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Ever worked in the shop under the influence?

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  • Ever worked in the shop under the influence?

    Just came back from a good friend's shop.

    While he is a good friend and great machinist, he has a drinking problem..a serious one since his wife died last year.

    When I was there, he was using his Monarch lathe, Bridgeport mill and Rockwell vertical saw while under the influence...barely able to stand up.

    I will be having a firm but honest talk with him about the situation when he sobers up.

    Very sad to see someone place himself at risk.

    But it also raises a question since many of us like a drink or two, when should a person ban themselves from a shop when alcohol (or drugs..prescription or otherwise) are involved?

    Should a Bridgeport be equipped with a breath analyzer?


  • #2
    i often will have a beer with me in the evening if im going to the shop.


    • #3
      "Barely able to stand up" No way no how, Your right to talk to him. I will drink beer while in my shop but I highly doubt I drink more than one every three hrs. or so. I find the odd beer slows me down enough to pre think whatever process I'm about to do and think this planning helps in less mistakes or working myself into a corner. YMMV, use at your own risk. And whatever other cya terms that come to mind.



      • #4
        Heck no!...I draw enough blood sober....don't need to add to it by drinkin'.


        • #5
          One of my printed and posted shop rules:



          • #6
            trick is take a few asprins as well, at least then you will bleed out so quickley youll barely know your dead, much better than years of pain and missing digit sydrome [they itch]
            black Welsh sense of humor, barely understandable by the Welsh, so theres no chance for anyone else.
            People drink, theres not much of a cure, pain is pain, a lot of folk drink because of the pain, physical and emotional, they dont need a lecture they need help, try to persuade them to seek it.


            • #7
              In Germany it is common to see people on the shop floor with a beer. That said, they are not falling down drunk. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating equipment is just asking for trouble.

              Hope the intervention goes well.


              • #8
                Not a great idea. I had a neighbor that was a clock maker on the side. He found out the hard way you can't drink vodka and run a table saw at the same time. Can't count to ten anymore either.


                • #9
                  Yea, I pertty much have a 1 drink max for my shop. Besides, After im done one drink I hardly feel like working anymore!
                  Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


                  • #10
                    If I'm driving, I might have a single glass of wine with a meal, or a pint of beer (and try for something less than 4%), but when riding a motorcycle, or operating machine tools, it's ZERO alcohol.

                    The dangers of alcohol;

                    Paul Compton


                    • #11
                      I drink a beer or (few) in my shop while I'm working.
                      But I don't get drunk. - BIG DIFFERENCE.
                      When I start getting a nice buzz, I'll close-up shop and wander (stumble?) back into the house.
                      Mostly, I drink beer while the bandsaw is running .... (BORING)
                      I'll pull up a chair next to the bandsaw, sit down, open a cold one, turn on the radio, and be bored to tears while the stock is cutting.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by IdahoJim
                        Heck no!...I draw enough blood sober....don't need to add to it by drinkin'.
                        +2 on that one!

                        I too have a NO ALCOHOL NO EXCEPTIONS rule. There are a couple bars within a few blocks ifI or anyone else needs a beer or two. Anyone who uses the shop in the off hours is subject to the same rules, I catch them one time, they will never use the shop during the off hours again.


                        • #13
                          No booze in my shop.


                          • #14
                            A friend of mine / machinist had a serious problem with alcohol and drugs, he would smoke dope while working on the machines and drink whiskey at the same time.

                            He did have a tenancy to make some mistakes, some times the jobs would not be totally thought out and he wouldn't come to work til about noon.

                            Sober he was a great machinist and a good guy to be around. I don't know how bad or if he was ever hurt while using the tools but I know his personal life took a toll from his excesses.

                            He works as a machinist to this day, his personal demons have not left him.
                            "the ocean is the ultimate solution"


                            • #15
                              I don't drink even when I'm not in the shop. Not for any moral or religious reason, I just never developed the taste for it.

                              I have, however, found myself getting a bit loopy from long hours and lack of sleep, and that's almost as bad. I've discovered that massive doses of caffeine might be able to keep you awake, but it doesn't necessarily keep you coherent.

                              I got my first job as a "machinist" due to the other guy coming to work drunk. He was working what was called a "degating" lathe, that cut the center "hub" gate and outer rim gate off of fresh wheel castings. The chuck turned pretty slow, with the cutting done by powered saws.

                              The chuck was air-operated and didn't have a lot of throw. The jaws were soft aluminum and machined to take a certain size of wheel- there were three lathes, with each machine capable of holding two sizes (for example, a 13" rim and a 15".) Thoroughly analog machines- nothing but timers and limit switches.

                              One of the guys that ran them when I started working there, rather routinely showed up at least mildly drunk, which wore off as the day went on. But occasionally, he'd come in either really drunk, or drunk and stoned, or both.

                              He'd be barely able to stand at the machine, and would keep putting the wrong casting in- which would then fall out of the chuck and bounce around on the saws 'til either he noticed or the guy at the next machine over stepped in and slapped the E-stop. Either way, it'd typically ruin the casting and almost always damage a saw.

                              One day a few weeks after I started, this had gone on long enough the castings were bottlenecking and backing up at the degating, and one of the supervisors showed up just in time to watch this guy trash another casting.

                              They hauled his ass away and the super turned and asked me if I could run it, basically being the nearest warm body available. (All I was doing was stacking the castings on a heat-treat rack anyway.)

                              I said sure (or at least indicated, it was too loud for normal conversation in there) grabbed a fresh casting and pushed the button. I stayed there for the rest of the time I worked there.

                              Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)