Turning Archive 2007

Subject:
FIRE!!

Dave Winters
>Had a fire in the workshop last night!
I was sawing up some bowl blanks, and my dust collector caught afire.
I'm suspecting it was from the ceramic guides on my Laguna LT-18 bandsaw sparking. I do see sparks, very infrequently from them which I've been told is normal with ceramic guides. But upon thinking about it, I can't see the bottom guides, and they could be sparking like crazy if they got out of alignment and you wouldn't see it.
So I'm sawing away and my eyes started burning, and I'm thinking I got too much sun. It gets worse and then I realise I'm smelling smoke.
I look at the dust collector and the bottom bag has a hole in it and it's spewing smoke and flame. Run and get the extigusher and empty it on it. Then realise, "You idiot, turn off the collector!!" Now the smoke is so bad I can't breathe. Call 911. Run upstairs screaming bloody murder to get the wife, kids and dog out. Run back into the basement with the garden hose. Smoke is way too bad.
F.D. comes pronto, puts it out right away, damage is limited to the dust collector and an air hose reel. Very very lucky.
Dumb questions:
-Ever hear of this type of issue with ceramic bandsaw guides?
-I think I'll take the ceramic guides off this saw if for nothing else than peace of mind. What other guides can I get for this saw??
-I'm scared to report it to my ins. co. for fear of them wanting me to carry a lot more coverage, or that they will cancel me outright and close me down. I do sell my wares, have a city and state tax i.d., website, etc. Maybe I should carry more coverage..

All in all I feel very fortunate. One can always say,"It could have been a lot worse", but still...
I'll post some pics in a few days.
-Dave Winters

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