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Shop Safety Warning

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i had a little incident occur this morning that made me think of how the smallest careless act can and often does result in tragedy. i needed to use my cordless drill which was plugged into the charger and when i unplugged it i just dropped the cord onto the workbench. well, it landed on a piece of 0000 steel wool which is extremely flamable. what i didn't know until today is that the tip of the charging cord has just enough current running through it to ignite the steel wool.

of course as soon as i realized that it was on fire i was able to grab it and extinguish it but it actually scared me to think that it could have happened when i wasn't here.

anyway, i thought a reminder about general shop safety might be in order. those of us that work with guitars and amps all the time may be more aware than the newbies about some of the dangers but because we are we might also be guilty of taking things too much for granted.

so for all of us these reminders:

1) be sure to store and dispose of paints, thinners, etc. the proper way. dispose of your cleaning and wiping rags properly. they can and do spontaneously ignite under the right (or wrong) circumstances.

2) sawdust in the air is combustable under the right conditions. if you use dust collectors make sure they are properly grounded. if you don't use them then make sure that you have adequate ventilation.

3) be careful with open flames in your shop. fumes from solvents and the above mentioned sawdust can ignite and ruin and otherwise good day.

4) don't become too comfortable with your power tools. if they can cut wood they won't hesitate to cut skin and bone. from personal experience i can tell you that you cannot turn loose of a router fast enough to keep from hurting yourself. a table saw can throw a piece of wood back with enough velocity to do you a lot of damage. so think about what you're doing every moment that one is running. and especially for those of you just getting into this please read all of the cautions and operating instructions to your new tools. they write them for a reason.

5) use eye and ear protection. both can be damaged beyond repair by either excessive noise or flying schrapnel.

6) soldering guns are hot and will burn you and again, steel wool is flamable.

i'm sure there are cautions that i'm not thinking of at the moment so feel free to add yours.

i'll step down off of my soapbox now and return control of your computer to you. :D

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I shoved the tip of my thumb into an 18" wheel sander w/40 grit paper on it. Ground the tip all the way to the bone! It grew back but now I have a pretty good scar for a thumb tip and boy is it sensitive!

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The steel wool igniting is an old camping trick to get a fire started quickly, just a piece of steel wool and 1.5v battery shorted with the wire will get a wee fire going very quickly. Just remember that if your making a guitar out in the woods and it starts getting cold..............:D

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