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Belt sanders and eclipses

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  • Belt sanders and eclipses

    The wooden front door to our house wasn't closing easily because part of it was rubbing against the door jamb, so last week I got out my power belt sander to remove the tight spot. Not paying careful enough attention and stupidly not wearing gloves, I accidentally touched the belt with my left index finger. It hurts really bad to have one's fingernail torn completely off -- not to mention the mess from a mangled finger tip. The doctor says the nail might or might not grow back, and if it does grow back, it'll take about six months and could look a bit different from what was there before.

    On a positive note, a couple days later, we traveled to Lime, Oregon (with a well-bandaged finger and pain pills) to see the eclipse. This is the second total solar eclipse I've traveled to see. If you've never witnessed a full, total eclipse of the sun and settled only for partial eclipses, you've missed out on one of life's rarest and most awe-inspiring events. They're indescribably amazing, so please mark the 2024 U.S. eclipse on your calendars and I'll meet you there.

  • #2
    Originally posted by B View Post
    ...and stupidly not wearing gloves, I accidentally touched the belt with my left index finger.
    Ooogod that sucks. Having felt such pain quite a few times myself, I've become almost embarrassingly obsessed with protecting my hands in all situations. I have several types of gloves always on-hand, and any task that isn't too fiddly for gloves waits until I fetch the right type and put them on.

    As for the eclipse, I'm becoming increasingly convinced I'm really missing out on something. I've always been of the mind that I can see such things on TV, and would prefer not to be among the herds anyway. But on Monday I seemed to see case after case in which people of respectable intellect were apparently affected so profoundly by having witnessed eclipse totality first-hand, that I can't help but conclude there must be something very special about it. And now here you are, another case.
    I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.

    Comment


    • B
      B commented
      Editing a comment
      They're indescribably beautiful, fleeting and stunning like nothing else I've ever experienced. I cajoled a friend and his family to go with us this time to the ghost town of Lime in eastern Oregon. After all my descriptions and suggestions, he relented by saying it would be an educational experience for his kids. He was totally blown away, and is already making plans for Texas in 2024 and Spain or Iceland in 2026.

      Immediately before totality, the weirdness of the high-contrast light, the shimmering waves flickering across the ground, the crescent-shaped shadows, the sudden temperature drop and the odd winds are reason enough to go. They don't prepare anyone, though, for the brilliant pinpoint of light seconds before totality, followed abruptly by the inky black hole left in the sky. Take off the eclipse viewers and everything is in a deep twilight. Stars are out, and the only light is coming from the incredibly beautiful, streaming and feathery display of the sun's corona that stretches out from the black hole for millions of miles in every direction.

      There were probably a thousand other people camped out there. The spontaneous collective gasp from those thousand people when the sun winked out was amazing by itself. My first total eclipse was in 1991 when, at the last minute, I drove to the airport and jumped on a plane for LaPaz in Baja California. I just sort of hung out at the airport for the entire night (along with hundreds of other people). Needless to say, I was stunned by the eclipse the next day and immediately hooked.

      Definitely, absolutely, positively don't watch it on television or think that a partial eclipse is good enough. Videos and photos don't even begin to do it justice. There's absolutely nothing like being there.

    • HotButton
      HotButton commented
      Editing a comment
      Here in Pennsylvania, I'll be much closer to the path in 2024.

  • #3
    Ouch! Mangled body parts are never fun.

    And I'm in Dallas, so I won't have to travel when 2024 rolls around. I'm looking forward to it!
    __________________________________________________
    I like to beat up pacifists, because they don't fight back ...

    N.A.N.K.A. "We Kick Because We Care."

    Comment


    • B
      B commented
      Editing a comment
      Dallas is at the top of my list for 2024, but the eclipse is in April when clear skies are difficult to predict more than a week in advance most anywhere in the country. I have a feeling that it'll be a last-minute decision on where to fly to (either that or a very long drive if the planes are booked).

    • Craig B
      Craig B commented
      Editing a comment
      Yup. That's a problem for April. I did a web search and saw that sunny/partly sunny days average about 17 for Dallas. So, hopefully we are in the clear.

  • #4
    Oh man that must have hurt like mad.

    Dumbest power tool mistake I've made was when I wanted to drill a hole in the handle of a paintbrush comb (the teeth of which are sharpened steel).
    It just so happens that I was not holding it down hard enough (and didn't clamp it), it worked loose from my grip as the drill bit into it, spun--(in the teeth direction) and impaled my hand. Luckily they only went in 1/8 of an inch, but still hurt like hell.
    Keep Saturn in Saturnalia.

    Comment


    • B
      B commented
      Editing a comment
      I've always been very cautious and safe when using power saws, but sanders and drills have never seemed all that dangerous to me. From now on, the leather gloves and protective glasses go on before I hit the power button. My nephew, who's a building contractor, nailed his hand to a roof with a nail gun while laying down shingles. I don't know how he got his hand unnailed from the roof, but I cringe just thinking about it.

  • #5
    My only bad power tool experience personally was with a tablesaw. Thankfully only broken fingers. Nothing missing. Coulda been worse. I also had the biggest baddest blackest bruise on my thigh about 4" west of much more important parts. Kickback sux.

    We only had 60% eclipse here. Did a modified camera obscura. Had a nice 4" disk projected onto a white painted board to watch.
    Would love to see a total. Thought about it, but it just didn't happen.

    Comment


    • B
      B commented
      Editing a comment
      I bought a radial arm saw a few years ago. A table saw would have been a more versatile choice, but the things have spooked me since high school shop class.

      I can vividly recall the image of a classmate's two bloody finger tips lying in the sawdust before the shop teacher gathered them up. The doctors at the hospital managed to reattach them, but this kid was bandaged up for months.

      Then a few years after high school, that same guy somehow managed to cut those same fingers in half with a Skill saw. They weren't reattachable that time. At my last high school reunion, it was announced that he had been killed in a work-related accident. I don't know if it involved power saws, but it wouldn't surprise me.

  • #6
    I made the ill advised and completely forbidden mistake of grabbing for an envelope that was semi jammed into the rollers of a high speed Jet envelope printing press. There was a jerk and a clunk and a split second later I was looking at the fingers of my right hand. The index fingernail was gone and the nail of my second finger was sticking up at about a 45 degree angle, the back of the nail, the part that is usually inside your finger. LOL

    What always gets me when these things happen is how fast they occur. One second your functioning normally and the next some part of your body is all phucked up

    Comment


    • B
      B commented
      Editing a comment
      Ewwww! Did they eventually grow back normally?

      What gets me about these kinds of accidents is that the suddenness doesn't provide enough time to make the mental shift into panic mode. This time, like other accidents I've had, I just found myself calmly wondering what happened and what I should do next.

      It's really too bad there's not a ten-second rewind button in life.

    • Kool
      Kool commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep, mostly. They look almost normal but if you look close there is a wavy look to them that wasn't there before. Probably has to do with the ends of both fingers getting pretty well squished.

  • #7
    I'll throw mine in. A couple of weeks ago I (stupidly) thought I could open a can of wood sealer with a Phillips screwdriver. I didn't realize the lid was on so tight, tried to pry it off, it slipped... and now I have a lovely star-shaped puncture healing in between my thumb and first finger. It was really one of the dumbest decisions I've made in a while. But, I was sealing a tool handle I had just turned on the lathe, so as potential injuries go, I was pretty lucky.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

    Comment


    • #8
      This thread reminds me of this scene from Jaws.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLjNzwEULG8

      Comment


      • #9
        Originally posted by KitchWitch View Post
        I'll throw mine in. A couple of weeks ago I (stupidly) thought I could open a can of wood sealer with a Phillips screwdriver. I didn't realize the lid was on so tight, tried to pry it off, it slipped... and now I have a lovely star-shaped puncture healing in between my thumb and first finger. It was really one of the dumbest decisions I've made in a while. But, I was sealing a tool handle I had just turned on the lathe, so as potential injuries go, I was pretty lucky.
        Invariable, when I need a flat-head screwdriver, I'll only be able to find phillips screwdrivers. The reverse is also true. Whenever I need a phillips screwdriver, all I can locate are the flat-headed ones. I don't remember ever stabbing myself with either, though. I have been tempted to buy a lathe. Every now and again, I'll find myself watching woodturning videos on YouTube and wishing I had one.

        Comment


        • KitchWitch
          KitchWitch commented
          Editing a comment
          We actually have a metal lathe. My husband got a nice one for only $100. He does metal work and I spin wood on it.

          And I did have a proper paint can opener, but it was like 20 feet away...

      • #10
        We have these things all over the house. Maybe a dozen of them.
        https://www.amazon.com/CR2-Combinati.../dp/B004UNGG7Y

        I've done the old screwdriver-into-the-palm thing trying to open raw oysters by breaking the hinge. I have a proper (and blunt) shucking knife for that now.

        Comment


        • seamas
          seamas commented
          Editing a comment
          One of the few times a blunt/dull knife is better than a sharp one.
          Oysters, butter, cheese.

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