Monday, February 27, 2012

A Spear in the Vise

Before a large upper arm bruise and a quarter size burn a bit lower, but still above the elbow, fade away I think I should record this cautionary advice.

I very seldom have occasion to lock some long piece in a post vise horizontally. Thank goodness, because twice last week the consequence was painful. One time I clamped a three-foot long piece of bar which was waiting for torch heat bending in the vise and walked out of the room to get something. When I returned through another door I had forgotten it was there and walked into it end on.

The second collision came another day when we were working with a frame made of 1” square bar with coal fire heat. The whole process was heavy and awkward and required the vise in the bending phase. The horizontal projection was so great most of the moving around space was gone and I got trapped so that my arm grazed a hot spot.

So, twice dinged, what is my lesson? I think I’m going to write a mental rule that says _ when I clamp somehing longer than my arm In the vise consider it a red flag and take extra precautions - clear extra space - think if there is another way to do it - hang something highly visible on the end, like when hauling an over-length load in the pickup bed.

These were minor injuries but I was saved more by luck than good judgement. I need to plan ahead, slow down, work methodically for safety and be alert in the now. I will try to think of this situation as having a spear locked in the post vise.

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