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OOOUUUUCCCHHHH!

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OOOUUUUCCCHHHH!
So last night I'm at the shop working on some rusty old C clamps I recently picked up. Nice old USA made forged clamps that when clean operate smoothly. To get the rust off I use a wire wheel mounted on a 1 hp motor. The motor sits on top a mobile cart next to other bolted down grinders. The whole cart weighs a couple hundred pounds. I've used this motor/wire wheel combo for years and take the wire wheel seriously because I know it can cause injury. Needle like wires will fly from it and stick into flesh so I always wear eye protection and over the years have developed a feel for operating so that I don't get my hand pulled into the wheel.

So here is how it went down. I was running a 8" coarse wheel while moving the 6" C clamp around. It only took a couple minutes to completely clean each clamp and have the screw operate like new again. What didn't occur to me, and it is plain as day after it happened, was if you held the clamp just right, such that both inside ends of the 6" clamp touched the 8" wheel, the entire clamp would be IMMEDIATELY SUCKED INTO THE SPINNING WIRE WHEEL, jerking it from your hands in a fraction of a second. When that happens you have a large 2-3 lb piece of steel spinning at 1800 rpms WHACKING YOUR HANDS. The force of that unbalanced weight spinning is quite amazing. The lag bolted down motor ripped itself from the cart. The cart was jerking so violently two other grinders lag bolted were pulled from the cart. As fast as I could I jerked the power cord. Lucky for me the C clamp didn't go flying. My thumb and a few fingers are swollen, purple, still throbbing, and a nail is going to fall off, but overall the injuries are minor, especially given the force involved.

I learned something new, you need to take a look at what you are running through a wire wheel and consider if there is there any way it could jam. I always assess how to hold a piece to keep from getting my hands pulled into the wheel, but now I'll look for the possibility of the item locking on and will change the wheel size to eliminate the risk. Well that and maybe I ought to buy a bucket of Evapo-rust.

Eric

Last edited by:

Eric Patterson: Jul 31, 2020, 7:05 AM
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
I've done the same thing several times, apparently I never learn. Unsure The worst was an old trigger guard, it cut my hand pretty bad. Glad it didn't turn out worse for you.
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
Eric,
Glad you are relatively okay. I am going to assume this is an open unguarded wire wheel. Just like what I have been known to use. That said having a guard around the wire wheel limiting the access to the wheel will also limit a jam such as what occurred.
As I said, I do the same thing, so do as I say not as I do. 😎

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
I find all wire wheels to be much safer without the shroud and table. But ive been bit a few times by all sorts of grinders. Even a hand held recently. That one scared me the most. It was a wire wheel not a cut off.
South Jersey
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
Huntindave McCann wrote:
Eric,
Glad you are relatively okay. I am going to assume this is an open unguarded wire wheel. Just like what I have been known to use. That said having a guard around the wire wheel limiting the access to the wheel will also limit a jam such as what occurred.
As I said, I do the same thing, so do as I say not as I do. 😎



No guard. The wheel is on a motor and hangs over open air off the edge of the cart. I've been under the impression that a guard on a wire wheel could create more issues that solve. Not sure what OSHA says about it but if the wheel grabbed and pulled a finger into the guard housing it wouldn't feel good. This accident was kind of a perfect storm with the wheel being just the right size to wedge into the clamp. If I had a 6" wheel I doubt anything would have happened as the clamp would pass over the wheel almost untouched. I can't remember the exact orientation I was holding the clamp when it was yanked from my hands but I must have held it in a way that invited the grab. Bad technique on my part.

Eric

Last edited by:

Eric Patterson: Jul 31, 2020, 11:44 AM
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
Josh Schwenger wrote:
I find all wire wheels to be much safer without the shroud and table. But ive been bit a few times by all sorts of grinders. Even a hand held recently. That one scared me the most. It was a wire wheel not a cut off.


Little too close to that fleshy area we all enjoy from time to time...
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
Good morning, Eric~


Thanks for the cautionary tale - and glad your wounds are ...okay????


All the best,


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
 Try soaking in kerosene, the clamp, not the wound...
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
 
Man vs Machine.

Man seldom wins, and why I never owned a foredom, nor many other power tools.

Have seen, and been involved in way to many "industrial accidents" during my working years.

Hope ya heal well. The injury will let ya know it happened during the hunting season, not far off.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
Eric,
Glad you are ok. I have done a similar thing on a harbor freight 8 inch with buffing wheel shining brass and getting it sucked under the guard (at least it jammed the motor and did not keep spinning). Maybe you need a sand blaster??
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
Vince Pagliaroli wrote:

Man vs Machine.

Man seldom wins, and why I never owned a foredom, nor many other power tools.


I would love a Foredom but they do kinda scare me. I have been able to use a foredom from time to time and I have been glad that I was wearing a leather apron on a couple occasions. I do have a Dremel that I use like a Foredom but it's not as scary to me for some reason. Which is goofy since I know they could really, really hurt when they try to remove your fingers or legs.

Sorry to hear you got eaten up by your wire wheel Eric. Hope you heal up quick.
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
So did you notice it took you longer to type all of the cautionary message up?

In hind sight we can always see where things could have been worse, glad you can say "it could have been a LOT worse" because that means it was relatively not that bad. I know some people at work who have had stories with machinery, of tools being thrown across the shop and even one time someone found a thumb tip on the bandsaw table.... they followed the blood trail to the guy with a rag wrapped around his hand still working.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: OOOUUUUCCCHHHH! In reply to
Dani,

Long ago when I began craving I bought a very good, variable speed Dremel, and all the do-dads that you could buy to use with it. Do believe it was pre foredom days.

I used it twice at most. Could never make the connection between the power tool, and the work. Felt very disconnected from what I was working on. Cuz ya pay way to much attention on not injuring yourself, and that is a major distraction IMO.

So it sits in the box, unused. Unlike all the hand wood working tools I enjoy using. They have Soul, power tools have no Soul.


VP











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920