Dangerous tools -- or -- how lucky I was today

ihavenofish

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this is why I use cnc. I push start and run away. scary tools are scary. I keep my hands away.

you got off easy though. my friend lost the tips of 2 fingers on a jointer a while back.
 

David Collins

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I had always been taught not to bottom out the bit in the collet and tighten; that the best practice to pull it out a touch before tightening for the best grip on the shaft.

Right - I misspoke a bit there. Should have made clear I wasn't talking about bottoming the shank out hard, but rather that the shank should be nearly bottomed out, and never pulled out to extend the depth of the cut. The shank needs to be supported by the collet to within as close to the cutter as possible, especially with a 1/4" shank and long oversized cutting head.
 

jbrybar

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Wow! Glad it didn't end worse.. I have had routers kick back on me many times before but never anything like this.. A bend bit, damn I can image the fight you had with the router.. Very happy to see you won..



EDIT: Also I just wanted to say I am not afraid of using routers as I have used them since I was about 15, but I am always conscious of safety, and the potential damage they can do..
 

rikko

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CRAZY!
Can't believe you bent a router bit,
and got out of that with relatively minor injuries!

It's freaky when a router gets away from you!

GLAD YOU'RE ALRIGHT!
 

djrussell

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**** me... now i'm even more scared of my router.

I had a kick back the other day and the wood ripped a chunk out of my knuckle. Hurts like shit after about 5min when you finally realise your bleeding all over the place. Battle scars :cool: chicks dig em (apparently)
 

John Bauers

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I am glad that you only suffered minor injuries, it could have been so much worse. The router is a strange beast, it will always try and bite you or tour work. Kick back is usually caused by trying to cut too much. If you are routing a body blank and cutting the full thickness eg 1.75" that is a huge amount to cut. You Must cut your body blank or Robo sand it to 1mm over size before you route the shape. This will also virtually eliminate tearout.

Also avoid value bits. Here in the UK I expect to pay £80.00 + for a long router bit, they keep their edge for longer and can be sharpened. Please remember the limitations of the ability.
 

LPBR

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Thank you for the inputs, guys!

Reviewing the situation in the day after, I figured out a few facts.

First I am total IDIOT because I have aplunge router but I used the trimmer instead. For some reason I thought that the smaller trimmer base would be better for the job but now I realize that a small base size wouldn't make any difference for a guitar body trim.

Also I really took a big risk on putting such huge bit in a trimmer. Actually I never should had bought it with a skinny 1/4" shank.

Althought it may had seem I didn't bottom out it. The shank was fully inserted into the chuck/collet. I believe that all the stuff together (low machine tork, cheap bit, skinny shank, deep action, etc) contributed to the stress of the bit and therefore the ugly accident.

Anyway, the lesson is fully learnt and I won't repeat such mistake.

I didn't get scared about routers after that though. I will keep using them although I have the intention to avoid their usage when they are not really necessary. Yesterday, after the accident, I poured a bit of water in the injuries, covered with band-aids, wear my leather work gloves and finished the job with the robo sander in two bodies. It didn't take too long anyway, got no tear out and had too much more control over the task.

Finally, now I am glad to have rode the savage bull trimmer. If the bit had broken instead to bend it could had hit me right in the belly or chest. It would be like to get a .32 shot I guess. Not funny.

Let's carry on!

:thumb:
 

Barnaby

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Woah...so glad you are OK. That's a scary moment for sure with a power tool. It could have been a lot worse, and it's great that you not only came out relatively unscathed, but that you gave all of the rest of us a heads up.

Even with hand tools, I sometimes get some frightening slips. This one would leave me shivering! :shock:
 

Scooter2112

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You are a very lucky man.

Take home lessons -

1 - A laminate trimmer is not a router.

2 - Routers with 1/2" collets were developed for good reason.

3 - Never assume that the shaft of a bit can handle the load of cutting along the full blade. Multiple shallow passes are generally safer than heavy deep cut passes.

4 - Always seat the shaft as deep and secure in the collet as possible.

5 - Train yourself to respond to emergency protocols by instinct, as a firefighter or police officer regularly drills for the emergencies they hope to never encounter.

I am so very glad to hear you came away from this relatively unscathed. And thank you very much for sharing this! First thing on the shop agenda tomorrow is going to be to schedule a meeting with our whole staff to start reviewing safety protocols and emergency response procedures. It's good to have a reminder like this to kick us in the rear, and remind us not to take safety for granted even for a moment.


Well stated.

Might I suggest a possible add-on as an additional layer of safety?

Is there any type of normally-open style foot switch available that is possible to add in series with any tool that can be plugged into it? Sort of a "dead man" switch that cuts power to the tool when your foot is taken off the pedal...in the event of a hands-free necessity to kill power in an emergency situation?
 

LPBR

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Might I suggest a possible add-on as an additional layer of safety?

Is there any type of normally-open style foot switch available that is possible to add in series with any tool that can be plugged into it? Sort of a "dead man" switch that cuts power to the tool when your foot is taken off the pedal...in the event of a hands-free necessity to kill power in an emergency situation?

Excellent suggestion! I may build one like this! Cool, thanks!

:thumb:
 

Southpaw 68

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Woh! Glad you can look back and laugh. Much as I like the idea of building a guitar from scratch, I think I'll stick to buying them from the store! I'm clumsy enough with a butter knife. :)
 

LPBR

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Woh! Glad you can look back and laugh. Much as I like the idea of building a guitar from scratch, I think I'll stick to buying them from the store! I'm clumsy enough with a butter knife. :)

Well, I am not laughing yet! In fact I cannot erase for my mind an horrible scene with what it could be. Believe it or not I am more frighten now than when the situation actually happened!

:shock:
 

Southpaw 68

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I don't doubt that my man. I think you showed remarkable composure. Maybe you should just rest a while. Nobody got seriously hurt and that's a true blessing.
 

emoney

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Well, you obviously know by now that the bit-router combo was not a wise choice. While
on the other hand, I believe a trim router is fine for shaping a body, just never with a bit
almost as big as the base, lol.

I'm a big fan of the footswitch cut-off, btw. I bought one recently at Harbor Freight, and
while it's a pain in the neck plugging every tool I own into it, I do it because 5 seconds
of plug switching is well worth a possible lifetime of maiming or disfigurement. They're
basic and simple accessories; plug the power tool in the foot switch and the foot switch
into the wall/outlet. Most of us play guitar so we're well versed in the whole foot switch
thing. Nothing beats it for safety because you're right, sometimes it's better to keep both
hands on the tool, especially in a situation like this one.

Lastly, I think I'd email that picture to the bit manufacturer. While I know they will tell you
"wrong router for the bit", nevertheless it shouldn't have bent like that regardless.
 

Freddy G

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Well, I am not laughing yet! In fact I cannot erase for my mind an horrible scene with what it could be. Believe it or not I am more frighten now than when the situation actually happened!

:shock:

Oh I believe it! You my friend are very lucky. I sent that photo to some woodworking friends and every one of them cringed to the depth of their souls!

I think the footswitch operated stop in this situation would have been good although 99% of the time when something goes haywire it all happens so fast reaction time is not even possible.
 

LPBR

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That's a shame that Harbour Freight doesn't ship overseas. I will have to try to find it somewhere else. I tried eBay but they just sell the 'partial' stuff with cut wires pieces. I really liked the HFT one. Oh well, I will look more and if I couldn't find I will have to make it myself anyway.

:rolleyes:
 

'59_Standard

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Lastly, I think I'd email that picture to the bit manufacturer. While I know they will tell you
"wrong router for the bit", nevertheless it shouldn't have bent like that regardless.

Its metal. It'll do what it does (depending on the metal) when forces are applied.

Lee Valley
 

ihavenofish

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Its metal. It'll do what it does (depending on the metal) when forces are applied.

Lee Valley

ive bent router bits before on the cnc machine. consumer router bits have shanks made of ordinary steel. they aren't very strong. once the bit bends a little, then its all over, balance is off, and it will throw the router out of your hand and the work piece off the table. just think how bad a wobbly drill bit is in the drill press, and multiply by 10000.

higher end cutting tools are made from high speed steel or carbide. they cant bend, they just snap - which is probably safer although you still dont want your hands in the way :)
 

'59_Standard

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I know carbide will snap/shatter - thats why I said: "Its metal. It'll do what it does (depending on the metal) when forces are applied."
 

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