Note that tacking extension cords along your ceiling is a big safety
no-no according to the electrical codes. Now is it really a problem?
Well, it's probably safer than having them on the floor, but
the right thing to do is to have permanent wiring sufficient that you
don't need extension cords.
I'll bet you that the fire marshal would give you a lecture about
those extension cords on your ceiling that sounds an awful lot like
the way you are lecturing everybody about wearing a ring around a saw.
Is it a big deal? No, but wearing a ring around a saw isn't that big
a deal, either. There are situations in the shop where a ring could
be dangerous, just as your cords could be dangerous if they are
overloaded. But neither the ring nor the cords wiil lead to disaster
if some care and common sense are exercised.
<g> Sorry, my practical experience is different. The extension cords onthe ceiling reduce a tripping hazard that existed when I ran them on the
floor Ideally, of course, I'd have outlets wherever needed. But the panel
and subpanel are maxed out. When I rewire the house I have to get a bigger
cable from the power company.
Power in this house is a bummer. I have the extension cords (heavy, rated
gage) to avoid problems. The utility room with its washer is on a separate
15A circuit. I unplug the washer and plug my TS into that circuit. I can't
run the TS and shop vac on the gara^H^H^H^Hshop circuits and do any heavy
cutting or the 15A breaker trips. Sometimes I "steal" power from one wall
of the kitchen, which is also on its own circuit.
IMO the ring is an ever-present hazard, like wearing floppy clothing in the
shop. 25+/- years ago my ring finger was dripping blood from an accident
that (IIRC) could not have been forseen or prevented. The rest of my hand
was sore but not bleeding. Chalk the accident up to random quantum
Perhaps I'm more "attached" to my fingers than others. I'm a piano player
and 75+ WPM typist. I'd rather lose a leg (I think) than a finger.
You're making my point very well :-) We all do things that might not
be textbook-perfect from time to time. You've just given an example
of where you've done something that improves your safety situation,
even though you are doing something which is still technically a
no-no. Even though it improves your situation and is perfectly safe
in this case, there are a whole raft of passages in the NEC that make
what you are doing not quite kosher. But again, I'm not saying
there's anything really wrong with your cords on the ceiling, they are
certainly safer there than on the floor - but dedicated outlets would
be neater and safer.
Personally, I think that if you're close enough to a tablesaw blade
that the ring matters, you'll soon have no fingers left, ring or no
ring. And I'm sorry, but the kickback scenario where the ring got
smashed just seems extremely unlikely - if you set yourself up for
that kind of kickback, you could just as easily be killed by a board
through the throat or something.
On the other hand (couldn't resist :-)) I can imagine cases where
wearing a ring in the shop would be dangerous. My brother was a
welder and maintenance supervisor at International Harvester. Nobody
wore rings in his department. This may be a myth, but they were told
that there had been an instance of a guy falling off of a steel
I-beam, catching his ring on the edge as he tried to grab the beam to
save himself, and having the skin completely ripped off of his ring
finger as his entire body weight hung from the ring caught on the
beam. Nobody was quite sure if this was true, but they all chose
to not wear rings, because it seemed like something that could
actually happen to even a reasonably careful person. This is very
unlike the ring-around-the-tablesaw question, which requires several
concurrent stupid decisions in order for an accident to occur.
Essentially that same thing happened to a friend of mine in college.
He was climbing in (or maybe out) of a second-floor dorm room window,
when he slipped and grabbed at the window ledge. He caught his wedding
ring on the aluminum track of the sliding window and pretty much
skinned his finger to the bone. It was a very ugly mess and I'm not
sure he ever regained full use of that finger.
Frankly, the danger of a ring around power equipment is probably
pretty slight, if you are close enough to catch it all you might be
doing is increasing the severity of the injury. Sort of like wearing
gloves when using the TS. I do on rough lumber, but never on smooth
stuff. You just need to understand the risks and take steps to
You have a friend who was a married man, injured while climbing thru a
dorm room window while he was in college?
Sorry about his finger, but I'm certain that it would be pertinent to
the safety discussion for us to know a little more about how this came
We attended college in Spokane, WA. His wife attended college in
Denver, CO (IIRC). Guys lived on the ground floor, girls on the second
floor. Beyond all that I really don't have any idea what was going
I'm a mechanic.
I went to Vocational school, I've worked on Uncle Sugars
Nuclear Missiles, and earned my A&P. The machinery I've
worked on is used on earth, sea, sky and outer space.
Compared to some equipment I've worked on, the nastiest
machine in your home shop is pretty pussy.
Woodworking is a past time for me but the safety rules still
hold: No adornment of any type while working. No rings,
chains or watches.
From my point of view it's funny as hell to read dumbasses
justifications for wearing jewelry around machinery. Bottom
line is, if you wear a ring in the shop your a Pollyanna.
Everyone has brain farts.
It's been three days since my right eye's been right. Seems
I got a piece of metal stuck in it from grinding. I was
installing outlets in the ceiling for my shop lights. I
needed to move one but I had ring shanked it to the truss
and the easiest way to get it off was with my die grinder.
I put on the safety glasses and ear muffs. I ground off the
heads making sure the sparks didn't go near anything
valuable, especially myself.
Later, while washing up in the shower, I get this pain in my
right eye. I figured it was soap. The next day it was a bit
scratchy but I couldn't see anything in the eye. WTF???
It was a bit of dark gray grinding bur in my cornea. Somehow
this ball got lodged in my eye *after* I was done using the
grinder. I think it got washed there in the shower.
(hospital story omitted)
Went to the opthamologist. Real freaky listening to a needle
twang while their picking at your eyeball.
I submit this story to illustrate how one can follow safety
procedures and still get bit.
So go ahead, wear your rings, work safely and if you get bit
tell us why it shouldn't have happened.
Safety glasses still let stuff get in your eyes, in my experience. I caught
a rock in the eye while weed eating. Went right up at just the right angle
to slip under the glasses and wing me in the eye. Scratched my cornea.
There was nothing inappropriate about the glasses I was wearing, and the
opthamologist didn't bless me out for poor safety practices. It's just
that they don't really work that well. Goggles are much better at keeping
stuff out, but they fog so bad you might as well just put on blinders, and
stuff can still make it through the little holes.
Along with my lathe, I got one of those $11 full face shield thingies. I
LOVE it. Why have I been wearing safey glasses all these years? Safety
Sure, stuff could still get under this too, but it's a lot less likely.
I've got two so far. One for me, one for one of the kids. I want to pick
up two more, so I can have one dedicated for weed eating, and one for the
other rug rat. They're awesome, and quite reasonably priced IMHO.
I was convinced of this the first time a piece came apart and bounced
harmlessly off of the piece of clear plastic in front of my mouth full of
expensive-to-replace teeth. :)
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
That is why my glasses (to see) have polycarbonate lenses just in
case. My son (rug rat) also has polycarbonate lenses in his glasses.
Adds very little to the cost of the glasses, but worth it.
On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 02:27:26 -0500, Silvan
I still have the nick in my wedding ring that almost lost me a finger. Got
it while surfing (actually, while "trying" to surf) wthout a leash on the
board. Had a wipeout, grabbed for the board, and a fin caught my ring. Since
theboard & I were going in opposite directions with a few tons of seawater
pushing, it was quite painful.
Like others have written, the power cord that came with my Grizzly
contractor saw is barely long enough to touch the floor. Likewise, my two
electric drills have laughably short cords. Only the Sears shop vac, the DW
router and PC router have long enough cords to be reasonably expected to
plug into a wall socket and not require the use of an extension cord.
My table saw placement would require floor outlets or overhead outlets. I do
not like floor outlets for anything in a woodshop and I don't like overhead
outlets because they create another problem with materials catching on the
hanging cables. Ergo, a 12' extension cord to my Unisaw works. I use extension
cords on the floor from time to time, but try to remember toremove and recoil
them as needed. I've got a total of more than 40 outlets in my shop, but there
always seems to be a tool placed where some kind of extra cord length is
needed. That's often because the manufacturer builds the tool to a bean
counter's list and cuts 2-3 feet off the cord to save 15 cents or so.
"Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves."
An ER doc had a photo on his site a few years ago of a left hand that
got hit by a slab of wood that ended up with fusing of the joints of a
couple of the fingers, one wearing a ring. It is taped to the front
of my saw near the switch.
Greetings and Salutations...
While it is great advice to keep one's hands
out of any situation where a ring might get grabbed,
it is not always possible. Accidents happen. So...
my rule is "no jewelry in the shop".
But then...I got out of the habit of wearing
rings some years ago when I was more heavily involved
in working on electronics and cars. It is just not
a happy thing to stick one's hand into a piece of
equipment and have a ring short something out.
At best, it dings the equipment...at worst, it
tries to weld the ring to the frame...which is NOT
a pleasant experience.
I have seen 2 accidents involving rings. One involved a drill press; I
don't know exactly what the guy did, but the ring was cracked (making
a 'C' shape instead of an 'O') and the two ends thus created had
punctured the wearer's fingers. One of the older and calmer guys
in the shop grabbed 2 pairs of pliers and pulled the ring open
to remove it from the finger.
The other time, an automotive mechanic accidentally let his wedding
band complete a 12 volt circuit. That was around 15 years ago and he
still has a circular scar around his ring finger.
One of the first lessons drilled into my head when I started work (early
70's) by our instructor was about safety (and so it should be). No rings,
no loose clothes, no long hair. These came before safety glasses and safety
Rings are inherently dangerous - it's all to easy to catch a ring when you
least expect it. I've heard all the arguments that your finger shouldn't be
near the blades / drills etc., but the consequences of a minor mishap are
too high - rings can rip a finger off.
Don't get me started about those videos of long hair in a drill press -
makes you want to run out and get one of those geeky hair nets.
Play safe - don't argue it shouldn't happen - no accident should happen, ne
careful - no rings, no loose clothes, not loose long hair and use eye
Actually, the ring can create a problem even without any power-tool or
electricity involved. I know a person who is missing a finger. He was
lifting a heavy object from the ground to his shoulder behind a
mini-van that has its rear door raised open. Unfortunately, his ring
got caught with the door hinger, and he ripped his finger off. That
didn't involve any power tool or any welding equipment. The only
things involved was the force that he applied to himself and a tiny
metal object that was sticking out.
No, I don't wear a ring when I work in my workshop or when I move
Why did you not just snip or cut one section of the ring and widen it to get
it off? I can't remember why it happened, but I remember crushing my ring
one day. Used a pair of tin snips to cut the thin part, spread it and had it
off easily. It was fairly cheap (e.g. $15) to have it repaired at the
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