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Topic: A cautionary tale...
Message: Posted by: EsnRedshirt (Jan 15, 2008 11:08PM)
I just had a Dremel cutting wheel explode on me.

I heard something go [i]zing![/i] past each ear, [i]click![/i] against my safety glasses, and felt a minor stinging sensation on my forehead, then noticed that the mandrel appeared to be empty. It took me a few seconds of staring to realize I should shut the tool off. On closer examination, I saw the wheel hadn't [i]completely[/i] disintegrated- though all that was left was a tiny ring of compressed silica, no larger than the diameter of the mandrel, held in place by the screw. In hindsight, I probably should have been using the reinforced cutting wheel (#456) instead of the 15/16 cutter (#409) to slice through sheet steel... but who wants to stop and switch out a bit when you're on a roll?

Two points we should always remember:
1. Always use the proper tool for the job- in the long run, it's faster and safer.
2. More importantly, [b]always[/b] wear your safety equipment, even for those "minor" jobs where you're sure you won't need it. I wasn't hurt (the fragment that struck my forehead didn't break the skin, luckily), but if I hadn't been wearing those safety glasses, I might very well have been dictating this post instead of typing it.

I still love my Dremel, of course (in that chaste way that any man loves his power tools) but I have a lot more respect for things that spin at 35,000 rpm.
Message: Posted by: rhiro (Jan 16, 2008 12:17AM)
Thanks for the reminder. I've had many of those cutting wheel disintegrate on me. I pretty much expect them to come apart when I use them, and plan accordingly. The composite cutoff wheels are more robust but even those can come apart. Not to mention the dust hazard.

My favorite safety glasses are made by Smith and Wesson and I wear them around my neck on a leash when I'm building stuff. They're comfortable and easily flipped into position whenever I need them. I found that pretty much eliminated any lame excuses for me not to wear them.

Eye protection can be important even with non-power tools. A friend of mine was cutting something with an X-Acto knife, a tiny bit of the blade tip snapped off and went into his eye. It was bad. It doesn't take much to break these things. Most of my used hobby knife blades are missing their tips. They had to go somewhere...

Build safe.

Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Jan 16, 2008 05:25AM)
Good advice guys. Always good to protect ones eyes! Sight is a precious thing!

Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (Jan 16, 2008 07:13AM)
I often remind myself that more shop accidents happen with drills and routers (Which many people tend to take for granted as not being "That" dangerous) than with table saws.

I have my share of war stories of near accidents. As I am sure do we all. Still pays to remind ourselves and each other from time to time so we can live to tell the shop/war stories another day.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 16, 2008 08:11AM)
I also use a face shield with some of my tools, especially my lathe, which I could tell you some really fun stories about.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Jan 16, 2008 09:12AM)
DITTO to all said on safety!
I'm sure Michael and I could share stories about chunks of wood coming out of the chuck and bouncing off the forehead!
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 17, 2008 09:34AM)
After getting one of the silica wheel fragments embedded in my cheek, I started using the fiberglass-reinforced cutoff wheels exclusively. They cost more, but I have NEVER had one to come apart.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 17, 2008 09:48AM)
I've had good results under scary circumstances using [url=http://www.amazon.com/Dremel-EZ406-Cut-Off-Mandrel-Cutting/dp/B000FBLRVA]these[/url].