What we have here is a failure to communicate…

From wonderful WetCanvas:

Has anyone used the AGW-300 for furnace work? It seems like a good product from the specifications but I’m not sure how well I’d be able to see in the hot shop with 60% visible light transmission. A packet about eye protection that came with the intoductory materials for a course I took in Corning suggested wearing flip up #5 welding filters but it would be nice to not have to deal with the flipping. The AGW-300s are pretty expensive at $260 though so I’m not sure if it would be worth it even if I could see pretty well.

We really DON”T recommend the AGW-300 for furnace work because of the price point. The AGW-300 is really more designed for scientific glassworkers than for furnace workers, but it CAN be used without problem. Shade 5 welding filters are way too dark to safely use in a hot shop (furnace glass), and we don’t recommend them for that purpose.

The author then goes on to write:

I know there aren’t a ton of furnace workers on these forums but I think I can assume from the lack of response that not too many people have used these lenses. What do you use for eye protection? In my experience blowing and watching people in Corning, most of the artists just use clear safety glasses, or their own eyeglasses, nothing that blocks the IR. I don’t blow enough that I think it should be a problem but if I get more serious about it I would like to avoid cataracts later in life.

Even small amounts of IR exposure cause damage to the eye. Remember that eye damage from IR is cumulative, and that everyone has a different damage threshold, the point at which the damage done starts to affect your vision. I am surprised though that the Studio at Corning continues to allow unsafe eyewear to be used.

“Jill”, who appears to be a new member of WC, writes this:

Yea, I know what you mean about Corning’s CMOG Studio. I have used the same ones at a number of classes there.

I asked them about the protection of the clear safety glasses they use. Don’t be confused, and think they are regular safety glasses, because they are not. The ones they use are clear glasses which also have the 99.9% UV protection.

After being there, I looked around for this type and discovered that most of the safety glasses you find at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart are regular safety glasses without UV protection. I finally found some at a different Wal-Mart and the box said 99.9% UV protection. They were about $4.00 so I bought 3 pairs.

Now I only use my dark glasses for flamework. The clear ones with the 99.9% UV protection are a lot easier to work with in a hot shop.

 ACK!!! UV is not equal to IR! As I’ve said many times before, UV is not generated by most glassworking operations, including the hot shop. You need to get in the 4,500 F degree range before you even start to generate any significant amounts of UV, and that simply does not occur in most glassworking studios, much less the hot shop.

In the memorial words of my father: ‘We give them the books, we send them to school, but they still don’t learn.”

A lot of the writing I do is trying to change misconsceptions and present hard solid facts. Unfortunately, it appears as if I’ve got a long road to go yet. I think of it as job security.


8 thoughts on “What we have here is a failure to communicate…

  1. Anyone who finds $260 a stretch in order to protect their eyes should really look for a cheaper hobby that they can indulge in safely.

    But maybe you ought to be a bit more graphic about the health consequences and spell them out clearly, because most folks don’t really think about what it means to be blind and probably think they only get a headache or temporary problems, or, it won’t happen to them.

  2. It’s not that I find $260 a stretch to protect my eyes, it’s just a lot more than some cheap welding filters for the convenience of not having to flip them up and down all the time. Someone mentioned they liked the AUR-99s for furnace work but I would think it would be hard to see with only the ~25% visible light transmission of the shade 2.0s. What do you recommend for furnace work Mike?

  3. Unless you need a prescription, the AUR-99’s are quite a bit less than $260.00…

    Ben, I recommend the AUR-99 shade 2.0. That is what most of my traditional glassblowers are using to protect their eyes.

  4. Ok thanks I’ll probably be picking up a pair then, are they light enough to see through while working? I’d hate to get IR protection only to have to push them out of the way to be able to see what I’m doing, glass chips in the eye cause more immediate damage.

  5. Awesome I’ll have to get a pair then, any recommendations as far as frames go? I’m thinking standard plastic should do me just fine.

  6. Don’t forget croakies! (eyeglass straps) At least thats my personal preference. I have a small face/head. They keep the glasses snug to my face and prevent them from slipping off. I agree, plastic is the way to go. Anything metal tends to heat up when taking a big gather at the furnace. Jewelry,rivets on jeans and yes even eye glass frames.

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