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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » A cautionary tale... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

EsnRedshirt
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Special user
Newark, CA
893 Posts

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I just had a Dremel cutting wheel explode on me.

I heard something go zing! past each ear, click! 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 completely 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, always 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.
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
rhiro
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Regular user
Southern California
160 Posts

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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.

Ross
Lyndel
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Inner circle
wrote the theme to the TV show COPS!
1623 Posts

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Good advice guys. Always good to protect ones eyes! Sight is a precious thing!



Lyndel
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leapinglizards
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Inner circle
1254 Posts

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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.
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11157 Posts

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I also use a face shield with some of my tools, especially my lathe, which I could tell you some really fun stories about.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
MickeyPainless
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Inner circle
California
6074 Posts

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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!
ClintonMagus
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Inner circle
Southwestern Southeast
3999 Posts

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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.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11157 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
I've had good results under scary circumstances using these.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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