So tonight I was working on the finishing touches for a new piece
that I’m really proud of. Yes, I’m tired, but wanted to get it done
so I can get pics of it and get it ready for a show next week. I was
using those lovely 3M radial wheels on the flexshaft that Karen
Christians demo’ed at the MJSA show. I’ve had a few of them for a
while, but hadn’t really liked them all that much. Turns out that I
was using them at too SLOW a speed and needed to stack more of them
on the mandrel. Now I love them! Anyway, I digress.
I was on the last component of the last section of the necklace and
just finishing up when I must have lost my concentration for a split
second. The flexshaft (running at a high RPM, remember) grabbed that
dangling chain (yes, I ignored the first and primary law of polishing
and let the chain just dangle there… should have known better) and
mangled it beyond belief. Along the way, it literally ripped the 3
cast geranium leaves off of the chain and threw them every which way.
They’re heavy little suckers with a pointy stem in the middle of each
that will become a stone mounting shortly.
One of the leaves bounced into my stomach which, thankfully, is
amply padded and I was wearing a nice heavy knit sweater. Even at
that, I now have a nice, deep bruise forming and several cuts on my
skin. The other two managed to miss everything important.
Yes, I had eye protection and I was extremely glad that I did. I
ALWAYS wear a face-shield when using the big polishing motor, but
sometimes “skimp” a little when using the little flexshaft.
Nevermore! If that had bounced toward my eye instead of my stomach
and I hadn’t had a barrier there, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing
this, I’d be in the hospital with a good likelihood of permanent eye
I feel very lucky, but also compelled to pass along my cautionary
tale. I knew better than to have a dangly chain near a rotating
motor. All it took was a momentary lapse. You know how they say that
the vast majority of auto accidents occur within 10 miles of home?
Part of the reason is that we tend to take it for granted and go on
"auto-pilot," assuming we know the area so well. The same thing can
happen in the shop.
Luckily, I have more chain and was able to salvage the main
component pieces to reassemble the necklace. Even more luckily, I
wasn’t seriously hurt. I’m thankful for the wakeup call!
Have a good, safe evening everybody!