Turning Archive 2005

For the accident archives

>As Ray Barrone's father would say...."Holy Crap Marie!".

I'm a fairly safe woodworker. I've had accidents but they've always been minor nicks and scrapes. The worst was the time I drove a screw through two boards and then into my hand with a screw gun, pretty dumb but fortunately not too severe of an injury. My relatively good safety record came to a screeching halt today and thanks to whoever it is that looks after meatheads I avoided the severe injury that could have been a result of my lapse at the lathe.

I was sanding a pepper mill which was held in an Axminster chuck, using a strip of 240 grit like a shoeshine rag, on my 3 hp Vicmarc. I was wearing a very loose fitting pocket style tee shirt. I rarely wear pocket shirts when on the lathe for the obvious reason, I don't want a pocket full of shavings. I'm leaning into and over the work and in a split second I'm violently yanked into the lathe. I weigh 275 lbs so it takes a bit of power to yank me violently. I instinctively pull back while my tee shirt is torn completely from my body, turning me 360 degrees, wrapping about the chuck.

This entire fiasco occurred in less than 5 seconds. After an inspection to insure that all limbs and digits were still intact and functioning properly I found that I had a large abrasion on my left side upper abdomen, where it impacted the chuck and a second less severe one on my right side.

I unwound the shredded and twisted tee shirt from the chuck. Apparently, while leaning over the work, the chuck caught the pocket and the lively dance insued. The shirt is a sight to behold. Both arms are torn open, as is the neck down to the waist. It has the appearance of one narrow long rag.

I'm going to hang the shirt from the shop ceiling as a reminder to me and I thought I'd post this as a reminder to everyone else that shop accidents do indeed occur in the manner as everyone who's experienced them describes, blindingly quick and when least expected. I was lucky that all I suffered was a bruised belly and ego.

Be safe!

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