You know how you get a little complacent about the details, particularly safety items, when you perform a certain activity or process with great frequency? Well, I had fate jump up an bite me a bit this week.
A number of years ago I got out of the habit of using gloves when tig welding on thin steel, partly because it's low amperage, low heat and I like the increased dexterity...mostly because it's easier not to pull them on. I know, it's really just pure laziness. I've never really had an issue until just the other day when the heat and humidity conspired to reaffirm a few points I'd become rusty on...
#1... when it's hot out, your skin expresses water through it's pores (even your hands)
#2... water is a better conductor of electricity than steel
#3... electricity follows the path of least resistance
#4... it hurts, like real bad, to have electricity run through you instead of the work piece.
So, points made, here's what happened. I was welding up a fixture piece for Chad's build, sweating my arse off, when I hit the pedal to start a new bead...Wizzzap! The arc, instead of establishing on the work piece, jumped across the handle and into my moist, un-clad hand that was holding the tig torch. You can see the entry point below in the form of the dead, lumpy nodule...