8 responses to “Machine Shop FAIL”

  1. GEARS

    I’ve made plenty but probably the most fantastic mistake involved facing off two L-brackets that were clamped together with two C-clamps which barely fit in the vice. If that wasn’t enough of a mistake, I brought the face mill down using the drill press handle rather than lifting the table with the vice. I ended up slamming into the part, kicking it out of the vice, shooting it off somewhere into the machine shop.

    In total, I found half of 1 L-bracket and a carbide insert shot through my shit near my armpit. I never found the C-clamps nor the other L-bracket.

    Probably the worst story I’ve heard is another student leaving the hammer/wrench in the top of the milling machine and then turning it on. That was pretty dangerous because when it hit the wall, it embedded itself a few inches and was about a foot from another student’s head.

    In short, when you’re in a machine shop, watch out!

  2. Em

    I’ve missed the lathe chuck key as well. On the plus side, when it hit the wall, it startled the other co-op enough that he didn’t actually grab the aluminum scrap coming off his drill bit (while the mill was still running).

    I also had a lab partner in welding once who didn’t like to drop his mask until he had started a bead.

    I’ve had a few issues with gender-based ergonomic standards in lab courses – in the same class as above, I could easily have had some glove-related injuries: the smallest gloves they had available were Large (mens), so they fit me like extra-large mittens. I managed to come up with a creative arrangement for them, but my dexterity was probably <10% of normal, which was a problem with some of the torches and most of the samples. I can definitely see where things could have gone pear-shaped a few times as a result. Also in the same class, the helmets didn't tighten down far enough for my head, so I had to put my hair up in such a way that it increased my head circumference by 1-2" to get a secure fit.

  3. An old engineer

    Rule 1: Always wear eye protection
    Rule 2: Remove all jewerly. That includes watches, rings, etc.
    Rule 3: Always wear proper clothing into a shop. That means no sandals or flipflops. If you have long sleeves, roll them up before doing anything. Tuck any ties into your shirt.
    Rule 4: If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it! Ask the shop supervisor for assistance.
    Rule 5: Be aware of your surroundings. The tool setup next to you can be as dangerous as the one you’re working on.

  4. Engineer-Chic

    I had a bit of a fight with one of my professors when I complained that the mech eng faculty was not accommodating to women (things like not having small-sized safety clothing like the example above).

    He complained that most females do mech eng becuase they want to skip on into management or into business, so it wastes resources training them. (What a typical douche!)

    “If you asked the boys in class, you’d find they want to design things! He said that when he was young, he was always taking things apart to figure out how they worked. I stopped him there and told him about how I used to constantly be geounded for taking apart the vacuum cleaner, re-threading the overlocker (sewing machine), and ‘fixing’ the washing machine, by myself, at 12 years old!

    1st year during vacation work at the plant workshop I needed to learn to cut, weld etc., but the engineer didn’t want me to handle the equipment. After perssuring him, he eventually gave me a l-beam and hacksaw and told me to cut it in half. All the men came to watch me try cut through this piece of metal. None of them expected me to finish, but I struggled away and eventually (with everyone cheering me on) managed to do it.

    The next day he assigned a boilermaker to teach me to cut and weld. 🙂

  5. Cherish The Scientist

    Never been in a machine shop myself, but my dad was a carpenter. Once, I was using the table saw, and I wasn’t holding both ends of the wood. In my defense, I couldn’t hold one end because I’d get my fingers too close to the blade. Regardless, the loose end went flying, and I was so surprised, I let the other end go and it ended up flying, too.

  6. Nexstair

    There is same story with me. I also had missed chuck key in lathe chuck. and when i run the machine it hit the head of my co operator.

  7. Jacob

    Not to mention that tool steel isn’t any stiffer than ordinary carbon steel, just a lot harder and stronger. That is to say, it has approximately the same Young’s Modulus as mild steel.