Dan C

oops, gotcha moment

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Not exactly balcksmithing but this was one of my dumber moments.  I loaded my tractor into a dump trailer I had at the time,  I backed it in.  I was taking it to my off the grid place in the middle of nowhere in NM.  I was driving a two wheel drive F250.  On the last hill on the dirt road I started losing traction.  It was late at night and I was tired.  I thought, no problem I'll just unload the trailer.  I chained the back doors on the trailer open and hooked on the ramps.  I climbed on the tractor and started to drive it down the ramps.  Then I noticed everything was moving, the truck, the trailer and me and the tractor were all rolling down the hill headed for a 40 foot drop off.  I put my hand on the seat belt and debated whether I should jump.  The problem was everything was going to come down on top of me if I did.  Suddenly the tractor rolled.  I thought "This is how it ends".  Then I was hanging upside down by my seatbelt.  The trailer and truck had stopped moving.  It was pitch balck and I had no idea what was going on and why I was alive.  After a couple of deep breaths I carefuly let myself down fully expecting the tractor to drop on top of me any second.  I got clear of the mess and hiked up to the cabin.  No cell service so I couldn't call anyone.

 

In the morning I returned to the mess and figured out what happened.  When the trailer was half way down the ramp the weight was to the rear of the trailer which elevated the front of the trailer.  The front of the trailer was lifting the rear of the truck and thus the rear wheels lost traction and everything started rolling backwards.  What saved me was one of the ramps hit a rock and popped off causing the tractor to roll.  The tractor actually rolled over the drop off but the roll bar hooked on the chained open rear door of the dump trailer.  Once the tractor rolled the weight was mostly taken of the rear of the trailer and the lifting force on the hitch stopped so the truck again had traction and the parking brake stopped the movement.  I am the luckiest guy I know.

 

The take away is this, moving heavy stuff in trailers is not as simple as you might think.  Never load or unload on a hill.  And never do anything like this late at night when you are dead tired.  In spite of my stupidity everything turned out fine.  A skilled tow truck driver was able to right and recover the tractor in less than an hour.  The only damage was some scratched paint on the rollbar and a few more gray hairs.

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I don't like ladders much.........Last ThursdayI needed to replace the burned out box fan I use to push warm air down in the winter so after taking the old one down (by a different rigging) I figured placing the new one atop my bridge beam prior to screwing it in to a rafter would be a good resting place for it and to rest the ladder on.....Bridge beams are supposed to roll......AHAH!......I'll anchor it to to the 1600lb power hammer anvil awaiting further fabrication, sound logic I thought.......Trouble was I when I set the beam where I wanted it I reasoned that setting a good firm tension between the load and the chain would be a good thing.....It was not..... :(  When I got to the top and put the new fan atop the beam I noticed the beam creeping AWAY from the ladder, I utterer no, NO and started DOWN! had about 8'' of ladder left on the beam and about half way down away I went......I landed on squarely on the layout table....The ladder jackknifed between my hyd bender and another beefy table, wrecking the $200 ladder but breaking my fall..........

Much to my surprise I wasn't writhing in pain......That was to come later, I pulled my hamstring, not too severely but it will be a problem for some time to come. All in all I feel lucky I'm not in the hospital or worse ;)

 

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Wow, some really good suggestions as to what not to do. An I think grinders are the most dangerous weapon in the shop. Bench or hand, they are flat out dangerous if not well respected.
I too have one of those as well. Under a dozer grinding a belly pan mount some mechanical genius obviously thought a few welds hold better than grade 8 1inch bolts.

Well, was grinding an wet an cold not too happy. Had trigger locked, dogs playing unplugged cord. Phone rang, some time later little neighbor boy who was my shadow. Asked if he could plug in cord as he n I would watch little rascals after he got home from school.
Not thinking an being on phone, little guy Stoney had layed down hugging Jake at the time nearby. Grinder took off, grabbed traction on the track an became air borne. With my best buddy Jake, my dog I absolutely swear put himself between him an that little boy. Jake bleed out before reaching vet. As our place was a good 50 minutes to town even at 80mph.
Little guy was fine yet deeply scarred from such a incident. All the could've, would've an should've moments have since affected how I am very safety conscious today due to such incident.

Now, when somone walks into my shop. Stops an notices my 2nd 100 amp service with a large throw handle n lock attached. Little do they realize the sacrifice my best friend Jake made that morning so long ago,,,

Sad yes, but lesson well learned n a little boy possibly saved that day.
So, when I say please don't ever kick my dog,,, They are among my very best buds in the world. Decide wisely, for they are certainly my very best friends. Anyhow, that's my story among many such duh moments in life. Forge on, yet think about what chances we all have been quilty of at times.

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I've been carrying around a piece of my 1lb rounding hammer in my belly for 7 years now. That's how as a newbie I learned hammers need their faces dressed. More recently I had some old friends I hadn't seen in a long time swing by the shop. We got to talking and I was trying to finish that days project "really fast " and stay part of the conversation, when I got reckless and let the hammer make an uncontrolled rebound and ate my 2.5lb rounding hammer. Chipped the lower portion off my right front tooth. Hard stupid lesson learned that day. Just like the Army forging requires situational awareness at all times.

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MacBruce: MAN that was a close call, how far did the overhead drag the anvil? I'm happy to hear you only have some stretched ligaments to remind you. How'd we live this long brother?

 

Cowboy: I'm personally honored to share my life with dogs and pity folk who don't. Jake did exactly what he was supposed to. Would you or any MAN fail to put himself between deadly danger and a child? Jake done good I honor his memory and am wiping misty my eyes. Good boy Jake, I look forward to meeting you at the rainbow bridge.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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The closest time I had was when I was brushing an axehead with a wire brush in a hand drill. I was wearing my swimming trunks and had rested the axehead on my thigh to brush, I know, what was I thinking. Anyway everything went alright until I slipped and the brush caught my trunks and worked its way up the inside of my leg. I quickly let go, but the speed I was working it had already gone up pretty far up my leg, leaving a slightly bloody pattern. It wasn't bad, but if I had held the trigger for two more seconds it may have reached the top of the inside of my leg, which I was not very inclined to let happen. That was a number of years ago, now I am much safer. With everything.

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I've go an AD hood but I still and always have done 'blind tacks' when felt like it......All of a sudden I'm less inclined to continue that practice. Thanks for the post and get well soon!


30 or so years ago I did so much blind tacking in one day I burnt my eyelids, that was an eye opener......Also around the same time I laid down allot metal with a wire feed one day wearing a tank top.....Burnt my armpits real good, I don't recommend it.......

Knew a fellow back in the 70's who was a structural welder. He welded all day long in the hot sun on the top floors of buildings and didn't even wear a shirt, just hood,jeans and boots.......He had a very dark leathery tan on his upper body, bet he's dead from skin cancer now.

 

Reminds me of a time a few years ago.  I was sitting down, welding a small pile of parts together on a small table between my legs. Gloves, goggles, welding helmet, boots, SHORTS.... After an hour or so my inner legs started feeling odd.. OH yea, they were bright cherry red... Derp....

 

About fire, 2 times, (once wasn't enough it if didn't really hurt the first time I guess) I was grinding with a small angle grinder while wearing cotton/polyester blend NICE work shirt, smelled something odd, yea, spark spray had been hitting me and set my shirt on fire. Other one was a blend jacket, same thing. "Uh, I'm grinding metal, why does it suddenly smell like burning plastic? ACK!!!"

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Clothing on fire I've had to deal with a couple of times. Worst one my old boss was torching parts off the dump truck we were repairing in the winter. As I walk over I see the whole back of his insulated flannel jacket in flames, so I tackle him and start to roll him to smother the flames, yelling he's on fire. He thinks I'm trying to horse around and when he gets up finally he starts screaming at me about being stupid and safety. I tell him to take off his jacket and look at the back. When he does so, he's got two perfect sleeves and fronts connected by about 4" of fabric at the neck. Everything else is destroyed and charred. It's one of the few times he ever apologized for anything. Apparently with the  long johns, sweat shirt  and long sleeve shirt on under the insulated flannel, he never felt the flames.

 

 

Most recent one was one night last term at the tech school. I was working with a student doing vertical stick, doing a demo. Anyway I stop smelling something burning and look around. Looked down, checked my legs and the students, and commented someone must have set them selves on fire again and went back to finish the pass. About 3/4 of the way up the plate, my leg starts to feel warm and I'm still smelling something burning, so I stop and check again, this time running my hands down my legs in the back, where I find flames on my leg below the knee. Hmm I'm the one on fire... Slag or a spark must have bounced against the back of my pants leg and started it on fire. The heavy tall leather boots I wear, plus the heavy cotton socks meant at 1st I couldn't feel the heat. Directly behind me, I couldn't see my leg in the tight quarters of the booth with two people in it. It wasn't until the pants were well involved and the flames were reaching above my boots that I started to feel the burn. Thank goodness I always wear cotton pants/socks when welding. After I'd beaten out the flames with my gloved hands, I had no pants below the top of the sock on the back 1/2 of that leg. Kind  of hard to hide that to the class... What really irked me was that it was a fairly new pair of Carharts. I couldn't torch the older pair the knees were starting to go in.

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Like some others here not blacksmith event but I was at an accident scene in the fire department a few years ago.  Snowing hard and on a sharp corner.  I was putting out road flares, burn sticks what ever you call them.  I drove one into a utility pole about head level and then hit the end with the scratcher.  It flared up and spit a chunk of red hot material that went inside my jacket down inside my shirt & T shirt and stated burning my chest.  Everyone had a big laugh as I'm stuffing snow inside my shirt and slapping the daylights out of my chest.  EMT on scene couldn't stop laughing as he put jell on the burn.  I was used as a bad example in the use of flares for ever after.  Good thing we didn't have smart phones then or it would be all over the internet.

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Oh OW! I hate it when flares pop when I strike them. Working for DOT Highway we used a lot of flares and it wasn't uncommon to have a little burning flare stuff pop off when we struck them. I made it my MO to strike one early and use it to light the others. That way I could pin the striker between my feet and not burn myself. This isn't a good method if you're wearing sneakers.

 

I've been burned by flares and the stuff tends to stick to the hide and really hurt. I started carrying aloe jell but couldn't get the guys up front to get us Silvadine, cheap buzztards. It was like so much, the guys making decisions won't hesitate to spend a grand on new software but $5 for a tube of glue or safety gear? THEY won't get burned so it's not a big thing, certainly not worth the hassle of the paperwork to get a scrip med for all the work trucks. Oh no, NOT that!

 

Sorry, kind of touches on a sore spot with me. I'll be quiet now.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Checked today taking a shower and the scar is still there.  I tried lighting them and then sticking in the pole that just cause the ends to fall off and land on your arm.  Then we bought ones without spikes and had little frames to have them set up in the road, people would run over them everytime.  My final solution was when I became chief I gave the job to my deputy that  worked fine until I retired.  A good boss Delegates.

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Sounds like Frosty has the right idea, stick it in the pole and light it with another flare, lol. Tho waiting for your deputy chief to get in a bind, with smart phone in hand, has its merits.

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Checked today taking a shower and the scar is still there.  I tried lighting them and then sticking in the pole that just cause the ends to fall off and land on your arm.  Then we bought ones without spikes and had little frames to have them set up in the road, people would run over them everytime.  My final solution was when I became chief I gave the job to my deputy that  worked fine until I retired.  A good boss Delegates.

 

Nope, lighting them then sticking them in a pole doesn't work, worse in fact I think. I believe you figured it out though, that's what the new guys are for. Good point Charles, warning them first would kind of defeat the purpose of carrying a modern cell phone.

 

And there's Thomas trying to spark a smoking fire dance of a thread. Ohhhhh, what Is this forum coming to?

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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When your unit is on a live fire exercise and you are in the butts changing the targets and a spent tracer round lands nearby - dont try and pick it up dooh  :huh:

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Many moons ago I was at Camp Perry Ohio for the National High Power Matches, in the pits pulling targets for 1,000 yd. match, somebody was shooting a M14 the bullet bounced off the sand bags over our heads hit the target paper but didn't have enough power left to go through so it bounced back and landed between the glasses frame and forehead of fellow pulling with me.  He's slapping the heck out of himself as it was still very hot, the rest of us thought he was nuts.  He kept the bullet to prove he had been shot in the head and lived to tell. 

Another bullet from the same shooter went into the cardboard backer and stuck there so when It cooled we could pull it out by hand.  After those two shots we stood off to the side when he was shooting.   

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December 3 2014.....I don't like ladders much.........I needed to replace the burned out box fan I use to push warm air down in the winter so after taking the old one down (by a different rigging) I figured placing the new one atop my bridge beam prior to screwing it in to a rafter would be a good resting place for it and to rest the ladder on.....Bridge beams are supposed to roll......Ahah!......I'll anchor it to to the 1600lb power hammer anvil awaiting further fabrication, sound logic I thought.......Trouble was I when I set the beam where I wanted it I reasoned that setting a good firm tension between the load and the chain would be a good thing.....It was not. When I got to the top and put the new fan atop the beam I noticed the beam creeping AWAY from the ladder, I utter no, NO and started DOWN!!! I had about 8'' of ladder left on the beam and about half way down away I went......I landed on squarely on the layout table....The ladder jackknifed between my hyd bender and another beefy table, wrecking the $200 ladder but breaking my fall somewhat...It's been a long nine weeks since the wreck with frequent visits to the chiropractor and medication but all in all I was lucky not to have wound up in the hospital or worse :)

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That bag of rags that you do not go to more than once a  month will catch fire at one point.

I was wondering what that smoke invasion was. It could not come from the forge. The flames that started coming up from the «rag area» answered my question.

All I'll have to deal with when I get back to the forge is an awfull smell. Luckily.

I do not know how the fire started. I dont care. I will not keep rags in the forge any more.

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Sealed metal cans make good rag holders.  The nicest set up I've seen kept their rags in one of the step on the bail and the lid lifts metal trash cans

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Thomas,

The worst is that I knew that lidded steel cans would be perfect but procrastination on the one hand and having learned to be cheap from you on the other hand, I postponed the buying of such a can. I'll store them outside of the forge.

I dont know what started the fire, I did not cut hot metal with a chisel, I did not go near that spot with hot metal. Could it have been scale when forging? I do not see anything else.

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Not even remotely related to Blacksmithing:

Ten years ago I was working at a fast food place as a janitor. Part of my job was putting the cardboard waste into the crusher and bailing it for collection. It was a heck of a beast, hydraulic pistons, safety guards and an instruction manual almost as thick as the New Testament.

I had an accident with the machine, one so laughable you probably wont believe it...

A piece of the card waste was caught by a strong wind and blew out of the crusher, the corner of the card sliced a neat horseshoe gouge out of my cornea. I was very lucky in that I had a First Aid trained Co-worker and that I worked close to a very good eye hospital and they took great care of my injured eye. I still have my eyesight but on a bright day I can see the horseshoe scratch floating in my vision.

Following the safety protocols is a must, but remember to keep an eye open for unexpected problems... and please, please, please make sure that someone is close by to call the emergency services should the brown stuff hit the air moving device ;)

 

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I think there is a thread on almost accidents here some were but couldn't find it, Glenn please move this if you see fit.

I had one OOPS! moment in Nicaragua last week

I needed a stump to mount a post vice to so a couple of the Nicas (that's what they refer to themselves as) grabbed a chain saw and headed out. 2 hours later I had a "stump"

We set it about 2ft in the ground and set out to mount the vice to it. I made some long spikes out of 3/8 rebar and decided to drive them in while they were at a black heat. (some of you wiser Gents are beginning to giggle now I know) Holding the spike with a set of tong I gave it a good whack,,something didn't feel right,,another good whack,,that didn't feel right either. one more whack,,that felt better. in the time it took me to release my grip on the tongs it dawned on me why the first 2 whacks hadn't felt right.  A split second latter the friction bite my spike had in the freshly cut, and very wet tree trunk was overcome by the steam pressure it had created.  POW.  The spike went about 15ft straight up and landed on top of the sea container next to us.

Russell

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Oh no, now someone's gonna make a sport of that - competitions to see who can get it to shoot the highest, come down on certain spots.   Boys and their toys (though I have to admit I would have paid to see that, accident or not.  Glad no one got hurt). 

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