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Broke ankle and lathe while leveing

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  • Broke ankle and lathe while leveing

    I was raising my new 11 x 26 lathe (~500 lbs) to level it when it fell forward on to me. I was sitting on the floor closer to the headstock end. The chip tray contacted the floor stopping the fall.

    Something in around the headstock control panel struck the ankle breaking the tib, fib, and ankle bones. The first surgery in ER left me with a “fixator” screwed into my foot and shin in eight places. I was not pinned under it. The second surgery is scheduled for next week. The fixator goes away and the cast or boot device goes on. Doc said I will not be able to stand / walk on the broken leg for six months. Thank God for pain meds.

    The lathe is still down on on the floor. No idea what might be bent or broken.

    I have a small paying project that could keep me busy 25 hours per month. Anyone here have experience working from a wheel chair while operating a lathe and table top mill (I am typing while mediciated.......)?
    Last edited by Gary Gill; 10-28-2009, 06:36 AM.
    Gary

  • #2
    Ouch! Gary, very sorry to hear that. 6 months, wow, and sorry you got hurt and hope the recovery is quick.
    .

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    • #3
      Gary, I'm so sorry to hear of your accident. I once jumped off a burning boat (long story) onto pavement and the nevicular bone in my left foot exploded into pieces. Surgery, pins, screws and 3 months in a non-weight bearing cast. Broken bones healing is not automatic: they thought I was going to have to have a second operation to "fuse" the bones in my foot, but thankfull, they finally began to knit. After about 5 weeks, I was able to go to work, walk with crutches, and use an electric scooter to get around. I fell down stairs several times (I live in a tri-level house) and usually would go down by scooting on my butt. You're in for a rough road, but this too will pass.

      Please post your location in your profile, or whatever it's called. If we knew where you were, perhaps some member(s) could come over and help with the lathe and any other specialty skill you might need.

      on edit: I see you have now updated so we can see you're in Indianoplis, great! That's a little too far for an evening run for me, but if necessary, perhaps a Saturday outing...

      My thoughts are with you. Hang in there.

      Been there, done that, have the scars and crutches to show for it.
      Last edited by Jim Caudill; 10-28-2009, 06:45 AM.

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      • #4
        I ws trying to think through what might go wrong and never considered the (top heavy) lathe would tip over. Duh! I was watching my fingers as I inserted levelers into the base mountng holes concernced about mashing one or more off.

        I would welcome any help uprighting the lathe. A portable engine hoist would do it and I have straps already. I am located on the far southside on Indy in Greenwood Indiana.

        I should have known better than to try to level the lathe by rasing it from below. Chaulk this mistake up to over eagerness and lack of patience.
        (edited for spelling - drugs again)
        Thanks
        Gary

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        • #5
          While I fortunately have no personal experience operating from a wheelchair, I attended a local auction this spring where the deceased was wheelchair bound, this fella had a fully equipped machine shop with multiple equipment as well as a full welding and fab shop, his work appeared to be excellent and the local steel mill sent him regular business...........the wheelchair didn't seem to hamper his talents.
          Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....

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          • #6
            Maybe a stool built to the correct height and a foot / leg rest for the broken leg. I am determined to get back in the game.
            Gary

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            • #7
              Warning last picture is my leg with fixator


              Gary

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              • #8


                Look at all those nice indicator supports!


                That's one hell of a learning experence about COG, but I'm surprised it tipped over quite that easily.

                I've heard of quite a few people in wheelchairs with machine shops, but they usually have their machines mounted low. The general rule is that you want the cross-slide handwheel at elbow height. My Harrison is a bit low for me and I get backache, so it's going to end up on rasing blocks.

                There are such things as standing wheelchairs which might be a better temporary solution. Could be a challenge for some local machinists.
                Paul Compton
                www.morini-mania.co.uk
                http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, that sucks. Hope you have a good recovery. What you need is a Canadian invention, the knee crutch. Forget the wheel chair.



                  http://www.abledata.com/abledata.cfm...discontinued=0

                  You could probably build one pretty quick.

                  Last edited by Evan; 10-28-2009, 08:44 AM.
                  Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gary Gill
                    I ws trying to think through what might go wrong and never considered the (top heavy) lathe would tip over. Duh! I was watching my fingers as I inserted levelers into the base mountng holes concernced about mashing one or more off.

                    I would welcome any help uprighting the lathe. A portable engine hoist would do it and I have straps already. I am located on the far southside on Indy in Greenwood Indiana.

                    I should have known better than to try to level the lathe by rasing it from below. Chaulk this mistake up to over eagerness and lack of patience.
                    (edited for spelling - drugs again)
                    Thanks
                    So sorry to hear of your injury. I never liked the look of those holes in the Grizzly lathe bases for leveling. It makes the footprint that much smaller and makes the tool that much easier to tip over. I ended up installing my leveling devices on the outside corners of the pedestals, increasing the footprint rather than decreasing it. I think the holes that come drilled in the pedestals are for bolting the units down to the floor and would be used in conjunction with shims for leveling. Here's a picture of what I came up with for my 4003. I hope you feel better really soon.

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                    • #11
                      Thats a nasty injury.. While i was layed up with a broken foot 7 weeks , my injury not as severe as yours. I used an office chair (with wheels)around the house to be able to stand at a bench or counter. I bent my knee as shown in the knee crutch. and rolled around, I was able to spend time doing productive things. I did not have all the hardware you have i had a simple cast just below the knee.
                      Good luck heal quickly and completly..
                      scariest thing to hear " I am from the government and i am here to help"

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                      • #12
                        ouch! on many fronts!

                        i hope you have a speedy recovery and a friend to stop over soon to set the lathe upright. the thought of the lathe laying out there on its side would probably make me forget about the ankle pain after a few days.

                        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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                        • #13
                          Have you got an engine hoist??

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                          • #14
                            Sorry to see you busted your foot mate - six months lay-up is not good at all

                            Were you raising the lathe on that scissor-jack? Not the most stable thing in the world.
                            Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                            Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                            Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                            Monarch 10EE 1942

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                            • #15
                              I had rented an engine hoist and a pickup truck but had returned them the day before. I will likely have to rent another hoist and maybe able to get a friend to pick it up for me.

                              I was using the scissor jack from my Jeep Liberty ;-(
                              Gary

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