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I Forge Iron

Sometimes I do dumb things


monstermetal

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I had a bit of a wake up call today... I forged me another Titanium crowbar, the biggest one yet about about 50".... I had layed it down to cool and had some other iron in the fire, tapering some 5/8 sq and making some vines out of 3/8 round bar... Just one of those moments that in hindsight seem silly... the Ti bar was laying there and been long enough to be cool to the touch so I picked it up and was looking it over, thought i should hit it to the wire wheel on the grinder real quick... I started buzzin off the scale on my 1 1/2 HP bench grinder with a 12" fine wire wheel..... And BAMM! Im not sure what caught or grabbed but next thing I know I am holding my head with blood running down my arm. it caught me just above my right eye, in the eyebrow.. I had saftey glasses I think... I am usually real good about glasses and ear protection.. I cant find the glasses though so I cant say for sure.... Anyway in the old days it would have been 4 or 5 stitches but the doc glued me up instead.. Much better because I could go right back to work and not have a numb face... I still am not sure what caught. I have been doing this for a long time and have a lot of respect for a wire wheel. It can one of the most dangerous things in the shop.... Anyway looking at my soon to be black eye all I can think is that if it would have hit me a 1/2 inch lower I wouldn't be typing this.... I would still be in surgery after pulling the point of that ti crowbar out of my eye socket...

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I can truly relate, when starting new students at the horseshoeing school we make them all sharpen there knives with hand files to start because the wheels can be so dangerous, but there is always someone that wants to be lazy and use the buffer, you know what happened from across the shop when you hear that BAM!@ as the knife bounces from the table and you can only hope they didnt catch it with there body.. glad to hear ya dodge the Ti bullet Monster~

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I learned early on that 1/2 HP and 12" wire wheels eat flesh and have the scars to remind me. Others have related wire wheels eating shirts and jeans, as well as throwing things in all manner of ways.

ALWAYS try to clamp the object in a BIG vise or secure it well to something heavy like a work table. The wire cups are good only for large, usually flat, surfaces. Wire wheels are better at most other things. You can only brush OFF the metal, meaning the wheel contact can only start on the metal surface and go to the away edge. You should not start in the air and engage the metal with the wire brush as it will grab onto the metal with bad, for your personal safety, results. Wire brushing is one activity that requires full leathers, a full face shield, AND safety glasses. Loose clothing is an accident just looking for the right time to happen.


I am glad your injuries were slight. Please be careful any time you use a wire brush of any size.

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Hey,now if I shave my head(or you grow a pony tail)we can pass ourselves off as brothers.
Don`t know if it`s apparent in the pics I posted but I have a scar that runs vertical thru my left eye.The things that cause them do give you pause don`t they?

Glad to hear you are still OK brother.Remember to ice it for the first 24 for swelling ,heat after to keep the color down.
Stop scarin` us for a while now will ya,we don`t want to have to put your wife on speed dial right next to Frosty`s wife,Deb. :o

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Larry,
That was a close call. I'm glad you're OK. I have a healthy respect for spinning wires in both bench mount and hand-held models. As you mentioned, it happens in a split second and afterward, you either feel like you dodged a bullet or you are applying pressure to the wound. Wait until the eye turns purple, then get us a photo. ;)

-DB

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Ahhh the "evil eye". Paw Paw's run in with a smaller wirebrush and a simple hook is safety demo 1 over at anvilfire, cracked his skull as I recall and yes he was wearing PPE which is why it didn't do worse.

As a group we tend to love the "more power!" toys; but I learned from working with a professional swordmaker that buffers and wire wheels stay awake all night trying to figure out new ways to maim you---listen real close and you can hear them muttering to themselves!

So he had an *underpowered* belt driven buffer; yes it did take longer to buff out a 3' blade but if anything went wrong he could choke it down rather than it grabbing the blade and working mayhem with it.

I knew an armour maker who had a 3hp buffer in his shop and I refused to be the same room with it when it was spinning! Worked great on big flat surfaces but *edges* were risking your life.

I was given a slow speed double shaft machine used to prepare metallurgical samples; takes longer but is not as impolite to you in use.

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks for posting this. I need to keep this in mind all the time in my shop. I am new to Bladesmithing and metalwork. The very first safety instructions my friends told me to be mindful of weren’t about not getting cut and burned. They said that "cut and burned” comes with the territory. They told me about how dangerous my Angle Grinder and Wheels are.

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I love Metabo for wire bushes they have a built in clutch, saved me many of time but they still tend to run up any loose clothing.


Ditto! I use my 4.5" Metabo with a wire wheel, Makitas w/o clutches get the other discs. A few years ago I had a 4.5" wire wheel on an unclutched grinder catch my sweatshirt pocket, felt like I was punched in the stomach by a gorilla and when I got up I had to use a knife to cut my shirt off of the wheel. Fortunately that grinder had a paddle/deadman's switch, which is now the only type I'll use.

Glad you're alright Larry, that was awful close...
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