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March 2012 Archive

Geology Summer Field: Thomas P -- I know West Texas covers a lot of territory, but was your Summer Field in the Big Bend or the Solitarito? I spent 2 winters doing river trips on the Rio Grande in the Big Bend (wild country, mild river), that kept the spark of Geology alive until I went down the Canyon. Us UC types spent Summer Field in the Poleta Folds, Inyo Co, CA, early Cambrain shallow marine seds lightly toasted and folded, then faulted in 3 events, the third event reactivating the first and really scrambling things. I was 1 day younger than the prof who headed the field camp (gnashing of teeth), but he had never been down the Canyon (hurrah!). Our beer was the cheap stuff from Safeway in Bishop. I actually learned to drink beer at 16, burning off vacant lots with the Columbia Volunteer Fire Department--Since 1859, Never Lost A Foundation!

Blacksmithing content: on one high-water Tuolumne trip, a guide flipped in Clavey Falls and the thole pin on the frame bent over upon (violent/forceful) contact with Dinosaur Rock (NEVER get between the boat and a rock!). We camped below Clavey, untied the frame, burned up all the wood around camp over the bent thole pin, straightened it up when red, and tied it down again the next AM
- David Hughes - Thursday, 03/01/12 12:31:47 EST

My Field Camp was based out of Sol Ross State in Alpine TX but we traveled around a lot including NM. Our final trip was supposed to be Big Bend as a Holiday; but when we got there the tail end of a Hurricane had closed off most of it due to rain and we had to return.

I thing my greatest experience at that FC was when I found a cattle skull tucked under an outcrop that had been signed by a 1920's Geo Field Camp! I signed and dated it with my info and hid it back where I found it and didn't tell anyone---back then.

I was a gofer for one of the Olympic Trials in Whitewater canoeing and kayacking back in high school and got to do an impromptu raft run down the Yock (youghiogheny river) as the local rafter was a friend of a friend---great fun listening to his stories, especially the one about the FBI group rafting...

I'm looking at a couple possible geology jobs here in NM to make another bootlegger turn in my career path.
Thomas P - Thursday, 03/01/12 14:13:28 EST

I was out of Alpine as the Field Camp was at Sul Ross State; but we traveled around a *lot*.

Best story I have from it is that I found a bovine skull under an outcrop that was signed by the members of a 1920's Geo Field Camp. I signed and dated my FC and hid the skull back in place and told NOBODY till years later.

We were supposed to have a "free Campout" at big bend as the final trip of the FC but when we got there it had flooded out and we had to return, sigh.
Thomas P - Thursday, 03/01/12 14:27:43 EST

Between the Colorado and the Upper Gully in WV they have something like eight of ten most severe rapids in the US. Upper Gully is a one day trip but a bunch do it two days in a row.

I was greatly disappointed with Lava Falls.

Some do a 3-day Colorado trip hiking up from Phamtom Ranvh.
Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 03/03/12 02:32:05 EST

Rating rapids usually turns into a contest of comparing Chevy pickups with Fiat sportscars. The Upper Tuolumne run in CA averages 120 ft/mile drop, with ~1 mile of 180 ft/mile drop. You put the flow of the Colorado through the Grand Canyon (last trip I did, it varied from ~7000-14000 cubic ft/second) in the Upper and try to run it, you will die. Several different possible ways, but you will die. High water is considered 2000 cubic ft, the record run I know of is ~2200 cubic ft, my personal best was ~1800 cubic ft (felt like more).

I'll admit, Lava Falls was less than impressive--until the last trip, when the ONLY run was a entrance on the far R below Scout Rock, enter along the bubble line, maintain control through the first double drop, then pivot and ferry L HARD, RIGHT NOW to avoid the stuff on the lower R, all this rowing heavy boats (that would really hurt if you didn't get your momentum going L). It was the first time on a river I have been pushed back in my seat by the acceleration.

I always heard the Gully(?) pronounced more like "Golly". Never been, so can't say.

Know how to tell the difference between a fairy tale and a boatmans story? The fairy tale starts "Once upon a time", the boatmans story starts "No $**t, there I was"
- David Hughes - Saturday, 03/03/12 13:21:06 EST

White Water:
Check out the film running on Hulu, Mystery of the Nile. A small raft expidition from the head waters of the Blue Nile all the way to Alexandria. Add crocodiles waiting at the end of every white water run and bandits shooting at you. . . THAT is a river trip!

Personally, row boats on a quite pond are as far and fast as I prefer to go on water.
- guru - Sunday, 03/04/12 00:30:09 EST

White Water: I have seen a T shirt with the baby from "Family Guy" that says:


Even that baby has seen "Deliverance".

Hilbillies are bad enough, don't need crocks & bandits.
- Dave Boyer - Sunday, 03/04/12 03:40:50 EST

Dave, Since I am the son of a HillBilly, more properly know amongst the clan as "Briarhoppers", and knowing many, the true hill people are a proud people, that often have little but will do anything and help anyone who is respectful.
The media have built up a huge story of claptrap that is in any way I can observe untrue.
My almost 86 year old Mother, born in the poorest county in the US in the mountains of eastern KY, raised in a log home miles off the single gravel road in the county, with no running water, electricity or much else, is wonderfully spoken, can still quote long passages of Shakespeare from memory learning in the one room schoolhouse, and is the exact opposite in almost every way of the media portrayals of the Hillbilly. She does exhibit the loyalty to family, Country and region as shown.
No real offense, just smile with respect when you say Hillbilly :)
ptree - Sunday, 03/04/12 08:36:07 EST

The Upper Gully is only run in the fall, when the Springfeild Dam releases water. The Lower Gully is a nice family ride most of the year.

Guide story. ACoE names dams for nearest town. In this case is was Gad. Didn't want a Gad Dam so Springfield was chosen.
Ken Scharabok - Sunday, 03/04/12 12:20:34 EST

Log Cabin Education:
I've always found it interesting that the GREAT minds were mostly born of an age when the Bible was the most common book available and thus the book most people learned to rad from. No Dick Jane and Sally baby talk. Folks like Washington, Jefferson, Newton, DaVinci, Euclid, Archimedes. . . learned from books written for adults, not dumbed down works that sound like they were written by morons.

I am not advocating replacing reading books in schools with the Bible. But I think teaching from books with no challenge is a waste of time.

Early in school I rejected Dick Jane and Sally due to its stupidity. As a result I had bad grades. At some point I picked up a copy of Robinson Crusoe and read it working out the meaning of many of the words by their context. In fact context is the ONLY way one learns the meaning of words.

From that point on I read many things including my father's Science News-Letter. This was when the small magazine was THE place new scientific advances were announced. Very interesting reading at the time and NOT targeted to the general public much less 10 year olds. This was the era of Sputnik and the invention of the LASER.

I studied a lot of science on my own and my parents supplied me with most of the How and Why Wonder booklets covering scientific subjects. While these were fairly simple books they had many projects that a young person could figure out and do. Lots of simple electric experiments and so on. . I think their cover illustrations were as educational as the contents.

My "advanced" interest in science did me no good in school either. . .

But I digress. My point is that it takes very little to be fairly well educated. Starting from reading REAL books.

Science News (previously Science News-Letter)
- guru - Sunday, 03/04/12 13:30:55 EST

"Pot Fire" opinions?: I was reading about a simple "pot fire" arrangement in the second edition of "Blacksmith Shop Practice" (public domain book on archive dot org), and I wondered if there were any opinions on it's design? Seemed like a nice simple build
- Mairik - Sunday, 03/04/12 14:28:45 EST

whitewater: My only whitewater story happened on the Rio Grande, no idea where, I was eleven and my brother fourteen. I think that the flow was unusual for that time of year. Our guide fell out of the raft and dislocated her shoulder, we had to fish her out, I think she had a concussion as well. It was a field trip for the kids at an ag-engineering event my dad attended.

Anybody have any stories of horrible first blacksmithing attempts? When I was eight, I was obsessed with knives and swords. While staying with my grandparents during the summer on their ranch, my grandma set me up on a "play date" with a couple kids in the little town nearby. I immediately took stock of my suddenly boring position. Poured gas onto some rebar on their back patio, convinced one of the two boys to steal a lighter, and the other borrowed a small sledgehammer from the garage. Instant gas forge! The younger boy ran off screaming for mama, the older started crying, and I danced around the spreading flames trying to hammer the rebar into a sword. You can learn a lot from watching the rendezvous guys at a craft show...
Matt Werner - Sunday, 03/04/12 16:49:40 EST

"Pot Fire": Marick, Are you talking about the drawing titled "Cheap Homemade Forge"

This style forge has been promoted by the primitive forging folks but I find it a terrible design.

1) The small holes don't let enough air through.
2) The pipe will burn out
3) Debris in the pipe is difficult to clear (the pipe cap will be too hot to touch and reusing the threads is short lived).

The standard for this type forge used for thousands of years has a simple tube or pipe entering from the side near the bottom. However, this is only suitable for charcoal where the ash blows out of the fire. The "tube" has been made different ways according to the era and culture. It can be a tunnel made of stones as in a pit forge. In cultures with pottery ceramic tubes were used. Today a piece of pipe will work but the end will burn back over time. clay covering can reduce this.
The Forge
- guru - Sunday, 03/04/12 17:26:06 EST

No real offense, just smile with respect when you say Hillbilly :)

Thanks ptree.
From Renfro Valley Kentucky, (just 15 miles from a half dozen fatalities in Friday's tornado in Laural Co.)
- Tom H - Sunday, 03/04/12 21:42:12 EST

massey powerhammer: hello, I am looking for some information about a powerhammer MASSEY type 2 , 220 lBS/100kg, Thanks for any reaction !!!
- marc - Monday, 03/05/12 05:18:23 EST

Tom H, you are welcome. From the guy born and raised in KY, but now lives in S. Indiana, about 12-15 south of Pekin and the deaths there from the tornado there,and maybe 30 miles from Hernyville and the destruction there.
We got a wet heavy 5-6" of snow last night to add to those folks misery.
ptree - Monday, 03/05/12 08:20:11 EST

Whitewater & Hillbillies: I prefer my water salty, tidal and flat! If it starts dropping on you through a series of rocks; it's time to get out of the ship, establish some mills, and start a city!

When the NPS moved into a tough part of town in San Francisco, we were the "brave pioneers." When the neighborhood started to improve, we became "mountaineers." Then , when real estate prices soared in the late '90s, we bacame a "d@mn buncha cheap gummint hillbillies" and ended up moving to Oakland, as "brave pioneers" in a somewhat rundown part of town. (Of course, with the crash of the real estate market and the end of the lease we're back to "pioneering" in San Francisco all over again.) (eye roll)

Expecting 1 to 3 inches of snow on the banks of the lower Potomac!

Blue Ridge Parkway (...for those who like mountains- one of my last projects.)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 03/05/12 09:01:01 EST

Massey Powerhammer:
Contact John Nicholson at John frequents this board and is generally helpful.

Search the machine for a serial number. That often helps a manufacturer find the correct records.
- guru - Monday, 03/05/12 11:42:17 EST

hand reaper: does the back edge fullering in a hand reaper or sickle shaped blade help to compensate for the tendency of the blade to curve away from the desired shape? Using one compression to act against the other? It seems like even a really really aggressive pre-curving of the sickle shape would not be enough, and at some point it seems like the flat stock starts to buckle quite a bit from the pre-shaping. Tried to make a raspberry cane cutter without cutting the recurve hook shape but the distortion was too much, had to cut the hook shape with a grinder.
Matt Werner - Monday, 03/05/12 15:58:49 EST

Matt; just as you can straighten a single edged blade after forging the bevel in has caused it to curve; you should be able to curve a blade that is "too straight"

Back fullering would help as would curving of the preform; however I'd assume the final shaping would be done with the hammer.

Hillbillies: Check out the book "Pissing in the Snow" by Vance Randolf. It's a collection of Ozark folk tales and I don't doubt I'm related to a bunch of people he collected them from!
Thomas P - Monday, 03/05/12 16:42:20 EST

hand reaper: The the fuller and thick back edge are a weight vs. strength consideration. It is like an I-beam. You want this type blade as light and thin as possible but it needs some stiffness to keep it from banding and twisting sideways.
- guru - Monday, 03/05/12 17:55:03 EST

thanks: sorry for the redundancy, it seemed my question did not post over here so I tried the guru page as well. I am trying to make a shape something like what is shown in Percy W. Blandford's "Old Farm Tools and Machinery", pg 114, fig 14, item D. As I am inexperienced with fullering, my intuition led me to the idea that the fuller might be used to help shape the preform by spreading the metal and countering buckling effect of near 180degree bending to form the hand sickle shape. The shape is a bit different than a scythe, and I will most likely resort to creating at least part of the shape with my initial cut instead of trying to preform from barstock.

Any suggestions on where to find pictures of traditional Asian farm hand tool designs? I have a book on cultural practices, "Farmers of 40 Centuries" by F.H. King, I have built several hoes based off of Chinese designs but the pictures are mostly of the individuals doing the work and not of the tools themselves. Thanks again for the advice.
Matt Werner - Monday, 03/05/12 20:57:31 EST

Chinese Tools:
Matt, Frank Turley guided me to a book titled China at Work by Rudolf P. Hommel. It was researched and photographed in the 1930's and published in 1937. It has Chinese tools of every type. It has hundreds of tools from every aspect of life from farming and mining to cooking and sewing.

The book is out of print but if you search the used book sites repeatedly one will show up.
Chinese Anvils
- guru - Monday, 03/05/12 23:51:45 EST

Another Chinese Tool Link:
This link is a traditional tool in current use. The handled chisel is called a Sen in Japanese. Both the Japanese and Chinese use these wedged hold downs instead of a vise.
Chinese "Sen" and Horse
- guru - Tuesday, 03/06/12 00:25:05 EST

birdsmouth: Thank you so much for the book suggestions, the Hommel book will be very very valuable to me. The birdsmouth portion of the clamping horse almost looks like it is meant to interlock onto some sort of device the user wears something like an old breast-plow apron with wood slats. Or maybe is is meant to interlock with a crosspiece. Reminds me also of the super simple form of a shaving horse built out of two pegs on a post.
Matt Werner - Tuesday, 03/06/12 01:07:26 EST

hammer control: On a carpentry crew that did a lot of hand driving of nails, one way to test and improve skill was to drive nails with the claw of the hammer. Only works with a framing style hammer. Another way to improve at nail driving was to drive finish nails with an overweight hammer. Once to nail a pumpjack pole onto a gable (roof was iced), I had to stand on a ladder backwards, and drive the nails with a reverse swing, blind, while holding the bracket in place with my left hand. Fun times.
Matt Werner - Tuesday, 03/06/12 02:23:14 EST

Just because it does one thing doesn't mean that it doesn't do other stuff too! Just like pounding in a bevel can cut grinding time way down but can also produce a curve for a skinning knife!
Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/06/12 13:08:19 EST

I have used fullers in sword work to both keep a blade straighter in forging and to aid in the transition from bevel to flat on back swords (double edged for the last third of the blade.) can be useful but I find on normal blades just forging in the distal taper removes much of the banana affect and straightening is easy enough from there.

reminder the brookfield craft center hammer-in is this Sat 10am -6pm
hammer -in
- Matthew Parkinson - Tuesday, 03/06/12 21:01:11 EST

preform: After some thinking about my sickle project it is pretty obvious that I should start from any other stock than flat or barstock - round or hex will allow the tight curve necessary for working counter to the bevel forming. The use of the sickle is to hand-harvest small amounts specialty crops so they can be manually run through an old Allis Chalmers canvas-type harvester combine for processing. thanks
Matt Werner - Wednesday, 03/07/12 14:01:02 EST

Round bar instead of flat:
I often recommend round spring stock for blades. Flat nearly as wide as the finished product when you start is a lot of forging and/or grinding. Round coil springs are often closer to the cross sectional area you need. Converting to shape is less work than all that drawing out to reduce the total cross section.

I had also looked at bar stock being used as preforms for sheet metal in old armour. Sheet was not common and tools to cut it were not nearly as efficient as today. If you needed a curved log leg or U shape piece of sheet it would be just about as easy to start with bar, bend it, then flatten into sheet. Overbending would be required but the results might be close enough with experience. Its just a theory.
- guru - Wednesday, 03/07/12 17:03:04 EST

Of course there are records of sending out iron to a "batter mill" to have sheet produced from it and a hammer and chisel is pretty efficient in cutting sheet.

"The Royal Armory at Greenwich A history of it's Technology" goes into some of this.

Though there have been some interesting research done on stacking pieces and working a number of them simultaneously that might apply to munitions armour manufacture...
Thomas P - Thursday, 03/08/12 12:20:11 EST

Speaking of Armour:
Has anyone watched Full Metal Jousting on the History Channel? Its filmed like a reality TV show but these guys are really going at it. . . The first episodes are on Hulu and the most current on
- guru - Friday, 03/09/12 11:00:44 EST

"Jousting for Jocks": I sat through 1/2 hour of the program. All of the reality show clich├ęs were trotted out. Lots of money had been spent on the to-die-for stables and sets and "costuming;" and lots of ceremony and artificial "drama" and misbehaving and "conflict" and jargon. On the plus side- if you get knocked off of your horse, you lose!

The armor is modern "sports armor" designed for competitive advantage and (somewhat) for safety; but has a streamlined science-fictionish aesthetic to the appearance. All-in-all it was not my cup of tea- no history, romance or much to be learned by the likes of me.

At least my old Vice Warlord, Barchan, is getting paid as a spear carrier and horse handler. He's also the oldest active jouster in the U.S. (I let my friends handle the horses; I have enough on my hands with longships and faering boats!)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Sunday, 03/11/12 22:08:26 EDT

Full Metal Jousting:
Yep, the phony drama was not needed. I often wonder how the "History" channel can justify such made up drama. Its something for the "Mens" channel. . . Spike.

But these guys DO get hit and knocked off their horses, as well as occasionally bloodied.

Yeah the armour is simplified and streamlined but its the way I would make it for the purpose. Its the type used by traditional jousters but simplified to its essence.
- guru - Sunday, 03/11/12 22:17:46 EDT

Rather reminds me of Locked Up Abroud. Maybe 20 minutes worth of material packed into 60 - commercials included.
Ken Scharabok - Monday, 03/12/12 19:55:24 EDT

Lesson Learned #2676: Was usiing my bandsaw to cut two different lengths of metal since each had to be 3" long. One long bar of 1" x 1" solid and two bars of 3/4" round. Wasn't watching was I was doing. Pulled atock into the saw for another cut, long bar come off of support, pivoted on middle support and forced my palm into the blade. Many stitches later I have maybe 90% use of my left hand. Thumb can bend in pretty much OK, but absolutely no upward motion such as making a thumbs up. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.
Ken Scharabok - Monday, 03/12/12 20:00:24 EDT

Ken, Sorry to hear the bad news but sounds like you didn't lose any fingers. . .

Thinks happen fast, even around small machines that don't seem very dangerous. My Dad nearly lost part of his thumb while filing a part on our little 6" Craftsman lathe. He said he couldn't believe it bit him after 30 years. . .!

I was over drilling 1/2" holes in wood that was laminated with a steel plate. A twist drill is no danger of breaking in wood . . right? The drill hung in the steel, shattered and several 1" long shards embedded in my arm . . . lots of blood. But it could have been worse. My forearm protected my eyes.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/13/12 01:02:38 EDT

Accidents: Seems that the 'simpler' the machine, the more accident prone they are.
More accidents on the drill press or on the saw, then on the mill or the lathe.
- Tom H. - Tuesday, 03/13/12 08:06:07 EDT

Accidents: Sorry to hear about your accident, Ken. I hope that time and some therapy will improve the use of the thumb and hand. It does take a bit longer at our age, but it will happen eventually, I think. Best of luck with it!

A few months ago I mis-hit the end of my anvil horn and a chip flew off and hit me in the lip, cutting it. Nothing serious, just annoying and it healed up in a few days. Apparently though, the steel shard is still in my lip, so I can now dangle a magnet from my lip. Which is fine - until I have to get an MRI...
Rich Waugh - Tuesday, 03/13/12 11:36:20 EDT

I sold by 10" radial arm saw since I just considered it to be be a hand or arm off waiting to happen.
Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 03/13/12 13:43:17 EDT

TOO HOT???:: I have a shop below my garage in which I'd like to turn into a smithy. I started up the gas forge and everything was working good, but after about 20 minutes the concrete or steel bracing above started making popping noise... you know the same when metal expands/shrinks with the sun etc. In fear it would weaken the structure I shut it down. Reckon I should just stay away from forging in the basement, or is there any way around that? Maybe some sort of insulation I could put up or some how pipe the heat out of there? What do you all think?
- Pablo - Tuesday, 03/13/12 14:21:38 EDT

Hot Structurals: Pablo, Structurals retain their strength up to about 500F. But it could be possible to get one that hot just above the forge. Hang an oven thermometer (one of those little metal ones) on the beam. . . Concrete spalls (from steam expansion) at 300F or more (fresh concrete at just above boiling will deteriorate).

The best insulation in a case like this is a piece of sheet metal spaced about 1" away from the beam and large enough to distribute the rising hot air somewhere other than the beam. A heat shield. It works better than anything. Kaowool also works but should not be used exposed in your work space.

I would be more worried about ventilation. Gas forges generate a ton of CO2 and often a lot of CO. Both can be a problem. The higher the level of CO2, the more CO a forge or furnace generates. If you can but a small hood and vent pipe over the forge you will solve this problem AND the heating problem. A hood just a little larger than the forge and an 8" galvanized stack should do the job (even if you need to run horizontal to a door or window).

IF you have living space above or the garage is attached to the house the fumes will percolate up into the house which can be a bad thing.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/13/12 15:28:17 EDT

Saw Dangers:
I've never been a fan of a radial arm saw. But I LOVE my big 20" bandsaw. However, the way I demoded it to the kids was to flick an old baseball bat through the blade (a brief zzink so fast you can't see it) cutting off a piece. THEN compare the size of the bat to their wrist. . . On a wood cutting blade traveling over 5,000 FPM decapitation would be as instant as a guillotine.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/13/12 15:47:00 EDT

TOO HOT???: Thank you guru. Will definitely look into it. Might be time to build a pole shed somewhere...
- Pablo - Tuesday, 03/13/12 20:11:18 EDT

Injuries: Many years ago I had a crew going out to a structural steel job early in the morning. They needed to take about 2 dozen plate washers with them, 5 x 5 x 3/8 with a 13/16 hole in the center. I went in to the shop about 4 A.M. to make them in the peddinghouse ironworker. I sheared them off of flat bar, then changed the punch from a 7/16 to a 13/16, but due to the hour (or sleep) forgot to change the die to a larger size. I pulled the handle to punch the hole and 65 tons of pressure shattered the punch including a piece that stuck in my upper arm through an artery. As I was tying a bandana around it with my good hand and teeth, I remembered why I didn't allow anybody to work in the shop without someone else around.
- Loren T - Tuesday, 03/13/12 20:15:33 EDT

Ken: I hope You heal up well and soon.

I have done more dumb stuff around machine tools & gotten hurt than I will bother to post, but everything healed up & no meat or motion was lost permanantly.

" I used wax to mend My wings, I've done all the dumb things"
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 03/13/12 23:02:20 EDT

Fortunately I have extemely good medical care coverage. Dr. essentially took out stitches and said to come back in 30-days. I have maybe 20% grasping ability in left hand, but absolutely no upward thumb movement. Fortunately I am dominately right handed and it hasn't slowed me down in the shop in a significant way.
Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 03/14/12 20:07:51 EDT

Ken S: Since you have goo medical coverage, be sure to ask your doc about physical therapy for that hand. My uncle cut up his left thumb/palm in a lab accident and didn't do the therapy - his hand has bee unable to hold anything smaller than a corncob ever since. If he'd done the therapy he was supposed to, he'd have 95% use of it today.
Rich Waugh - Wednesday, 03/14/12 21:20:49 EDT

Only therapy is to grab the thumb with right hand and work back and forth for several minutes several times a day.
Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 03/15/12 12:18:50 EDT

Therapy: That's strange to hear, Ken. Have you seen a physical therapist? They usually have a series of range-of-motion exercises and strengthening exercises plus options for relieving inflammation and discomfort. A good physical therapist can make a huge difference in the final outcome of a potentially disabling injury.
Rich Waugh - Thursday, 03/15/12 16:49:19 EDT

Ken, Klinart Kutz here in Louisville are the undisputed best in the world hand surgeons. They invented putting stuff back on. I highly suggest you give them a call and see if they suggest more.
ptree - Thursday, 03/15/12 19:27:31 EDT

Since the flood, I've been working my bench grinder on the floor. Hunching over and maneuvering long pieces gets tedious. Had to do some TIG welding and needed to clean up the electrode (too lazy to walk over the other side of the shop to get a new one). Bent over while holding the electrode and for the life of me I have no idea how it happened, but my middle finger of my left hand pressed into the corner of the grinder while at full speed. Should I mention that I recently dressed the wheel, so the corner is SHARP. Needless to say my fingernail has a nice 90 degree angle cut into it, right to the nail bed. The nice thing about this type of injury is the cauterization of tissue due to the friction of high speed tools.

Ken, I agree with the guys on the therapy. DO it. Talk to someone in the field. And Rich, that's some pretty cool body modification you got there in your lip. I usually charge $60 for such a procedure.
- Nippulini - Friday, 03/16/12 12:21:01 EDT

Oh, BTW heavy duty physical therapy is called "work hardening"... seriously. :)
- Nippulini - Friday, 03/16/12 12:22:43 EDT

Grinders can sneak up on you: Many years ago I was using a heavy duty flexible shaft with 6" diameter 40 grit disk on the end. It was clamped in a low vise for stationary work. I was making little wood sculptures (toys) and nicked my knuckle. . The vibration from the rough and out of flat wheel was so bad that I did not notice until I saw red stains on the wood I was holding. . . Later I went to trim something with my pocket knife and found that it had a big chunk ground off the corner of it and I had a hole in my pants where the knife had been. I was bracing the work and my hands against my leg and I got too close. . . much too close. The knife was scrap. The thing that impressed me is that due to the noise and vibration I did not notice either event.

20 years later the scars on my knuckles were still pretty obvious as they tended to be bluer than the rest of my skin. But now 45 years after these events its hard to tell I have scars there at all. A long time to fade.

Be extra careful around noisy machines. They dull your sense of feel and other warning senses as well as fog your mind. Its easy to get hurt in such a state of confusion.
- guru - Friday, 03/16/12 13:25:30 EDT

Grinding wheels: If I have a grinding wheel that is out of flat or out of round I either dress it true immediately or scrap it. I won't use them as is for just that reason - the vibration, if it doesn't cause the wheel to self-destruct, causes numbness and potential injury to your hands. To say nothing of the fact that they produce a really crappy finish!

Interestingly, if you wear good hearing protection while using noisy machinery, your sense of touch seems to improve rather than deteriorate. Without the protection you tend to lose sensitivity,but with it your sensitivity improves some.
Rich Waugh - Friday, 03/16/12 14:03:46 EDT

When I had a knee replaced part of therapy was to put on sensors which cause a tingling feeling in general knee area. They put on one machine, cranked it up and ask if I felt anything. No. Several more upward adjustments, still nothing. Double checked body leads, fine. Took machine up to 10 and still didn't get anything. They used an older model. Same results. Used both on at the same time and at a combination of about 9 each did start to feel tingling. Dr. Natasia Butler, head of the therapy department, said she had never seen anyone with as much resistance to pain (or whatever it would be).

Now I am super-hyper susceptible to small doses of 110v current. Maybe they were running DC on me?

Ptee. Thank you reference. Will file it away. Grasping tongs or such I can do fine. Have trouble picking up say a 16-oz bottle though where the thumb needs to be extended.

Old farmer's story: When you have your sow bred make a small notch on the base of a fingernal of one thumb. When it grew out to end of thumb, sow would be ready to birth. Three months, three weeks, three days and usually three o'clock in the morning.
Ken Scharabok - Friday, 03/16/12 18:13:51 EDT

Ken, that was a TENS unit they used on you. My PT used the TENS on me at the end of every therapy session with cold packs. When they first attached the electrodes they explained it might hurt. They started me out at the lowest setting, and as yourself I wasn't happy until they hit the high end of the band. Of course I myself DO have a very high pain tolerance and have acquired a certain method of mental pain control.... comes with doing the things I have been known to do. :)
- Nippulini - Friday, 03/23/12 11:53:26 EDT

BGOP Spring Fling: I just sent my registration in for the 17th Spring Fling at the Fairgrounds in Berryville, Virginia on Friday through Sunday, April 20-22, 2012. I plan to take it easy this session, having missed it last year due to health problems. Registration is $60, but that also pays for dinner on Friday, continental breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and continental breakfast and lunch on Sunday.

In addition to the demonstrators, they will also have tailgating (all sorts of wonderful tools for sale, some bargains, many at fair prices), Iron-in-the-Hat (a raffle for tools, materials, publications, etc.) and auction for the wonderful stuff that the demonstrators do (too $$$ for my budget), plus display tables for the stuff us mere mortals do. I plan to show-off some of my RR Spike headed walking sticks, made with gen-you-wine tobacco sticks from our barn.

Further details in the hot-link, below.

Since April 2nd is the deadline for the discount registration, the registration form may be found at:

Maybe I'll see some of y'all there.
BGOP Invitation Form.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/27/12 16:54:47 EDT

TGN: check out this; not quite in your line but close!
Thomas P - Wednesday, 03/28/12 14:16:23 EDT

Tip of the Day (?): Jock,

Here's one you can add to the rotation if it strikes your fancy: Pull the nozzle off a can of carburetor cleaner and keep it with your painting supplies. If you partially empty a rattle can, pop the nozzle onto the carburetor cleaner can and give a quick squirt to clean it for next time. (Not all brands of carburetor cleaner use a paint-can type nozzle; "Next Dimension" is one I've found that does.)
Mike BR - Saturday, 03/31/12 16:22:46 EDT

Good tip. . . sounds like one from a pro tagger. . . ;)
- guru - Saturday, 03/31/12 17:15:38 EDT

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