motor.
  • Allow cutter-head come to a complete stop and return to the upright position at the end of the cut.
  • Do not put your hands in red zone of metal cut-off saw for any reason.
  • The majority of heat is transferred to the chips removed by the teeth of the saw and unlike the cut off saw the cut ends of the metal are not hot.  The cut ends are however quite sharp and should be handled with care.
  • Sweep metal filings from equipment, floor and work area when you are finished working.

Make sure you have access to a fire extinguisher before you start working.

  • Turn exhaust unit on.  Wear goggles (shade #6), leather gloves, and leather jacket.
  • Check the torch hoses and gauges for leaks, damage or deterioration. Check all braze fittings for tightness. Never use a torch that leaks.
  • Clear all combustible material away from your work area.

TORCH SET UP

  • When using Oxygen-Mapp gas to weld, braze or cut steel develop the habit of starting with the flammable gas first. In the Metal Shop the RED cylinder contains the MAPP gas. Remember RED first.
  • Slowly open MAPP gas (RED) main cylinder valve one half turn.  Never stand directly in front of the valve while opening.
  • Crack open needle valve for MAPP gas on torch handle, look for (RED) hose.
  • Adjust regulator turn screw on MAPP gas gauge (RED) to working pressure.
  • When working or line pressure is reached, quickly close MAPP gas needle valve on torch handle (RED) hose.
  • The flammable gas, in our case the MAPP gas, is now set to working pressure.
  • Slowly open OXYGEN main cylinder valve wide open (GREEN).  Never stand directly in front of the valve while opening.
  • Crack open needle valve for oxygen on torch handle look for (GREEN) hose.
  • Adjust regulator turn screw on OXYGEN gauge (GREEN) to working pressure.
  • When working or line pressure is reached quickly close OXYGEN needle valve on torch handle (GREEN) hose.
  • Make sure the gauge of the acetylene or MAPP gas cylinder does not exceed 15 PSI. Drawing acetylene or MAPP gas too quickly produces an unstable, explosive condition. 
  • The oxygen gauge can be set higher depending on the type of work you are doing.

LIGHTING THE TORCH

Remember: always start with the flammable gas first.

  • Ensure that the ventilation system is turned on and extraction vent is positioned above your work area. 
  • Crack open MAPP gas needle valve on the torch handle.
  • Use a striker to light MAPP gas as it comes out of torch tip.
  • Slowly adjust MAPP gas needle valve on torch handle until a sooty ‘licking’ flame is produced.  There should not be a gap between the torch tip and the flame.  If a gap exists reduce close torch handle valve slightly to reduce flame.
  • Gradually open OXYGEN gas needle on the torch handle until you get a good sharp flame at tip of torch.  Opening too quickly will blow out the flame.  If this occurs close both valves on handle and begin the lighting process from the beginning.
  • Getting the right mixture of oxygen and fuel requires a little practice. Get help if you have never used a torch before.
  • Before you start check the area once more.
  • Make sure the hoses are clear of the work area.
  • After the task is complete, turn off the MAPP gas needle valve on the torch first.
  • After the flame is extinguished; turn off the OXYGEN needle valve on the torch.

TORCH SHUT DOWN

If you have to leave the work area for any reason you must shut down the oxygen-MAPP gas system completely. Follow these steps.

  • Close MAPP gas main cylinder valve.
  • Open MAPP gas needle valve.
  • When both MAPP gas gauges read 0, relieve pressure on regulator turn screw.
  • Close MAPP gas needle valve.
  • Follow same steps with the OXYGEN cylinder. All gauges should read 0 and hoses should be neatly coiled and placed off the ground on racks provided.

GAS WELDING, CUTTING AND BURNING

Work involving welding, cutting and burning can increase the fire and breathing hazard on any job. The following should be considered prior to the start of work:

  • Always ensure that adequate ventilation is supplied since hazardous fumes can be created during welding, cutting or burning.
  • Where other workers may also be exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting and burning they must be alerted to these hazards or protected from them by the use of "screens".
  • Never start work without proper authorization.
  • Make sure you have access to a fire extinguisher before you start working.
  • Check the work area for combustible material and possible flammable vapors before starting work.
  • Check cables and hoses to protect them from slag or sparks.
  • Never weld or cut lines, drums, tanks, etc. that have been in service without making sure that all precautions have been carried out and permits obtained.
  • Cutting and welding must not be performed where sparks and cutting slag will fall on cylinders (move all cylinders away to one side).
  • Open all cylinder valves slowly.
  • Never use grease or oils on cylinder valves or regulators. If your hands have grease or oil on them make sure they are clean before handling torch.
  • All Cylinders must be closed, regulators back off and hoses bled of any remaining pressure if you have to leave the area.
  • When work is finished, neatly wrap hoses and return torch to storage tray keeping the hot tip away from the wrapped hose.

 

  • Check the tool rest for the correct distance from the abrasive wheel: maximum 1 /8" or 3 mm.
  • Replace the grindstone when adjustment of the rest cannot provide 1/8" or 3 mm clearance.
  • If the wheel has been abused and ground to an angle or grooved, reface the wheel with the appropriate surfacing tool.
  • Protect your eyes with goggles/safety glasses and a face shield at all times when grinding.   Wear hearing protection.  Wear a dust mask when grinding for long periods of time.  Wear gloves ONLY where necessary and if there is NO risk of entanglement. 
  • Each time a grinding wheel is mounted the maximum approved speed stamped on the wheel bladder should be checked against the shaft rotation speed of the machine to ensure the safe peripheral speed is not exceeded. A grinding wheel must not be operated at peripheral speed exceeding the manufacturer's recommendation.
  • The flanges supporting the grinding wheel should be a maximum of 1/3 the diameter of the wheel and must fit the shaft rotating speed according to the manufacturer's recommendation.
  • Bench grinders are designed for peripheral grinding. Do not grind on the side of the wheel.
  • Do not stand directly in front of grinding wheel when it is first started.
  • Rest your work piece on the tool rest. No ‘freehand’ grinding.
  • Move your work piece back and forth across the surface of the stone to avoid wearing groves and unbalancing grinding stones.
  • Never grind material if the gap between stone and tool rest exceeds 1/8”.  If it exceeds 1/8” ask a technician to adjust the tool rest.
  • Stay with the grinder until the stones come to a complete stop.
  • Do not grind non-ferrous materials on grinding stones as these clog the stone and can create an explosive situation. Non-ferrous metals are metals like Aluminum, Copper and Zinc. These are all metals that do not spark when grinding.
  • Sweep metal filings from equipment, floor and work area when you are finished working.
  • There are a variety of discs for different materials and applications.  Use the disc designed for the material you are grinding and for its intended application, these are not interchangeable.  Example, cutting discs and grinding discs.
  • Be familiar with grinder operation before commencing work.
  • Ensure proper guards are in place.  Protect your eyes with goggles/safety glasses and a face shield at all times when grinding.  Wear hearing protection.  Wear a dust mask when grinding for long periods of time.
  • Wear gloves ONLY where necessary and if there is NO risk of entanglement.
  • When mounting the wheels, check them for cracks and defects. Ensure that the mounting flanges are clean and the mounting blotters are used. Do not over tighten the mounting nut.
  • Before grinding run newly mounted wheels at operating speed to check for vibrations.
  • Do not use grinders near flammable materials.
  • Always use both hands on your grinder.
  • Do not use angle grinders without the handle or without the disc guard.
  • Never use the grinder for jobs that it is not designed for.
  • Do not use a small grinder to do a big job or a large grinder to do a small job.
  • Exercise caution when handling material.  The grinded surface will be very hot and capable causing burns.
  • Sweep metal filings from equipment, floor and work area when you are finished working.

Metal Forging uses heat to soften metal so that it can be bent and formed by hammering against an anvil or nonflammable form or shape. The saying: “strike while the iron is hot.” is the blacksmith’s mantra.

  • Ensure work site is clear of combustibles and trip hazards and ventilation unit is on.
  • Arrange workspace so that tools are in easy reach. Plan how you are going to work the red hot metal before you start so that you can make the most of each strike.
  • Before lighting, open furnace door so that gas does not accumulate inside furnace.  You must be trained on the forge before using it.  Have a technician light the forge until you have gained experience in the process.
  • Wear appropriate PPE. Protect eyes from furnace and metal glare with a minimum #6 shade lenses. Wear face shield, leather jacket and gloves. Wear hearing protection against the ring of the anvil.
  • To light furnace, open main gas valve first then open control valve. Hold down solenoid while engaging electronic striker. Hold pilot down until solenoid is hot, furnace will then stay on. Close the furnace door.
  • When working with red-hot material, please be aware of others working in the area.  Caution others to keep a safe working distance from you.
  • Slag from metal is hot and sharp. Do not use-unprotected hand to sweep it off anvil surface.
  • Forging hammers are heavy and the work is repetitive. Wrists and elbows should not be used to lift hammer.
  • Use the shoulder muscles. Develop a rhythmic strike pattern using the recoil from the anvil to lift the hammer.
  • Don’t swing hammer away from your body center. Move the material and the body as required.
  • When forge working material begin with a long piece of stock so that you have a cool zone to handle.  A temporary extension handle can be welded to your piece of stock if required.
  • Do not leave hot pieces of metal un-attended; quench them in cold water to cool.
  • When quenching hot material, remember that steam burns and heat travels up the length of the material before it becomes cool enough to handle.
  • When shutting down the furnace, first shut off gas control valve. Then shut off main gas valve. When not in regular use, turn off gas completely on the main gas line.
  • Sweep metal filings from equipment, floor and work area when you are finished working.
  • MIG welding is a type of welding combining a shielding gas (CO2) with an automatic wire feed unit and an electric arc welder.
  • Do not attempt to weld metals other than steel unless you have checked with the technician and appropriate arrangements/adjustments have been made.
  • Steel that has been coated (galvanized or plated with zinc, etc) can produce poisonous gases and does not weld well. Cast metals also do not weld well. Check with the technician if you are unsure.
  •  Put on appropriate PPE. (Leather welding jacket, gloves, welding helmet, proper boots or sturdy shoes). Long pants are necessary.  Clothing and shoes should be made of solid, natural materials.  Never wear polyesters or synthetic materials when welding.
  • Inspect your surroundings. The intense light from electric welding must be shielded from others working in the same space. Hot sparks and drips are also produced. Make sure the area is clear of combustible materials and is not wet (electrocution hazard).
  • Turn on ventilation system at the switch near the door. Do not breathe fumes generated by welding.
  • Inspect the tip of the welding gun before you begin. 
  • The tip of the welding gun is susceptible to fouling from molten metal at the weld site. You must keep the tip clean and lubricated with the lubricant supplied near the wire feed unit. Dip the tip after every few welds.
  • Keep the tip clean with the tip cleaner in the tool drawer. Scrape out around the tip and make sure the end is clear so that the wire can move freely, and the shielding gas can flow unimpeded.
  • Turn on the electric welder and set the voltage to suit the metal you are welding and the rod on the reel. Approx. 25-30 for light steel rod.
  • Turn on the wire feed unit and set the feed rate to suit the type of weld and the temperature. (Approx. 28).
  • Turn on the shielding gas at the bottle behind the welder. The pressure is preset. Crack the valve slowly and then open it fully by turning the valve counterclockwise.  Never stand directly in front of the valve while opening.
  • Electric currents for welding require continuity. Attach the ground wire to a point that the current can pass through so that it is continuous. The table is usually fine unless your piece is supported off of the table. You may attach it directly to the piece some distance from the weld site.
  • Clean the weld site before starting. Paint or dirt and contamination can interfere with the welding process. Grind or clean the surfaces to be welded first.
  • Hold the gun with both hands and tip it gently in the direction of the weld so that you drag the tip rather than pushing it for most welds.
  • Ensure that the welding gun is at a gentle angle from the wire feed unit. The cord should only have a gentle curve in it. The wire must slide inside the casing all the way to the weld site. A sharp curve makes this unnecessarily difficult and interferes with the wire feed rate.
  • Ensure that your helmet is down, turned on, and shield is in place.  Test the helmet’s auto-darkening response with a striker.
  • Pull the trigger and slowly draw along the weld site tracing small circles as you go to melt and stitch together the two pieces of metal. Keep the tip close to the weld (within a ½ inch), hovering above the weld site.
  • Release the trigger to stop the welding process.
  • When finished, shut down as follows:
  • Shut off the gas, welder, and wire feed unit.
  • Return the ground wire and the gun to their storage places and neatly wrap up the cords. Roll the unit back to its original place.
  • Return PPE to their respective cabinets.
  • Remember that a fresh weld is very hot and spreads heat along the length of the work piece. Beware of hot metal and do not leave a freshly welded piece where an unsuspecting passerby might bump against it or try to move it.
  • Quench in the sink if necessary, but remember that the sink is made of plastic and will melt if hot metal is left in contact with it for any length of time. Quenching metal also produces a lot of steam, which can cause burns.
  • Inspect your work site before beginning to weld.  Remove all flammable materials and position welding screens to protect others form flash hazards.
  • Put on appropriate PPE. (Leather welding jacket, gloves, welding helmet, proper boots or sturdy shoes). Long pants are necessary.  Clothing and shoes should be made of solid, natural materials.  Never wear polyesters of synthetic materials when welding.
  • Inspect your surroundings. The intense light from electric welding must be shielded from others working in the same space. Hot sparks and drips are also produced. Make sure the area is clear of combustible materials and is not wet. (electrocution hazard).
  • Turn on ventilation system at the switch near the door. Do not breathe fumes generated by welding.
  • Connect your ground cable as close to your weld area as possible.
  • Make sure your metal is clean and dry to produce the best welds.
  • Arc welding, also referred to as stick welding, is possible when an electric current arcs between the controlled gap of the electrode and the grounded work surface.
  • Ensure that the proper type and size of electrode has been selected for the job.  Ensure that the electrode is properly secured in the holder.
  • Ensure that the welder has been set to the necessary current for the job
  • Check your worksite again for possible hazards before welding.
  • Correctly striking an arc takes practice.  The electrode is held just above the plate at an angle of 20-25 degrees.  The arc should be struck by sweeping the electrode with a wrist motion and lightly scratching the plate. The electrode is then lifted immediately to form an arc.
  • An alternative method is to hold the electrode in a vertical position about an inch above the point where the arc is to be struck.  Then the electrode is lightly tapped on the work piece and immediately lifted to form an arc approximately 1/4 inch in length.
  • Wear safety glasses and hearing protection. Be certain to tie up long hair when working around rotating machinery. Rings, wristwatches, and gloves should not be worn.
  • Check to see that the chuck key and all wrenches are removed before starting the machine.
  • Use sharp drill bits and be sure they are balanced in the chuck. Do not use bent or broken drill bits.
  • The torque on a drill press is more powerful than you. The larger the bit the more torque. Use clamps or a vise to hold your material still against the tabletop.
  • Keep the work surface clean- brush and sweep it regularly.
  • Drill material easily without forcing bits.   Keep the drill bit lubricated with oil.  Marking the spot on your metal with a punch will help prevent the drill bit from ‘skating’ on the surface.
  • Beware of the coasting machine.  Stay with the drill press until it has stopped moving.
  • Always have a sacrificial piece of scrap wood under your work piece.  This will ensure a clean cut on the underside of your metal, and will protect the deck or table from damage.
  • Sweep metal filings from equipment, floor and work area during and when you are finished working.