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Thread: Oh, to the turners, exercise caution

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    St. Joseph, MO

    Exclamation Oh, to the turners, exercise caution

    . . . wish I had thought of that about 2 o'clock this afternoon. Here's the scenario - I had turned the back of a bowl yesterday evening and left it on the lathe, worm screw in place. This morning I took it off (worm screw still in the bowl) and turned a new longer handle for my bowl gouge. After I had it all put back together, I put the worm screw back on the headstock. About that time my husband reminds me we haven't had lunch and because I'd been having so much fun he offered to run to the house and fix a sandwich.

    Why can't I remember that screws go in clockwise and come out counter-clockwise? My first attempt, needless to say, was the WRONG way, thus tightening the screw instead of loosening it. I turned the correct way and removed the bowl, stopped the headstock and tried to remove the worm screw . . . and it would not come off. What would you do? Funny, I only have these short Tomy bars and instead of getting something to put on extra leverage, I threw my weight into it. When it came loose, the Tomy bar came out, my hands were left holding air, and I lunged forward, striking my head and glasses on the lathe ways. Did you know that cast iron hurts when your skull cracks it?

    I managed to steady myself - knowing that I was alone - and reached the phone (about 4 foot away). I kept dialing our home phone number and couldn't understand why the line was busy . . . before realizing that the only way I could reach Al to get help was by calling his cell phone. No lacerations, no bleeding, but a huge goose egg by the time he got to me. He rushed me to Urgent Care and they, in turn, called an ambulance and sent me to the hospital for care - CT scan, etc. After 4 1/2 hours the released me with cautions and a horrendous headache.

    This was NOT the exciting afternoon I had planned in the shop. Ruined a new pair of glasses, have a headache to break all my past records, and look like half a raccoon. Caution out there, guys and gals.
    Last edited by Sandy Navas; 03-20-2007 at 01:49 AM. Reason: Misspelled words

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Ouch! Glad to see it wasn't any worse, but it sounds like it was plenty bad as it was. Take care of the headache, and I hope it feels better soon.

    And remember, lunging into the abyss is just a figure of speech.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Nothing like kissing cast iron to wake one up! Hope things go better for you Sandy!

  4. #4
    Don Taylor is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Ouch! Be careful there Sandy. I'm glad it was no worse than it is.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Geez Sandy, I hope the lathe is OK

    Seriously, a goose egg on the head is no laughing matter, good to see that you got it looked at.

    I learned a long time ago, that if something don't want to move when I lean on it, before I get a bigger hammer, and or longer bar, or REALLY lean on it, to step back and use my head for a minute, it doesn't always help, but sometimes it does.

    I watched a neighbour trying to get a trailer hitch ball off a truck of his, he had a big wrench, and he tried that, would not budge, then he tried a pipe on the wrench, and he bent the pipe, so next he tried some heat on the bolt and then a longer stronger pipe, he bent the wrench..........

    Next a BIG pipe wrench and the BIG pipe, and MORE heat and still, it would not budge, he was actually moving the truck sideways. By this time the guy was just about in fits, he was red in the face and a crowd had gathered as he was now SHOUTING bad words. Nothing worked, so he got out the hot wrench........ah.... cutting torch and burned it the darn thing off.

    My Dad said to me (I was about 12 at the time) "Do you know what he was doing wrong....?" I said "Yeah, he was pulling the wrong way........."

    I was not stupid enough to tell the guy, and my Dad laughed and said neither was he, if anyone had told the guy "Hey buddy, try it the other way!" they would have got a wrench in the face, the guy was SO mad.

    Your suggestion of caution is WELL founded, I'm glad you are OK, and grateful to you for sharing your story, as we can all learn from stuff like this...................

    Now where are the pics of this bowl.....

    Take care, and some aspirin!!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ouch! don`t do that any more
    hope you`re feeling better!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    St. Joseph, MO
    I felt well enough to make a trip to the shop last night. I think the lathe suffered just as bad as I did. There's a huge dent in the ways - about the width of my head. My Dad always told me I was truly hard-headed. Now I know he's right. Just kidding - sure don't want to replace the lathe base before I finish this bowl.

    Thanks for everyone's well wishes. Other than looking like I had a fight with a light-weight boxer, I'm feeling fine. Puffy and black and blue. I will finish that bowl today and post pictures tonight (unless I get caught up in this vortex and start something else).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Smithville, TX
    It is even worse when you know what is going to happen while you are attempting it, from experience, but you think you can anticipate it breaking loose, or the knife coming free, and control it... So it happens anyway!
    Glad to hear you and your lathe are okay, though.
    Mini Max Tool Acquisition Mediator.
    "An old man to most kids and a young man to those who are dead."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Ditto on the "ouch" and hope you feel better soon.
    Years ago I would have used the Stu method and gone for a bigger hammer or bar. But, in recent years, I have learned to just walk away and come back later. Sometimes a few minutes, sometimes hours, sometimes day will pass. Somehow solutions seem obvious once the adrenaline has gone down.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    San Francisco East Bay Area
    Sandy, I've had a similar experience to yours, but not nearly as painful. Concussions can be steathy, be careful.

    The first couple times I used my new lathe, I had trouble remembering which way to remove the handhweel on the left side of the heastock, and the faceplate on the right side of the headstock. DAMHITKT

    Being somewhat forgetful and to avoid "turning" errors, with a Sharpie, I marked a small curve on the area behind the handwheel of which way to rotate to get it off. Then on the right side of the headstock, I marked a curve with the correct direction to get faceplate and chucks off.
    It really helps. I'm used to it now. But every once and a while I'm glad I put those marks there.

    Regards, Mike
    My Dad taught me that it's better to keep my mouth shut and let people think I was stupid, than open it and remove all doubt.

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