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View Full Version : The most dangerous stationary shop tool?



ishmael
01-23-2008, 10:45 AM
I can't figure out the poll option, but thoughts from another thread.

Last I looked, statistically it's the band saw. What are your experiences?

Just out of interest, and for fun. All political trolls stay away.

glenallen
01-23-2008, 10:46 AM
Republican table saws!:D

cs
01-23-2008, 10:48 AM
Routers scare me. Now I don't have a lathe and have not used one much, but sometimes I see in my head and shop teacher wearing a tie and it gets caught in the lathe. Makes me shiver.

Chad

S.V. Airlie
01-23-2008, 10:49 AM
Democratic blades.. That's what ya gotta watch out for. The table saw is useless without one, hence Republican..

I find all tools that run at various high RPMs dangerous and needful of respect.

BrianY
01-23-2008, 10:59 AM
IMHOP: 1) Tablesaw, 2) router table or shaper and 3) jointer - but maybe that's just the order of the machines I fear the most.

here's a link to a survey asking the same question on Toolcrib.com:
http://www.toolcrib.com/blog/2007/02/21/toolcribcoms-ultimate-guide-to-the-top-ten-most-dangerous-woodworking-power-tools/

Down the page there's an interesting anecdote from an emergency room doctor who neames the table saw and the compouond mitre saw as causing the most wood working - related injuries

quote: "I’ll repeat what my son, an emergency room physician, says. The most frequent serious injuries are with table saws.

The second most frequent serious injuries, in terms of numbers of incidents, are from miter and/or compound miter sliders.

However, in terms of most devasting the CSM is far and away the worst. Those usually involve finger amputations. The table saw accidents are serious gashes but (usually) leave the fingers in place."

Bruce Taylor
01-23-2008, 11:04 AM
Last I looked, statistically it's the band saw.

I find that hard to believe (not that I have any stats on hand).

I'd vote for the tablesaw. There are lots of ways to run afoul of it, and when you do you can lose a lot of meat.

ccmanuals
01-23-2008, 11:05 AM
Power planer

Bill Lowe
01-23-2008, 11:10 AM
Large shaper with flat shaper blades - can remove a hand in a heartbeat

TimH
01-23-2008, 11:20 AM
most accidents I have seen/heard of are table saw related.

htom
01-23-2008, 11:29 AM
The powertool that you don't think will bite you.

John of Phoenix
01-23-2008, 11:34 AM
There used to be a survey at Woodworker's Central that had all the gruesome details of various accidents but it's closed down for now.


On October 30th, 2007, we ended the previous iteration of the Accident Survey. It had been online for nearly ten years and we registered more than 800 accident reports from fellow woodworkers just like you. It was one of the most popular features of Woodworker's Central!

The searchable part of it is closed down due to overhead costs but the data is safe. As soon as I get some of the broken links fixed, I'll install it here, hopefully in two forms. The first will be a chaptered PDF file and the second will be a tab-delimited text file you can download and install into any database software.

In the meantime, if you have a new accident report to make, submit the form below:

http://www.woodworking.org/AccidentSurvey/search.htm

As I recall the band saw was first in number and had a reputation for inflicting pretty severe injuries. The reason for the high number was complacency -
"Hey, it's just a band saw." (See some of the posts above. ;) )The reason for the severity is "Hey, isn't this the same saw butchers use?"

I was initially surprised that the drill press came in at number 2 on the frequency chart until I thought about my own attitude – “Hey, it’s just a drill press.” Again the complacency thing. Much less severe injuries - bruise knuckles from spinning pieces and debris in the eyes were common.

The ONE thing that came up repeatedly was that working with small pieces dramatically increased the danger factor for EVERY tool. Small pieces are hard to control and when control is lost, people tend to grab at the piece and end up tangling with steel.

There is no such thing as a minor accident with a table saw. I have the scars to prove it.

Tealsmith
01-23-2008, 11:37 AM
The only one that has sent me to the ER (so far) is the bandsaw. Looking back the blade was a tad dull and I was pushing too hard. Several stitches inside and out and cut tendons. That finger is still a little stiff.

ishmael
01-23-2008, 11:39 AM
I agree with the sentiments that ask, why a band saw?" And I'm sure the stats are skewed to include minor cuts.

The shaper, which gave me just about the same hee bee jeebies as the table saw, is right up there. Freehand cutting of pieces. Plunge cutting with no fence, an open cutter, and just a guide pin, which is necessary for curved pieces if you don't have a really fancy machine.

Keep those pinkies at a distance and don't get sucked in!

Bruce Taylor
01-23-2008, 11:51 AM
I agree with the sentiments that ask, why a band saw?" And I'm sure the stats are skewed to include minor cuts.

Despite my comment above, I've got to admit that the only power tool that has ever nipped me is...the bandsaw. :o I was eight-siding a spear for a kid's halloween costume. I had the table tilted, which must have messed up my sense of where the blade was. For some reason I reached under the table (maybe to adjust the tilt? Can't remember) and put a short, clean cut below the knuckle of my left thumb.

SWMBO closed it up for me with superglue.

John B
01-23-2008, 02:23 PM
The problem with statistics is that they measure quantity. Lots of table saws and compound mitre saws out there in the handyman market as well as professional so there's a disproportionate result.
You're talking about most dangerous though.
" all power tools/ machines are dangerous" but some are dangerouser than others.
Anything where you push the job into a blade of course but particulary anything where the blade is operating such that it cuts with the direction of feed or movement rather than against.

Radial arm saw. 18 inch blade sitting there wheelspinning its way at you and you lean against the handle to stop it..
That sharpens the senses. don't want one ,won't have one in the shop and apart from the radial cut option on your average mitre saw these days( which you operate differently because of the drop function), you don't see em much anymore, thank goodness.

Michael s/v Sannyasin
01-23-2008, 02:28 PM
No, I'm going to bet that the most dangerous "tool" in the shop is the beer cooler.

robtcw
01-23-2008, 02:41 PM
The nut behind the switch!

Rum_Pirate
01-23-2008, 02:56 PM
The dull knife/chisel etc

Nicholas Scheuer
01-23-2008, 02:59 PM
I bought a little-used 12" bandsaw with a 1/2-hp motor for $50 from a guy who was scared sh--less of it. I've been using it 35 years since.

It was a kit saw calling for the builder to fabricate the frame from 3/4" plywood stiffened with a maple backbone and with a nice maple tilting table. All the moving parts were metal and came in a box with directions how to build the frame.

It's been a good wood saw over the years, easily able to handle wood blocks up to 4" thick. I don't like to change blades and saw metal with it, so I never have.

Moby Nick

Bob Cleek
01-23-2008, 03:24 PM
Lots of research has been done on this, but, as said, the real question is how you measure it. The government studies list the table saw as the "most dangerous," if measured by the amount of insurance money spent repairing injuries. This gauge, however, is skewed by the fact that there are so many of them around and the average doofus is more likely to misuse one than any other stationary power tool.

Fact is, the "most dangerous tool" is the fool using it. Tools don't just jump up and bite you for no reason.

Now, having, as most, done a lot of reading on the subject over the years, it seems to me that based on the measure of inherent "dangerousness," which is to say that the machine is the "least safe to use" even when used correctly, the winner hands down is the lathe, and particularly metalworking lathes.

The distinguishing characteristic? Well, saws and such cut. You can react and pull away, thereby limiting the damage. They don't grab you and hold on. Saws "bite," but lathes "chew and swallow!"

The lathe is, by nature, not a machine that lends itself to safety gadgets and shields and such. You are working close up, and often freehand, with moving parts, often moving at high speed, usually completely unshielded. Metal working lathes can throw sharp chips into the operator's eyes, which is why the old fashioned machinists' tool chests have a mirror in the lid and a tweezers was an essential part of the machinist's kit. (This was before OSHA got in the business of protecting us and mechanics had to look to their own devices for safety!) Lathes are also tremendously powerful, even at slow speeds. The spinning chuck or workpiece can catch a sleeve, a ring or watchband, or, God forbid, a tie (which the old mechanics did used to wear to work) and in an instant take control of the operator. A careless reverse at high speed can unscrew and send a fifty or even, on a big machine, a hundred pound chuck flying across a shop like it was shot from a gun. An incorrectly set tool rest, or a moment's inattention can cause a wood lathe cutting tool to bite and go flying like a swordthrower's dagger. These dangers are posed whether the operator is a skilled pro or a total idiot.

Because there aren't nearly as many lathes as there are table saws sitting in suburban garages across the country, nobody much notices the danger of lathes. Fortunately, the advent of CNC machining has reduced the incidence of injuries somewhat, but those of us playing with old 'arn, still have to keep our wits about us.

cs
01-23-2008, 03:28 PM
According to Mr Cleek here, I win the prize for the correct answer. So what is the prize?

Chad

skuthorp
01-23-2008, 04:02 PM
Saw a printing machine scalp a man once, a Linotype spit hot metal in one's face and I have burns on my legs from one. The only safety measures were educated ears and reactions. Most tradesmen in print had double hernias by 35 from heavy lifting. Paper guillotine operators lost parts of fingers, deaths from falls in the building industry were endemic and unremarked.
Fortunately things have improved mostly due to union action over 100 years, financial and criminal sanctions can apply here to the principals, but human fallibility still rules and people make careless mistakes.

Phillip Allen
01-23-2008, 04:04 PM
Routers scare me.

Chad


I thought that was a news agency...other than that I vote for the band wagon saw

Bruce Hooke
01-23-2008, 04:16 PM
With a wood lathe, the sanding phase is where I've come closest to hurting myself (so far). You are often holding the sandpaper against the spinning object, which makes it all too easy to have something get caught and damage your fingers...

Routers are loud and especially with a big cutter in there certainly have the potential to do some serious damage, but in my experience, with most cuts, it would be fairly hard to come in contact with the blade -- both hands are typically on the handles and the cutter is small and buried within the tool. The worst injury I've gotten from a router so far is a minor cut from trying to get the bit out in a hurry. Now, a router is pretty darn effective at messing up your project!

cs
01-23-2008, 04:19 PM
Bruce what scares me about is when it is mounted upside down in a router table and you are feeding stock in to it.

As far as claiming the prize notice in my orginal thread about imaginine a shop teacher with a tie in the lathe.

Chad

Bob Cleek
01-23-2008, 04:26 PM
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/1978/bugatti4wq8.png

Sorta reminds ya of Isadora Duncan's scarf, doesn't it?

skuthorp
01-23-2008, 04:29 PM
Ah Yes, Bugatti. Ettore said on the iffy brakes in his cars "I make cars to go, not to stop".

Bruce Hooke
01-23-2008, 04:59 PM
Bruce what scares me about is when it is mounted upside down in a router table and you are feeding stock in to it.

Yes, there certainly is more potential there for harm when the router is in a router table, although still, to me, it would be less likely than on a tablesaw. With a router the cutter is typically buried in the wood, and it is fairly hard for the cutter to grab and throw the stock. What is more likely is not remembering where the cutter is and pushing your hand into it as you feed the stock. It is true that I let my hands get a lot closer to the cutter when using a router table than when using a tablesaw. I have never used the big bits used for making raised panels...they are more scary and start to become more like a shaper in their potential to do harm.

ChrisBen
01-23-2008, 05:34 PM
Okay, so it's not a stationary shop tool. Last summer I visited my younger brother in Tn. and helped him out on a couple of jobs, and there's nothing scarier than one of these.
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r133/loki59/ouch.jpg

Backfin
01-23-2008, 05:51 PM
The vice.
Usually when I'm using the vice I am trying to fix a mistake with the wrong tool and brute force while tee'd off.

Dale Genther
01-23-2008, 06:14 PM
It is not a stationary tool. But, vote goes to the sabre saw. This is my choice of the day as I just got back from the emergency room due to a sabre saw "bite". I was using it to cut a bunch of rotten planks out of an old Chesapeake Bay Deadrise we bought. I hit something behind the plank I was cutting and the saw jumped out if the cut and caught the tip of my little finger on my other hand. The Doc sewed me up and said I'd be all better in a couple of days. Damn, I only had two more cuts to make and I'd have been done removing the nastly planks

PeterSibley
01-23-2008, 07:27 PM
Bandsaw ....probably gets my vote because it looks so benign.I was told as a young bloke ,when being taught about these things ,"Always assume the wood between you and the blade is about to disappear ...where would your hand go ?" a reference to mysterious voids and rot pockets in wood .

Jointer ...sufficiently scary to be careful around .

Thickness planer ...hard to hurt yourself if you don't put your hand inside !:(:confused:

Sawbench ..scary .I've never cut myself but have dodged flying splinters .The bigger the saw the more dangerous .They will all cut things off but the really big ones ,sawmill size ,will throw timber hard enough to impale you .I had a neighbour who was speared with a 14 foot 2"x2"...he lived .The timber had picked up the top edge of the blade and come back to him at 120 mph .

Drillpress ..a surprisingly dangerous machine unless you use a vice every time . There is nothing like a length of sheet metal spinning at 500 rpm looking for your hand .

Spindle moulder ... I'm not even going to think about it .:(

Stiletto
01-23-2008, 08:28 PM
As John B said, any tool where you push the work across the cutting surface.
The rise in power tool use by folks who have had no formal safety training in their use must make those tools more dangerous in use.

The few power tool injuries I have had in over 30 years of working in the building industry have happened when I have used tools outside of the context for which they were originally designed.

The apparent versatility of a tool can be a trap for the inexperienced or unwary. How the work is held is usually of prime importance.

Thorne
01-23-2008, 08:32 PM
1. Table saw
2. Radial arm saw

i.e. - any saw blade that spins toward the user.

goodbasil
01-24-2008, 12:37 AM
The bandsaw is the most dangerous because everyone thinks it is so safe. So they get careless. That was reported by an emergancy room doctor in Fine Woodworking some time ago.

Bob Triggs
01-24-2008, 12:39 AM
Band saws and Lion Miter Trimmers.

MiddleAgesMan
01-24-2008, 02:16 AM
Band saws are dangerous because they appear to be so benign. A co-worker at Luhr's in St. Augustine ran his finger right through the blade while he was making small pieces out of bigger pieces of scrap. But he didn't die.

My first boss in a cabinet shop was missing most of four fingers from his right hand. A piece of wood he was pushing through a jointer kicked back and his hand fell down into the cutters. But he didn't die.

It's no contest: A high horsepower table saw is the most dangerous tool in a wood shop. A co-worker at a shop in Ft. Lauderdale was using a 10 hp saw and had a panel bind up. It kicked back and struck him in the abdomen. He was stitched up and returned to work the next day but he had serious internal injuries the doctors didn't detect and he apparently ignored.

He died a couple weeks later.

PeterSibley
01-24-2008, 02:35 AM
I've seen a 40 hp saw throw a 9 foot pine log 50 feet when the dogs on the carriage tore out ....big saws are to be respected .

MattL
01-24-2008, 12:02 PM
I almost posted about last Saturday, where Basil's note comes to mind


The bandsaw is the most dangerous because everyone thinks it is so safe. So they get careless.

My 11 year old son was cutting some scrap wood for me on the band saw for the kindling pile. I was working across the room from him and heard him scream. The cut wasn't that bad, I did take him to the ER for a check up though. He said he was getting careless and just kind of tossing the wood into the blade. He has been using the tool for about a year now with great care. If his mom lets him come out to the shop again I think he'll be a little more carefull.

CharlieCobra
01-24-2008, 01:45 PM
Band saws are dangerous because they appear to be so benign. A co-worker at Luhr's in St. Augustine ran his finger right through the blade while he was making small pieces out of bigger pieces of scrap. But he didn't die.

My first boss in a cabinet shop was missing most of four fingers from his right hand. A piece of wood he was pushing through a jointer kicked back and his hand fell down into the cutters. But he didn't die.

It's no contest: A high horsepower table saw is the most dangerous tool in a wood shop. A co-worker at a shop in Ft. Lauderdale was using a 10 hp saw and had a panel bind up. It kicked back and struck him in the abdomen. He was stitched up and returned to work the next day but he had serious internal injuries the doctors didn't detect and he apparently ignored.

He died a couple weeks later.

I had a piece of Red Oak kick back after ripping it when I dropped the end a bit and it caught the blade. The end I was holding dug into my palm, 60 stitches inside and out. The free end hit a stone (inoclay) belt buckle I had on and shattered it. Shame really, the buckle was a carving of the Cutty Sark and gorgeous. I never found another. I also never let my guard down around spinning steel anymore.

UpScope
01-24-2008, 02:13 PM
:eek:Mostly the ones that turn on the power switches.

Next is a "Ishoulda's". Best thing to do is the Ishoulda's first, not in the emergency room. :eek:

Tighten the loose nuts and do a few Ishoulda's and the rest is easy:cool:

boylesboats
01-24-2008, 02:14 PM
I find that hard to believe (not that I have any stats on hand).

I'd vote for the tablesaw. There are lots of ways to run afoul of it, and when you do you can lose a lot of meat.

Or get clobbered from kick backs.. It hurts like hell.... Wear hockey goalie gears

sisu1959
01-24-2008, 02:15 PM
DEFINITELY a joiner! All the other tools just take skill and awareness. But a joiner...if you have one loose thread hanging down you're done for! My old boss told me a story of an old timer, worked in the trade for 30 years, a good carpenter with no real incidents to speak of, then one day he lost half his hand in the joiner because he didn't button up his sleeve.

abbyj
01-24-2008, 02:33 PM
DEFINITELY a joiner! All the other tools just take skill and awareness. But a joiner...if you have one loose thread hanging down you're done for! My old boss told me a story of an old timer, worked in the trade for 30 years, a good carpenter with no real incidents to speak of, then one day he lost half his hand in the joiner because he didn't button up his sleeve.

Only half? must not have been a square head, he should consider himself lucky.

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base_images/zp/fig72.gif

abbyj
01-24-2008, 02:37 PM
Maybe this thread should be located in Building/Repair, Resources/Product. Considering how informative it is, and the likelyhood that some avoid this particular forum.......

It's a good thread Mr. Ishmael, put it in a usefull location.

Abby

brad9798
01-24-2008, 04:04 PM
Utility knives ... more injuries from those, personally, than all others put together.

Maybe it's just me ... :eek:

Keith Wilson
01-24-2008, 04:13 PM
DEFINITELY a joiner! Well, that's the one that took off about 1/2" of my right thumb. I'm a lot more careful now; maybe it was a fairly cheap lesson.

John of Phoenix
01-24-2008, 04:53 PM
There was a jointer in an Army rec center woodshop that had a sign above it.

"This machine has removed seven fingers. You have been warned."

Nasty piece of iron, that one.

Bob Cleek
02-16-2008, 07:21 PM
I said it before and I'll say it again... the most dangerous stationary power tool is the machinist's lathe, hands down. Oh, maybe bandsaws or table saws might send more people to the emergency room with little knick knack injuries like a lost digit, but lathes KILL.

Telling post in another forum:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=27486

No, I'm not posting a link to the pictures and there are no pictures posted on the forum link above... read the comments first... then hit the link to the pictures that's posted there. Definitely not for the squeamish... by which I mean, if you've never been a paramedic, fireman or cop, or never been in really heavy combat, you probably won't be able to handle what a lathe can do to a careless operator... and if you have... you'll know what I mean.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
02-16-2008, 07:26 PM
Automobile Tool Definitions
Hammer:
Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive car parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.

Mechanic's Knife:
Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on boxes containing convertible tops or tonneau covers.

Electric Hand Drill:
Normally used for spinning steel Pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling rollbar mounting holes in the floor of a sports car just above the brake line that goes to the rear axle.

Hacksaw:
One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

Vise-Grips:
Used to round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

Oxyacetelene Torch:
Used almost entirely for lighting those stale garage cigarettes you keep hidden in the back of the Whitworth socket drawer (What wife would think to look in _there_?) because you can never remember to buy lighter fluid for the Zippo lighter you got from the PX at Fort Campbell.

Zippo Lighter:
See oxyacetelene torch.

Whitworth Sockets:
Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for hiding six-month old Salems from the sort of person who would throw them away for no good reason.

Drill Press:
A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against the Rolling Stones poster over the bench grinder.

Wire Wheel:
Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar callouses in about the time it takes you to say, "Django Reinhardt".

Hydraulic Floor Jack:
Used for lowering a Mustang to the ground after you have installed a set of Ford Motorsports lowered road springs, trappng the jack handle firmly under the front air dam.

Eight-Foot Long Douglas Fir 2X4:
Used for levering a car upward off a hydraulic jack.

Tweezers:
A tool for removing wood splinters.

Phone:
Tool for calling your neighbor Chris to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack.

Snap-On Gasket Scraper:
Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog-doo off your boot.

E-Z Out Bolt and Stud Extractor:
A tool that snaps off in bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.

Timing Light:
A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup on crankshaft pulleys.

Two-Ton Hydraulic Engine Hoist:
A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps and hydraulic clutch lines you may have forgotten to disconnect.

Craftsman 1/2 x 16-inch Screwdriver:
A large motor mount prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.

Battery Electrolyte Tester:
A handy tool for transferring sulfuric acid from car battery to the inside of your toolbox after determining that your battery is dead as a doornail, just as you thought.

Aviation Metal Snips:
See Hacksaw.

Trouble Light:
The mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin", which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.

Phillips Screwdriver:
Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; can also be used, as the name implies, to round off Phillips screw heads.

Air Compressor:
A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty suspension bolts last tightened 40 years ago by someone in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and rounds them off.

JMAC
02-16-2008, 07:49 PM
I've got an old 12" jointer in my shop. I was flattening a plank, lost my balance and shaved off the entire left side of my body....it's OK, now I'm ALL RIGHT. Seriously, a guy near here did get his thumb into a jointer's cutterhead. He was rushed down to Boston where they actually took one of his big toes and put it where his thumb was. At a glance, you can't tell and it gives him the ability to grasp things.

I bought a SawStop table saw a few months ago and love it. I predict the other brands will have their own models out in a year or two and also I think that sort of bladestopping feature will find its way onto other types of tools.

merlinron
02-16-2008, 10:11 PM
the most dangerous tool is the one that the inexperienced, untrained or inattentive operator hapens to be in front of.......

the question should read... WHO'S the most dangerous person at any machine in the shop.

there are machines that have the potential to inflict serious injuries....all fairly harmless untill someone disrespects them.

in all my years i've knowm of only one accident that was truly the machine's fault. a good friend of mine was an apprentice machinist and kerney and trecher in milwauke years ago. he was operating a turret lathe with a pneumatic chuck. one of the jaw lines failed and the machine threw a 25 lb. piece out that hit his wrist and took out 2 bones. what's worse is that when the instructor came running over he tipped over stone cold when he saw the injury. luckily, there was a fire station across the street and one of the other students took off for it the instant it happened. after a year or so, my buddies hand and wrist were reasonably the same as before the accident.....lucky.... and a little bit richer!

S B
02-17-2008, 01:44 AM
The one you don't know how to use.......

Memphis Mike
02-17-2008, 01:53 AM
The one you don't know how to use.......

Yep.....bunch of twerps...huh?

MiddleAgesMan
02-17-2008, 07:31 AM
We had an employee seriously hurt while sanding the edge of a board on a stationary belt sander. I didn't see it and I still have trouble imagining how he got his jaw in line with the board but I think he might have been leaning close to see if he had sanded to a line.

Things went suddenly wrong when the graphite platen pad wore through and suddenly let go from the left end of the platen (the working side of the belt traveled left to right). It bunched up between the belt and the platen and moved rapidly to the right until it reached the left end of the board. It then propelled the board up and out and the right end of the board struck the guy in the jaw. We had to take him to the ER for stitches but it turned out his jaw bone was shattered and he had to have several corrective surgeries over a period of a couple years.

I never heard of this happening before or since but to keep it from happening again we started using contact adhesive on the left half of the graphite pads every time we changed them. They aren't supposed to require gluing but it was the only thing we could think of to prevent a re-occurence. That, and instruct all users not to put their faces close to their work.

Jim Ledger
02-17-2008, 08:43 AM
Graphite platen pad?

Mine only has a steel plate behind the belt. Is it possible that the graphite pad is missing?

I'm always leery about something catching on the left end and being propelled but so far nothing like that has happened.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m193/searover1916/P1010144-2.jpg

Tristan
02-17-2008, 11:18 AM
Question should include, "per hour of use."

Mrleft8
02-17-2008, 11:20 AM
Band saw?
What could possibly be dangerous about a bandsaw?If it fell on you when you weren't looking.... :D
I think that statistically, it's the tablesaw. Mostly because it's the most frequently used tool, and it engenders complacency. IMHOP, it's the jointer, or shaper.

Paul Pless
02-17-2008, 11:26 AM
I said it before and I'll say it again... the most dangerous stationary power tool is the machinist's lathe, hands down. Oh, maybe bandsaws or table saws might send more people to the emergency room with little knick knack injuries like a lost digit, but lathes KILL.

Telling post in another forum:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=27486

No, I'm not posting a link to the pictures and there are no pictures posted on the forum link above... read the comments first... then hit the link to the pictures that's posted there. Definitely not for the squeamish... by which I mean, if you've never been a paramedic, fireman or cop, or never been in really heavy combat, you probably won't be able to handle what a lathe can do to a careless operator... and if you have... you'll know what I mean.

Cleekster, those pictures are horrendous. However, if they can get somebody to think about safety they are worth posting.

Paul Pless
02-17-2008, 11:27 AM
If it fell on you when you weren't looking.... :D
You're already worrying about that big Oliver, eh?;)

Mrleft8
02-17-2008, 11:33 AM
You're already worrying about that big Oliver, eh?;) If you'd heard the conversation that Ledger and I were having the other day, you'd understand! :D

htom
02-17-2008, 11:46 AM
One of my uncles was attacked by a circular saw. He was doing cabinetry in a home, kneeling and using a pair of 2x6 on the flat as a low bench to keep the blade off the floor when he make some cross cuts in 1x4 used for mountings. Finished the cut, straightened up, set the saw down. The blade cover spring failed, did not extend the cover, and the sawblade was still spinning when it hit the floor. Jerked in his hand, restarting, escaped his grip, flew up in the air, and chewed up the back of his scull, neck, down his back, across his bottom and finally quit after doing a job on his knee. He almost bled out; the homeowner heard his scream for help, dialed 911, came into the room, saw him, and fainted. One of the responding cops was an EMT-in-training and saved his life.

MiddleAgesMan
02-18-2008, 01:37 PM
Graphite platen pad?

Mine only has a steel plate behind the belt. Is it possible that the graphite pad is missing?

I'm always leery about something catching on the left end and being propelled but so far nothing like that has happened.



All of the sanders I worked with over the years had graphite pads between the platen and the belt. Yours may be of a newer generation and maybe they figured out the pads could be omitted.

Look for some clamping method at each end, sort of like the spring clamps on a long board but more substantial and NOT spring loaded. I've changed many pads over the years but that was long ago so I may be wrong but I seem to recall the pad was cut over-length, the ends were wrapped once around a small steel bar and then a second bar was attached to hold everything tight to the back of the platen.

If there's signs of missing clamps your machine probably was delivered with a pad.

Or check the manual or manufacturer.

MiddleAgesMan
02-18-2008, 01:53 PM
I would be willing to bet your machine never had a pad and doesn't need one. The face of the platen is in very close alignment with the drive wheel and that smaller one in the distance. In the old machines I used the platen was probably a quarter- to half-inch further out than the drive wheel. This caused a lot of friction where the belt met with the platen. It's also why the graphite pads wore out there.

On one occasion someone put a new belt on a machine without a pad. I tried to use it but the shock of the wood hitting the bare steel was a big clue that the pad was missing. The pads were thin but still thick enough to adsorb some of the shock. They also made the sanders useless for truing anything to a dead-straight line. Your bare steel platen should yield very straight work so it's an obvious improvement.

TimH
02-18-2008, 02:15 PM
for some reason the OWWM site has been down for a week. Hope its not going away.