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Old Habit = Cut Finger

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macardoso

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I have had a bad habit of using my hand in the shape of an OK sign to guide a long stringy aluminum chip from a light finishing cut on the lathe to the floor. I started doing this in college to prevent a birds nest and always knew it probably wasn't a good idea. But hey aluminum is a soft metal right?

Nope!

Today I was doing the same thing I always have and the chip got pinched between the tool and a shoulder on the workpiece and started to pull the chip back into the part through my hand. I am fortunate that I was quick to ESTOP the lathe AND the chip broke, but I got a very deep 3/4" long cut into my finger. Had things gone differently (thicker chip, steel, wrapped around my hand, etc.) I easily could have gotten my hand pulled into the lathe.

The lesson I learned: Just because you've never been hurt by a bad habit doesn't mean it is safe to do. I will always use a metal rod to guide chips away from me when they are not breaking in a cut.

Please be safe out there. - Mike
 

Cr23484

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I have had a bad habit of using my hand in the shape of an OK sign to guide a long stringy aluminum chip from a light finishing cut on the lathe to the floor. I started doing this in college to prevent a birds nest and always knew it probably wasn't a good idea. But hey aluminum is a soft metal right?

Nope!

Today I was doing the same thing I always have and the chip got pinched between the tool and a shoulder on the workpiece and started to pull the chip back into the part through my hand. I am fortunate that I was quick to ESTOP the lathe AND the chip broke, but I got a very deep 3/4" long cut into my finger. Had things gone differently (thicker chip, steel, wrapped around my hand, etc.) I easily could have gotten my hand pulled into the lathe.

The lesson I learned: Just because you've never been hurt by a bad habit doesn't mean it is safe to do. I will always use a metal rod to guide chips away from me when they are not breaking in a cut.

Please be safe out there. - Mike
Thanks for sharing Macardosa.
C
 

pontiac428

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The OK sign... I know that one. Fun with chip spirals, like a slinky shooting through your fingers. Don't do that! Those chips are razor blades at best, and a way to wrap you hand up in the spindle at worst. Definitely don't try it with stainless.
 

Cadillac

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That should be the cardinal rule not the old chuck key in the chuck. Gives me ptsd when I first bought my lathe. Remember like yesterday Cutting a stainless bar taking .020 cuts produced nice curly string that I couldn't get to break and I like the surface finish so I was dealing with it. Had a string going to the floor and for some reason my dumb-ss pulled on it with my index finger and gave myself a slice between the first and second knuckle on my index finger. It was a Friday night like 11pm and it was bleeding. Put some pressure on it and got into the house woke the wife and asked her to come help in the kitchen. When I released the pressure I thought she was gonna faint from the blood. Luckily their was a bone there to stop the .020 wire from going through the finger. I ended up wrapping it up and it healed like it never happened. NEVER USE YOUR HANDS TO PULL SWARF AWAY FROM ANY MACHINE!!! And yes I have 10 full fingers 30yrs in the trades:angel:
 
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cbellanca

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Good lesson. Don't grab any chips rom any machine.
 

tq60

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Next time in town visit the gardening department.

They have small hand tools for working the dirt and one common one has 2 to 3 fingers for digging.

Perfect size and shape for chip management.

Pulls off of running machine and also grabs the masses of heavy steel wool you make too.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

ch2co

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OK you guys have my sphincter all tightened up for the rest of the day now.
The only chips you should ever grab by hand are polker and potato*.
I have never grabbed a metal chip from a running lathe. Whoops my nose is growing.

*potato, corn, etc.
 

rust rescue

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My chip hook is made from a length of brazing rod. I grind a point on the business end and bend about an inch at 90 degrees. For the handle end I just bend a circle but do not fuse it solid so if it ever did get caught it would open up and let a stray finger out. My other go-to is a WELL WORN needle nose pliers with no rubber grips. Remember blood looks terrible on a lathe. Try to avoid it.
 

mmcmdl

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Ouch . Most likely right on the finger tip too . They take forever to heal .
 

darkzero

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Good thing you didn't get hurt worse!

I used pull chip away with my fingers on finishing passes. Sounds worse than it was but they were only small stringers, I never grabbed any stringers larger than that. Luckily nothing ever happened to me but I stopped doing that a while ago. I use an old pair of needle nose pliers now that have smooth jaws & bare metal handle so it can slip out of my hand easily if something were to happen.

This reminds me, I have a Noga chip hook thingy with a removable shovel attachment that I found surplus for like $5 or something like that. I've never used it cause the thing is long & won't really work for me. I don't have a deep pull out chip tray either. I wonder if I can shorten it & make use of it.
 

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stupoty

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I find bike spokes handy for a lot of pokking and proding requirements, small hooky bit one end and smoth (very very fine thread) the other.

Also their easy to bend if you want another shape and flexible enough that they generally wont mess anything up if they did get dragged in.

Stu
 

mmcmdl

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:grin: I just stuck a pic half way thru my finger . Nice …...Kevlar is cut resistant but not puncture proof .
 
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