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View Full Version : What is the most dangerous tool in your shop?



Mad Scientist
02-12-2008, 12:31 PM
We know that all machine tools can be dangerous and must be used with known safety procedures and lots of common sense.
Anyone in doubt of this needs only to look at the "WARNING!!! horrible lathe accident " thread.

However it is obvious that some tools are much more dangerous to use then others.
So what in your opinion is the most dangerous tool?

paulx
02-12-2008, 12:36 PM
The paper cutter.

Forrest Addy
02-12-2008, 12:36 PM
Probably my woodworking shaper. In the past vertical spindle wood shaper finger and hand amputations exceeded by far the next greatest non-lethal shop hazard. I'm scared of mine and seldom use it.

Seastar
02-12-2008, 12:37 PM
For me it is, without a doubt, a large wire wheel turning at 3-5000 rpm.
Wires come out and hit you in the face and they "grab" parts and throw them across the shop.
Bill

mochinist
02-12-2008, 12:42 PM
Me and if you call me a tool again were gonna have problems:mad:







Seriously though I was always told the drill press and vertical band saw were responsible for the most accidents in a machine shop.

bhjones
02-12-2008, 12:48 PM
Along the lines of Forrest's reply. I'd say my hand held router.

I had a bit walk out of the collet once, It moved enough that the side pressure while making a cut caused the shaft of the bit to bend suddenly. I was pretty violent. The plastic base exploded and it was all I could do to hold onto the router.

Ryobiguy
02-12-2008, 12:49 PM
I was going to be a smart-a** and say "beer".

Drill press and (once I fix it) the bandsaw.

Last night I was doing some turning and thought of that horrible lathe accident.
I wonder if his family could appreciate that at least those pictures may prevent another accident.

thistle
02-12-2008, 01:02 PM
The drill press, touch wood,not that i have been bitten.

japcas
02-12-2008, 01:06 PM
Table saw scares me more than anything else I've got. Depending on what you are cutting, your fingers may be just a few inches away from getting shortened if care is not taken.

steverice
02-12-2008, 01:11 PM
grinder and drill press.

motomoron
02-12-2008, 01:12 PM
I'm petrified of table saws, and talk out loud to myself when running a router so I work extra methodically. All work in the drill press gets held down, so that's not too bad. My 1940's bandsaw has exposed blade above and below the guides so I tread lightly around it. I fired a brass mailslot surround into my forehead some years ago before my buffer was a 3800 RPM 3/4 HP Baldor. It would have come out the back of my head had I been using that buffer, so I always use a full face shield when buffing or wire wheeling.

When I think back on the injuries of the past year the highlights were:


Cut a wee bit off the a fingertip w/ a fresh #11 X-acto. Never use an aluminum straightedge to cut with.
Actually hit finger with hammer while driving nail, Homer Simpson style.
Numerous small welding burns. "I'll just tack this since I've got it just so. I'll glove up before I do the beads..."
Cut my leg off at work in the sawmill...


I really like my fingers and have seen the effects of of "one last quick freehand router cut" and "I can do this without a push stick", so I lean toward over cautious if anything.

Oldbrock
02-12-2008, 01:24 PM
By far my wood working tools. I'm a machinist not a wood butcher. So far in the last 60 years I still have all my parts intact and intend to keep it that way. Not clamping stuff in the drill press is probably the most dangerous for me.I did once have a piece of 3" come out of the 36" chuck on the big turret and knock the toolpost off, it missed me but not by much. My big wake up call. Peter

Ed Tipton
02-12-2008, 01:31 PM
I tend to agree with Mochinist. I consider every tool in my shop to be very dangerous. I suppose the most dangerous one would have to be the one that puts you to sleep so to speak. As with everything, familiarity is usually followed by complacency. The tools that I use most frequently and am very familiar with are probably the most dangerous for me. I do try to be very careful...and I have all my fingers to prove it...but when things do happen...they happen very fast. It's hard to be put to sleep by using a large, loud, noisy machine that is gobbling up huge amounts of wood, steel, or meat. A smaller and quieter machine such as a grinder purring quietly away on my workbench would probably get my vote. They look so innocent..., but I believe the most dangerous tool in my shop is my "dis-engaged brain".

2ManyHobbies
02-12-2008, 01:46 PM
Heh, both of my tools to avoid have something to do with table saws. The first is the concept of a molding head cutter on a table saw and the potential for kickback that generates, the second is a story from a friend of mine about a carbide tipped 3-phase table saw to rip and bevel large stock for ornamental metal works.

I think the way he stated it was putting on the thickest clothes you can, tucking everything in, calling your wife to tell her you love her, and then feeding as much wax as you can before you disappear into a cloud of large brass flakes.

Personally though, I have to say that many people take the power of a shop-vac for granted. You have to wear glasses with those things, because they will fling chips almost as far as the tool that made them. First place though, goes to the person that sticks the end of the shop-vac down in the large pile of long curly stuff behind the lathe. One day those things are going to grab something interesting, like a power cable or some fingers, when they whip around and disappear.

Wirecutter
02-12-2008, 01:46 PM
Me and if you call me a tool again were gonna have problems:mad:







Seriously though I was always told the drill press and vertical band saw were responsible for the most accidents in a machine shop.
Dammit, Mo, you beat me to it! :D

In my shop, I think it's the table saw with the wood-cutting blade. I have two table saws, and the one I use for metal has an abrasive blade. Touch the wood blade and you lose a part, but touch the abrasive and chances are you'll escape with little more than a nasty burn.

The grinders tie for second place. Twice I've had things flung from my grip and hit the concrete floor hard enough to chip it. Heeding advice from this site, in both cases the wheel got replaced. Luckily, there were no injuries.

OTOH, mochinist has a point - the drill press and band saw don't seem as dangerous. But if workers think that way it could explain more careless accidents with the drill and saw.

The worst accidents I've actually had were dropping a board and smashing my toenail, bashing up my knuckles on the 4-jaw. I don't count ruptured disks in my spine, since I was the tool that did that.

Someone here was told by his father to "Learn from the mistakes of others. You'll never live long enough to make them all yourself."

-Mark

BCtech
02-12-2008, 01:47 PM
I tend to agree with Mochinist. I consider every tool in my shop to be very dangerous. I suppose the most dangerous one would have to be the one that puts you to sleep so to speak. As with everything, familiarity is usually followed by complacency. The tools that I use most frequently and am very familiar with are probably the most dangerous for me. I do try to be very careful...and I have all my fingers to prove it...but when things do happen...they happen very fast. It's hard to be put to sleep by using a large, loud, noisy machine that is gobbling up huge amounts of wood, steel, or meat. A smaller and quieter machine such as a grinder purring quietly away on my workbench would probably get my vote. They look so innocent...!:o.

Can't agree more. The most dangerous tool in your shop is the one you think is the least dangerous.

Our shop teacher told a story (likely not true but effective regardless) about a fellow with a file in his back pocket and a friend who jumped on him piggy back style for whatever reason. The jumper had a higher voice when he was done sliding down if you know what I mean.

I always pause for a second or so just before switching on any power tool, and have one extra glance at the blade/bit/chuck ... to quickly go over in my mind, what it will do when it starts moving.

ptjw7uk
02-12-2008, 01:49 PM
Electricity - thats why I have an elcb fitted to the house main box and the workshop box.
Then the drilling machine - most accidents with it are avoidable its all to easy to think its just a quick hole to be drilled I can't fix it down thats when it strikes back. Thin steel sheet is the biggest culprit, if I dont bolt it down I make sure the drill post is between the sheet and me!!!
Peter

IOWOLF
02-12-2008, 02:05 PM
The Most dangerous tool is the one you are not giving your full attention to.


Other than that a Twist a burr can be very dangerous.

Errol Groff
02-12-2008, 02:19 PM
In the twenty one years I have been instructing our worst accidents have been with the horizontal mill, bandsaw and lathe.

Had a kid lose a finger to the H.M. once trying to save a twenty cent oil brush from the cutter. Funny thing was he was apologizing all the way up to the nurses office.

Another student got bit on the thumb real bad pushing a piece of plastic, maybe nylon, into the blade. I saw what he was doing and as I was opening my mouth to ask him if his goal was to cut the tip of his thumb off sure enough it happened.

I thnk the band saw is the worst since it is fairly quiet and there are 12' 5" of balde with 10 teeth per inch to bit you.

Had one kid leave the chuck wrench in the lathe chuck. When he started the machine the wrench came around and wacked his hand but good.

Overall been very lucky over the years I think but eternal vigilance is the key to avoiding pain and suffering.

fasto
02-12-2008, 02:21 PM
IMHO, my most dangerous tool is the 4 1/2" angle grinder with the knotted wire wheel.

mototed
02-12-2008, 02:30 PM
I'll agree with wood tools, I've wittnessed plenty of injuries due to router bits coming loose and dadoo blade kick backs. A little off subject but one I keep stored in the shop- thought it was about time to replace my 20 year old chain saw, dummy me went on a power trip and got a nice high horse power unit ( You can't have too much power, can you ? ) It' scares me pretty good, I ALLWAYS have the wife or a friend around when using it with 911 on redial.
Ted

kf2qd
02-12-2008, 02:47 PM
Had one kid leave the chuck wrench in the lathe chuck. When he started the machine the wrench came around and wacked his hand but good.



When I was in college (LeTourneau Univ.) I taught Machine Tool Practice Lab for the 4 years I was a Student. ALWAYS stressed safety. Only had one student hurt - tried to pull a morse taper twist drill out of the drill press spindle - wasn't running at the time. Sharp flute sliced the inside of all 4 fingers.

Had a way to teach the students not to leave the chuck key in - would yell across the shop the first time, the second time I would get there as fast as possible and throw it at the nearest wall. Some of them thought I was a real jerk, but they never left the key in the chuck without their hand on it. Only had to throw a key once.

I still think the biggest safety hazard in the shop is the knot on top of your shoulders. Keep it thinking about what you are doing and most of the rest of the hazards tend to disapear.

speedsport
02-12-2008, 02:53 PM
The one that I'm using.

CCWKen
02-12-2008, 02:58 PM
Wow, that's a hard choice to make. Could be the power hammer that will wad up 18ga sheet steel like tissue paper, the sheet metal shear or the lathe that flings razor snakes all over the place. But if I had to choose the "scariest" one to operate, it would the old Toledo 30-ton OBI punch. It stands over 7' tall, has a 28" whirling flywheel, clattering gears and a prominent BANG! with ground shaking reverberation. Brrrrrrrrrr Gives me the chills just thinking about it. But the more dangerous the tool, the more cautious I am. After putting a screwdriver halfway through my palm once, I don't take any of my tools for granted. :cool:

bayfield
02-12-2008, 03:03 PM
The inexperienced, unqualified tool they made supervisor!

laddy
02-12-2008, 03:04 PM
The wood joiner scares me. Had one for close to 30 years and used it twice. Fred

ahidley
02-12-2008, 03:21 PM
Guns dont kill , people do.....

Thus as stated by several above :

PAY ATTENTION STUPID




If its metal and it breaks of it can be welded back on. Fingers and eyes CANT

Willy
02-12-2008, 03:22 PM
As others have eluded to I believe the single most dangerous tool is the brain. Used properly it can be a joy to use in the shop, not used, (properly or otherwise), it is definitely a danger to anyone in the vicinity.

But as far as things that scare the bajeezus out of me, it's got to be the table saw. I can personally name three guys that I know that have either lost digits or done some other serious damage with one.

I'm sure I could sell a few of these to those unfortunate individuals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbndZtkfcqs

R W
02-12-2008, 03:40 PM
Angle Grinders (9"& 41/2") and O/A.

tony ennis
02-12-2008, 03:44 PM
Most likely to injure? Drill Press.
Most likely to maim? Radial arm saw

StephenK
02-12-2008, 04:08 PM
I thought that this post was very interesting and it brought back those close calls. I had to add one more that wasn't mentioned.

My Son has worked for this Company for twenty four years. One day he was using a hammer and chisel. One heafty wack with the hammer and a piece of the chisel broke off. At first he didn't feel it but then his pants felt wet. He looked down and there it was, a blood spot. One embarrassing stitch later in the emergency room and soreness for awhile later. Caught the tip.

oil mac
02-12-2008, 04:58 PM
The most dangerous thing going into "Auto pilot mode" in your brain box when doing anything, Even simple bench operations with sharp tools, Once thought i could beat a slotting machine ram to shift a cutting obscuring my layout line --End result badly gashed finger, Very Lucky, That moment of inattention brought on with fatigue, Always take a rest

Some years ago near where i live, a patternmaker was unfortunately killed with a woodlathe turning a pattern for a crane hoist barrel, and one of the staves broke loose on the pattern & got him on the head, very sad end.

TAKE CARE GUYS

Mad Scientist
02-12-2008, 05:17 PM
For me itís a wire wheel! Because as part of its normal operation it will randomly, and without warning, shoot out some of its little wires in all directions. Any unprotected eyeball is extreme peril.

Secondly, as other have alluded to, is boredom. On any repetitive job it all too easy to become careless.

mayfieldtm
02-12-2008, 05:27 PM
It's the 45 magnum I keep hidden behind the Lathe.

Tom M.

bob308
02-12-2008, 06:02 PM
any tool you think you have mastered and do not fear.

AchieT
02-12-2008, 06:12 PM
personally the tool that you are most comfortable and most used are most dangerous seeing how one will not be as cautious. :(

mjm3xs
02-12-2008, 06:19 PM
i think we all have our machines or tools that we dread using, but i think that nothing we do can truly make it safe proof.i loked at those pictures of what happened in the lathe and my heart goes out to the family and friends of the guy. i beleive the comments left below the pictures were tasteless and improper.just my opinion.we can only do the best to keep things safe, but sometimes forget the obvious.lets try to keep doing our best!

Weston Bye
02-12-2008, 06:20 PM
I've had minor mishaps with the router and drill press, mostly caused by inadequate workholding. Outside the shop, my dealings with grass cutting equipment ranks the most hazardous; brained (fractured skull) by a pto shaft when the brush hog separated from the tractor, and big toe nearly amputated when I fell over backwards and pulled the mower up over my feet.

Rookie machinist
02-12-2008, 08:02 PM
My table saw with the dadoo head in it or the jointer both get an extra level of caution when I use them. The thing that worries me the most is when my little girl comes out to the shop to visit. She is only 3 but learns very quickly, I turn off the breakers to my mil and lathe when I am not there. Last thing I ever want to here is that she got into the shop alone and turned something on and got hurt.

Evan
02-12-2008, 08:11 PM
Most people haven't done it but if or when you do you will probably agree. Hand spring winding on a lathe is about the single most dangerous job I can think of, especially if the wire is anything over about .040 diameter. If the wire gets loose it will bite you, usually several times before you realize that it even happened. If the spring wire is something like .125" it can easily remove fingers instantaneously. The wire itself can snap and fire bits with nearly bullet velocity. Spring winding is totally unforgiving of even the smallest mistakes.

mochinist
02-12-2008, 08:33 PM
Most people haven't done it but if or when you do you will probably agree. Hand spring winding on a lathe is about the single most dangerous job I can think of, especially if the wire is anything over about .040 diameter. If the wire gets loose it will bite you, usually several times before you realize that it even happened. If the spring wire is something like .125" it can easily remove fingers instantaneously. The wire itself can snap and fire bits with nearly bullet velocity. Spring winding is totally unforgiving of even the smallest mistakes.Are we talking dangerous jobs or dangerous machines?

jcarter
02-12-2008, 08:55 PM
I found out the hard way how dangerous chain saws can be. I ended up with an 8 inch gash across my left knee. I had been using chain saws for years. Overconfidence and carelessness can be a dangerous combo.

Doc Nickel
02-12-2008, 09:23 PM
All my machines are dangerous, no one particularly more than any other. I have inflicted worse wounds with an eXacto blade than I ever have with the 2HP vertical mill.

I still have all my fingers and a full set of factory-original eyes. Last year's shop injuries consumed perhaps three band-aids in total.

That said, the one machine that scares me the most, is the lathe when turning 304. Those long, thin, high-tensile ribbons are evil and nasty, and I pay real close attention when working it.

Doc.

JRouche
02-12-2008, 09:53 PM
Not the most dangerous. Dont have any more wood working tools but the table saw was kinda scary. But its gone.

My nine inch Milwaukee side grinder gives me the the willies, specially when I have to use it above my head or up around my chest. Its a beast and likes to go where it wants to.

Welding in the garage tends to heighten my worry factor due to all the flammable materials around. I always stand a fire watch for 30 miniutes after welding.

Oh! An my 50 ton press makes me flinch some times when applying alot of pressure. Things are springing and waiting to bust loose. Any spring action, such as car suspension spring compression tends to make me wonder when the spring is gonna let loose and go my way.

And last would be working under the car. While building this thing I have had to spend alot of time under it while its suspended high off the ground. I tend to over brace it. Not four but maybe eight jack stands. Then before putting my squishy parts under it I shake and push the car around as hard as I can just to make sure..

I guess its the unpredictable "sudden" mechanical actions that gravity and springs can provide give me extra caution. JRouche

dp
02-12-2008, 10:23 PM
My most dangerous tool is any of my ladders. They're all capable of killing and a couple have even tried.

J Tiers
02-12-2008, 10:37 PM
Dunno which is worst, but I DO know which tool I have yet to use........ and it would be really useful sometimes too....

It's the molding blade for the saw.... I actually have two... one is a single-cutter, and the other is a three-cutter. Naturally the best shapes are only on the single-cutter.

I know HOW to use the thing, but I actually have never used one. I have an older house, and have wanted to duplicate some molding, but for the life of me I just have not got up the I.F. to try out that cutter.

To make matters more fun, I have no table saw, just a radial-arm saw, which is usually more useful for general joinery.

But of all the various and sundry potential wood-spear-throwing devices, that dang molding cutter seems the worst.

mwechtal
02-12-2008, 11:00 PM
I found out the hard way how dangerous chain saws can be. I ended up with an 8 inch gash across my left knee. I had been using chain saws for years. Overconfidence and carelessness can be a dangerous combo.
My uncle used to sell Stihl chainsaws. This was back in the late '60s and early 70's when the city was cutting down a lot of elm trees with Dutch Elm Disease. Some of those old elms were huge. He had the city folks over to check out the biggest one man saw Stihl made. The guys that were going to be using them tried a few cuts and were impressed. The purchasing guy with them just had to try the saw. He reved it up to full speed and jammed the tip of the bar straight into a log. Back then they didn't have the safety brake bars on them, and when it kicked back it split his left hand and about half way up his forearm.

One really stupid industrial accident that I saw on TV: On Letterman, he had a bat maker from Louisville Slugger on to demonstrate. They had this big wood lathe set up, and the guy had a bat roughed out and basically ready for sanding in about a minute. This guy did production work, so he wasn't shy about really leaning on it. The stupid part was when he let Letterman try turning. Dave held the gouge loosely and jammed it into the blank. The gouge must have flown 50' into the audience, but thank God nobody was hurt. If that had hit someone on the head they would have been at least seriously injured.

Mike

motorcyclemac
02-12-2008, 11:08 PM
By far my wood working tools. I'm a machinist not a wood butcher. So far in the last 60 years I still have all my parts intact and intend to keep it that way. Not clamping stuff in the drill press is probably the most dangerous for me.I did once have a piece of 3" come out of the 36" chuck on the big turret and knock the toolpost off, it missed me but not by much. My big wake up call. Peter

Amen brother! I can back you up there. I have with out a doubt had more injuries working with wood in 1 hr than I get in 10 yrs with metal. No joke. I can't make woodworking look good and I am totally a bundle of nerves when I do it. Nearly all wood machines are hand held killing contraptions. I will stick to stuff with vises and chucks. I nearly had a table saw pack a chunk of Maple in my arse and I have hated wood working since. Closest I come to having wood machinery in my shop is my wood band saw that is wearing a metal blade.

My father and brother are wood workers and I wonder at how they can be comfortable with wood machinery. My brother works for a cabinet shop and (knock on wood) hasn't had any injuries. Let me in a wood shop and there WILL be bleeding.

Cheers
Mac.

boggers
02-12-2008, 11:15 PM
Years ago I made my living installing garage doors.

One day I got to a job and they were hosing down the garage floor. A fellow had been using a hand-held power saw with the blade guard removed. The blade caught on a tightened up kerf and kicked back. It caught him in the groin and cut his femoral artery.

The clean up crew speculated how many times his heart beat before he was gone.

Made a believer out of me. The guard on my Porter-Cable was checked every time I plugged it in.

jmm360
02-12-2008, 11:22 PM
...and fire bits with nearly bullet velocity.

Speaking of firing bits at high speed, a large hydraulic press can do that pretty well when the work fails.

wierdscience
02-13-2008, 12:40 AM
Hydraulic press would be close to the top,things go flying,bust to pieces,had a friend who got himself killed pressing a bearing on.Race busted and a piece went through his heart,I generally wrap a heavy rag or piece of canvas around a bearing being pushed on.

Radial arm saws,grandpa saw a man killed when a large Dewalt(16" 7-1/2hp) had a bad set of bearings fail and drop the saw head on the table while it was running.Gutted the man like a trout.

Wire brush,there is an old picture in a saftey book that shows a grinder with a wire brush and busted guard.The brush was full of hair,so I quess the human skull can bust cast aluminum grinder guards if enough force is applied.

Drillpress would be next,did any of you know a man will fit between the column and chuck on a drillpress?And did you also know you can be drug through one by a pony tail?

Jump shears,boss once trimmed his finger tips with one of those.

Jointers,got five of them,love them all and still have all my fingers at the factory length.

Vertical bandsaw,those bands can shoot out of the guards when they pop and slice things up good if they get caught by one of the wheels.

Awh well if we worried too much we would never get anything done,best just to have respect for things that bite.

Evan
02-13-2008, 12:40 AM
Yep. You can't separate the job from the machine and the most dangerous machines are the ones where the job involves large amounts of stored energy just waiting to get loose somehow. That includes springs, presses and lifting anything that weighs more than you do. The greater the possibility and the faster the release of that stored energy the more dangerous the machine and the job.

oldtiffie
02-13-2008, 01:36 AM
Dull cutting edges and duller users.

It all too true - its using blunt tools that does the most damage - rarer or less with a sharp one used correctly by a sharp operator.

That isn't just for Joiners and Carpenters - also applies to metal HSM-ers who use blunt tools like: end mills, drills, grinding wheels, band-saws etc. etc.

Removal of safety-guards and/or interlocks etc.

Tiredness and over-confidence are about next.

Inattention and letting your mind "wander" from the job.

Tear-ar*ing and cutting corners.

Sky-larking.

Worst of all - any tool used when alcohol has been consumed. Its potentially more dangerous in a shop that on the road.

"Tools" includes mowers, tractors etc. around the home/farm.

Particularly when any of the above apply when using a machine or sharp tool or high pressures.

gundog
02-13-2008, 01:44 AM
I have a bunch of stuff that can hurt you but the table saw scares me the most I cut a lot of UHMW and the saw likes to grab that stuff. I still have all my fingers after 30 years of shop tasks and high voltage electric work I count myself lucky and I try to be safe. I have had more injuries from hammers than anything.

I remember an old truck driver we had on a crew one day showing the new grunts how to rig a bull line to a cat head he explained to them never to put their hands on the rope near the block. You guessed the old guy cut 2 fingers off doing exactly what he told the new kids not to do. I guess explaining wasn't good enough he needed to give them a visual.

One more noteworthy thing the company bought a new snow cat and the garage foreman decided to explain to all of us how to unload it off the trailer. Visualize the scene 50 line hands watching how to unload the snow cat. Garage foreman forgets to pull the tilt pin on the trailer he drives it off the rear and it rips the winch off and slams on the pavement sending him to the hospital with crushed discs. One of the linemen asks if we have to do it that way it looks like it hurts.
Mike

darryl
02-13-2008, 05:22 AM
Depends a lot on the operator. For me it's probably the drill press since I use it so much that I can get careless. Probably 9 out of 10 of my injuries in the shop are at the drill press.

I have to agree that the table saw is dangerous as well. The other day I had a funny feeling that I would be having an 'incident' at the saw. I had this in mind as I was cutting some aluminum- my hands and body were out of the way, and I was trying to envision what could go wrong so that I was prepared for it. I had the blade just clearing the top of the aluminum, so it wouldn't catch on another part of the extrusion, and a ribbon was forming and curling up on top of the blade. I saw nothing, but in one split second a finger was in pain and the curl had disappeared. It must have cracked like a whip, impaling my finger before it got sent down into the sawdust. It bled for a good half hour. I had thought to put on a glove before making this cut, but because of the many times I've read to NOT wear gloves at the saw, I didn't.

I've had many incidents at the table saw, but for the most part I'm prepared for them. I use the skid as much as I can because it makes cutting a lot more accurate, but also safer. When I can't use the skid, as when ripping, is when I get most of the problems. The insert has to be one of the most dangerous things. I have a healthy respect for the saw, but I don't fear it. To me, being afraid of it makes you dangerous at it.

Today I got shot in the face by something, even though I was off to one side and shielded from the blade by the material I was cutting.

It might just be that the next most dangerous tool is a 1/2 inch portable drill. Those buttons that hold the trigger on-

A.K. Boomer
02-13-2008, 09:33 AM
I'm petrified of table saws, and talk out loud to myself when running a router so I work extra methodically. All work in the drill press gets held down, so that's not too bad. My 1940's bandsaw has exposed blade above and below the guides so I tread lightly around it. I fired a brass mailslot surround into my forehead some years ago before my buffer was a 3800 RPM 3/4 HP Baldor. It would have come out the back of my head had I been using that buffer, so I always use a full face shield when buffing or wire wheeling.

When I think back on the injuries of the past year the highlights were:


Cut a wee bit off the a fingertip w/ a fresh #11 X-acto. Never use an aluminum straightedge to cut with.
Actually hit finger with hammer while driving nail, Homer Simpson style.
Numerous small welding burns. "I'll just tack this since I've got it just so. I'll glove up before I do the beads..."
Cut my leg off at work in the sawmill...


I really like my fingers and have seen the effects of of "one last quick freehand router cut" and "I can do this without a push stick", so I lean toward over cautious if anything.

Moto, that is one tough year, im sorry to hear about your leg bro,

I hate table saws too, i dont even own a skill saw, I use a bacho handsaw for almost everything wood and re-did my entire house with it, all the comments about a hydraulic press --- Ditto, I hide behind a large piece of aluminum when using mine, Iv done hundreds of strutt replacements on foreign cars and never take the spring compressors for granted --- I try not to get on the end side of the springs while under compression, even when just sitting on the bench, I also move them around by the middle of the coils, My mill in certain configurations --- and a tired mind --- one other huge factor, working with others can be scary and make any tool a lethal weapon , miscomunication and or just outright incompetence (which is quite common nowadays with half the population on crystal meth)
Other people scare me more than anything -- I also dont like uncontrolled environments - For the most part I like order and knowing the place, Personally I dont do well jumping around to different job sites with different people, I may appear to do OK but im acutely aware of close calls, too many and its just a matter of time...

wirewrkr
02-13-2008, 01:04 PM
I tend to treat all my shop equipment equally- the potential is there for disaster from a hand held hacksaw all the way up to my mill drill.
On the belt guard for the mill drill is a very large sticker in black and white that reads STUPIDITY SHOULD BE PAINFULL. I see it every day and pay attention to the possibilities most of the time. I was trained right as a kid by my pop. His words to live by when I was eight and learning to use the first of a long line of power tools... " Do not FEAR the machine, RESPECT it's potential for the damage it can inflict when not used properly"
He was a drill sargeant in the Army and knew how to teach.
My accidents over the years have not been accidents at all, always happenned because of my carelessness, all could have been avoided.
Robert

macona
02-13-2008, 03:44 PM
Yep, dont like jointers or shapers either. :eek: Table saws are not so bad. Hand held circular saws I think are one of the more dangerous items.

Pete H
02-13-2008, 05:44 PM
Scariest tool I EVER worked with was a "Little Giant" power-hammer - a huge impact every half-second. Fun, just the same - you could weld a billet of Damascus steel in no time. Scariest tool I DO work with is a radial-arm saw (about tied even with the table saw). Close second is a right-angle grinder with a wire brush on it... those GD bristles fly everywhere, and the dam' thing can jump and bite you if you hit a corner.
Pete in NJ

topct
02-13-2008, 06:09 PM
I try to do a short mental countdown before I use a power tool or even hand tools. Actually because I have to do it with most, I now find myself doing it with all. I will stare at a situation and mentally picture as much of the operation as satisfies the need, to keep from hurting myself.

As said, there are no accidents. What really happens is an avoidable series of events that can end in tragedy.

jcarter
02-14-2008, 09:47 PM
After reading gundog's post on how to unload a snowcat it reminded me of an incident. I worked at a rent-all at the time. We had a new guy start and the boss asked me to show him how to load an excavator on the trailer and chain it down. I started chaining it down using load binders(bear traps). I locked the one bear trap down and bent down to pick up the free end of the chain to secure the handle of the bear trap. It sprung open and hit me under the chin. It broke my jaw and five teeth. I was three months getting my jaw to mend and it cost $5600 in dental work. If it had hit me in the throat it probably could have killed me.Crap like that happens in the blink of an eye.

tony ennis
02-14-2008, 10:05 PM
If I don't stop reading this thread I'll be too afraid to turn on my tools. :(

john hobdeclipe
02-14-2008, 11:18 PM
I've been fortunate over the years when it comes to injuries, largely because I've always had a habit of thinking about what I'm about to do. Several boss-types have bugged me about being slow, or just standing there looking like I'm doing nothing. But I was making sure everything was set up properly and safely, and often rehearsing in my mind what should happen vs. what COULD happen. And in the long run, I probably got more work done because I didn't tear up the equipment or have to go running off to the hospital for re-assembly.

But I still shiver a bit when I think about the morning I nearly compound mitered my left arm at the elbow. Or the time I waded through a cloud of wood dust to turn off a 36" exhaust blower that had lost a blade and was dancing and jumping to put Nuriyev to shame. Or standing under a ticking time bomb of a dust collector baghouse with nothing but a 20 pound fire extinguisher.

Yeah, 20+ years in production woodworking and furniture manufacturing and I can still see to count to 21. 3 stitches and a well bruised hand, and a few days lost to sickness after breathing silver solder (cadmium) fumes, and that's it. I've been very fortunate!

And the like some others have mentioned, the one thing that I really think is the most likely to cause injury is a wire wheel. Not just the flying pieces of wire, but they can grab so unpredictably, and jerk workpieces out of your hands, taking skin with it, or throw a handheld tool back at you. You don't ever want a loose piece of clothing to touch a wire wheel!

HTRN
02-14-2008, 11:22 PM
For me it is, without a doubt, a large wire wheel turning at 3-5000 rpm.
Wires come out and hit you in the face and they "grab" parts and throw them across the shop.
Bill

I always thought buffers were, for largely the same reasons. It's so easy to just push your luck, and have it rippped out of your hand and flung..


HTRN

tattoomike68
02-14-2008, 11:27 PM
What is the most dangerous tool in your shop?

me , there is no way its anyone but me..

http://www.trollvalhalla.com/music/Megadeath%20-%20Breadline.mp3

airsmith282
02-14-2008, 11:28 PM
for me its the bandsaw i cut my thumb pretty bad just just missed the bone was horrible was a real CSI day for me and explaining to the doctor was not fun

HWooldridge
02-14-2008, 11:44 PM
I've been burned badly a few times and mashed two fingers to the point of cracking one of them. That was under a trailer so doesn't really count as a tool in the shop.

Other than that, I'd have to agree with the wire wheel as the single most dangerous tool I have. I had one turn loose very suddenly one evening and started spraying me with those little spirals. It must have been shedding slowly and finally reached that point where the crimp was insufficient to hold. I was in the middle of a job when I started getting peppered so I turned it off and changed the wheel. I worked a while longer then finally went into the house and to bed for the night.

The next morning after my shower, I caught my shirt on my left arm in a couple of spots. I looked closer and noticed FOUR wires barely sticking out of my forearm. I grabbed tweezers and started pulling - the wires were buried in my arm with only about 1/4 sticking out and each one was 2 inches long. I remembered a stinging sensation from the flying wires but didn't think I'd been hit with shrapnel. In addition, I had slept through the night and never noticed them. They all came out easily but left permanent black stripes in my arm - probably from the oil. One must have clipped a nerve because that part of my arm permanently tingles now but it's just a nuisance.

I also took a few hits in the face and shudder to think what might have happened if I wasn't religious about wearing safety glasses.

comerrm
02-14-2008, 11:47 PM
My truck tends to be pretty dangerous. When i was 14 i was working on the ignition on the '74 ford and was kicking the starter with a screwdriver and well...she started and was in reverse (luckily) and it ran over damn near everything behind it.....battery charger, lawn mowers and knocked down the shelves. Got tanned pretty good over that one, but at least it didn't go through the back of the garage.
But i have had worse accidents with razor blades and exacto blades when they snap and make 4" gashes across your hands and arms each time.

IOWOLF
02-15-2008, 06:03 AM
It's the 45 magnum I keep hidden behind the Lathe.

Tom M.

That would be a dangerous tool as I don't believe any .45 cal. is chambered for Magnum cartridges. :)

Evan
02-15-2008, 06:23 AM
Heh. That would be the 44.

Your Old Dog
02-15-2008, 06:37 AM
For me it was always the drill press till I wised up and bought a heavy vice just for the dp.

Now I'd have to say it's the lathe chuck key. It seems I'm developing ADD as I age. I worry a lot about the key and where it is and also if I'm wearing my glasses when I use the table saw. My eyesight is improving with age and and I forget my eye-protection sometimes. Then in the middle of the cut I remember my eyes are naked !!

My Dad hammered into me to ask myself the "what if" questions when approaching any work setup. "what if something went wrong, what would be the most likely thing to fail, what might happen if it did and how could I avoid that happening?" That was always his question to me when we worked together. To this day, if a wrench slips, I know exactly where my knuckles will be going. Taking a quick glance looking for the weakness in any setup will save you a lot of grief if not your life.

IOWOLF
02-15-2008, 11:31 AM
Heh. That would be the 44.

But He didn't say .44 did he?:mad:

Wirecutter
02-15-2008, 01:53 PM
To this day, if a wrench slips, I know exactly where my knuckles will be going.
Don't I know it! Some of my most painful boo-boos have happened when I'm manually applying a lot of force, and something slips. Sure a wrench is bad, but imagine cutting dense plastic with an Xacto knife. Gives me the willies just thinking about it.

More recently, I've noticed that I now get the old "pucker factor" whenever I really start applying force to a job. Something can always go wrong. I can't think of a task I need to perform that requires more than about half of my strength. If it requires that much force, there is probably a form of mechanical assistance that makes it easier and safer. You may be able to lift 200 lbs, but that doesn't mean you should.

During my recovery for two spinal surgeries in the past year and a half, my neurosurgeon gave me a good rule of thumb. If you can't lift it 10 times, don't lift it once. Use a hoist or something. This may sound over-cautious to the more macho, but I know how much spinal injuries suck. Mine were minor, too.

-Mark

Willy
02-15-2008, 02:09 PM
Evan, Wolfie, The Wildey .45 Winchester Mag comes to mind.
Although starting at about $1600 they are rather exotic.

RetiredFAE
02-15-2008, 08:57 PM
That would be a dangerous tool as I don't believe any .45 cal. is chambered for Magnum cartridges. :)

Willy is right, the Winchester .45 Magnum has been around for years, was offered in the "Wildey .45 Magnum" gas operated semi auto pistol some years back. Looked kinda like the old AMP Auto Mag in .44 Magnum. The cartridge wasn't a big seller though, and the Wildey hasn't had a big following either. The Winchester .45 Magnum came out at the same time that Winchester offered the "9MM Magnum" a stretched 9mm case, was a 9x23mm case instead of the 9x19 of the common 9mm. The 9mm Mag died a quick death, was in production for only about a year or so as I recall.

IOWOLF
02-15-2008, 09:12 PM
Uh HUH, and he has one by his lathe, right?

Wayne02
02-15-2008, 09:31 PM
The little innocent 4" angle grinder... it's used frequently and it's easy to get complacent with it... until it puts a big old deep slice in your arm...

JRouche
02-15-2008, 09:37 PM
Evan, Wolfie, The Wildey .45 Winchester Mag comes to mind.
Although starting at about $1600 they are rather exotic.


I have a LAR Grizzly that is chambered for the winny mag in .45 cal.. Its somewhat comical. Looks just like a 1911 model cept on roids. Very accurate once you learn its not gonna eat you. At the rifle range I was hitting 100 yard gongs prolly two or three outta five rounds. I load my own charge and went about 20% less than max load in the sierra book. The store bought rounds (I think ProLoad) "seem" way more powerful, I was surprised. I like the lighter load for range shooting, costs less. Ive got enough brass to last my life time. Nice lil shooter.

By no means is it a pain to shoot. I shoot the same cartridge out of a Casull and that one will tax my wrists more. And I would imagine I am getting more muzzle velocity out of the autoloader do the the round being in the tube VS a cylinder. Oh, and the .454 out of that one is not even much fun. My favorite chambering for that one though is the .45 long colt. A whole lot less money and with paper cutters loaded its pretty darn accurate.. JRouche

CCWKen
02-16-2008, 12:55 AM
Dang, I'm pretty ashamed of the pop-gun 25 auto I wear around here but I like it because it doesn't get in the way. Gotta do something to keep the rattlers, coyotes and wild dogs from trying to take over my space. Can't imagine luggin' a 45 or a 44 hog leg around.

IOWOLF
02-16-2008, 09:40 AM
How NOT to hold a revolver!










A St. Louis, Missouri guy on my AR-15 forum had a bad accident with his S&W 460XVR Magnum yesterday. He was shooting with a two handed hold and got his left thumb up near the lower front of the cylinder. The normal (powerful) gasses blowing out at the barrel/cylinder gap ripped the top of his left thumb off. I've added some of his posts & some pics.










http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/mhtml:{E8B9CED2-555B-460A-A397-0B6412873AFB}mid://00000935/!x-usc:cid:image001.jpg@01C86D88.E9D688B0 S&W 460XVR Magnum





460XVR blew my thumb off today!





No joke, about 1/2 of my left thumb is gone ... what's left is a friggin mess.

It's pretty hard to type, and I'm only posting because you never know, it might save somebody else a thumb. I was using a 2-handed grip, fired off a Cor-Bon DPX .460 and the blast came violently out the side of the gun.


At first my thumb was so covered in blood that I couldn't see how bad it was ... and I was full of adrenaline and felt no pain. And honestly it looked really bad, my whole hand was covered in blood and it was kinda gushing.





The blown-off thumb was on my support hand. I'll re-create the grip tomorrow to see where my thumb was, but it's not like I didn't already know not to get any body part near the cylinder gap. And even if I totally screwed up and did, taking my thumb clean off seems a bit excessive?




Just be careful with those 460's. That case operates at such high pressure, it's just asking for trouble.

BTW, I bought my 460 new and had exactly 12 rounds through it. Info about the gun, it's a full-size 460 with the 8 3/4' barrel and factory installed compensator. It's one of the Whitetails Unlimited models. Ammo was 200gr Cor-Bon DPX.

The gun only had 12 or 13 rounds of the Cor-Bon through it, and 10 .45 Long Colt rounds through it. So it was essentially still brand new.








Saw a hand specialist while there today. Lots of ways to try and save what's left, but first I just have to hope it doesn't get infected in the next few days ... then surgery early next week.





The hand specialist I spent a few hours with last night said that in gunshot wounds there is always a lot more damage than is first visible ... same with things like fireworks going off in your hand. A lot more flesh around the wound is dead, and will rot and fall off over the next couple days. That's why it's so important to keep clean, and that's also why they can't do surgery now. If they wrapped new skin over dead skin it would just puss out, possibly turn gang-green, and they'd have to start all over again.





This is an example of how he was holding his revolver. Wrong, wrong, wrong!



http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/mhtml:{E8B9CED2-555B-460A-A397-0B6412873AFB}mid://00000935/!x-usc:cid:image002.jpg@01C86D88.E9D688B0





This is what's left of his thumb.


http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/mhtml:{E8B9CED2-555B-460A-A397-0B6412873AFB}mid://00000935/!x-usc:cid:image003.jpg@01C86D88.E9D688B0


















Who's never won? Biggest Grammy Award surprises of all time on AOL Music. (mhtml:{E8B9CED2-555B-460A-A397-0B6412873AFB}mid://00000935/!x-usc:http://music.aol.com/grammys/pictures/never-won-a-grammy?NCID=aolcmp00300000002548)

Your Old Dog
02-16-2008, 10:31 AM
..............I've noticed that I now get the old "pucker factor" whenever I really start applying force to a job. Something can always go wrong. I can't think of a task I need to perform that requires more than about half of my strength. If it requires that much force, there is probably a form of mechanical assistance that makes it easier and safer. You may be able to lift 200 lbs, but that doesn't mean you should.
............-Mark

Amen! I could have horsed this sucker off the bed. I could also have lost control and smashed a foot because it's everybit of 200 pounds. I don't work on cars at all. One of my best buys was this engine lift as I use it all the time working by myself. As I age seems like injuries take quite a bit longer to heal so I try to avoid going there!

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/http://inlinethumb47.webshots.com/40494/2770537910102651310S600x600Q85.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2770537910102651310ulKXDf)

clutch
02-16-2008, 04:52 PM
The most dangerous tool is one you are using. Extra points for wood cutting band saws and joiners.

If you have had a bad day, close misses, ect, going out to the shop to relax may not be the best idea. Chances are you have things on your mind and you are not paying attention. Better to stay inside and read a book.

Spring winding on an engine lathe scares the chit out of me most of all. Always cut your stock to length before winding. You do not want extra material flopping around.

Verify spindle speeds before attaching wire. (I often run a servo shift). If 45 rpm cranks up as 1800, well, ....


Clutch

Benesesso
02-17-2008, 06:31 AM
I use a 3/4 HP 1725 RPM motor with an arbor for my 7" wire wheel. Very seldom throws a wire, and then it isn't moving too fast. I also wired it for 220v but run it on 110v. Starts right up, gets to full speed, and if it slows down I know I'm pushing too hard, but I'm not doing production work.

HSS
02-17-2008, 08:08 AM
Hey YOD, how in the world did you spill all of that salt in the back of you're truck?:D

In my shop it would probably be the angle grinder.

Years ago I worked in a fabrication shop and one of the guys operating a 9 inch angle grinder and wearing a burlap bag for an apron was grinding iron bent over straddling it when the grinder grabbed his apron. Circumsized him on the spot, and no lidocane.

Yup, the right angle grinder (any size)

GKman
02-17-2008, 10:05 PM
Careless with a 4 1/2" angle grinder gave me a nasty cut on the hand a couple of years ago. I use a portable jig saw for sheet steel that wont fit in the band saw. With the new oscillating blades they are fantastic but safety glasses aren't even close to effective protection from the chips they throw up in your face. If most dangerous causes the most accumulated hours of pain then the utility knife is the easy overall winner. I've been lulled into a false sense of security using underpowered tools. I've stalled the motor or slipped a belt on the table saw and drill press when doing something unsafe. A more powerful machine would have caused a serious injury. I have used a table saw a great deal and an very comfortable with it. There are a number of principles and forces that rule its behavior. Working with these has seemed to keep me safe. Foremost of course is kickback. At any time the workpiece can instantly and violently disappear. If the operator's hands are applying force toward the blade by leaning in to it and within range they simply have to go into the blade.

The gory lathe accident photo's have already been helpful to me. Although it was chilly in the shop, I took off my sweatshirt for some lathe work. Out of balance 4 jaw vibrated my cutting fluid pot off the back of the cross slide. Instinctively grabbed for it. Can't say it would have gotten my shirt sleeve but it verified something. You follow the rules even when there doesn't seem to be a need because you sinply can't anticipate everything.

Thanks for all your input. The wire wheel and spring winding were particularly eye opening.

mickeyf
11-21-2010, 09:07 PM
Table saws have always made me nervous. If this technology were cheap enough to add to even the low end saws, there would probably be a lot more fingers still attached to hands than there are now. A great invention. (No, I don't have one and probably never will.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esnQwVZOrUU

This one's even better!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3mzhvMgrLE&NR=1

spope14
11-21-2010, 09:12 PM
The most dangerours tools in my shop are the drill press, bandsaw and any hand tool. Nonchalance with common every day tools like these lead to the most injuries.

wrenchbender
11-21-2010, 09:49 PM
inexperienced operators bar none... scare me more than any machine.

JoeCB
11-21-2010, 10:14 PM
Many many years with both wood and metal cutting tools... the most damage inflicted was from a Utility Knife. Sliced the inside of two fingers on the left hand. Four hours of very expensive micro surgery got me back about 80% use.
Closest near misses were #1 a too short piece of stock flying out of a radial arm saw and #2 in high school machine shop class... a shop towel and a fully engaged 4 inch wide slab mill, you paint the picture !( still have bad dreams about that one)

Joe B

gwilson
11-21-2010, 10:48 PM
I have been injured more times by the drill press than any other machine. The drill press tends to be dangerous,I guess,because you don't THINK of it as dangerous.

Kid at schol shop drilling out one end of an old lead blocked battery cable. Drill grabbed it,and it swung it around,hitting his elbow. He doubled over in pain,and it swung around and hit him in the head,killing him.

I was drilling a block of brass with sharp square corners. I had it in a vise. The drill grabbed it,sucked it right up out of the vise,lacerating my finger . It was about 15 years before I finally got all the feeling back into the end of that finger.

Drill press can sneak up on you. Table saw? I'm afraid of it,so I don't get hurt since I'm being more careful.

jkilroy
11-21-2010, 10:54 PM
The big table saw, 15hp, 16" blade. I was straight lining some thick ash or oak one day, board warped during the cut, hung up on the blade, and WHAM! flew across the shop (30 ft at least) and splintered on a solid brick wall. No freaking way was I behind that, do I sound like an idiot! :D I have all of my parts but I consider myself a very cautious person. At lots of places I have worked my fellow employees got pissed because of the time I spend to be safe, but they all have stories about that missing finger or scar, etc.

ADGO_Racing
11-21-2010, 11:02 PM
By far the hand held deburring tools (Shaviv, Vargus, Rotoburr, etc....). I have snapped points and sliced myself a number of times more than I care to remember. When they break, they usually draw blood. I probably should have gotten stitches several times in years past, but butterfly bandages work great and are far cheaper than the ER!

Dr Stan
11-21-2010, 11:02 PM
The tool I've seen abused the most and thus the most dangerous is the pedestal grinder. From grinding nonferrous materials such as aluminum, to wearing gloves, not dressing a glazed or loaded wheel, and not keeping the tool rest & spark arrestor properly adjusted it seems to be the Rodney Dangerfield of machine tools. When it bites, it bites hard with a very dirty wound that is virtually 100% guaranteed to become infected.

Coming in a very close second is a 9" disk grinder, especially those without a guard. They have lots of torque and can throw sparks a considerable distance posing a hazard to others.

However, as others have indicated any tool is dangerous if the operator is is inexperienced or complacent. :eek:

dp
11-21-2010, 11:06 PM
The most dangerous tools in my shop are the drill press, bandsaw and any hand tool. Nonchalance with common every day tools like these lead to the most injuries.


Yep. I'd add knives (pocket, planer, etc).

Abner
11-22-2010, 10:07 AM
rushing the most dangerous tool is between my ears.

Loose clothing. Nothing like a quick grinding job on a cold morning with a loose shirt. Those hand held grinders will eat a shirt faster than you can blink. Sore ribs- lucky me.

Not clamping - drilling, grinding, sanding, wire wheel. Take the time to clamp.

hand held grinders and drill presses.

krutch
11-22-2010, 12:43 PM
My entire shop!! I really need to clean it up/out so a person (me) can walk from one machine to another without tripping on things. It will also help me find tools and such that have 'gone missing'!

whitis
11-22-2010, 10:33 PM
Well, there was the time we borrowed a 200W CO2 laser. Open beam with the floor as our optics table and no laser safety googles or other safety equipment. We had to keep moving the cinderblock we used as a beam stop as the laser kept boring holes through it. We kicked everyone out of the lab and bolted the door of the lab to keep people out with only two of us in there as it was all the person positioning the optics could do to protect himself while moving optical components in and out of the invisible beam and aligning them. I cowered behind the power supply with my hand on the off switch (the primary reason we had more than one person in there) whenever he was moving optics, figuring it would have to burn through its own supply to get to me. The guy aligning the optics managed to set a pallet (under an equipment rack) on fire as well as his shoe.

Another place where we used a CO2 laser went to the opposite extreme. It was on an optical bench with thick metal covers over the beam path, built in controls to move optics, and it was in a special containment room with door interlocks and alarm systems set up to evacuate the entire 161,145 square foot (3.7acre) building and cut power if the beam should get loose.

In another lab, someone got written up by the safety beaurocrats for standing on a stool. The reason he was doing this was to locate the beam of a CO2 laser, which was mounted near the ceiling, by waving a 2x4.

According to one study, "machine shops" (includes other forms of metal work) have 1 injury resulting in workers compensation time loss from work per 10 person years:
http://www2.worksafebc.com/PDFs/manufacturing/Profile_712020.pdf
The most common claim was due to overexertion or repetitive motion (next was being struck by an object) and the most common body part affected was the back, followed by fingers. This doesn't include fatal injuries.
As wirecutter said: "If you can't lift it 10 times, don't lift it once". But it isn't just lifting - bending is a real back killer; my worst shop injury by far was doing my back in by being hunched over working on something that was too low.

Do be careful with long hair. I once had a couple stray hairs snagged by the cotter pin holding a bevel gear on a 50 horsepower motor while taking a tachometer reading. That could get real ugly, real fast.

In school shops, saws did the most damage, especially the table saw:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10878142

As far as woodworking goes, here is a site on the hazards of sawdust (1 out of 8 woodworkers in industry are permanently disabled by sawdust induced respiratory problems - and home shops are worse) and the ineffectiveness of your typical dust collection system:
http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm

gary350
11-22-2010, 10:41 PM
Table saw. We have to build crates, custom pallets, boxes for special machines and parts. I have come very close more than once to having a very very bad accident with a table saw.

Ken_Shea
11-22-2010, 11:03 PM
The most dangerous thing in my shop is clearly "ME"
Tools are all inanimate until "WE" get involved, then they become dangerous.

davidwdyer
11-23-2010, 05:47 AM
My most dangerous "tool" turns out to be my oxygen cylinder.

My son wanted my short, stubby one for his jewelry work and so said he'd get me another one.

It turns out that in Brazil, an O2 cylinder is hard to find. I don't use one enough to lease one. So he ended up buying a cylinder from a guy who used the O2 for his tropical fish business to put oxygen in the bags with the fish while transporting/shipping. Think of a tank that has spend time in a salt water environment.:eek:

My son said, "It's a little rusty, but you just have to sand it off and put that rust neutralizer on it." Then, he got somebody with balls of iron to fill it.

Well, yesterday I started on the rust. On the bottom foot or so, the rust came off in slabs while I was chipping with a spatula. Next, the 4" grinder with wire brush.

I spent the whole time thinking that at any moment I was going to take a rocket ride or end up dead or with a huge lawsuit. Whew! The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I would have an impossible job trying to find another one. Well, its done now and today I'll paint it. Hopefully the neutralizer and paint will hold it for a while. A good layer of paint should help strengthen the steel.;) ;)

I know many will write saying I am crazy. But you don't have to. I already know that. After all, I like machining.

Black_Moons
11-23-2010, 05:54 AM
Did'nt think to use it all up first BEFORE sanding/wirebrushing it? :)

Id HIGHLY recommend at least getting the tank hydro tested!

davidwdyer
11-23-2010, 06:10 AM
The truth is I've never used it yet and the cylinder is full, as mentioned.

Yesterday, besides de-rusting it, I had to modify the connection for the regulators since it is not the same as the U.S. models.

You are definitely right. It should be tested. But I have no idea where to do such a thing here and don't want to waste my O2. I'll have it tested once it's empty.

I imagine the most dangerous part is past and so I'll just use it up for now.

rock_breaker
11-23-2010, 06:37 AM
I have a wood shaper attachment for my radial arm saw, using this attachment requires constant attention tto keeping hands clear and special attention to hoding and feeding material through it.

AllThumbz
11-23-2010, 12:03 PM
I have seen a lot of people stick their fingers near the spinning bit on a router table, so I will say that is the most dangerous. I installed two magnetic push sticks I got from Rockler when I bought the table to avoid temptation.

steverice
11-23-2010, 01:27 PM
Screwdriver, hammer and hacksaw.

madwilliamflint
11-23-2010, 02:10 PM
Gotta be my imagination.

Given the stories I've heard I'm so damn paranoid about stuff that I have "work outfits" that are pretty tight fitting, no hanging anything. No jewelry, hair cut with a #1 clipper.

Plus as a holdover from baking in a shared kitchen, I'm in the habit of saying everything I'm doing out loud. You could probably build duplicates of my work from a recording. It's weird how many times I'll hear myself say something I'm about to do then say "wait... that's not right."

No accidents yet.

bruto
11-23-2010, 02:56 PM
In theory it's probably the radial arm saw, or the table saw which I've run unguarded for decades, but danger is at least partly dependent on how you pay attention. I think the most dangerous tool in my shop is the Hole Hawg hand drill, which will tear your arms out of their sockets if you're not careful.

ligito
11-23-2010, 05:31 PM
The most dangerous tool in my shop, is me.
But I use workarounds to avoid death.

Arcane
11-23-2010, 05:35 PM
Screwdriver, hammer and hacksaw.

One of the nastiest wounds I got from a tool was when using a hacksaw, and I hate trying to use a screwdriver on a slotted screw in a hand held part. Hammers haven't been a problem.

Arcane
11-23-2010, 05:37 PM
Plus as a holdover from baking in a shared kitchen, I'm in the habit of saying everything I'm doing out loud. You could probably build duplicates of my work from a recording. It's weird how many times I'll hear myself say something I'm about to do then say "wait... that's not right."

No accidents yet.

As long as you don't start to argue with yourself...

tmc_31
11-23-2010, 07:59 PM
Isn't it funny how this segment of craftsmen seems to find wood working equipment the most dangerous stuff in the shop?

The tool in my shop that I fear the most is my radial arm saw. I have had it throw a number of things back at me over the years through a moments inattention.

One of the best things I ever did (for me) my drill press was to install a 4" cross slide vice on it. The damn thing is too heavy to take on and off easily, so I leave it on. (haven't removed it since I installed it 15 years ago). I clamp everything I drill in this vice when using the drill press.

Good thread by the way, this is a much gentler reminder about the things that could hurt us in our shops than some of us get.

Tim

Teenage_Machinist
11-23-2010, 11:52 PM
I fear: Angle Grinder (OH MY GOD ITS PRECESSING!)

Arc Welder (Because of the crazy gigantic live objects, and the huge amount of spatter

Table saw

Many chemicals

O/A torch (slighlty)

I suspect that this correlates a bit wiht what is actually dangerous.

Arthur.Marks
11-24-2010, 10:35 AM
...I hate trying to use a screwdriver on a slotted screw in a hand held part.

There are screwdrivers made that have a 1/4" or 3/8" socket connection on the end of the handle. Those are great for the stuck screws because it allows you to use a firm amount of downward pressure.

I've slipped off a screw many times with the screwdriver / crescent wrench on the square shaft "technique". Yes, can draw blood with ease :o I didn't know of the ratchet-fitting screwdrivers until rather recently.
They're a great help:

http://images1.mcmaster.com/Contents/gfx/large/7200a12p1l.png?ver=13529647

krutch
11-24-2010, 10:56 AM
As long as you don't start to argue with yourself...

Talking, arguing, yelling, cussing, etc. to yourself isn't so bad. Where you may have a problem is when you start saying to yourself ...Huh?

saltmine
11-24-2010, 11:05 AM
I am the most dangerous tool in my shop

duckman
11-24-2010, 01:40 PM
The "BRAIN" in my shop that is not engaged properly, usually takes 2 cup of joe to engage properly. :D

Arcane
11-24-2010, 05:36 PM
Arthur.Marks, that looks like it would be a great improvement over a regular screwdriver, but I've never noticed then for sale in the few stores I frequent. I do use my driver from my 1/4" socket set to hold a slotted bit in a 1/4" socket and put the ratchet in the back end of the driver, but that is a PITA and unless the socket is a magnetic one, the bit tends to fall out. The screwdriver you posted is a real improvement over that method.

Ed.
11-27-2010, 07:22 AM
Me, every machine and tool I own is extremely safe until I go inside my shed. :D

madman
12-09-2010, 09:53 AM
MY BEER FRIDGE DEFINATELY Followed by the Elliot Shaper.

garagemark
12-09-2010, 10:48 AM
Forrest is spot on in my world. My wood shaper is by far the most dangerous tool that I posses.

R W
12-10-2010, 04:30 AM
9" Angle Grinder.

big job
12-10-2010, 04:35 AM
nasty 4" grinder

Mcostello
12-10-2010, 10:19 PM
For how many of us would it be our brains or our mouths? Not that I fit in any or both of those categories!

Ries
12-10-2010, 10:50 PM
Statistically, I am pretty sure the table saw causes more shop injuries in america than any other tool.

The only time, in 30 years, I ever needed stitches, it was from a small laminate trimming router, though- 30,000 rpm, in a 1lb package, kicks back really easily, and the exposed bit cuts right thru flesh, very quickly.

fredf
12-10-2010, 11:36 PM
the next one you use . . . .

mike4
12-11-2010, 01:03 AM
9" Angle Grinder.
What about the ugly mug that presses the start button?

EddyCurr
12-11-2010, 01:06 AM
One tool that hasn't been mentioned is a pressure washer.

IIRC, my PW is rated for 3 GPM @ 3,000 PSI. I intended to exchange the
long awkward wand it came with for a short wand that was only half the
length of the OEM unit.

Fortunately, before I installed the new wand, I was informed about some
of the hazards this would expose me to by more experienced and
knowledgeable people.

Use search terms like "Pressure Washer Injuries", "Pressure Injection"
and so on for reports about the nasty things that can occur while
hosing down items with a pressure washer.

.

darryl
12-11-2010, 01:30 AM
If we are to assume that it is the table saw or bandsaw (and I'm not saying it is one way or the other, but could be) then I'll have to add that the worst ones are those that don't have good material support right next to the blade. If you're only cutting large pieces it won't matter so much, but for smaller, narrower, etc, that's a real trouble spot. Same with the wood bandsaw. If you're going to cut small pieces or thin strips, it will want to suck them down the slot with no warning.

In one sense it's a user thing- if you used a backup piece to support what you're doing, it's lots safer. Cutting a bolt shorter on a metal bandsaw is pretty much the same. If you lay the bolt across a piece of scrap and cut through both at the same time, you have better control. So- maybe it's the tool, maybe it's the user- it's both.

As far as an actual tool that's intrinsically dangerous, not counting the paranoid user, it would probably be a chain saw, angle grinder, portable circular saw, routers- anything that has a tendency to fly around if you lose control of it. A close second is anything that can make something fly around, but doesn't look or sound dangerous, like a drill press. In my case, I think it is the drill press-

JMcTool
12-11-2010, 05:00 AM
Me, every machine and tool I own is extremely safe until I go inside my shed. :D

Took the words right out of my mouth. That's why I picked the userid I did; to remind me sometimes that I can be a complete tool and to watch it - for my own and others' safety.

Jim

JanvanSaane
12-11-2010, 06:18 AM
Has to be an ops manager. They will operate tools they have no idea how to use. They will walk around the shop with no safety glasses on. They have no mechanical apptitude but think they are mechanical geniuses. Cavemen did not have a problem with operation managers, they were the first to be eaten by dinosaurs. Jan

loose nut
12-11-2010, 10:25 AM
Some years ago I had to grind out an area on a pump that was between a couple of protrusions. Getting creative was the only answer and just as I was starting the boss came by a asked why I didn't have a guard on the grinder. My answer was simple, "John, how can I put a 7" wheel on a 5" grinder with the guard on". He turned and walked away. What you don't know might not hurt you.

AllThumbz
12-11-2010, 10:34 AM
The stark reality is that the most dangerous tool is any tool that you take for granted in a moment of non-chalent use and do not show respect for. That is when accidents occur, when you take a tool for granted.

S&S_ShovelHead
12-11-2010, 10:59 AM
Table saw with dado blades, took away half my ring finger when the wood flipped out.

jimwill48
12-11-2010, 11:56 AM
Well since yesterday when I cut the ball of my left thumb off from the 1st joint to the tip and from near one edge of nail to other edge of bail. A slice of about 1/2" thick and size of a nickel. I would say the tablesaw.

James

EddyCurr
12-11-2010, 06:51 PM
Well since yesterday when I cut the ball of my left thumb off from the 1st
joint to the tip and from near one edge of nail to other edge of bail. A slice
of about 1/2" thick and size of a nickel. I would say the tablesaw.Care to share the story?

I had sufficient respect for the tablesaw's potential that I postponed
purchasing one for a lengthy period. When the perceived need and
sales discounts made further resistance futile, I bought one but
also enrolled in a TS class at the regional trade school. No regrets
about the class - learning that kickback causes far more injurys than
direct contact with the blade was a surprise.

The remarks about radial arm saws have me thinking about what mischief
a 12" compound mitre saw here might provoke. Interesting reading the
router comments, too.

.

lane
12-11-2010, 08:32 PM
The most dangerous tool you have is you your self . No tool left turned off never hurt any one . DON`T turn the on.

JanvanSaane
12-12-2010, 06:26 AM
I have never been hurt on a table saw but that is one machine that just terrifies me to no end. 2nd on my list is a chainsaw, I have many years experience on a chainsaw but I still respect them. Jan

davidwdyer
12-12-2010, 07:39 AM
The most dangerous tool you have is you your self . No tool left turned off never hurt any one . DON`T turn the on.


I don't know. I bumped my hand real hard against a shell mill in the Bridgeport when it was off and it did some damage. :) Boy was that thing sharp!

928gene928
12-12-2010, 09:16 AM
I would say that a shaper can be and area of danger because of it's power and chip throwing capacity. All power machine tools in general merit complete respect!

HighWall
12-12-2010, 01:20 PM
but the shop tool that makes me the most nervous is the radial arm saw. Darn near cut my thumb off with one of those in my Dad's shop when I was 15. I actually bought one 30 years later but just never felt comfortable with it, so I sold it.

In terms of danger to the workpiece, I think vice grips and Dremel tools.

bruto
12-12-2010, 02:32 PM
I have actually cut myself more often on turned-off tools, because I wasn't taking the usual precautions. Brushing against blades that I'd never come near to without a stick when on, or pinching/crushing/comping something while trying to adjust a stopped machine. I once got a nasty slice from my chainsaw after sharpening it all too well, though I've never gotten even a nick from a running one in the 45+ years that I've been using them.

I also have no problem with a radial arm saw, one of my favorite tools. Perhaps because it's just so in-your-face hungry, I have always respected its potential for harm, and even when ripping gnarly gnotty junk wood with bad blades, I've never gotten injured, though I've knocked the saw out of alignment a couple of times.

But I must confess that I, like others here, fear the wood shaper. I have an old one I got free, but never have invested in cutters for it, having used one in the past and felt, rightly or wrongly, that it was always just on the verge of hammering a tent-peg-sized chip into my flesh.