View Full Version : My most intricate milling procedure to date.

A.K. Boomer
05-03-2009, 12:59 PM

I smashed my finger yesterday --- I hate it when that happens --- tried a few beers to numb the pain (I don't take pain killers unless its really something bad) and very cold water - still kept me up all night off and on, This morning I was desperate so I set up a stop, clamped it in the kurt and had a go at relieving some of the pressure that was making it throb, first off was selecting the drill bit from my micro set - I went with a .038" that I pre-dipped in h.peroxide


Next up was setting up the parallels in a formation in which to "cradle" the injured part --- {This was far easier than when I had to build a semi-spherical jig when i went to buff my nuts, also there was no way to tell what I was doing due to not being able to see anything with both testicles in the vise and also having to pull the quill lever --- since the system I created to do that turned out so well im not going to divulge all the details of the elaborate sets ups and procedures but let me just state that like any good trick it involved mirrors. I can also add that i found it important to add a stop to the amount of clamping force that could be put on the vise}


Next up was a secondary clamping system on top --- I put this there for two reasons - one is that I knew I might chicken out in the middle of the procedure...
Two is that in no way shape or form did I want this "part" to lift,,, esp. when the bit makes its way through the nail...

Also note the high efficiency mill light --- only where you need it -- White man build big fire and stand way back -- Italian have smaller light shining only directly where he needs it -- on his finger that he's about to drill a hole through....


More to come...

05-03-2009, 01:07 PM
Much easier to heat a pin red hot and it will burn right through the nail, and be sterile as well...been there, done that...much faster and easier, and safer too, than using the mill!

But what you are doing has to be more fun...:D

A.K. Boomer
05-03-2009, 01:10 PM
How do you spell relief?


Its always nice to have a very successful self mutilation -- no wait a minute -- I did that yesterday.


And what were the girls doing when pops was going through his personal little hell?


Its really not exactly right -- Luka showed up downstairs for a brief few seconds with a look like "your still going to be able to work right? I mean were still gonna have food right?":rolleyes:

A.K. Boomer
05-03-2009, 01:15 PM
Much easier to heat a pin red hot and it will burn right through the nail, and be sterile as well...been there, done that...much faster and easier, and safer too, than using the mill!

But what you are doing has to be more fun...:D

Iv done that before -- I just forgot about it I guess -- plus I got that mill mindset --- like whenever a problem arises I immediately start thinking about clamping and such:o

05-03-2009, 01:26 PM
I would have used the hot pin myself too and have done so in the past.
But hey ya got the tools...might as well get a little practice in while you're at it. A procedure like that definitely increases your desire to not screw up your machining technique!

It could have been ugly if one of your pooches had looked up to see what "dad" was up to and accidentally hit the power feed half way through.:eek:

05-03-2009, 01:28 PM
I wasn't there but was told about a guy who used to work in our shop that mashed his finger like yours. He decided to drill a hole in it on the little high speed drill that we have. I reckon it grabbed some and dang near drilled through his finger. :eek: They said he nearly passed out. I made a mental note of that one, turn drill chuck by hand! :D

Weston Bye
05-03-2009, 01:29 PM
Iv done that before -- I just forgot about it I guess -- plus I got that mill mindset --- like whenever a problem arises I immediately start thinking about clamping and such:o

Give a kid a hammer (a Mill, in this case) and the whole world looks like a (finger)nail. :D

Larry Swearingen
05-03-2009, 01:34 PM
So what kinda Coolant didya use ? {:>)

Larry S

Weston Bye
05-03-2009, 01:38 PM
So... what caused you to have to do this operation?

05-03-2009, 02:34 PM
My dad once did the same operation on himself but chose to use a 1/4" two flute slot drill right through the fingernail.

Well actually he didn't choose to do it at all, it happened while he was attempting to clear some swarf away from the cut he was making, and the fingernail suddenly had a nice un-planned keyway in it.


A.K. Boomer
05-03-2009, 02:38 PM
So... what caused you to have to do this operation?

A #**$!~$$-#^**ing subaru...

I have done the needle thing but forgot, I also remember having to do multiple holes due to the heat cauterizing the blood and it clotting so for what it was worth one hole seemed to relieve some pressure, still hurts but about half as bad.

Japcas thats really why I put that top clamp on, I didnt want the thing grabbing @ 380 rpm, I also measured the end of the nails thickness and it was about .022" But the ends are thin and worn down --- I started out with .020" on the knee with the quill stop and kept bumping it up in .005" increments -- it took close to .040" to get through.

05-03-2009, 05:31 PM
Plunge, or peck drill?
Endmill or Drill?
HSS or Carbide?
Did you use the correct speed and feed?
SHEESH .... Details man.

A.K. Boomer
05-03-2009, 06:13 PM
I thought I gave enough details for the material being of carbon based life form (at least I think I am - yes- therefore I am)

Hss drill - peck .005" every 3 seconds and lift - @380 rpms to keep heat to a minimum, No coolant - H.peroxide as a disinfectant - copious amounts on both drill and nail before procedure and on nail after to get that special little fizz and ward off any opportunistic swine flu virus that was lurking in my basement (I know its down there)
Flare gun at my right side with two extra rounds in case anything goes wrong with the procedure...

Edit; Its about 6:30 pm here and the pain is all gone - I dont know if it would have been anyways though --- I took about a 2 hour nap this afternoon and it didnt bother me - I really needed to catch up on sleep and that was nice to do.

J. Randall
05-03-2009, 07:14 PM
You guys are on the right track, but don't use a needle or pin. They are pointed on the end and the hole will seal back and you have to do it again. Use a large paperclip, or something with a flat blunt end. The hole will stay open and drain.

05-03-2009, 08:48 PM
I sent this thread link to my sister at work, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma in Baltimore. Two things, the surgeons she said howled up a storm and the next time they have a unique one they want your number.


uncle pete
05-03-2009, 08:53 PM
Good pictures and well thought out set up but please keep the pictures of your "nuts" in the vice to youself. A self administered vasectomy is not a "home shop machinist activity" Or maybe it is, Times are tight.


doctor demo
05-04-2009, 12:53 AM
Iv done that before -- I just forgot about it I guess -- plus I got that mill mindset --- like whenever a problem arises I immediately start thinking about clamping and such:o
Nice job A K , I bet You were glad that You didn't have to use a horizontal mill.

I did a drill job on a nail years ago on the lathe (no I didn't put the thumb in the 4 jaw) I put the bit in a collet and the thumb against the tail stock.
I completely forgot about that 'till You brought it back with vivid detail.
Have You thought of submitting the write up and pics to HSM for publication?


05-04-2009, 01:08 AM
Next time try CNC.
Here is the code, I use peck drilling so each peck would painfully remind you not to do that again.
:D :D

N10 (MONDAY, MAY 04, 2009 01:06)
N15 T1 M06 (#62 DRILL)
N20 G90 G80 G40 G54
N25 S6000 M03
N30 G43 H1
N35 M08
N40 G00 X0. Y0. Z0.75
N45 G73 R0.05 Z-0.015 Q0.005 P F2.
N50 G80
N55 G00 Z0.75
N60 M09
N65 M01
N70 M30

05-04-2009, 06:13 AM
So what kinda Coolant didya use ? {:>)

Larry S

Blood...obviously. :rolleyes:

Your Old Dog
05-04-2009, 06:41 AM
FYI. This is exactly why I don't smash my fingers with the venerable BFH, it wins every time.

The only advantages that I can see to doing it your way is that you can say with some certainly how big the hole is and of course, that counts for a lot. It would also help you in learning to read your DRO with more accuracy.

Just a suggestion, take it or leave it but try not to smash your fingers with the venerable BFH, it wins every time.

05-04-2009, 08:11 AM
Used to provide relief for a lot of these when in the armed forces. Medics used to use the red hot wire but once word got around that the "fangs" had a better idea...
Used the air rotor/air turbine (around 600,000 rpm) with water/air coolant spray. Action is not drilling (ie, putting vertical pressure --> pain!) but more a sweeping, paintbrush action that would gently remove the nail.

05-04-2009, 09:15 AM
PCB drill.. carry it in my wallet along with a scalpel blade. Once you've tattooed yourself, you have no problem operating on yourself.

A sharp tiny drill bit goes through a nail in a matter of seconds. Usually resulting in a geyser of brackish blood.

05-04-2009, 01:04 PM
I use throwaway tips of a hypodermic syringe. Just rotate between thumb and indexfinger and it goes through a nail in a second or two.


05-04-2009, 02:38 PM
I've done it the same way as Boomer, except I used a drill press.

It's really unbelievable how much those fingernail smashes hurt.

Spin Doctor
05-04-2009, 06:57 PM
My method works best of all. DON"T DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!. My keyboard will now return to its normal sound level. :p

05-05-2009, 08:26 AM
I think a lot of us have some mashed up thumb finger ends. I should post a thumb picture but im not too photo smart. (Just ask TipTop) Anyhow i watched my friend drill through his nail and go too far and pick up a whirling amount of flesh that was underneath his thumb nail with the spinning drill end. Man he told me it really stung. I didnt say much just watched kinda felt sorry for him.

05-05-2009, 09:06 AM
Used to overhaul a lot of starters and would bench test, also test the Bendix with power, a guy was watching me at the time and I guess he felt like he wanted to test it too when I was called away, when I returned he was holding his thumb, where he had it in the way of the energized Bendix and had literally ripped his entire thumb nail near off as it was sticking up at about 90 degrees.
That had to hurt !

A.K. Boomer
05-06-2009, 12:21 AM
Thanks Madman and Ken -- you guys just made me feel very lucky:eek:

05-06-2009, 01:03 AM
:D Hey Boomer
I have done that before too. And I drilled a hole in it too. Wow it's such a relief when the drill breaks through and the pressure (and blood) is drained off. Now me myself I use a 1/16" drill bit and spin it with my fingers to drill the hole.
Now at one shop I worked at a guy did that, and everbody told him to use a small drill bit, and to spin it with his fingers, to drill a hole to drain off the blood. Well he wouldin't do it, kept whinning around a couple of hours, and wouldin't go to the DR or nothing. I guess he could not stand it anymore. So he used about a 1/8" drill in a Bridgeport Mill and when it broke through the nail, somehow it "grabbed him" and went completely through his finger. :eek: We all heard him holler, I know it hurt. It even hurt me just to look at the end result and the mess on the mill table.

He didn't have the "master plain" like you had clamping youre finger down. And oh boy did we ever give him hell when he got back from the DRs office :mad: It took him a while to get over that one... NO IT WASN'T ME.

Also Boomer, was that cussin you did to that Subrau in Japanese?

Your friend, Doggie

A.K. Boomer
05-06-2009, 01:10 AM
Also Boomer, was that cussin you did to that Subrau in Japanese?

I said such terrible things Im going to go to hell for it -- I just know I am - And it wasnt in Japanese - I took a peek outdoors to see if any neighbors were out and about because I said them loud enough to be heard through the garage door im sure --- got lucky.

Paul Alciatore
05-06-2009, 03:07 AM
I had the same situation once. I used a 1/32" drill in a pin vise - the rotating type. It was very easy to control the drilling and if I recall correctly, there was no additional pain from the drill. I don't think I would have the courage to attempt it with power tools.