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Nate Bocker

warning! graphic! use clamps whe operating a drill press

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So, here is a lesson as to why we use clamps when operating a drill press, instead of rushing to wrap up a project. I thought I would post this as a lesson learned, especially since we have some newer students, here. 4 hours and 19 stitches and at least a week away from the shop. As to the good news, my blade survived the performance test like a champ...

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Chris Price labeled this as the price of knowledge...

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Ouch! Nate, you're so right about rushing... A post mounted to the bed of the press to stop work spinning is an alternative for big pieces, bolsters etc. I always clamp! Hope the healing is rapid and the pain is bearable!

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It is the taunting from the little voice in my head that told me to clamp that is unbearable... Lol... I'll be fine, I'm just glad it was me and not one of my students...

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Man, good one. Been there, done that.

Hope it heals ok, welcome to the school of natural selection... I'm the senior student!

:0)

 

Seriously, don't push it to quick, needs to heal completely before you get to carried away, nerve damage can be a bugger years down the road.

 

And thanks for posting it. Hope some of the newcomers take note.

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Yes, this is the (somewhat overdue lately) safety song. A mantra I once learned was "Hand tools hurt, power tools maim," and it is repeated to every newcomer to my work space. There is risk in this business, and as Nate just about found out, it's the kind of risk that could stop your craft altogether.

 

I know those pics are gory, but they're worth taking a good look at, so you can learn from Nate's experience and not have to find out the hard way yourself. The price he paid for this knowledge is dear, we get off much more cheaply by just looking and trying to keep down breakfast.

 

Learn the lesson, secure your work, and don't think a minute saved is worth a week (or more) away and the loss of your parts. I can tell Nate that he's going to have some numb spots from that, he won't be able to feel things quite the same he did before, even temperature sensitivity is going to be an issue with that much scar tissue along those lines. I'd be surprised if there isn't some considerable nerve damage in the thumb. The skin may start healing over well in a week, but it's going to take a while for the full effect to be realized, maybe we'll get a Christmas update.

 

 

Heal fast, buddy. See you soon.

Edited by Christopher Price

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Sometimes I just have a sense that I'm not focused enough to head down into the studio and get to work, and that picture very neatly sums up why I listen to that voice, even if I'm stressed out about getting things done... in fact particularly if I'm stressed about getting things done.

 

Heal up well, Nate, and don't push it. I have a similar cut on the thumb pad / heel of my hand and I was very fortunate to have only nicked the nerve. The doctors were quite concerned that I might lose the movement in my thumb... and a hand is fairly useless without one. Better late than never when it comes to bladesmithing.

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OUCH!

best wishes in healing.

yes, secure the work. And work safe.

 

Don't work tired, or if you like to drink or smoke, when you have a buzz. Even if bladesmithing is so much fun with a cold brew.

 

I really appreciate Jol adding about not working when you don't feel focused/alert.

 

I have made a lot of mediocre work into junk by trying to rush it or work when I shouldn't.

 

This goes for things that you do that hurt (like gripping things wrong or using bad body mechanics), too. I lost feeling in my middle finger for 6 months because I was holding an engraving machine wrong and too hard. I figured a little pain wasn't a big deal, compared to how I would feel when finished. Luckily the nerves healed.

 

If you don't feel right, or, "it," doesn't feel right, find something else to do.

 

Best to all.

 

kc

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Oh, man... :(

 

I've done similar, nearly lost the fingerprint off my left middle finger. And that was with a piece of wood! Now, NOTHING gets drilled unless clamped or in the (clamped down) vise.

 

It's a hard lesson, sorry you learned it that way. I'll move this down to the Shop Safety forum in a while, but it can stay here for now because more people read here. That little voice in the back of your head is worth listening to when you get in a hurry for sure.

 

Oh, and the side of my right middle finger (from the "how not to use a sledge hammer" thread) is still numb, except when it tingles, or when it gets cold. Then it hurts.

 

Take care of yourself and don't rush healing! Hope you got some good pain meds, but don't try to work while taking them. ;)

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It is the taunting from the little voice in my head that told me to clamp that is unbearable... Lol... I'll be fine, I'm just glad it was me and not one of my students...

I've learned over the years to pay attention to that little voice... heal quickly.

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wow...get well soon Nate

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Watch the rings too guys, i see nate has his ring on in the photos, really should slip those in the pocket or on a chain or something around drill presses and lathes/mills as well. Watches perhaps also. Had the ring also got fetched up in that incident there very likely may have been a finger missing too.

Drill presses and buffers, I think, are the most dangerous tools we use.

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Wow Nate I am glad that no other part of your body was hurt.

 

 

And like so many who have spoken up, safety can not be stressed enough here. I tell any one who comes to my shop that has never been around these types of tools. EVERYTHING IN MY SHOP WILL KILL YOU IN SOME WAY SHAPE OR MANNER.

 

And I get the occasional, yeah right, then I show them my scars, and burn marks. And if that does not sink in I ask them to leave.

 

The good thing in all of this, is Nate you will never forget to secure your work again

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That's enough to make your butt pucker! Always, always, always listen to that

little voice. Before you turn on a power tool, stop, analyze the hurt potential,

think about your safety and then (it only takes a moment) only then turn on the

tool and do the job. After playing with power tools for 60 years, I've finally

taken this to heart. Guess I'm a slow learner.

 

My dad wouldn't let us use a power tool until we could do the job by hand. That shows just

how much faster the job can go. But if you nick yourself with a hand saw you get a

nick, not an amputation. If a piece spins under a hand drill, not much happens. Under

a drill press, well, you know.

 

Heal quickly and get back to work, but remember, the little voice is always on your side.

 

Bill

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I was working on a fillet knife a couple of years ago. I was working the edge down with 220 grit paper. My right hand was holding the edge of the knife down on the paper. Somehow it slipped off the edge and I nearly cut the tip of my finger off. Pretty painful.

 

I'm sure it doesn't compare to your pain from this one though Nate. Sorry it happened. Hope you heal well, completely and quickly. The work you folks turn out is too good to be cut short by a silly mistake because we got in a hurry. Stay safe.

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We should always clamp,,, but don't.

We should always have a post mounted to the bed as Miles noted, but don't.

I always have my drill press plugged into a foot peddle (instant on instant off). Then if I fail to clamp at least coming off the foot peddle turns off the drill press.

I never use a buffing wheel any more. Those things will grab your knife out of your hand and throw it at you, usually just when you have gotten it sharp. I now have a piece of short shag carpet glued onto one of my disks on my disk grinder (Nielsen Interchangeable Disk System, see my web-site). Now buffing is on the side of the rotating disk and there is nothing to grab.

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I think its time for me to get a clamp for my drill press. I've been putting it off but i dont think i need to put it off any longer. My father in law got a nasty cut on his little finger about 6 months ago that looked about like that and he still has numbness in it. Hopefully you won't have to worry about that.

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Yikes! Heal, quickly, and completely!

 

I don't have a mountable vice for my drill press yet, but I do have an adjustable post mounted in one of the table slots and also use a welding clamp to secure the work piece to the table before turning anything on.

 

@ the comments on hand drills; if you mean hand powered, I'm with ya. If you only meant hand held... don't underestimate any power tool!

James

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@DKLabs, yeah, I would recommend that you not put off any safety equipment.

 

These circumstances have me thinking about why I chose to remove and not put the clamp back. I will likely design a multi purpose jig for use on the drill press that allows different tasks without neglecting safety...

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I get a lot of use out of vise grip style table clamps, sometimes with a pin to keep things from spinning. Still quick, and flexible, so I'm less tempted to skip it, but secure, and if anything gets wrecked, it's more likely to be the piece, rather than me.

 

 

Also a safety note...

 

We have a circle cutter at the shop I work in, with a foot pedal to control the motor. It has a feature I haven't seen on any other machines, but I think it's fantastic. Step on the foot pedal, cutting wheel turns. Step harder? It trips, and you have to reset a switch on the pedal before it'll run again. I like it, because it helps with the 'panic' factor. Wish our 100 ton press had one...

Anyone else seen this?

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+Newbie Here,

 

But your pictures Sir do bring up the reality of the work. I tend to tempt fate with using a belt sander on a new piece with little protection for sake of accuracy. And forego proper setup on a drill press due to lack of will or proper equipment, And I always think that it would really hurt if I slipped or the work caught on the machine just right. Was working the belt sander a while back, and I had the blade angled in an upward direction so the sander would cut at a downward angle with the cutting edge pointed up. Somehow I caught it just right and had a loose/cut belt heading towards my face at a high RPM. Luckily it missed, but succeeded to causing a bit of paranoia.

 

May your injuries heal soon and let them be a reminder to All interested in the work to mind their equipment and practice proper procedure. Harder to stop a 1 Horse Power motor than it is to stop one Horse. And I imagine a horse would be difficult. As was said though, All we do is a risk.

 

Heal Well Sir.

 

-bruno

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Get a drill press and foot peddle from Harbor Freight,,,,NOW. Also always tape up any sharpened edge.

Edited by Wayne Coe

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Hi Nate,

i feel with you.

I'm 6 weeks ago in my wood storage, fall of the 4meter ladder. I have the left handjoint broken. The left heel 6 times broken. Left thigh broken and one invertebrate broken.


Ruggero

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