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always be safe - just like being "a little bit pregnant"

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  • always be safe - just like being "a little bit pregnant"

    i was out doing some yardwork and wanted to remind everyone to always be safe and treat your tools with the respect they deserve. i was pruning some trees and had an incident which reminded me of the phrase "you can't be a little bit pregnant". there are certain tools that no matter what you do, you will be operating within a foot or so of serious injury. one of these tools is a chainsaw. the phrase "i was a little bit injured by my chainsaw" is not a common one. it isn't like you can use push sticks to run a tree through a chainsaw, or set it on autofeed. well i'll admit, i have been becoming a bit lackadaisical (what a word ) when operating my chainsaw. you know, kind of be-bopping around with it, using it one-handed, foolish crap like that. i was trimming some branches and after making the cut (with the chain still whizzing by at a million feet per second) i would drop the saw with one hand and toss the cutoff onto the brush pile with the other. i made a cut and felt some type of vibration/tearing feeling on the back of my leg. my first thought was, "well, it looks like i'll be heading for a few stitches". i looked down and this is what i saw:
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    amazingly, nothing more than a few pulled threads. needless to say, i took a short break and adopted a more respectful attitude for the rest of my pruning. i'd say i was about 0.1" away from a much more serious lesson.

    anyway, spring is coming and the start of the yardwork season and warm-weather shop projects. just a reminder to always be safe!!!

    andy b.
    The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

  • #2
    The other day the chuck key was in my chuck turned on the lathe and it flew out and hit me in the balls. Needless to say, the velocity of that chuck key was MUCH less than required to do any harm.

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    • #3
      I did the same thing when I was about 16. Looked down and saw torn levis. Pulled open the rip and saw torn flesh about 4 inches long. Pretty deep too. For some reason I missed everything except some muscle and it didn't bleed either. Drove into town and had it cleaned out and stitched. Still have a good sized scar to remind me. In my case it was the large spike guard that is supposed to prevent that had rattled loose and fell off. I put it back on with locking nuts instead of regular ones with lock washers. I should have checked it while using but the odd thing is that I had done a lot of cutting that summer and it hadn't come loose before.

      That is the last time I have been seriously injured by a power tool. The worst I have encountered since is several instant cuts while winding a spring.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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      • #4
        Originally posted by andy_b





        amazingly, nothing more than a few pulled threads. needless to say, i took a short break and adopted a more respectful attitude for the rest of my pruning. i'd say i was about 0.1" away from a much more serious lesson.


        Man -- you got one dull blade,

        talk about close, I had a friend that was using the tip of the bar (a no-no and this was before the kickback brake bar was invented) and it caught and sent the bar/blade right up to the middle of his forehead, his reactions where very quick and he stopped it short of ripping him a new one but not short enough for the chain to link into his wire rim glasses and rip them into a cobbled mess and then spit them out several meters away...

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reminders. On a scale of one to ten, that would give a pucker factor of about fourteen!

          David
          Montezuma, IA
          David Kaiser
          “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
          ― Robert A. Heinlein

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          • #6
            Originally posted by A.K. Boomer
            Man -- you got one dull blade,
            i got VERY lucky as the side of the bar was more pressed against me than the actual cutting surface of the chain. plus, the chain WAS a bit dull. i had been using the saw a month ago to cut off some old posts from a shed and hit a few nails and some dirt. before i put the saw away this afternoon i resharpened the chain, just so next time i REALLY hurt myself.

            i shouldn't joke though. i still have all of my fingers, toes and eyes. i know some guys who can't say the same.

            andy b.
            The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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            • #7
              suppose you know that there are special trousers for chain saw users ..they are made up of composite layers .....inner and outer ...with a pile of loosely woven ..polyester i think in-between ..

              the idea being, if you let the chain come into contact with them ...the loose woven layer would jam up the chain and stop it dead .

              all the best.markj

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              • #8
                How about a picture of the "brown stain"
                James Kilroy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by aboard_epsilon
                  suppose you know that there are special trousers for chain saw users ..they are made up of composite layers .....inner and outer ...with a pile of loosely woven ..polyester i think in-between ..

                  the idea being, if you let the chain come into contact with them ...the loose woven layer would jam up the chain and stop it dead .

                  all the best.markj
                  i know. and i always think, "hey they look like a good idea, but they're expensive, and i'll never be dumb enough to drop a running chainsaw on my leg."

                  i may SERIOUSLY look at getting a pair. i have every other piece of safety equipment. heck, my neighbor has a full arborist harness that we use sometimes when we have to do some work up in the tree canopy.

                  andy b.
                  The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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                  • #10
                    Good safety practices pay off. If you always take chances you increase the odds that you will get bit.

                    As far as the chain saw, I get a bit careless though after a coworkers intended lost his arm in a bucket truck last year trimming trees, I've been a bit more careful.

                    I darn near lost the tip of my ring finger to a 20" ww bandsaw, I was new to the machine, was intent on adjusting the lower guides and forgot I had the lower band wheel cover open. I was 90 degrees from the cover. Just a bit more and my finger would have been taken under the blade and wheel, crushing it, as it was I almost severed the tip but there was enough left to recover. Even the nerve numbness has gone away. I was damn lucky.

                    Seems like two points exist were your chances to get hurt are high. When it is new to you and when you think you have mastered a device. Once you have a close one, or a coworker has one, you get a bit safer.

                    Clutch
                    Last edited by clutch; 03-15-2009, 07:49 PM. Reason: speeling of coarse ;)

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                    • #11
                      A few years back we lost a neighbor to a chain saw. It cut into the main artery in his thigh. Word was that if he had been in the ER and made the cut they probably would not have had time to save him. Last Thursday another neighbor was cleaning up trees after this winters storms and brought the power line down on the tractor he was operating. He was lifeflighted in but the latest word is that he is critical and anyone who is good with prayers we would appreciate intentions for him. Steve is one of the good people in this world.
                      lg
                      no neat sig line

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by andy_b
                        i know. and i always think, "hey they look like a good idea, but they're expensive, and i'll never be dumb enough to drop a running chainsaw on my leg."

                        i may SERIOUSLY look at getting a pair. i have every other piece of safety equipment. heck, my neighbor has a full arborist harness that we use sometimes when we have to do some work up in the tree canopy.
                        andy b.
                        Get the kevlar chaps from Labonville or Baileys or half a dozen other places. Less than $100. If they prevent one visit to the emergency room, they're paid for and then some.

                        I got a nasty chainsaw cut last fall -- I may be partially disabled for the rest of my life, as it seems to have damaged the knee joint. And normally I am a pretty careful guy. I learned my lesson and shelled out for the chaps and also chainsaw resistant boots.

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                        • #13
                          I know exactly how you feel. I had a pregnant moment once with a 10 cabinet saw. I had powered down the saw and stepped around to the other side to pick up a bunch of 2x2" chunks. I knelt down, picked up a handful and while I was still kneeling down went to put them up on the table saw so I could get a few more handfuls. Well, it was still spinning down. Someone was watching over me because the first thing to encounter the spinning blade was a chunk of wood instead of my fingers. It kicked one of the chunks so hard it removed the biggest callus I had on my hand. I was taking hydrocodiene for bronchitis at the time.

                          it don't take long to get in trouble, glad you're okay.
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                          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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                          • #14
                            Andy, you were lucky, I had one a little closer yrs. ago. Split my Levis, and my long handled underwear, and left a faint pink scratch on my thigh. I don't want to get any closer than that.
                            James

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                            • #15
                              I needed to cut a piece of 2x4 one day to use as a backing material while drilling holes in some stainless steel piano hinge. I started the radial arm saw and laid a piece of lumber against the fence. When I reached up and grabbed hold of the handle I thought "that handle is awfully narrow". I looked and saw why...I had reached in and grabbed the blade guard instead of the handle! How I missed losing all 4 fingers that day I will never know...had to be my Guardian Angel.

                              Mister Chekov...Pucker Factor Warp Nine!! Seemed like a white-knuckled eternity waiting for the blade to spin down so I could get my hand back...not a scratch on it.

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