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Re: [medievalsawdust] Re: Safety Note

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  • 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 1 of 17 , Jun 9, 2003
      >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 2 of 17 , Jun 17, 2003
        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 3 of 17 , Jun 19, 2003
          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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