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Re: [medievalsawdust] Re: Safety Note

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  • rmhowe
    ... My grandmother had several rusty dull axes when I was a kid. Just right so s they d hit you in the knee when the rounded edges slipped. I have a good
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 8, 2003
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      James Winkler wrote:
      > Magnus wrote:
      > >> Oh my! That's both sharp and cold!
      > >> But imagine what he could do with an AXE!
      > Winking smiley emoticon Ironically, after about 30 years of playing
      > with power tools this is the first 'oops!' I've had (… well, OK… the
      > first one that required intervention from a medical professional and
      > couldn't be dealt with by a shop towel and a bandade)… probably should
      > have been others but I think my guardian angle took the day off when I
      > was working on the bowl.
      > But.. an axe… OUCH!!! So far I've had pretty good luck with those
      > pointy objects… (but, of course, up until a few days ago I'd had pretty
      > good luck with my band saw too…).

      My grandmother had several rusty dull axes when I was a kid.
      Just right so's they'd hit you in the knee when the rounded
      edges slipped. I have a good thirty or more presently of all
      sizes. Presently looking about for handles for four newer
      Viking axe reproductions. I need 1 1/2" thick ash after planing.

      I got my first hand scythe last year and tried using it on
      the crap growing through the back fence. The knee got holed
      pretty quickly. The good one of course, the one I can still
      climb some stairs with. The knee was pissed.

      > Really liked reading Magnus's 'the math behind why and how kickbacks
      > happen'… excellent explanation of pain in the making.

      Thank you. Been watching that happen a long time.

      You would probably be amazed looking at the radial grooves I've
      seen cut in the bottom of small square boards by some people too
      during kickbacks. My first and only one like that occured during
      my first experience on a saw. Right in front of four girls I got
      frisbeed right in the nuts. Grin and bear it. We were cutting
      maple into octagonal tops for three legged walnut candlestands.
      Damned nice piece of furniture though.

      I don't know if I told this story here or not.

      When I worked for the first plastics company all the big stuff
      was cut on a 12 x 12 foot panel saw that had a 7 1/2 horsepower
      saw riding on three tubes above the saw slot in the table.
      14" saw as I recall. As the saw was drawn cutting from the back
      with the teeth from the back everything we cut had to be clamped
      down at the fence on the front of the table. Some plastic is
      slicker than other plastic. Some days I cut up $5000 worth for
      windshields and the like.

      Randy, the asshole submissive boss I had, got in a new 14" blade
      with only about twenty rip teeth on it. I took one look at it
      and said I'm not going to cut with that thing on that saw.
      He said set it up anyway and he'd cut the first cut.

      So I put the 3/4" full sized sheet of polypropylene on the
      table and clamped the clamps down tight, all six of them.

      Randy started to feed the blade into the sheet and WHAM!.
      The saw climbed up on the plastic, shattered the $150 sheet,
      wrenched the tubes, and tore all 20 teeth off his new $75
      saw blade flying around like shrapnel. Of course he said
      I didn't clamp it tight enough. Shit, I couldn't have
      tightened them any more with anything less than a pipe
      on the handles. Polypropylene is tough stuff, not quite
      polycarbonate, but tough.

      Normally if we were cutting 2x4s" or 2x6's" for vacuum
      boxes if a piece came loose the saw would simply chop
      through it, bounce it off the rear wall, the ceiling
      and hit the other end of the 60 foot long shop room
      before we could turn around. It never hit us in the
      process. It would saw through maybe a third of the
      broken board. We used toggle clamps fastened to the
      table top. About 200 pounds each.

      I've seen lots of guys do stuff I advised against
      and then I went and stood behind a steel and concrete
      column. Some people have to pee on the electric fence
      for themselves. When someone else was liable to get
      hurt though their stupidity is when I dived in and
      stopped them for real. Not worth arguing with stupid
      idiots generally. Besides, if they're gone maybe you
      get someone smarter to replace them.

      When I quit the furniture shop I used to run for a few
      years the guy the man tried to replace me with stuck
      half his hand in the jointer and sued him. You can't
      repair anything that's been lost in a jointer. Didn't see
      that one myself. Everyone competent I knew quit within
      two weeks of the time I did. He's not in that business
      anymore. Did offer me a $2 an hour raise to come back.
      Nope. Didn't do that. Talked to his Dad in front of us
      like a dog. One Monday he argued with me. By Wednesday
      I had another job, and quit after filling out the checks
      for everyone on Friday. In front of his dad I handed him
      the key and reminded him of the argument. No I wasn't
      getting up an hour earlier in the morning to suit him.
      I worked 45 hours a week without overtime as it was.
      He'd moved the shop twenty more miles out of town.
      Wasn't worth the extra gas and truck repairs.

      I never argue with anyone whose ass I'm not prepared
      to trash. ;)

    • James Winkler
      ... ALlRIGHT!!! WHO RATTED ME OUT!!! (… a very bad accidental 12 year old experience. I d run my fingers through a bandsaw again before I d repeat that
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 9, 2003
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        Magnus wrote:
        >> Some people have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

        ALlRIGHT!!! WHO RATTED ME OUT!!! (… a very bad accidental 12 year old
        experience. I'd run my fingers through a bandsaw again before I'd repeat
        that one!!!) Wow… there is NOTHING more painful…

        Chas. (who is suddenly somewhat amazed that he's still alive after all these
      • Tim Bray
        ... Think how your mother must feel! ;-) Cheers, Colin Albion Works Furniture and Accessories For the Medievalist! www.albionworks.net www.albionworks.com
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 9, 2003
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          >Chas. (who is suddenly somewhat amazed that he's still alive after all these

          Think how your mother must feel! ;-)


          Albion Works
          Furniture and Accessories
          For the Medievalist!
        • rmhowe
          ... I retired before my mother died but I still have all ten fingers in full working order. I m no Roy Underhill but I do have numerous small scars from
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 17, 2003
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            Tim Bray wrote:
            >>Chas. (who is suddenly somewhat amazed that he's still
            >>alive after all these years…)
            > Think how your mother must feel! ;-)
            > Cheers,
            > Colin

            I retired before my mother died but I still have all ten
            fingers in full working order. I'm no Roy Underhill but
            I do have numerous small scars from knives, chisels,
            and various other sharp things including fletching from
            arrows. Never severed a controlling nerve. Roy shoots 3
            episodes most days, or did when I knew him, but I can
            practically guarantee you he's bled by the end of the day.
            The 20th year episode chronicles some of this. It's his
            defining modus operandi.

            Lord knows what Norm's done. I guess you can't sell
            measured drawrings well if you're bleeding on camera.
            The wife won't let you buy it.

            A few of the dumb things that can happen to you if you
            make things full time for many years...

            Glasses or a safety shield saved my eyes multiple
            times, including from a spray of molten type metal
            that left 100-150 dots stuck on the lenses, someone's bolt
            flying from a grinder, and a bar clamp end that
            was attached to a furniture case someone I was talking to
            flipped into me without thinking. A faceshield once stopped
            a wakisashi blade that bit into a sanding drum. The thing
            was brought back from the Philippines totally rusted
            and missing the tsuba. It was what I had at the time
            for removing rust at home. It hit the top of the face
            shield in front of my forehead edge-on. 70's.

            Did I mention I will only wear polycarbonate lenses?
            Ordinary acrylic lenses are 5 times tougher than
            glass. Polycarbonate [Lexan] is 125 times tougher.
            They are also a lot lighter. I had some add-on
            side covers that clipped onto them.

            It's not just the idiotic things we do, it's
            what the idiots around us do as well. That bar
            clamp could well have taken out my eye. The scratch
            on the polycarbonate lens was quite deep. We were
            making early American furniture repros at the time.
            That was a heavy case.

            One day I was welding up a 24 x 24 x 48" polypropylene
            tank and I wasn't using power tools at that moment so
            I took off the face shield - easier to breathe.
            I used to be able to wear hard contacts. I was then.
            Anyway, I got a bubble under one of the stick welds
            and I heated it and pressed on it with the side of
            an x-acto knife to seal it. The knife blade broke
            {I didn't think I was pushing that hard) and struck
            me directly in the left contact splitting it into
            six pieces, some of which flew out of and some of
            which went up inside the lid of my eye. At that
            particular moment I was standing there in the middle
            of thousands of semi-transparent flakes of polypropylene
            from routing it [Used a faceshield then.] Timing is
            everything. A needle in a stack of needles.

            I'm standing there thinking that my contact lens may be
            on the floor and whole, and that the knife blade may
            just be sticking into my eye. It felt like it.
            So I yell, and eventually two goobs come around the wall
            from the vacuumforming room.
            "Is the knifeblade stuck in my eye?" No.

            "Can you find my contact somewhere around me without
            breaking it?" Yep. Eventually they found two pieces of it.

            We got the rest of it out of my eye. Driving home
            one-eyed in rush hour traffic through town was

            Here's where I really screwed up. I should have seen
            an eye doctor immediately for treatment not two days later.
            We had no insurance other than workman's comp.

            The cornea and eye were slightly scratched. I got a viral
            infection that spread to both eyes and took 8 months
            to treat, I nearly went blind because of it in -both- eyes
            as they connect to each other in a Y behind them.
            An injury in one can cost you both. I didn't know that.
            I can't wear contacts now because as a result - my
            eyes won't produce enough liquid to float them anymore.
            The alternative would be to wear contacts and rot the
            corneas as that is the one place in the body not
            supplied by the bloodstream but fed by the tear solution.
            Those proteins are the 'floaters' you sometimes notice.

            Oh yeah, I got in the habit of always carrying eye drop
            solution. Helped me [and others] with various dusts and
            bits in our eyes a lot over the years. Some things will
            bounce around the lenses/even faceshield at times.
            Like off your nose.

            Bits of stuff fly worse than Tinkerbelle at times.

            I was in a bookstore one night in the technical area
            when this woman started talking about how much her
            family loved the Woodwright's Shop. About two weeks
            later Roy was filming an episode at the Raleigh NC
            State Fairgrounds Fleamarket - in my old friend's
            Jesse Stuart's booth about buying old tools. Jesse's
            been dead close to fifteen years now. A Colonel who'd
            been shot in the heart in Korean combat and survived.

            Right before Roy went in front of the camera I mentioned
            to him how much this woman really liked him. Of course he
            was eating it up - "She said her whole family just
            loves you - how you magically flit about the shop and
            make all sorts of things - said they call you the 'Wood Fairy'!"
            Still beet red on camera two minutes later. ;)

            I may see him again here in Raleigh at the July MWTCA meeting.
            He filmed it last year - Fools for Tools episode. My wife
            managed to misplace the mailed meeting notice and I missed it.
            Well, there went my fifteen seconds of immortality.

            If this was radio, and it reached forever into outer space
            I damn well guarantee you Marvin Martian really would bomb
            the place. Email can drive you nuts. Maybe Bugs Bunny would
            be effective in Iraq.

          • rmhowe
            ... On saws and jointers it s always better to keep as many fingers as possible hooked over the top of the fence. Which is exactly why Biesemeyer and some
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 19, 2003
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              John LaTorre wrote:
              > Master Charles ("Three Fingers") wrote:
              >>Well. OK, there I was. Wed afternoon. turnin' bowls on my lathe.
              > <tragic tale snipped>
              > Well, since this is "true confessions" time, and to make Master Charles
              > feel a little better, I went and did something foolish last March. I tried
              > to plane a small block of wood (tail block for a hurdy-gurdy) on a jointer
              > and the wood caught, kicked back, and took off the last eighth of an inch
              > from my right index finger (including the end of the nail). I didn't know
              > jointers could kick back.

              On saws and jointers it's always better to keep as many fingers as
              possible hooked over the top of the fence. Which is exactly why
              Biesemeyer and some other wide fences have high faceplates.
              Less chance of your hand being dragged in. There might be something
              left with a tablesaw, with a jointer you are just ground meat
              and they are going to have to remove more or pull a patch off
              some other part of your poor pitiful ass to close the wound.

              I seem to remember being smacked with the back end of a jointed
              piece that was too short once. Caught me in the heel of the
              hand. Nothing worse than a slight bruise. Seems like it was
              short grain going out the side. I've owned four. I have set
              and worked on many up to 14" wide and eight feet long.

              Learning -how- to use a jointer is a distinct art.
              I don't have time to expound on it now.
              A lot of it has to do with hand pressure that is shifted
              as you work.

              Somewhere I also have an old article on learning to tune
              your bandsaw. A lot seriously need it. I have adjusted
              and rebuilt a number of them up to 36".

              Incidentally, a pack of cards is a great thing to have around
              to true your tablesaw fence with to make it straight. Test with a good
              level or straight edge, loosen screws, insert cards or paper
              and retighten. Test with a square as well. It should be 90
              degrees to the table.

              A really good book(s) to buy is Delta's 'How to get the most
              out of your (Tablesaw, scrollsaw, jointer, bandsaw, lathe etc.).
              I have most of them myself. Rosario Capotosto's books for
              Shopsmith and other machinery is where you learn the most
              tricks. See old write-up below.

              Master Magnus, OL [SCA], GDH, Manx, Regia.org

              > Come to think of it, the guy who sold me the jointer had nine fingers. I
              > wonder if, once these things taste human blood...

              This was good advice once, with new people it can't hurt to
              give it again, it's been a year or two:

              Authors I highly recommend are Rosario J. DeCristoforo's books on
              woodworking machinery techniques, Paul Hasluck's books on
              -everything- (you may think I'm kidding - I'm not), Holtzapffel's
              lathe work and abrasive applications and working odd materials books
              (5), most anything by the early Audel Guides (pre-50's)
              -in particular- the Audels Carpenters and Builders Guides 1-4 by
              Frank Graham, Aldren A. Watson's Country Furniture, Hand tools,
              Village Blacksmith, (don't take -some- of the techniques in his
              Furniture making Plain and Simple as gospel, he was mostly an
              accomplished illustrator similar to Irving Sloane), and -anything-
              by Fred T. Hodgson. Alexander Weygers' modern books on blacksmithing
              are also useful for beginners (as is Sam Allen's Edge of the Anvil).
              The three of them have been recombined into one now. I have the
              older editions. Many of these men were simply geniuses of their
              times and largely unmatched in ours.

              R.J. DeCristoforo showed machinery manufacturers new techniques they'd
              never envisioned for their machinery. The man wrote many books and
              thousands of articles for technical magazines. Many of his furniture
              building/remodelling designs are very dated to their decades though,
              so I don't recommend buying those as strongly as I do the Power
              Tool Woodworking for Everyone (something written largely for
              Shopsmith machine owners but good none the less) and most especially
              _DeCristoforo's Complete Book of Power Tools_. Sadly the man passed
              away a few years ago. His son writes now, but so far is not as
              good as his dad. Maybe he'll improve a lot like Norm Abrams has.
              (Norm Abrams has more tools donated to his show than any shop I ever
              worked in had, including the university. The shop he works in
              belongs to his producer btw. Rosario could school him quite a bit

              Don't assume I'm talking strictly carpentry books here, some of
              these guys wrote on many trades applications. And the older Delta
              Guides books on machinery applications are extremely good.
              How to use your Table saw, Scroll saw, Band saw, Jointer, Lathe, etc.
              Popular Mechanics and Popular Science used to write multiple annuals
              on woodworking, metalworking, and projects like What to Make
              for decades that are amazing magazines and books.
              These authors cover everything from hand techniques to modern
              machinery techniques with tools you'd never imagine. Mass production
              put an end to such creativity - things people would do for fun
              prior to the television and computers. We had very skilled ancestors
              who made what they needed instead of buying it frequently.
              For younger folks the Boy Mechanic books (4) were quite something.
              Lindsay books sells some of them, so does http://www.leevalley.com/

              Lindsay Publications, Inc.
              P.O.Box 538 Bradley, IL 60915-0538
              (fax 815) 935-5447
              (815) 935-5353 phone

              For modern books on traditional techniques I would recommend any of
              the five books by Roy Underhill in the Woodwright's series - a
              term he coined - a wright is a worker in wood - just as a smith
              is a worker in metal. Buy a good box of bandages. Roy uses a lot
              of them. Had I invested in Johnson & Johnson prior to his shop
              work I'd be a rich man.;) He is now Head of Historical Interpretation
              at Colonial Williamsburg, was the head carpenter there, and has
              filmed 200 episodes of the Woodwright's Shop. 1-800-PlayPBS.
              1-800-693-3939 http://www.shop.pbs.org/ search Woodwright’s Shop

              Some I have bought in past years before they disappeared:

              Special Collection: Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Sussex
              England 1988.
              Franconia Farm and Handiwork Musum I + II Iphofen, Bavaria 1988.
              Running time: 1:24: 36.
              WW001: Roy’s Special Collections: Williamsburg Craftsmen 1991.
              Running time 79:38
              WW010: Boatbuilding - Running time 1: 27: 13. 1993. Season 20:
              2002: Turned Corner Chair; Item Code WOWS9202 $14.95
              "Inspired by Bruegel paintings, this easily-stored, lathe-turned,
              three-legged chair features a solid seat
              style that has held hefty humans since the middle ages, running
              time 26: 46.
              2000 - 1912: Wayne Barton - Master Chip Carver, Running Time 26:46.
              1-1309: The Geddy Foundry of Williamsburg, Running Time 26:46.
              WW012: Norway Episodes, Running Time 60 minutes
              1312 Lilihamer Open Air Museum
              1313 Oslo - Ship Museum + Folk Museum + Stavekirk.
              Norwegian Axe Framing and Log Cabins.
              1512: Williamsburg Trunk Maker - Saddler’s Shop. 1995.
              Running Time 26:46. Mostly leatherwork and stitching.
              1805: Debate of the Carpenter’s Tools, 1998. Running Time 26:46.
              2008: Marquetry Master Patrick Edwards, Season 20 WOWS9208
              "French 18th-century "ebinestes" made furniture decorated
              with pictures composed from thin sheets of colored wood.
              Trained in Paris, Patrick Edwards shows the tools and
              techniques of this lost art." $14.95 Running Time 26:46.
              1913: Buckets for Beginners, 1999. Running Time 26:46.
              9302: Welsh Chair Bodger Don Weber, Season 21,
              "Roy builds a brilliant base for anyone's bottom, using
              basic badgering, boiling, bending and boring in the
              wonderful Welsh way of working wood." $14.50 4/01/03
              9409: Williamsburg Wheelwright, Season 22, "Learn the exacting
              trade of the men who make wooden wheels for Williamsburg's wagons."
              $14.50 4/01/03
              9413: Craftsmen of Old Sturbridge Village, Season 22, Explore the new
              woodworking shop at Old Sturbridge Village where the planes get
              fancy." $14.50 4/01/03
              9209: In the Blacksmith Shop, Season 20, "Join Roy and the
              blacksmiths at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, and learn how to
              forge colonial hardware, tools and implements." $14.50 4/01/03
              9211: Carving With the Cabinetmakers, Season 20. Roy visits the
              cabinetmakers of the Hay Shop at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, as
              they show off their skills at decorative
              carving in the Colonial American style." $14.50 4/01/03
              9312: Flintlock Gunsmith, Season 21. Watch Williamsburg workers wrest a
              wonderful watchwork weapon of walnut and wrought steel to wound a
              wascally wabbit or worrisome wedcoat. (Taped in Colonial
              Williamsburg)" $14.50 4/01/03
              I've been to Williamsburg twice and have about 600 pictures of the
              various recreated tools, wheelbarrows, wagons, implements excavated.
              Same with the 2 Jamestown Parks and the Glass House.

              Anything by Drew Langsner, who teaches at his Country Workshops,
              here in North Carolina, USA. This would include his Country Woodcraft,
              Green Woodworking, Handmade (his first one), and Chair Making books.
              These are all hand techniques. He predates Roy on some of them.

              While these books are all from the last two centuries they are all
              extremely useful books, especially considering most of the folks
              on this list are not hacking trees generally to size with axes
              and hand mortise chisels nowadays to build their reproductions.
              You want to find out how to accomplish your tasks with what is
              now available - look to the above authors.
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