This is part two of a two
part series on safety glasses for the kilnworker. Click here
to go to part one.
Shaded eyeglasses should be selected based on their ability to
block infrared radiation. Don't confuse blocking ultraviolet
(UV) radiation with blocking infrared (IR) radiation. You
don't want to purchase ordinary sunglasses. And don't make the
common mistake of using lampworking glasses for kiln activities --
didymium glasses, for instance, do not block sufficient infrared
Glasses that block infrared radiation are rated on a scale from
zero (clear lens) to 14 or higher. The higher the number, the
darker the lens and the more radiation is blocked.
For kiln workers, glasses with a shade number from 1.7 to 2.5 are
recommended. These block from 85% (1.7) to 97% (2.5) of the
infrared radiation. Higher shade numbers (5.0 is common) block
more radiation, but they are too dark to be used in the kiln
The right shade for you depends on how frequently you look into
the kiln, how long you look, and how hot the temperature is.
It's safe to peek quickly (less than a minute), without glasses, but
activities like combing, manipulating glass, or watching slumping
for long periods of time are much safer if you're wearing shaded
Safety glasses can be purchased from many glass retailers and
wholesalers. They're also available from some welding
suppliers and from some medical supply stores.
Click here for information
on heat-reflective face shields, a related piece of safety
Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
Thanks to Greg Rawls for help
with this tip. Greg's
website has some very good information about safety for the