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Power Tools

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nettdata, Oct 14, 2010.

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  1. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    Mr. Toast

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    I just recounted my near death drill-press scenario in the Death by Rake thread, and it got me thinking.

    I, by no means, am any sort of carpenter or other kind of person who is highly skilled when it comes to power tools, but I sure as hell have a shit-ton of them sitting on my shelves in my garage.

    Truth be told, I barely use them, actually. The last time I used my jointer and planer was when I created a piece of shit pair of bat boxes for my back yard a few months ago.


    But, but far, my most prized possessions when it comes to power tools is my set of Festool power tools.

    They're not just power tools, they are a German engineered SYSTEM. The first time I saw one of them at a woodworking show, I knew that I was hooked.

    I now have a mitre saw, plunge cut saw, router, and a whole bunch of the guide rails.

    Really, I've used them to make a small coffee table and a 3" thick cedar dining room table. (Joys of living a mile from a bunch of cedar mills).

    Still, it would have been a hell of a lot cheaper to just buy the table, or pay someone else to build it, than for me to buy those tools and do it myself.

    But dude... it's a FESTOOL: Watch this and tell me you're not Jonesing for one. <a class="postlink" href="http://www.tracksaw.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.tracksaw.com</a>


    FOCUS: What power tools do you own? What power tools do you want to own? ("all of them" is not an acceptable answer). Do you get good use out of them, or do they just gather dust in the closet?

    ALT-FOCUS: What's a power-tool thread without a "holy crap I almost died" story or three? Share your "holy crap was I an idiot" story about that time you cut your fingers off with a table saw.
     
  2. Trakiel

    Trakiel
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    Call me Caitlyn. Got any cake?

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    I own most of the standard power tools: cordless drill, wired drill, hand-held circular saw, and so forth. I don't use them all that often, but then again I don't mind the money I spent on them either; They're there for when I need them, which is the important thing. Better to have a tool and not need it than to need a tool and not have it, and all that. The next tool I'm thinking of getting is a compound miter saw, since my dad has one and it's just really useful.

    My power tool injury happened when I was in the USAF. I was sitting astride a trailer towbar rounding out a latch hole for drawer, basically using the drill as a cutting device because the latch knob wasn't lining up properly to where the factory put the hole. So I'm working the bit back and forth and pulled back a little too far and smacked myself in the face with the drill, cutting I nice gash along the ridge of my nose. Since I wasn't wearing eye protection like I was supposed to I lucked out because had I been an inch to the left or right I'd probably be wearing an eyepatch right now.
     
  3. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    Mr. Toast

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    Oh, and don't worry ladies... we all know the one and only power tool you own.

    Hitachi isn't really that hard to spell.
     
  4. shegirl

    shegirl
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    Redemption Seeking Whore

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    You've got it all wrong. It's called a Rabbit. Shame on you for not knowing that.
     
  5. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    Mr. Toast

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    And here I'd thought you weren't still playing in the amateur leagues.
     
  6. shegirl

    shegirl
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    Redemption Seeking Whore

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    At 100 bucks it's the best on the market. Or it had better be. Wait a second, do they have one that hooks up to a car battery? I may be on to something.
     
  7. Binary

    Binary
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    I've got a fairly standard array of power tools. Impact wrench, drill, reciprocating saw, circular saw, etc. Most of them are Ridgid branded tools, which are Home Depot's house brand and are actually of surprisingly high quality. I used to do a lot of work with Habitat for Humanity, so I've used a fairly wide array of power tools from the cheap to the expensive and the Ridgid tools are about as good as anything I used for a fraction of the price of the more well known brands.

    For a summer, I took a job clearing vegetation under power lines. That entailed walking around with a sprayer full of herbicide and a sizable chainsaw. Most of the chainsaws were in great shape and were very well maintained by the staff mechanic.

    One day I found that my chainsaw wasn't spinning down properly when I released the trigger -it'd spin for several seconds before slowing to a halt. Of course, the ending to the story is obvious: amidst some dense undergrowth, I went for the chain brake, my hand glanced off it the wrong way, and I grabbed the spinning blade.

    It didn't hurt a bit. I stared at the blood that had suddenly coated my entire hand and arm, whipped off my shirt, wrapped it up and walked to the truck. After quietly informing the supervisor that there had been an accident, he took one horrified look at my increasingly-soaked shirt and ran for the driver's seat.

    Actually turned out to be a lot less serious than it could have been. Lots of stitches across 4 fingers, a lot of pain while the doctor used what appeared to be an industrial strength pressure washer to clean it out, and he informed me I was about a fiftieth of an inch away from severing tendons.

    The best part was getting some great painkillers, and after getting my hand wrapped like King Tut, I got a tremendous amount of sympathy from women at the bar that night.
     
  8. Luke 217

    Luke 217
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    Disturbed

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    I guess this is kinda timely.

    Two weeks ago I was doing some odd things for a restaurant which included jack-hammering some concrete up, and pouring a new slab. On top of their old slab they had a lean-to built for their garbage bin and this thing was over-engineered to the hilt. The goddamn thing musta weighed every bit of 600 lbs, and was sunk into the old slab of concrete. If there was a hurricane forcasted in the near future, Ida ran over there and chained myself to the motherfucker.

    So instead of Jack-hammering the posts all the way out of the ground I grabbed the grinder, and proceeded to cut the angle iron legs off at ground level.
    In a nano-second before I even knew what had happened the disc bound up, half of it broke, twisted and fell the two inches to the ground. Fuck, by the time I turned off the grinder that was still going running at 5000 rpm vibrating on the ground, I noticed blood all over the place. Nothing was hurting yet? Did someone else get hit by the blade? Did I cut a finger off? Then I notice the inside of my arm. Two gashes about 4 inches long about two inches from my wrist. And they're pretty deep, I can see some white shit that might be bone.

    After about 5 hours in the ER, 20 stitches, a tetanus shot later, I go home with my arm in a half-cast. According to the nurse I cut the tendon and need to get into the hand surgeon so they can evaluate it. Fuck.
    Last week I went in for my evaluation, and thank christ the doctor said I only knicked the tendon and it should be fine after a while.
    They told me to come back in so they could take the stitches out. But fuck that right? Why waste my time driving back to the doctor? I took them out a couple days ago while I was half in the bag.

    The strange thing is that it never hurt. My shoulder hurt more from the tetanus shot than my arm did. I've got some limited mobility and slight pain when I bend my wrist back too far,,, but other than that.... I was pretty lucky.

    The downside is I've got a nasty looking scar on my wrist that makes it look like I just tried to kill myself. The upside is that I have a leg up when hitting on emo girls.


    So the important lesson here kids is........ Leave the fucking safety covers on shit,,, it's there for a reason. And keep a firm grip on your tools, then you can power through it.
     
  9. audreymonroe

    audreymonroe
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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    I don't own any power tools, since I live in an apartment and tend not to need them, but I'm shockingly handy with my little Ikea set seeing as how I'm so uncoordinated. Nonetheless, I still managed to really hurt myself once.

    I had just moved into my latest apartment and had bought a desk at Ikea that I needed to assemble before I unpacked the rest of my shit because I wouldn't have had anywhere to put the stuff in the boxes. Even though I was absolutely exhausted, it needed to get done because the boxes were taking over my room and I wouldn't have had anywhere to sleep. (In hindsight, that place could've been the couch.) So, since I was tired, I generally didn't do the best job of assembling the desk. I was extra thrown off guard when I got to a step that required my screwdriver, because I always assumed all you need is those little tools they give you in the bag. I managed to find my tool kit, but the screwdriver was missing. I remembered throwing it in some bag, but couldn't remember which one and couldn't find it anywhere.

    But, the head I needed was in the box, so I thought it would be perfectly fine if I just screwed it in by holding just the head (that'swhatshesaid). Even though it kind of hurt, it took me a long time to realize that I had gotten to the point where I had ripped off pretty much all of the skin of my finger in the most gruesome blister I had ever seen on my hands. It was awful.
     
  10. Lasersailor

    Lasersailor
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    Experienced Idiot

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    I do basically own all the pertinent power tools, being a carpenter. I will not jinx myself by making any boasting statements about lack of serious injuries. While free of wounds from power tools, I find myself getting cut from the construction environment a lot more than I should.

    Growing up I learned the trade from my father, who for a stretch there knew everyone in the ER on a first name basis. For being as accident prone, he is not nearly as cautious as he should be.


    So we were working at a secluded house up in the Poconos, at least an hour away from civilization. We're at the end of the day and we are cleaning up a bit. My father is cutting up boxes so that they can be tossed more easily. Holding the box in his right hand, he slashed downwards with his left with the blade pointing towards him. The box cutter first catches him in the meaty part between his thumb and his hand. He then cleanly slices down towards the wrist, almost taking the entire "Thumb Assembly" off his god damn hand. We drove 2.5 hours back to civilization to get the doctor we were building the house for to stitch him up. Some 5 years later he is getting most sensation back.

    And for a while there he was very careful. But we had to rip some trim wood for baseboards. He was using a spare piece to push through the wood past the blade. Unfortunately an unseen knot in the spare piece catches the the saw blade, and jerks his hand towards it. He got probably an inch long cut on his middle finger, length wise. It was as if he tried to split it like a hotdog.
     
  11. Arctic_Scrap

    Arctic_Scrap
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    I'd love to have a lathe and a Bridgeport mill. I wouldn't use them very often but I know my way around them pretty good and just having the luxury of making almost anything I wanted would be nice.
     
  12. Ogee

    Ogee
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    I don't know if it counts as a "power tool," but growing up my father had a sort of fold-a-way crane in the rear bumper of his truck. It was pretty heavy duty, and if I remember correctly was rated at something like three tons. You would open the bumper, attach the cable to the opposite side of the truck and then feed the cable in, cause the crane to rise. Once up, you were supposed to put an enourmous (to a 10 year old) pin in the base to keep the crane from folding back into the bumper.

    He somehow got the cable tangled one day, so I was out helping him untangle it by putting tension on the line. Guess what happened? Yup, the pin was never inserted and a couple hundred pounds of metal and hydraulic fluid leaned forward and then whammo slammed into my right shoulder. If I had been a few inches close to the truck, the boom would have cracked my head open.

    I don't think I will ever forget the second of terror I felt as I heard a bit of a creeking sound and saw a six foot tall crane swing down at me.
     
  13. Danger Boy

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  14. Luke 217

    Luke 217
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    Disturbed

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    I was a third generation Tool & Die maker, and my father has the most illustrative personal shop I've ever seen. 6 Lathes, 2 Bridgeport's, and 3 Surface grinders. The Lathe's range from one that he made himself (so he could turn table legs and baseball bats for me) to the largest that is a behemoth Turret lathe that weighs more than a Volkswagon. I'm pretty sure that the fucking thing came off of a battleship.
    I know more than my way around a Lathe, but he's a fucking genius. Its a second nature to him. I know my way around a Bridgeport even better, and he would destroy me.
    I mean seriously. I've worked in shops that had one surface grinder,,, He has 3!


    None of this is counting his woodworking tools. Let me preface it with this statement. I went to a High School that bussed in 4 other schools to their wood shop, and his puts it to fucking shame. Bandsaws, Jigsaws, Thickness Planers, Jointers, Routers, Wood Lathes, multiple Sanders, Radial and Table Saws, none of this includes his hand power tools. To my recollection the only thing that the High School had on him was that the Planer could accommodate a 3 foot piece of wood and his planer could only do a 24 inch piece.

    I can remember being a tyke and spending my Saturday's at auctions. It was painful at the time, but goddamn it if it wasn't some of my fondest memories with him. Cold and rainy, bidding on screw machines and boxes of grinding wheels that nobody else wanted.

    Sonovabitch. I hate the fucking man for a myriad of reasons, but we still had our moments.
     
  15. numeric

    numeric
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    Experienced Idiot

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    A Rockwell compact tablesaw.
    3 Circular saws- Skil, Craftsman, KMart
    1 Reciprocating saw - Craftsman
    1 corded and 1 18v cordless drill - Black and Decker
    A 3.5A bench grinder - Black and Decker
    A 5K-30K rpm 1.15A Dremel


    All in the closet of my tiny college apartment along with all my other tools because mom is selling the house. Ever since I became a teenager my dad has bought me either tools or guns for my birthday and christmas. You cannot imagine the shit he keeps for himself.
     
  16. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated
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    That one still needs another participant, or double-jointed toes. This may be more appropriate: http://www.fuckingmachines.com


    My dad used to own an engineering supplies shop. We sold everything from nuts and bolts to chain to power tools to compressors and welders to lathes. Rather than what a hardware place would have, we had commercial grade, big job stuff. This was in the days before the Home Depot/Bunnings of the world.

    From the age of 5 to 16 this was my playground. How the fuck I have 10 fingers, 10 toes and a relatively normal looking penis despite having no training and access to some of the most powerful machinery you can move by hand, I have no idea.
     
  17. Volo

    Volo
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    My apologies for the derailment, but I would like to point out the irony of this Alt-Focus. It would be very time consuming to type the story of how you cut your fingers off with a table saw, and I'm hard pressed to think of any situations involving a table saw funny or interesting enough to warrant spending all that time typing something out with your nose or cock.

    Now, please continue.
     
  18. Judas

    Judas
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    Disturbed

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    Let me preface this story with the fact that I am 6' 3'' and around 158 pounds soaking wet. Athletic build, but hey...genetics gave me an incredible metabolism.

    The summer before freshman year of college I was hanging out with one of my friends who mentioned he was going up to Connecticut to work with his dad at the construction site where his dad was one of the foremans. He mentioned that for about a week of work, his dad was going to pay him around 1,200 dollars, and that each of his brothers had done this before freshman year of college and had loved the money they made from it. I figured I could take a week of working on a construction site, and signed on with him when he invited me, because he didn't want to just hang out with the 50+ year old welders in the crew.

    I get there and it turns out that this is like massive reconstruction of a building that insurance companies use to test the ability of certain materials to withstand fire/heat. I got to see a couple of the tests, and they were pretty intense. For those that have never seen a 30 foot flame, you can feel the heat radiating through fireproof glass around 100 feet away. Scary stuff.

    Anyways, one of the jobs that his dad gave me was to use a jackhammer, and scrape the fireproofing (a rough cement-like substance that held on with a wire mesh that was used to hold it it until it hardened) off of the steel i-beams they were taking down from the ceiling. After about a 3 minute introduction to how a jackhammer works, my skinny ass was left all alone using a 60lb jackhammer scraping the fireproofing off of the ibeams. Needless to say, about 5 minutes in my arms were nearly ready to give out...but I didn't want to stop and look like a pussy. Now the ibeam had been laid down on a piece of wood, as not to damage the floor, and they would give slightly when I pushed the jackhammer down scraping the fireproofing off. I was starting to get frustrated and pushed a little too hard as the 2000 lb ibeam began to wobble, and me being the idiot I am, went in and pushed the jackhammer on it one more time. Bad idea.

    It wobbled one more time and fell towards me, and suddenly I realized that I might lose me leg. Instinctively as I was falling away, I dropped the jackhammer, which landed on the ground next to me. The ibeam crashed down and the jackhammer was just slightly thicker than my leg, so it held the ibeam just high enough off the ground for me to pull my leg out from underneath the ibeam before it crashed to the floor. I would have completely lost my leg from the knee down had it not been for the jackhammer.

    I was nearly in a state of shock after this, and glanced around and realized noone had noticed. I calmly went up to my friends dad and told him what happened. He didn't really comprehend what I said initially until he walked over and saw the jackhammer crushed underneath the i-beam...at which point he realized that I had almost had a life changing injury on his site. He gave me a 15 minute break (we only got two 10 minute breaks for the 12 hours we worked usually...whooo!) and said I didn't have to compensate him for the jackhammer, since it was his fault that he hadn't taught me how to be careful in that situation, and he also hadn't laid the ibeam on its side, so that there had been no danger of it tipping over. We considered it a learning experience and just went on with it.

    I'm just glad I have my leg. Thank god for sturdily built jackhammers.
     
  19. scootah

    scootah
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    My dad is actually a pretty solid carpenter. I mean he's never going to be does this for a living good - but he did a lot of lathed stuff and built some nice furniture over the years and had a pretty nice collection of high end tools. When he moved into an apartment - I inherited piles of stuff, despite the fact that I'm pretty awful with tools. I built a few things - mostly fetish stuff - that were all mediocre at best (and mostly awful) and it sat in the garage gathering dust. A while back I sold the lot and took the money and bought a really nice drill. It's the only thing I use regularly and my usual policy of buying cheap shit and burning it out reached it's limit when the third drill in a row was fucked the second time I tried to use it.

    My best holy fuck I almost died moment was when I bought myself an ex ambulance. We bought it intending to throw a mattress in the back and go see Australia. Reality is that we stay in hotels and put the dog in the back - and fuck him, he can sleep on the floor. But when we first got it - it had a fiber glass chair built around four steel uprights bolted to the floor in the back, that ruined the mattress storage location. No way to get to the bolts that hold it in - looks like they welded the frame together after they bolted the uprights in place. Trying to undo the bolts from under the vehicle just spun them in place - couldn't get a cutting disc or grinder to the bolts around the frame underneath the vehicle. So I decided to cut it out. I pulled out the angle grinder and put on a cutting disk and cut away enough of the fiber glass that I could see the steel uprights and then started cutting the uprights. Holy fuck it was a bitch to go through - ambulance builders must use some kind of reinforced fucking titanium for their seat frames. About a third of the way through the first upright, the grinder kicked hard, I was wearing safety glasses and an air filter mask at the time and there was fiber glass everywhere - so I couldn't see shit. I just kept cutting for a second - then the kick was phenomenal, the grinder nearly flew out of my hand, something brushed between my legs, against the inside seam of my jeans, maybe an inch below my balls. I cut power and took a moment to check that I hadn't actually shit my pants and waved the dust clear and realized that the disc had come off my grinder entirely, the first kick had been two of the lock holes ripping out, the next kick had been the disc ripping free and flying away.

    The disc missed my balls by a vertical inch and my femoral by a horizontal inch. I found it about 10 or 15 feet away from the back of the ute, buried three quarters of an inch into a lump of pine wood. I also realised that it was a grinding disc, not a cutting disc - hence the many difficulties in getting the fucker through the upright. Took a day to clean the poop out of my pants and stop shaking enough to finish the job.
     
  20. Bundy Bear

    Bundy Bear
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    Fitter by treade and although I don't own any power tools I have anything and everything at work. As for injuring myself the only real close call I've had was when at school I near lost my hand in a lathe when the polishing rag got caught in the chuck. Apart from that only the usual cuts and skinned knuckles which is surprising seeing as how I'm pretty dodgy most of the time.
     
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