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Eye protection

There is also a co in Houston that sells special glasses for the
same use but with a layer of gold flashed on polycarbonate Gold
blocks the IR and the polycarbonate the UV. I don’t know how
well it blocks the yellow sodium flare.


I am using my Smith Little Torch with propane and oxygen. Is eye
protection required and if so what is recommended also what
governing body sets the standards? Thanks in advance for your help.
PS. I learn from Ganoskin every day.

Eye protection of some kind should always be worn when metal
smithing OF ANY KIND. Your torch work will actually improve by
wearing specialized filters, such as didymium or AUR-92 (ACE based
filters), by removing the yellow flux flare and improving your vision
of the primary colors so you can see your color temperatures as the
various metals heat up.

There is no governing body, per se, that sets any standards. For
safety spectacles, the American National Safety Institute (ANSI) has
issued ANSI Z87 for general safety eyewear. They don’t recommend
specific filters (apart from welding filters for welding purposes).
That’s not their job.

Mike Aurelius
Aura Lens Products, Inc.

I am really surprised and chagrined to read that some enamelists
and jewelers are peering into their kilns, doing torch work etc.
without benefit of protective glasses. This is really courting
disaster. Please, please, please, read the found in
scientific journals and sources such as the National Eye Institute,
the Macular Degeneration Foundation, and other institutes devoted to
eye research. All of them, and I do mean ALL caution against the
damage caused by infrared and ultraviolet light to unprotected
eyes. This is not a matter of debate, conjecture, argument, or
hearsay. Just don’t take chances. Read the authoritative research
and get informed about this matter. There is a huge body of research

  • the results of which can be found on the internet, attesting to
    the damage caused by Ultra Violet, and Infra Red rays to the eyes.
    OSHA, has a 26 page document on this.

These problems with one’s eyes often develop slowly over a period of
time, but the effects are cumulative, and some - such as Macular
Degeneration, cannot be helped surgically. Better err on the side of
caution, and wear the correct protective glasses.Auralens for torch
work and Calobar lenses for those doing kiln work. The Calobar
glasses can be purchased from Enamelworks. in Seattle. and Auralens
glasses are sold by Bullseye Glass. Those making glass beads using
borosilicate will need the glasses made specifically for those
workers. Don’t take my word for it. Check it out. Your eyes are too
important for you to take any chances.


I wear regular glasses and am looking for eye protection I can wear
over my glasses. Anyone know the best source? I do enamel and
granulation, making my own granuals so I know I need the proper



i agree with your sentiment that “Your eyes are too important for you
to take any chances” so thank you for posting this reminder.


Jocelyn Broyles
Costa Rica ph(011 506) 376.6417
U.S. fax (253) 669.1679

Hi Tammy,

I would suggest to protect your eyes everytime you are using a
drill, buffing and close work which can unprecedently damage your
eyes. It is a must in our trade to use a form of eye protection.

Try to have a look in the orchid’s suppliers (Otto Frei, Contenti,
etc.) in the Tool section or else a quick help, Riogrande Tools and
Equipment Catalog, page 314 which comprises some suggestions for
lens adjustments incorporated in the visors. Another venue which you
can try is your local ironmonger, who can help you find an
appropriate goggle for your kind of trade.

Hope this helps.
from Sunny Malta

has just what you are looking for; one type for glass enamel bead
work in the flame and another type for kiln work. Both fit over


try…the AUR92’s are recommended by my instructor for
soldering and casting flames.

Aura Lens Products, Inc.:



I’ve looked through the archives & am more confused than before. I
want to get eye protection for use while soldering. I use
acetylene/air, acetylene/oxygen, & acetylene/propane, depending on
where I’m taking classes. I need advise on what to purchase - what
color lenses, what # lens, are there any that would fit over my
glasses or that have built-in magnification? I also have been told
that the glow from a Solderite pad will effect my eyes - Is there a
specific lens I need to protect my eyes from the glow? Should I
ditch the Solderite pad for a brick or charcoal instead? I thank you
all in advance for your valued advice.


You know, there really ought to be a definitive guide to eye
protection while torch soldering and melting. One really does have
to research the metals being soldered or melted, and get professional
guidelines on what (if any) tinted lenses are required. One solution
I’ve come up with to work with my magnifying glasses, is to affix a
#10 welding lens into an Optisivor headband. That way I can swing
the lens down over my magnifiers to solder or melt palladium,
platinum, or white gold, and up out of my vision when I’ve finished.

I have never heard of Solderite boards creating a glow that can hurt
your eyes, but if you think any glow is too bright to see
comfortably, then by all means put a tinted lens in front of your
eyes! Welding supply houses carry all types of tinted protective
eyewear ( tinted glasses, some with built-in maginifiers, separate
lenses of all shades, and full-on welding helmets) Welding supply
houses may not have the specific answer for your particular needs,
but refining companies who supply precious metals should always have
a “tech guy” who is full of you’ll need, and usually
quite willing to give you far more than you can ever

Jay Whaley

You know, there really ought to be a definitive guide to eye
protection while torch soldering and melting. 

Aura Lens has some


This discussion of eye protection has set me thinking about all
safety gearin the workshop, and I think there are rules that apply
across the board, but some people don’t follow them. Simplest of all
is, if it hurts, wear protection. I bought ear protectors when I
started doing a lot of ingot forging in silver and gold - sound is
much louder close to the source. Googles and welding googles to
protect my eyes, particle mask for polishing, optivisor for seeing
small details, natural coloured lighting for the workshop to make
things easy to see. That’s not to say that all of these things are
used all the time, but if in doubt, they should be used.

Jamie Hall

I am looking into purchasing safety prescription glasses and I am
curious what kind of eye protection many of you use? I can get new
light weight titanium from Sam’s Club, or vintage frames with a mesh
side protection. Goggles are more coverage, but not prescription and

thank you,

To be clearer, the newer titanium frames have clear plastic side
wings, and the older model frames have metal mesh side wings for
extra eye protection. Is there often enough intrusion that goggles
are the smarter AND the most practical protection? Goggles tend to
sweat and scratch over time.


Because I have 20/20 (not bragging here) and want to keep it, I have
considered going so far as getting Oakleys with clear lenses. It’s
amazing how much cheap safety glasses and sunglasses distort what
you are looking at. High quality lenses distort much less and as a
result put much less stress on your eyes and therefore your eyes last
longer (in theory of course). Currently I use a pair of Wiley X
Airborne as my soldering shades, they work very well as they block
the harmful light of the torch but still let me see what I’m doing. I
realize this doesn’t pertain precisely to your question but I thought
I would just throw it out there.


I wear goggles over my trifocals. When the plastic in the goggles
scratches enough, I just buy another pair.


Hi Brenda. I highly recommend what was suggested here years ago:
Aviator frames, tempered glass bifocals with your reading
prescription on top, and 2X that prescription on the bottom. I LOVE


It's amazing how much cheap safety glasses and sunglasses distort
whatyou are looking at. High quality lenses distort much less...

really? brenda


in the workshop I use the same face mask as I use for brush cutting.
It is a full face visor protects whole face not just my eyes.

And I can easily fit my glasses when wearing it. Industrially rated
and only cost $30. Lasted for 5 years so far.

Check out tool suppliers, not jewellery.

Xtines Jewels