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Thread: Warning about Routers

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Upland CA
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    4,250
    I find myself using cut off wheels and metal grinding discs on my angle grinder a lot, and have not been using any protection other than safety glasses (sometimes). I think it is time to put on my big boy pants, and dig out my face shield.

    I have also been trying to figure out how to put an old drill chuck on a handle to use when working with bolts and other smalls on my grinder. Seems it would be safer than what I do now...Vise grips.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Northern Michigan
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    4,649
    Sorry about your injury buddy! I have had the same thing happen to a PC 3 1/4 VS running a 4 1/2" cove bit, speed control burnt out and defaulted to 21,000. Had hands on and shut it off but it scared the daylights out of me. I got rid of the internal speed control and went with a separate for the rest of that job. In my case I feel that it was probably overloaded as the bit is a very heavy Nordic Tool custom bit, but in your out of cut blowout ???.

    Been doing this and construction my whole life and injuries happen, as you have said it is dangerous work and sometimes things beyond our control line up against us. All we can do is look at what happened and change our procedure. I think the guys that do this for a living and make it through their whole life without a mishap are the exception rather than the rule. Hope you heal well.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Williamstown,ma
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    907
    Mark, sorry to hear about your injury. That is a pretty serious amount of damage to you, and I hope the healing goes well without the onset of infection.
    Tiny bits of the wheel not seen and removed can really hamper recovery and lead to infection. I wish you the best with it.

    Sadly, the 1/2 dozen or so VS routers I have had over the years have all exhibited lack of ability to keep a set speed. As such, I was aware early on about that issue and bit size and what I used the router for.
    Now, I only run bits sized to take full speed.
    The only routers I have that have not exhibited this phenomena YET are the mid sized Festools. I am NOT endorsing or saying they are better, just that they have thus far proven to be more reliable on the speed issue. I fully expect it is a case of “when”, and not just “if” the speed control goes haywire.
    Most of my new routers are the old Stanley and Porter Cable single speed types from the 70’s or before.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    I find myself using cut off wheels and metal grinding discs on my angle grinder a lot, and have not been using any protection other than safety glasses (sometimes). I think it is time to put on my big boy pants, and dig out my face shield.
    Please also use the safety guard, these sorts of accidents are exactly what it's designed to prevent.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    48,864
    I was thinking about this and unrelated to a different way of spinning the grinding wheel, a machine operation like this would benefit from a heavy, clear Lexan shield mounted to the machine, itself. This is in addition to eye and face protection. Grinding wheels are what they are and by their nature they can shatter for any number of reasons, even on a "traditional grinder". A machine mounted shield can be the "first line of protection" during an automated process like shown. This is yet another reason I'm working myself up to replace my wheels with CBN.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #36
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    Feb 2003
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    Griswold Connecticut
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    Mark
    Sorry to hear about your injury, that must have hurt like Hades once the adrenaline wore off. I can't imagine what must have been going through your mind. Heal well and do everything the doc's tell you do and if possible, don't be in a hurry to get back to work until you're completely healed.

    I've never really trusted the speed control knobs on routers either. They can fault, and some can be bumped inadverdantly. I use them, but when the bits get bigger, that's just a boatload of energy at the outer circumference. Always a little bit of pucker factor when swinging a bigger bit, whether by hand, or mounted in a table.
    I think that's what I like about the Shaper/Spindle Moulder so much. It makes a using a large cutter "safer". Wouldn't thave helped what you were doing though.

    As an aside, and because Bruce Page expressed similar trepidation with the function you were performing, is there a different tool, or process, that performs this function?
    No arm chair quarter backing here, just not familiar with exactly what you both are referring to.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  7. #37
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    Dec 2008
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    Northern Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I was thinking about this and unrelated to a different way of spinning the grinding wheel, a machine operation like this would benefit from a heavy, clear Lexan shield mounted to the machine, itself. This is in addition to eye and face protection. Grinding wheels are what they are and by their nature they can shatter for any number of reasons, even on a "traditional grinder". A machine mounted shield can be the "first line of protection" during an automated process like shown. This is yet another reason I'm working myself up to replace my wheels with CBN.
    Or maybe a solid shield [metal] on the working side and do the work from a mirror on the side away from you? May take some practice, and this is just a random thought so don't shoot me.

  8. #38
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    May 2005
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    Sorry to hear of your accident, hope the healing goes swiftly and well.

    It comes at quite a price, but reading of accidents tends to keep us all on our toes, at least for a while. As far as not putting on a tool not rated for full router speed, that becomes problematic for anyone using full size raised panel bits on a router table. Typically they are limited to 8000 rpm in a router capable of 24,000. And even good face shields don't always protect us in our shop, remembering a lady wood turner that lost her life when a (bowl?) she was turning exploded in her face. I believe she was wearing the same face shield I trust. One of the few lessons I remember from my school shop days was to always stand to the side of a grinder until it comes up to full speed. Your experience will remind me to start doing that again. Interesting setup on that metalworking lathe BTW.

    I would be concerned with that long shaft on that id grinder. It reminds me of a situation that happened to the guy that used to turn my 72" long barefoot booms. He was turning down the end of a 1.75" diameter solid aluminum rod and had the end stuck out the rear of the lathe, unsupported. It was a rather large lathe able to accommodate the size of the stock. Apparently he had the rpm set too high and the free end started to wobble and became totally unbalanced, bending the rod while rotating at high rpm. It started walking the multi-thousand pound machine across the floor while slowly pulling the rod through the chuck as the free end spun closer and closer to the floor, bent at about a 60 degree angle. He finally got it turned off and then was able to leave to change his shorts.
    Last edited by Ole Anderson; 06-08-2019 at 10:13 AM.
    NOW you tell me...

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
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    383
    Hi Mike, thanks.

    There are other options for id & od grinding, with small belt driven spindle and a standard motor. The set up and grinding wheels are the same. In fact there is nothing wrong with my setup for the small diameter ID, those wheels are rated at over 30,000 rpm, so running them at 24,000 is no problem. There would be no problem with my setup running the large wheels at 8000, if it stayed at 8000. Of course you can add any layer of safety your feel will help, from standing out of the line of fire, goggles, face shield, stationary shield as Jim suggested. Had things gone as normal i would have been standing to one side and wearing safety glasses when i started grinding. I must also emphasize this is super light duty grinding, barely touching the part, not putting a strain on the router at all. I will still use the router and set-up for ID grinding at 24,000. I may have a little more security, and be a little more tense due to traumatic memories..... but that's life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    Mark
    Sorry to hear about your injury, that must have hurt like Hades once the adrenaline wore off. I can't imagine what must have been going through your mind. Heal well and do everything the doc's tell you do and if possible, don't be in a hurry to get back to work until you're completely healed.

    I've never really trusted the speed control knobs on routers either. They can fault, and some can be bumped inadverdantly. I use them, but when the bits get bigger, that's just a boatload of energy at the outer circumference. Always a little bit of pucker factor when swinging a bigger bit, whether by hand, or mounted in a table.
    I think that's what I like about the Shaper/Spindle Moulder so much. It makes a using a large cutter "safer". Wouldn't thave helped what you were doing though.

    As an aside, and because Bruce Page expressed similar trepidation with the function you were performing, is there a different tool, or process, that performs this function?
    No arm chair quarter backing here, just not familiar with exactly what you both are referring to.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    383
    HI Ole, and thanks.

    The big lathe is an awesome beast, 7.5hp 6000LB sleeping monster that can turn you into mincemeat without slowing down. Lots of horror stories and some nasty videos. The lathe has lots of evil tricks to get you. When you have to get things done, you make judgement calls, you learn what you can about the machine and operation, weigh the risks and make your decisions on what you think is doable, and what is most likely to happen, where you need to be for a "reasonable" degree of safety and get on with it. Hopefully you have made a sound judgement and if anything goes wrong you have considered that and accounted for it by putting yourself, body parts out of harms way. 100% safety is not to do anything. Driving on the road back and forth to work entails far more risk than anything that i have ever done in the shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    Sorry to hear of your accident, hope the healing goes swiftly and well.

    It comes at quite a price, but reading of accidents tends to keep us all on our toes, at least for a while. As far as not putting on a tool not rated for full router speed, that becomes problematic for anyone using full size raised panel bits on a router table. Typically they are limited to 8000 rpm in a router capable of 24,000. And even good face shields don't always protect us in our shop, remembering a lady wood turner that lost her life when a (bowl?) she was turning exploded in her face. I believe she was wearing the same face shield I trust. One of the few lessons I remember from my school shop days was to always stand to the side of a grinder until it comes up to full speed. Your experience will remind me to start doing that again. Interesting setup on that metalworking lathe BTW.

    I would be concerned with that long shaft on that id grinder. It reminds me of a situation that happened to the guy that used to turn my 72" long barefoot booms. He was turning down the end of a 1.75" diameter solid aluminum rod and had the end stuck out the rear of the lathe, unsupported. It was a rather large lathe able to accommodate the size of the stock. Apparently he had the rpm set too high and the free end started to wobble and became totally unbalanced, bending the rod while rotating at high rpm. It started walking the multi-thousand pound machine across the floor while slowly pulling the rod through the chuck as the free end spun closer and closer to the floor, bent at about a 60 degree angle. He finally got it turned off and then was able to leave to change his shorts.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hennebury View Post
    I must also emphasize this is super light duty grinding, barely touching the part, not putting a strain on the router at all. I will still use the router and set-up for ID grinding at 24,000.
    That says it all right there. Nothing else to know.
    "If only those heathen atheists hadn't taken God, Jesus, and the Bible out of schools, God and Jesus could have thrown a Bible at the shooter."

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    544
    Mark your story made me wince. I know how these things can come out of the blue.
    Hope your recovery is complete.

    And thanks for making us all the wiser.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    750
    Mark,

    I hope your recovery is a speedy one.

    I was was thinking about your unfortunate experience as I was cutting several acres of grass this afternoon. For me this is a reminder of the importance of matching ratings of components in a system. Especially because, in a case like yours, I am likely at some point to forget to set the speed to the proper level, and could experience a wheel explosion without having router failure.

    Ole Anderson brings up a good point. How about raised panel cutters? I use them in my router table. Never considered the speed rating and what might happen if I forgot to turn the speed down before installing one. And NEVER thought about a router speed control failure like you experienced.

    I am am going to have to rethink their use in my router now...

    Bill
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    37
    Thank you for sharing this. I'm sorry for you injury and hope you heal well.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
    Posts
    206
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I was thinking about this and unrelated to a different way of spinning the grinding wheel, a machine operation like this would benefit from a heavy, clear Lexan shield mounted to the machine, itself. This is in addition to eye and face protection. Grinding wheels are what they are and by their nature they can shatter for any number of reasons, even on a "traditional grinder". A machine mounted shield can be the "first line of protection" during an automated process like shown. This is yet another reason I'm working myself up to replace my wheels with CBN.
    Hi Jim,
    This is exactly what I have on my larger conventional lathe. I made this up when I bought the lathe back in 2007. The top guard utilizes a 1/2" thick Lexan widow, which is hinged to swing up out of the way when not in use. In addition to the safety factor, it keeps cutting oil (for certain operations) from being slung up into my face. I also made some sheet metal pieces that fit below the top cover for additional protection. Of course - I also wear safety glasses while running the machine. I would most definitely have the guard in place for any tool post grinding operations.

    I've also added some photos of my larger cnc machines. In an industrial environment - these safety protective covers are mandatory. The cnc lathe includes metal bars embedded into the clear cover to protect against high speed explosion of the part being machined. The redline for this lathe is 4500 rpm.
    David

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    Last edited by David Buchhauser; 06-09-2019 at 8:44 AM.

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