Author Topic: Miscellaneous balls-ups...  (Read 8198 times)

Offline AdeV

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Miscellaneous balls-ups...
« on: January 22, 2012, 05:51:00 PM »
I'd better contribute here...... in my short Machinist life, I've made a few cockups that would probably make most professional machinists cringe. Personally, I like to call them projects, but that's a discussion for another day....

Everyone's thrown a chuck key, haven't they? Well, actually, no. I haven't. I DID throw a parallel out of a chuck, however.... my lathe only does 670rpm flat out, predictably it was set to this when I forgot to remove the parallel I'd been using in an attempt to load some work in the chuck jaws square. The result was inevitable and predictable. I was extremely fortunate that the parallel flew out of the backside of the lathe, through a cardboard box and embedded itself in another cardboard box. Had it come out of the front, it would have killed me stone dead - or at the very best greviously injured me. That's easily my most scary accident to date...

Other small-fry: Forgetting to take the spanner off the drawbar & starting the mill.... got a bruised wrist from that one. John Bogstandard showed me a neat way to avoid a nasty impact: Use a ratchet spanner, the don't get the same speed up as they start ratcheting instead. Of course, the best way is to take the bl**dy spanner off in the first place!

I somehow avoided smashing a cutter up when the tiliting table I was using unexpectedly tilted; and there was that time on the sump when I accidentally took 3mm off it instead of .03mm, thanks to not tightening the tool up in the mill. Note to self - ensure any nuts/bolts/etc. that need to be tight actually are tight, especially if you think you did them up yesterday!

When using a 3-jaw chuck in a 4-jaw chuck, make sure the 4-jaw chuck is adequately tightened. Losing the 3-jaw chuck causes all kinds of interesting things to happen to the lathe, and I'm fairly sure none of them are good.

While we're back at the lathe, don't engage the screw cutting gear when you meant to engage the sliding feed, especially if you already forgot to change the gearbox from facing mode to sliding mode and smashed the tool into the workpiece in entirely the wrong direction. The ensuing tool-crash will wreck your stock, your tool, and your trousers.

That's all for now!
Location: Wallasey, Merseyside. A long way from anywhere.
Occasionally: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Miscellaneous balls-ups...
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 06:22:47 PM »
I think that my 'best one' was boat building. I was going to make a copy of a Mirror dinghy kit out of plywood and mahogany that came from a defunct bank counter.  I had one of these planer thicknessers which Myford used to make and I had ripped up the counter and was planing it to suit the pram front. It was November and cold and raw. Maybe it was hyperthermia but I got my left palm of my hand into the rotating barrel planer blades. I was alone- and bleeding. I got out one of my dress shirts and bound it as best that I could. Wrote to my wife- in blood 'RVI' and set off in my car for the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle- changing gear with two fingers.

Happily, England plays rugby and it was Saturday and the senior registrar was waiting for casualities from this 15 men on a dead mans chest thing. I was his first customer.  It was a bit creepy because he asked if i minded him doing it without an anaesthetic. Being a hero or still shocked I agreed and he peeled off new skin with something like a potato peeler!
I was hoisted into a bed with my arm held in a frame- and I fell out!

Anyway, the doc and I parted company- I was his last patient in Newcastle and he was now a consultant to go to a place called East Grinstead.
'Archie McIndoe?' I quipped. His hospital had become famous for the guinea pigs from the Royal Air Force who had had terrible injuries in  burning aircraft.

Someone was looking after me!

Offline WillieL

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Re: Miscellaneous balls-ups...
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 10:41:18 PM »
I had set up for drilling a hole in a piece of stock on the lathe and began cranking the tail stock wheel. The bit had just broke the surface and suddenly stopped cutting.  :scratch: Backed off the quill and looked at the drill tip and thought that's odd, it looks sharp enough? So I give it another go - still not cutting. Maybe it just needs more pressure. Crank the wheel some more - and more - and more......  I finally noticed the tail stock sliding backward with the locking lever free as a bird.   :palm:

The sound of a spinning ratchet wrench on a drawbar - I know it well.

The sound and shudder felt from sucking an end mill out of a collet in mid-cut, because I forgot to tighten the very same draw bar before removing the previously mentioned noisy ratchet wrench.

But the most memorable:
Sitting at the welding table and leaning forward to reposition a part on the table before I started the first tack. While doing so I accidentally stepped (full throttle) on the foot pedal of my tig welder. Unfortunately the tig torch was sitting in my lap at the time.

Midwestern USA

Offline jamoni

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Re: Miscellaneous balls-ups...
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 10:55:06 PM »
When I was in the Army, we were modifying some Humvees by adding roll-cages, pintle mounts, and some other doodads. I had just finished welding the pintle mount to the roll cage, and bent down to get the angle grinder. I was used to reaching up and pulling myself up by the rollcage in this sort of vehicle, so I did...
And grabbed a handful of cherry red steel.
So I cursed, and reflexively stood up quickly...
Smacking my head on the red hot steel.
Hard enough to put me out for just a second.
Which was long enough for me to fall out of the truck, crack my head on the concrete, and go out for good.
Apparently I shouted during all this, because my buddy came running to check on me, and found me laying behind the truck, out cold, with smoldering hair, a blistered hand, and a goose egg the size of my fist.

Offline Swarfing

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Re: Miscellaneous balls-ups...
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 06:12:11 PM »
A lesson to learn whilst welding?

I had stack of plates to weld to some box tubing so i piled the plates to my left and the ox tubing in front. I had a pretty good rhythm going, pick pieces up, weld and place to the right to cool. I was on my last piece when the grand master to be obeyed came to ask if i wanted a cup of tea? i lifted my helmet and replied that would be nice, pulled down my helmet and looked at the pile to my right and picked a piece up.......It is amazing how long it takes to register it is dam hot and flesh is burning (only had a glove on left hand)  :doh:
Once in hole stop digging.

Offline andyf

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Re: Miscellaneous balls-ups...
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2012, 10:04:28 AM »
Yesterday, I needed to put an M10x1 LH thread on a short length of barstock. The first attempt had to be scrapped. I used the nut which the thread was intended to fit as a gauge, and though it would screw on, the threads were very rough and truncated.

                Then realisation dawned; I was trying to cut towards the chuck. Because the thread was LH, that meant the motor was running in reverse. So was the spindle, and in effect my threading tool was the wrong way up  :bang: :bang: . I'm surprised the results even resembled a thread. Things went a lot better when the cutting passes were made away from the chuck, with the motor and spindle rotating forwards.

Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short