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What is the most dangerous tool in your shop?

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  • What is the most dangerous tool in your shop?

    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?

  • #2
    The paper cutter.

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        Oops - bang!

        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 cut it off twice and it's still too short!

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        • #5
          Me and if you call me a tool again were gonna have problems







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

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          • #6
            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.
            Brett Jones...

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                The drill press, touch wood,not that i have been bitten.

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                • #9
                  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.
                  Jonathan P.

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                  • #10
                    grinder and drill press.
                    "the ocean is the ultimate solution"

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                    • #11
                      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.
                      "Lay on ground-light fuse-get away"

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                      • #12
                        brockley1

                        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
                        The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.

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                        • #13
                          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".
                          Last edited by Ed Tipton; 02-15-2008, 07:23 AM.
                          There is no shortage of experts, the trick is knowing which one to listen to!

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mochinist
                              Me and if you call me a tool again were gonna have problems







                              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!

                              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
                              The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.

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