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  • Ouch!!

    Warning! Graphic description of lathe accident by victim himself. I think I'll be real carefull. This reminds me of those movies they used to show us in high school.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

  • #2
    I fink I'm gonna fwow up!
    "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is." Winston Churchill


    • #3
      Couldn't read past the second paragraph, brings back bad memories from my youth.
      To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison


      • #4
        It just shows you how not to be complacent around machinery.Shed machinist are you paying attention? I remember a few years ago a guy here was moving his lathe and it fell on him killed him outright Alistair
        Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


        • #5
          I try to avoid the horror stories like this when teaching students to use machine. I want them to be careful and respectful but not scared to death of them.

          So here goes my story; I worked with a lady who had a son that worked in a mobile home factory. They used a large sheet metal compactor to compress the scraps of metal siding to package them before recycling them. The machine jambed, so he made the mistake of reaching in to dislodge the jambed material. All guards had been removed from the machine. The machine broke free and caught his hand. Stretched his arm 6" longer than normal before he broke loose. The Doctors said that because he was a gymnast in HS just a few years before, his upper body strength kept the machine fom pulling his arm completely off. They said it would have been better off being severed because it is harder to repair the stretched tissue than cut tissue.

          The management at the place scrambled to put the guards back on the machines. Last I knew, he was OK, but had very limited use of his arm.

          So far, Knock on wood, neither I or my students have experienced more than a minor accident.

          Be careful out there.



          • #6
            I got a shirt tail wrapped up in a leadscrew once,that sucker spun me up to my throat before I got it stopped,luckily the lathe had the feed reverse on the carrage,otherwise I would have been there awhile myself.

            I did get caught one other time,but I always wear thin clothing anyway and I just went the other way and ran out of my shirt.

            I will not wear a coat or long sleave shirt,no way in hell,if its to cold,I either get a heater or go home for the day.

            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              Abuot a year before I started in the shop that I am in now a guy had his arm tore off.He was working alone on nite shift.Was running a 5" G&L hoizonal mill.Was holding a mirror and reaching in a bore as he was backfaceing a large part.Got wrapped up in the spindle somehow and it twisted it off.He sat down and removed his shoe and somehow took his sock off and tied off his arm above the elbow.Cant remember if neighbor called police.I do recall that they heard alot of screaming. He was working as a foreman when I started.Finally got total disability and quit.Nice guy he was.Cant believe he kept his senses in a situation like that.


              • #8
                The moral of this story is long shirt sleeves are a strict NO-NO> It is his own fault.

                Most serious accidents are because of operator stupidity. If you are not going to pay attention you are going to get hurt.

                I worked for a lot of years around heavy gauge sheet metal equipment (shears, Punch presses, Mechanical & hydraulic brakes. One of the best advances in safety in that field was hydraulic punch presses and brakes (shears rarely cut fingers or limbs off) - even so, there is considerable danger in working small parts in a hydraulic press brake. You need to pay close attention to what you are doing ALL OF THE TIME.

                I had set a machine up for making SS clips - it was a 4'-50T Promechan (the die bed raises up for the stroke). I had the machine set so that if the operator made a mistake the worst thing that would happen was a blood blister. While I when back to my own work (his machine was behind my 12'-250T Accurpress) the operator decided he knew better and changed the set up. He got into a rithym and when he screwed one up instead of just mashing the part and throwing the "remains" away in the scrap, he reached into the die area and got his thumb caught in the dies. His thumb was compressed to 22Ga. thickness at which point it blew off. He come running around my machine, blood spraying all over. The bone in the stump splayed open like a little daisy (neat!). I got someone to call 911 and packed the wound, The other workers started a thumb pieces hunt - pieces were found thirty feet away.

                This guy was lucky I knew what to do - the microsurgeon was able to reconstruct his thumb - I could not tell (if I did not know what had happened) which thumb was blown off. He bitched about weather driving him nuts, I told him at least he could still use his thumb...(true story)


                • #9
                  Damn, I've got to get me one of those big red emergency off switches and start bringing the phone out to my container...I'm always working alone and usually at night.


                  • #10
                    I think these are great stories. It is useful and I just wish we could all be telling them around a campfire but we don't have that luxury tonight. My favorite Great Uncle was known for his horses. I took care of 36 of them for a few years. He had a thumb on on hand that was a little "floppy." I'll not give you the full story but a horse bolted and the rein was wrapped around his thumb and popped it off. He emphasised to me the importance of holding ropes in a proper way. If a horse bolts and you are holding a coil in your hand, you could be chasing your hand AND your horse.

                    Great lessons that we shouldn't have to learn first hand.



                    • #11
                      I've been thinking of late about putting an 'off' bar on the table saw, so any portion of the bar I put my knee into, or kick, or whatever, it will shut off. After reading these stories, I'm going to consider how I can put something on the lathe and mill as well, to get a fast and/or hands free shutoff.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                      • #12

                        That's a pretty graphic horror story, makes a person think when he walks up to the lathe.

                        The worst shop accident I witnessed was a similar type of situation, however not nearly that severe.

                        Two of us were working in the shop. The other guy was on a 13" South Bend Lathe and was trueing up a small Honda motorcycle sprocket in a center rest. He reached over the lathe with his left hand to adjust the center rest on the backside and the cuff of the industrial coveralls he was wearing caught on the rotating sprocket. It pulled his hand into the sprocket and acted like a dull cicular saw cutting into his palm.

                        The switch was behind the headstock and the coveralls wouldn't rip when he attempted to pull away. He was finally able to twist around enough to reach the switch with his right hand and shut the machine off but not before the sprocket had cut in pretty deep.

                        I saw him head for the sink holding his hand and not looking too well. I drove him to the ER.

                        A foot switch or knee switch would have been a plus in this case.

                        In that shop we had one lathe with a foot switch ( bar ) that also was a brake, it was great.

                        The other accident that I heard about but didn't witness happened at a factory next door to where I worked. A guy with a pony tail was operating a large drill press and leaned toward the rotating spindle to check the work. The spindle caught his hair and ripped his scalp off his head.



                        • #13
                          Safety is the first thing that gets taught around any power tool.That hunk of metal is just a dumb machine, Its gonna keep going whether its cutting steel or a piece of your body. Its easier to keep what you already have than to try and sew it back on. Old words of wisdom from my father,bless his soul.
                          Are you listening shed?
                          I got all my parts because basically I'm a big chicken and don't like to see my own blood, so I make sure things are battened down and secured.

                          Now watch, after having said all this I'll do something stupid and cut off my thumb or something.


                          • #14
                            I'm with Thrud, no long sleeves ever for any reason. My shop is in my unheated garage. It doesn't get cold here per se, but does get chilly with high humidity. In those times, I wear a tight fitting long underwear top with the sleeves pulled up to above the elbows. If still cold I layer up, but never with sleeves below the elbow.

                            On the other hand, I did have an electrifying event. I was welding the legs on a metal bench I was fabricating. Top was on the concrete, had one foot on the metal and one foot one the floor. Struck the arc and immediately started break dancing. Seems the light rain shower had splashed some water onto the floor where my foot was. Odd, as I had on neoprene sole boots. Be that as it may, I always check now for any wet spots.

                            John B
                            John B


                            • #15
                              I always work in the shop alone and live alone. Got in the habit of making sure I have my portable phone with me. I have fell down several times and you never know when you could break a hip. SJorgensen's horse story reminded me I once had a barber that had lost a hand in the rope when he was roping calf's.