I've learned to jump back from falling knives, and screw the edge. I
occasionally do that in the kitchen when chopping, and often am in sock
feet when it happens. My chef's knife is always close to scary sharp.
So far so good...
My Grandfather did electric motor repair when I was a youngster, so I picked
up a few things. Including one or two things I shouldn't have. He and my
uncle were testing a motor they had put new windings in when the pulley came
off the shaft. Before they could not tell me not to touch it, I had picked
it up and got a nasty burn. They were amused, I was not. I also discovered
that 220 gave you a special tingle compared to 110. :)
I was testing power supplies in the Engineering Dept. at Southcom,
Int'l. when I gave them some welding lessons. About the tenth unit
I checked, I forgot to power down the panel before putting the
screwdriver on the terminals. I loosened the first one and when I
set it to the second, the first lug hit the screwdriver. The resultant
arc, which blew the 240v FIFTY AMP circuit breaker, was QUITE bright.
I was red for a month. ;)
"Given the low level of competence among politicians,
every American should become a Libertarian."
I learned at Parris Island. Dropped my razor while shaving. Left hand shot out
and caught it, almost without thought. And spent the next week supporting the
forestock of an M1 with that left palm. Safety razor my patoot!
It has never happened again. I just let sharp items fall.
"When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not
hereditary." Thomas Paine
My father was a jeweler who used those lovely pointed x-acto knives
extensively. He worked sitting down and usually crosslegged. He's over
at his bench, I'm over at mine wooddorking-and I hear a resigned "shit!"
Look over to see my father looking down at an x-acto knife embedded up
to the hilt in his thigh doing that boooiiiiingggggg! thing from the
cartoons. We both flash on that scene in Young Frankenstein-"hearts and
kidneys are tinkertoys!" We laughed so hard it was several minutes
before either of us had hands steady enough to pull it out safely. The
good news is those suckers are sharp, and the edges knit right away.
Just the other day a piece I was working on knocked my chisel and I
watched as it started to roll toward the edge of the bench. It was
amazing how much you can think about while being totally paralyzed. I
knew in every bone in my body not to grab for it so I just watched it
go over the edge. I heard the first hit as it struck the concrete
floor and you could tell from the sound that it landed edge first.
Sure enough, great dig in the floor, a chisel that would require a lot
of lovin to get it back in shape, and I still have all ten fingers...
My college teacher did not like people to drop tools on the floor. He
did mention that a chisel htting the floor was better than using your
foot to stop it. I think a student tried that hackeysack thing before
hackeysack was a word. Foot and chisel are not words you want in the
A friend had that happen with a big knife, barefoot and had a LOT of
problems with cut tendons. Something I still do occasionally is grab a
hot drillbit, but I at least now realize instantaneously it's a
My first solo spin with the router. I was modifying a speaker cabinet
so that the horn mount would hold a larger driver.
It was time to change bits, so I CAREFULLY unplugged the router, and
held the plug in my hand so that no one would "help" by plugging it back
in for me.
Then I grabbed the hot router bit in my bare hand.
We called that "Stockers Foot". Stocker, as in Grocery Store Shelf
(re)Stocker. One of the many jobs I had as a kid. It got to be second
nature, putting a foot out to block a dropped jar from a shelf.
What cured me was when I unconciously put my foot under a large, heavy,
granite object to "break its fall."
One of my hardest learned lessons (in pain): Don't reach for a hot
soldering iron without looking. If you absolutely must be stupid and
reach for it, then don't just fully grip it immediately.
And chisels are the most dangerous tools in the shop. Well, OK, the ones
which frequently injure me the most anyway, though patched up easily.
Remember class, our mantra here at camp is: "It's a lot quicker to
repair a munged tool edge than it is to repair a munged finger."
--RC (Who still has a scar from learning this lesson the hard way)
"You Know Things Are Weird When Arnold Schwartznegger
Is Governor of California, Ronald Reagan Is One Of Our
Most Beloved Ex-Presidents, And John Kerry Is Running
For President On His Vietnam War Record"
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