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Thread: Woodshop hazard: Poor design for the prevailing conditions!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Woodshop hazard: Poor design for the prevailing conditions!

    So, as you may remember, everything in my shop is on wheels. Workbench, assembly table, lathe stand, bandsaw, planer, even the tablesaw/router table combo. I have to do this because the shop is small, and needs to be reconfigured often depending on the project. It even lets me "steal" some shop space on warm days, when I can wheel some tools out onto the drive. This means everything in the shop is two to three inches off the ground.

    Now, I don't mind that I live on the edge of a forest: I like that a lot, here in the middle of the megalopolis. It's an island of peace. And this spring, while Jeff was building his wren, I had an actual wren nest on some storage shelves near the bandsaw. It was kind of cool. And sometimes, when I leave the garag, err, shop door open, birds fly in and out. No problem, even if some did get in there when we were on vacation, and had to be gently persuaded to leave their home on our return. I like the wildlife here. Even had bats flying around yesterday evening, while James and I did some work.

    But last night, I went out the front door to get some trim for the playhouse out of the truck. And there, on the front walkway, was a big old snake. Not a copperhead, thank goodness, likely some kind of rat snake... grayish, about four feet long, and as big around as James' arm. Not big, in other words, but big enough to give me a bit of a shock. One doesn't expect to meet a snake when walking out the front door. I was a bigger shock to him, so he skedaddled to the nearest safe hiding place. You got it: he slithered right under the shop door. I used a big long stick to lever up the bottom of the door (I really should get around to putting on the handle... I wonder where *that* has gotten to?)

    Anyway, the design flaw. Everything is one wheels, two or three inches off the ground. In other words, it's a GREAT place to hide if you're a four foot snake! Sawdust everywhere, stuff in piles on the floor, a bunch of things leaning against the wall. Geez...

    Needless to say, I didn't go in after him. Maybe I'll just go in, turn on the air compressor (at the far end of the shop) and walk away for a while. Maybe the vibrations will drive him nuts, and he'll quietly leave?


    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 08-23-2008 at 05:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan

    nevr seen a 4ft graysnake

    that was a good snake to have as freind bill. should have gotten a picture of it for us to see sounds like you know your snakes ,so iwilltake your word for it that it was just a rat snake or sort of,, the vibrations i dont think would cause it to leave.. i would feel much better if i had follewed it to whereit went with a big stick and removed it then rather than give it time to hide..i think wood working would be on permant hold till it was found good luck when you go back in,, but dont think your safe to get back in the water till you have ckd everything twice for year or untill it gets real the way where is the beltway????
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    i really hate snakes, but even if the bulk of the equipment was on the floor directly, that slithering thing would find somewhere to slither under, into, the wheels aint giving him much better hiding places.

    ecchhhh, did I mention I really hate snakes. HOpe he realizes he wasnt invited to your party and leaves.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Speaking of snakes. I killed a copperhead in my yard about an hour ago. It was very small. But baby snakes mean there is a big Momma not far away. This is only the second venomous snake we have seen here in six years. Very surprising as copperheads are common in this country. A cottonmouth was killed not far from here last week. I'll have to stop telling folks we don't have cottonmouths this far north. Obviously we do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    Unless you have a food source he will leave shortly. Leave the door open or cracked. Not sure if that will help. But Rat snakes are good to have. If you have rats, he will take care of them and then move on.

    I hate being surprised by a snake as much as anyone. But I am not scared of snakes. He is not going to hurt you, other than scaring you good. Just give him time and he will move on. I have caught quite a few over the years for people rather than them killing them. I try telling them if there is no food they will leave.

    Funniest one I caught was in a Corporate Office once. They had brought some records in from storage and there was this small (6-8" long) rat snake in someones office striking at everything that got near it. That snake was scared to death!

    The Exec in the office was holding his Ink Pen in his hand like a weapon. I took if from him and he backed up. I went over and after a couple of attempts caught it. Reflexes are hard to over come. When he would strike I would jump, just couldn't help it. I used the pen to in him down so I could grab him behind the head. When I started to walk out with the snake I noticed the secretary sitting outside starring at the snake. She had been watching all along and I swear she was frozen stiff. I think if I had tossed that snake on her she couldn't have moved! Poor girl was terrified!

    Anyway I took it home and released it in some woods.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.

    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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