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I Forge Iron

Grinder slack cover

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Has anyone made a cover for the top slack area of their grinder before?

A student today made me a bit worried. I have a rule about no slack grinding at all, and he didn't attempt that - instead while working on the tip (standing off to the side of the grinder) he would grind, quench, and the inspect the blade by rotating all around, looking at it from all sides, occasionally not paying enough attention and managing to nick it on the slack. He did it three times, each time I got on him about how dangerous it was etc... but that third time especially could have been bad if it had caught on the belt. I don't know why he refused to step back from the machine after each bit of grinding, but I could tell the third time also scared the xxxx outta him and he straightened up from there.

I want to nip this problem in the bud and build a bracket or cage for the top that doesn't interfere with swapping belts, and was curious if this may have been a familiar problem for anyone? I have a Bader B3


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Can you make a U shaped cover, hinged on one side so it can be rotated long ways and out of the way of changing belts?

Or a piece of sheet metal (angled or flat) that is hinged on the end and can be moved into protection position when needed?


1 hour ago, TheoRockNazz said:

I don't know why he refused to step back from the machine after each bit of grinding,

You can not protect everyone from everything. First time a warning is required. Second time shut the machine down while you explain in no uncertain terms that you do not want his DNA all over your shop or that you do not want to try to administer first aid and keep him from bleeding out while the ambulance takes 30 minutes or more to get there. 

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Theo: You need to get more hard case about rules, ESPECIALLY safety rules. I've 86ed people for disregarding safe practices a second time. Anybody can make a mistake and shop class isn't even offered most places anymore so I cut folk more slack but I have hard rules. 

First time someone forgets my safety talk about a power tool, especially rotary machinery I explain the mistake and consequences if it gets them. I also explain in plain English they're out the door no returns no refund the second time they do it. I include ALL the power tools in the second mistake 86 consequences. If they make excuses or argue they're gone then. PERIOD.

I don't know how much insurance you carry but a rotary tool can use up a million dollar policy in fractions of a second.

In jr. and high school shop classes there were yellow lines painted around the work stations except the sink and one bench along a wall. If you weren't working with the tool you were NOT allowed inside the yellow line. The safety zone was more to prevent idiot children from walking up behind someone running a machine and causing an accident but it was also to keep the kid using the machine from day dreaming around it.

The operator ONLY zone might work for you. Anybody who takes his/er eyes off the machinery while it's running gets a reaming. NO examining your work standing next to a running machine!

You can NOT let students do that kind of thing! You'll not only end up losing everything you own but some low/no shop skill, asleep at the wheel kid can get maimed, crippled even killed. Some things you just CAN NOT be nice about. You practice a dangerous craft your students MUST know you're their best friend or worst enemy for a frighteningly brief moment.

Seriously, just the thought of someone doing that three times scares the heck out of me. I couldn't let them in the shop again. I couldn't. 

Brother you have to look at yourself in the mirror and you don't want to see someone who let someone else be injured if you could prevent it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Theo: There's a reason nobody makes a guard for belt grinders, they don't work. If necessary make a fence around all but the platten and make them ask to change a belt. Call it the "Kindergarten grinder," make having to use it a consequence of unsafe behavior.

Better yet give them a sen, make them buy their own files and  give them bench space to finish their blades.

Why make them buy their own files? Because they don't know how to use or store them and there's no good reason to let them ruin YOUR files. Is there?

Do some web searching for "Fatal Grams" They are posters, now printable from online. They're photos and descriptions of fatal accidents and are or were some gruesome wall art. There was one Mr. Harding hung on the wall behind the drill press of a long haired person who operated a drill press with his hair loose. It was a two photo poster, one of the guy on a stretcher without a scalp or ears, bear bleeding skull. The other pic was his dripping scalp wrapped around a drill bit in the press, the guy's hair just a wide part like a big bloody Q-tip.

Word of that Fatal gram got out quick, it was truly horrendous and the principal made Mr. Harding take it down. Can't show pictures like that. Ughh. Word was out though and the descriptions were worse than the pics.

Every welding supply I've ever been in has Fatal grams of what happened when people hauled welding gas in a closed vehicle. I think the current one is of a van and a house about 100' away with it's front wall blown in. Pieces of the van were scattered over about half a block.

Frosty The Lucky. 


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TL,DR summary: You got government you don't know you got, until it gets ahold of you.


Actually, they do make OSHA compliant guards for grinders. I think that a factory model is about $150 for a Bader BIII. You can't buy a Burr King or most other industrial brands without one.

As a school, we can't run a gas forge with an electric blower unless it has a special circuit that shuts off the gas when the power goes out. That circuit costs more than most forges, so we run venturi forges.

What you do in a one man shop is up to you, but if the public (guests or paying students) or employees get in, ALL OSHA safety rules and other regs apply. Across the board. Failure to know the law does not exempt you from the law. 

If you get an official inspection (by your insurer, or OSHA, or Code Enforcement, or the Fire Marshall) due to an accident, or just a hot tip from an irate neighbor, will your shop pass? Got a disk grinder or buffer with no guard? Tape on a tool cord? Extension cords on the floors? All wiring properly permitted and done to code, by a Master Electrician, and recorded in the County records? Clearly marked fire exits, extinguishers, etc.? Blocked electrical panels? Gas bottles chained up, in a covered area, outside?

Got a Business Licence and Business Insurance? Does it cover a school, or just a shop? Is a shop based business even legal in a Residential zoned area? Not in my county. A hobby is always legal, but subject to noise and other laws.

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