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Near death shop story's.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by SamanthaCay, May 17, 2011.

  1. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG! Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Share your shop stories gone wrong.
    It doesn't necessarily have to be a near death experience but just a tail of a shop mishap.

    Fortunately I've never been seriously insured myself but I've had a few close calls and seen some things that have taught me as well as those around some valuable lessons.

    This first one is pretty stupid.
    A guy in the shop at the time was wanting to put together a scraper jig to clean the color coat off of a freshly spayed body with binding. (the color had to be scraped off the binding)
    His plan was to mount a straight edge razor blade to a little wood jig he made, in doing so he decided he would need to widen the hole in the middle of the blade so rather then holding the blade in a vice he decided to use his thumb.
    The bit caught the blade and took off his finger print, Ouch!:eek:

    The next one that comes to mind really is a true near death experience.
    It happened when I was in luthier school, one of our classmates was routing out the inside of a simi hollow tele and our instructor decided it would be a good thing for us all to come and watch.
    He was using a table router with a rather large cutting bit attached.
    So there we are, six of us, standing around ready to view how it's done.
    The routing starts, then within less then a blink of an eye the router falls from the table hits the ground, shoots into the roof and falls to the ground.
    It took out a chunk of the concrete floor as well as put a big dent in the tin roof about 20' over head.
    We all counted our blessings after that one, as if it had hit anyone of us the outcome could have very well been deadly.

    We relearned that day to always double check the setup before you start.
    Our classmate had forgot to tighten the router into the table,:atoz: we got really lucky but at the same time saw first hand what the damage can be if you don't make sure you're on your a game and at the very least double checking everything and running the process through your head before hand.

    So anyways I'm sure I've got more but in the meantime let's hear some of your's.
  2. Mine aren't quite as relevant to lutherie as yours, but they still involve shop work of some kind.

    First one is me being an idiot. I was soldering some pickups up, and I was foolish enough to leave my hair untied. Now, I have rather long hair, so it got in the way. Reflexively, I went to brush it out of the way.... with the hand that was holding the iron. Almost left a rather large burn across my cheek.

    The other one is back when I was still and high school and spending time in the woodshop. One of the newer kids was ripping something or other on the table saw; it was a rather large piece an he was doing a pretty tight cut. Apparently, he was doing it by hand and the saw caught his thumb. Needless to say it wasn't especially pretty. And that, kids, is why you use push sticks when using a table saw.
  3. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    About the worst thing to happen to me so far was getting hit by a nice chunk of Wenge that kicked back on my table saw, and I was using a push stick at the time. Caught me in the arm hard, and of course pushed a delightful and painful sliver deep in my skin.

    I guess my biggest advice would be always think twice or more about anything you're doing with power tools. Also always have respect/fear for what power tools can do.

    To me the 3 most dangerous tools in a builders shop would be:
    1) Table saw
    2) Router
    3) Planer/Jointer

    Good luck and be safe.
    p.s. Always wear eye protection.
  4. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
    Was drilling a ground hole for the bridge on a jazz-style body...had my left hand in the rout...and drilled my finger when it popped-through with the long bit.
  5. ClaytonH


    Mar 10, 2009
    Hudson, OH
    In my shop class about two weeks ago, I was making a mothers day gift as I was waiting on parts for my bass project. I was sanding the face of a part for the gift on the disk sander. the piece got too thin and it go caught on the sandpaper and slipped through the table taking the tip of my finger with it. It's currently healing and I'm probably going to lose half of my fingerprint on my right middle finger.
  6. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    Still true.

    I have one helluva story about a router bit failure. I was REALLY lucky to not be in the line of fire for it. I'll check for a pic when I get home.
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Just today nicked my left hand rig finger on the table saw. I got very lucky......
  8. Fat.Mike


    Dec 15, 2006
    Tulsa, Ok
    Not instrument related or near death, but I'm a carpenter/gc for a living and regular LC lurker.

    I'm a tall guy and my table saw is right at sack height for me. Was ripping a wide piece of oak and it kicked on me (fence wasn't perfectly square). Sent the corner of that board straight into my right ball. I fell to the ground and curled into the fetal position for a good 30-45 minutes before finding an ice pack; pain for DAYS! For a month I couldn't look at that saw without groin pain coming back. I'm still leary of that saw.
  9. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i haven't had a problem (knock on wood ;)), but years ago, a friend of mine that had really long hair got it caught in a lathe. it was really painful just to look at the result. i have very long hair but i always tie it back when working with power tools.

    for me, these are the rules that i follow:

    1-respect your power tools (and sharp hand tools, i.e. razor blades, dremels and cordless drills)
    2-work in an appropriately large space
    3-aslways have really good lighting
    4- when routing, secure your work by clamping it down securely
    5-always work fresh (early in the day is best for me) with a clear mind - not after taking any medication of any kind
    6-never rush or force the workpiece. let the tool do its job
    7- save the next work steps for another day, rather than trying to get everything done at once

    2 cents...........

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