…try and set my shirt on fire. I thought I would dedicate a mid-week posting to shop clothing. My garage attire is typically worn worn-out clothing (yes that is 2 worns). My shop shoes are a worn out pair of slip on Merrells from 11 years ago. They have terrible upper ankle protection. The welding and grinding sparks always seem to find a way to burn the tops of my feet. Just look at my socks and the black burn rings are evidence of overheated fabric. Obviously Merrell neglected to take into account the garage junkies in their design. My worn out jeans should have been retired 3 years ago, the hole in the crotch is so big that I have to shield the area with my welding glove when I am using the chop saw, sensitive body parts do not take well to hot flying chips of steel.
Wearing flammable clothing while welding really opens up a persons other senses. When you’re laying beads down vision is obviously a priority however I find that sound is just as crucial. The sound of a perfectly dialed in machine is like a symphony of electrons. You can tell the weld is going to be beautiful just by the crackle. The third sense that starts to come into place is smell. When your face is buried behind a welding helmet you start to notice things especially when those things don’t smell right. For me I have learned to pick up the scent of burning cotton, it is very distinctive. I suppose this might be a reason to never weld when you are sick and you suffer from plugged nasal passages. I suppose one could argue that it may just be better to wear non flammable clothing. Hey good idea!
The other week I stumbled onto a Miller welding jacket in the discount bin of a local tool supplier. This thing is great! It’s flame resistant, it’s more comfortable then my sweatshirt, and it’s light weight. In summer I will often TIG in just a T-shirt and then suffer the sunburn consequences on my neck and mid arms. This jacket is cool enough that I think I’ll actually make an effort to wear it. Anyway…here’s looking forward to no more potential stop, drop, and role situations.