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Close Call / Lesson Learned.

Mark in Indiana

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#1
Hello Friends,

Sometimes, even us old dogs need to learn new tricks. Or we need to be reminded by God that you can get hurt if you're not careful.

Some time back, I was cleaning the dynamic jaw section of a vise that I was restoring. I had clamped it in my vise to work on (see first picture). While I was wire brushing that jaw section, it slipped out of the vise and crashed onto the floor. Thankfully, it didn't hit me.

So I blocked and re-clamped my workpiece in the vise (see second picture). So the lesson here is to test the clamped workpiece before starting to work on it.

Any other "Close Call / Lesson Learned" stories out there?

BAD CLAMP.jpg GOOD CLAMP.jpg
 

mike837go

Active Member
Active Member
#2
Stuff coming loose from the vice/clams? Routinely.
Loosing my grip on a tool? Often.
Jamming a bit in the drill press? Usually.

I was taught to work on high-end cars. So when something slips, don't try and grab it. You WILL slam it into some very expensive paint!

So, I jump backwards and watch which way it bounces. Pick it up and try again.

The worst part of fumbling something while in an engine bay: Not hearing it hit the floor.
 

Mark in Indiana

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#4
Mike,
Your story reminds me of a guy that I worked with in a maintenance shop:
He was drilling a piece of steel with a large drill press. The workpiece wasn't clamped. He was holding it with his right hand. He was also bent down to examine the work. At the point where the drill bit caught the workpiece, it spun around and hit his jaw. He suffered a broken jaw and lost 6 teeth.
 

savarin

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#5
I nearly lost a nipple yesterday.
I was polishing a short length of aluminium tube when I misjudged the angle of feed into the buff, it grabbed it, flung it to the back of the shroud where it spun out at an amazing rate of knots and caught me just under the nipple.
Bugger it really hurt.:bawling:
 

jpfabricator

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#6
I was a welder helper and pipefitter for a long while. We used the massive dewalt grinders with a twisted wire wheel to clean rust and slag off of pipe bevels and welds.
Safety glasses and a face shield were mandatory.
Even whith all that I had a wire come off and imbed itself in the end of my nose.
A few thousands to the left and it might have ended up in my eye, a few to the right and it would have went up my nostrile.
I have a nice scar to show, and I now use cup brushes.

Sent from somewhere in East Texas Jake Parker
 

Mark in Indiana

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#8
I like a lot of the job safety rules and advances in PPE. When I got into the trades in the early 80s, you may to have safety glasses, that were just horn rimmed with side shields. I used to work with extruders. many times we had to burn the plastic off of the extrusion screws and wire brush them with a massive cup wheel. I pulled a lot of shrapnel out of my skin during those years. I wish they had the quality of safety glasses and face shields back then, that they have now.
 

mike837go

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#9
As I mentioned before, I have never been seriously injured by my own stupidity. I've had help twice which earned me trips to the hospital for stiches. The last one was over 15 years ago. Have you ever been hit in the face with a backhoe? It's not fun. I work alone now.

In high school (maybe middle school?) shop class, there were safety oriented posters scattered about the walls. One that burned itself into my memory is a reminder to always clamp one's work. The drawing depicts a drill press with the workpiece spinning freely. The "lines of movement" occupy the same space in the drawing as the operator's body.

So, the personal safety lessons were early and stuck.

Never trusting others with heavy equipment took a bit longer.
 

Mark in Indiana

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#10
New close call today:
While laying under my cargo van, squirting penetrating oil mix on rusted screw threads of fasteners to be removed, some of the mix landed on my safety glasses...instead of my eye! The penetrating oil mix that I use is a homemade mixture of ATF and acetone. So my glasses were ruined from the acetone. Thankfully not my eye.

The reason that I'm posting this is because avoiding eye injury by wearing safety glasses is cheap...eye injury isn't.
 

mattthemuppet

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#12
whenever you're trying to loosen a stuck bolt, always be aware of where your hands will go when it lets go. Punched through a thumbnail once, which wasn't very pleasant.

Something people often don't do when grinding stuff is use a breathing filter. Just because you can't see some of the stuff coming off your grinding or wire wheel, doesn't mean it can't find its way down to the bottom of your lungs.
 

mike837go

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Active Member
#13
whenever you're trying to loosen a stuck bolt, always be aware of where your hands will go when it lets go. Punched through a thumbnail once, which wasn't very pleasant....snip...
Had my fair share of bruised/cut/rust-embedded knuckles from that too.

Gave up on pushing or pulling wrenches against stuck bolts years ago! All my hand wrenches are dented where I hit 'em with a hammer to produce large amounts of torque over a very short length of time. No more trips to the first aid box after that [cussing expletive cuss] stuck nut finally let go.

Better yet: Impact wrench. Turn it down to start on smaller fasteners. Slowly increase the power, reverse direction.

Last skinned knuckle was from an angle grinder.
 

T Bredehoft

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H-M Supporter-Premium
#14
Safety glasses. I was on a pour in the late '60s. Hard had and safety glasses recommended. One of the guys picked the blue wrench to cut a piece of re-rod. I hollered at him to pull his safety glasses out of his curly hair and put them on his face. He grumbled, but put them on and attacked the re-rod. The torch started cutting then backfired. It blew molten steel into the center of his right safety glass. He took them off, looked at me and said "thanks".
 

turnitupper

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Active Member
#15
Helping nephew replace rusted brakes on a boat trailer. He had cut off rusted bolts with a 4" angle grinder and could not get vice grips in the confined space to remove the rest of the bolts.
I used the grinder (thin cut off blade,no guard) to cut a square on the end of the bolt to drive a 12 point socket on. Square was slightly oversize so had to GRIND it a little. As he could not find the grinding disc, I used the cut off blade to lightly take off some metal. Had almost finished when the blade disintegrated, one piece taking off the tip of my thumb and another embedding itself 3/4" in my calf. If I had been using it vertically instead of horizontally it probably would have hit me in the face/torso/testicles. Lessons learnt (again), Do not use cutting disc for grinding, Do not use grinder without guard and NEVER have cutting disc spinning in line with your face.
John.
 

mattthemuppet

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Active Member
#16
Had my fair share of bruised/cut/rust-embedded knuckles from that too.

Gave up on pushing or pulling wrenches against stuck bolts years ago! All my hand wrenches are dented where I hit 'em with a hammer to produce large amounts of torque over a very short length of time. No more trips to the first aid box after that [cussing expletive cuss] stuck nut finally let go.

Better yet: Impact wrench. Turn it down to start on smaller fasteners. Slowly increase the power, reverse direction.

Last skinned knuckle was from an angle grinder.
I don't hit wrenches or breaker bars, I've had too many lift and round off the bolt head. I'd rather soak with PB Blaster (or similar), walk away and then use alternating heat and freeze spray to get it off. Impact wrench would be nice though, one day :)
 

mike837go

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Active Member
#17
I don't hit wrenches or breaker bars, I've had too many lift and round off the bolt head. I'd rather soak with PB Blaster (or similar), walk away and then use alternating heat and freeze spray to get it off. Impact wrench would be nice though, one day :)
My dad can do the heat/cool thing. I wind up melting things. :eek:

It does take a bit of practice to strike a wrench with a hammer.
During each strike, you have to sense if the wrench moved. Is that movement from: A) the fastener breaking loose, B) the wrench slipping or C) the bolt/stud breaking?

Most likely::disspirited: B) STOP and reposition or get a better condition wrench.
Most desirable::applause 2: A) One more strike to confirm and reverse for one strike. More penetrant. Switch to cheater bar or long handled ratchet. Work it back-and-forth (More penetrant) until removed.
Aw crap::cry: C) Flail away! The left-hand drill bits and heli-coil kits are in the leftmost, bottom tool box, top drawer.

HF will sell you a good-enough-for-a-homeowner compressor and impact wrench for around US$100.00. Less, if you remember where you put the coupons. :confused 3:
 

jbolt

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#18
As a young man working in a machine shop on a cold winter morning I was in the back of the shop grinding welds on a steel frame with a 9" angle grinder. I was wearing a face shield and hearing protectors and could not hear anything other that the whine of the grinding. When doing repetitive tasks I tend to zone out and get lost in the work. I was in my own world and oblivious to my surroundings.

Out of nowhere I was full on tackled and pummeled by one of my coworkers. Thinking this was a really stupid prank I pushed him off and jumped up ready to battle. Before I could move in I was blasted with a CO2 fire extinguisher. Despite the obvious safety precautions it never occurred to me my flannel shirt was flammable. The stream of sparks off the grinding wheel had caught my shirt on fire.

The front of my flannel shirt had burned away up to the pocket and my t-shirt was scorched. Fortunately I suffered no burns. I'm grateful my coworkers were around and quick to respond.

Jay
 

Bill C.

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#19
That reminds me of the first shop I worked in there was a young man about my age. One morning that Winter I was running a drill press when this young man ran pass everyone heading to the restroom. I noticed his back pant's pocket had a shop towel on fire. One of the older co-workers tried to stop him but was nearly bowled over. They found him trying to stuff his foot in the toilet bowl. He wasn't hurt if I remember correctly. Some of the guys were talking afterwards if he had ran out the back door he could have been burned seriously. Even with a little snow on the ground I doubt he would have thought to drop and roll. Strange how your story brought back that old memory.
 

chevydyl

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#20
I got a good one, I clamped a piece of alum in the kurt to be machined, cnc, it was only holding maybe .100, doing a profile cut, the first pass it made I knew I programmed to much stepover, so I tried to compensate by slowing the feed rate down a bit. it made several pass while I was taking pictures, I moved to a better position for lighting and pointed my phone at the work piece and BOOM! I snapped the pic, the part was gone, it landed after bouncing off the far wall, the picture was a little blurry from my reaction, the part didn't make the picture... it wrecked the part of course which I didn't have much time into except squaring, but it wrecked a $35 end mill on its way to flight. had I not moved for better lighting I would surely have been struck by that part. to remedy the issue, I bought some steel and machined up a set of Dove-Grip (tm) jaws, which have dovetails machined on them, which when needed I can install them and machine a smaller dovetail in the parts and it latches on to them good. That was my first bad lesson in cnc
 

TommyD

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Active Member
#21
I was using the racheting arbor press at the skool this past Monday. It has a small 'v' that a pin fits in to keep the handle up but it's not all that great at retaining the handle up, especially after I made a handle for it out of 1 1/2" x 18" long crs, they were using a collet closer from a lathe. I used the handwheel to bring the ram up to wipe off the face and jiggled it enough for the handle pin to dislodge from the v and it crashed into my melon. I cursed my luck and grabbed some paper towels to stop the bleeding while I cleaned up the mess I made on the Bridgeport. I was going to go to security to report it, they would have called the fire dept and they woulda come to the skool with sirens blazing. As I finished cleaning, the bleeding had slowed down to almost nothing so I proceeded to continue working on my project.

Hard headed Polack......
 

British Steel

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#23
Ex-gf bought a disc lock like this (but posher) for her motorbike http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silverline-932434-Motorcycle-Disc-Lock/dp/B004P3XW8K - the pin goes through the disc and prevents roll-away theft - she then lost BOTH keys, bless her.

I draped the wheel and surroundings with a wet cloth "for the sparks", angle grinder made short work of it and as it fell from the bike I switched the grinder off and parked it, looked round to see her pick up the cut away piece of the lock , and put it down VERY quickly with two fingers and a thumb's worth of skin attached...

I think the radial arm saw's my most frightening tool, had mine put 3 feet of 6x3 timber straight through the shed wall, across the garden and through next door's fence without touching down!

Dave H. (the other one)
 

Mark in Indiana

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#24
Dave,
I enjoy using the radial arm saw. I agree that it's one of the most dangerous machines in the shop. However, respect it like electricity and motorcycles, and you'll be fine, IMO.