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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 .
 

Chris Hamel

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I made the same mistake turning some stainless. Ouch! Won't do that again.
 

Samsaranda

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Made the same mistake while turning copper when I was at college, 55 years ago, still have to think hard and stop myself doing it again, still remember how it hurt, went down to the bone on three fingers suppose it was all part of the learning experience that college was for.
 

doco

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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
Harry Houdini had the same problem...
 

astjp2

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Its kinda like welding with shorts on, either the uv or the sparks will get you or both will make you hurt!:eek:
 

Cadillac

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One of the worst burns I had was when I was stick welding overhead and a piece of slag fell off into my high top boot collar and burned my sock into my skin about a dime size. Never got my boot off so fast. Bad memory.
 

horty

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Hello, new member, and the first thing that caught my attention was what those little machining coil strings coming of the lathe can do.
I didnt realize I had some coiled up by my hand when the chuck caught the chip pile..
Felt a jerk, pulled my hand away and seen that 2 fingers were still moveable and 2 were kinda just hanging down...
I still do machining but really keep my eyeball on the stringys and were they are going or just pull them off with a pliers.
It sure ruined my day, but in the end, just lost some feeling in little finger and all else seems well. Could have ruined me
for the rest of my life...
So Always Be Safe... horty...

Capture.JPG
this was 22 years ago..
 

macardoso

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Welcome to the Forum! I've been here a year and love the community. It is friendly and insightful. Don't ever be afraid to ask questions or share knowledge.

- Mike
 

ch2co

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That picture should be hanging on the wall directly behind every lathe in the country. It can happen so easily. Thanks for the reminder, oh and welcome to the Forum. This is a great place to hang around.

The rather Grumpy One
 

NortonDommi

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One of the worst burns I had was when I was stick welding overhead and a piece of slag fell off into my high top boot collar and burned my sock into my skin about a dime size. Never got my boot off so fast. Bad memory.
Number one reason I don't wear underwear and have good wool socks with boots that fit snug or Rigger type that can be kicked off fast. Feeling a bit of hot slag burn through your overalls or come in your coller and run all the way down and out the leg without hanging up is a real relief.
 

horty

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Number one reason I don't wear underwear
I dont wear underwear neither, my underwear wont fit over my diaper,,,but seriously, have done alot of welding over the years and know first hand the pain a glob of hot molten metal can do to the body and the long time it takes to heal,,,something that a welder has to endure and just keep going, not much time to stop when the work needs to be done..
 

Firstram

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I dont wear underwear neither, my underwear wont fit over my diaper,,,but seriously, have done alot of welding over the years and know first hand the pain a glob of hot molten metal can do to the body and the long time it takes to heal,,,something that a welder has to endure and just keep going, not much time to stop when the work needs to be done..
Yup! By the time I get my boot off it's stopped burning so I just ignore it, sometimes it takes a little longer.
 

darkzero

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:grin: I just stuck a pic half way thru my finger . Nice …...Kevlar is cut resistant but not puncture proof .
When I worked as a mechanic, my mentor stabbed his finger with a pick & it went all the way through! Whenever I use my picks I'm scared of them cause I have that same exact Snap-On set that he poked his finger with. My set is over 15 yrs old but they still look new because of the fear of using them. I think I should get a new set so that memory doesn't pop into my head everytime I pull that set out of the drawer. :D
 

Cadillac

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When I worked as a mechanic, my mentor stabbed his finger with a pick & it went all the way through! Whenever I use my picks I'm scared of them cause I have that same exact Snap-On set that he poked his finger with. My set is over 15 yrs old but they still look new because of the fear of using them. I think I should get a new set so that memory doesn't pop into my head everytime I pull that set out of the drawer. :D
Gosh now that you’ve reminded me about be done that once or ten times before. Always the 90* pick trying to pull something out of a slot or groove. Like replacing the shaft seal on a hydraulic cylinder. Very tough of a seal to get in and out of the groove in the cap. Left hand holding the cap trying to contort the seal with the pick in my right pulling towards the center of cap. Then pick rips through dried up seal and right into my left hand. Usually causing me to drop the cap probably in some oil dry. Never fails it happens first job of the morning so I’m irritating it will oils and cleaners allll day.
 

darkzero

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I thought the above was standard practice ……………………..giving blood . :big grin:
I must be selfish cause I don't like giving blood! :p
 

KBeitz

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If you think chip strings are bad. Try making springs on the lathe....
 
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