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A Cautionary Tale


#1

Hello and thanks to all who responded to my question(s) about
foreseeing accidents while working- or at least about trying to
learn how to foresee and avoid them. I hope this isn’t straying too
far from the concrete, technical matters that fill so much of these
discussions.

The responses have been almost all positive (and mostly off line).
That is, people seemed to recognize or share the feeling I was
trying to describe, the “just before you do it” warning that can
sometimes save our fingers or other valuable bits from damage - if
we can learn to recognize it.

Ron Mills writes that I may just be suffering from occasional spells
of paranoia.or death-wish fantasies. Well, it goes without saying
that I would be the last to know if that were the case or not, but I
don’t think that’s what I was trying to describe. I mean, I do think
I know the difference between paranoia and prudence. (Vestigial
remains of a long-ago psych degree.) But there may be a grain of
truth in what he says. I was writing about the dangers that come
from within us.

All of us,no matter how accomplished in our skills, no matter how
excellent our tools, no matter how meticulous our technique, still
have to work with the one most unpredictable factor, our own
psyches. This is ever-changing from day to day and moment to moment.
At least, that’s the way I see humans. So if I, or anyone else, has
a bit of paranoia or a mischievous little death-wish devil running
around inside the works from time to time, I shouldn’t be surprised.
Whatever it is, I don’t want to be operating dangerous machinery
while that’s going on.

My wife tells me that Heraclitus wrote that “The Heart always gets
what it wants at the Psyche’s expense.”

I don’t want any part of me to get anything at the expense of other
parts.

That little death-wish devil has been an abject failure so far and,
really, he ought to relax. All he’s got to do is wait long enough
and he’ll get what he wants. I just don’t want him spoiling my fun
until then.

Thanks for putting up with my occasional rambles. You are a very
friendly and interesting group of people.

Marty.


#2

i was driving down the road, and kept saying to myself, that i
might as well not think about new designs to make or my future in
making jewelry, cause soon i’m gonna have no arms from a car
accident or something else, said it a few times, got to work,
and forgot about it, dp


#3

Have you ever run the vacuum under your gem exam table and heard a
tell-tale glassy ‘tink’ and felt a good ‘thunk’ in the vacuum handle
and then confidently remove the bag and put in a safe place for later
inspection only to have your partner find the bag and get it out just
in time for the trash truck? Yea, me too.

Jaye


#4
Have you ever run the vacuum under your gem exam table and heard a
tell-tale glassy 'tink' and felt a good 'thunk' in the vacuum
handle

Remember…before you turn on that vacuum cleaner near your gem
exam table or your workbench…take a piece of old nylon stocking and
secure it to the hose opening with a rubber band. If you suck up an
errant diamond or that glorious emerald that vanished last
year…they will never make it past the stocking. Just pick 'em off
and stow them in a safe place.

Dee


#5
Have you ever run the vacuum under your gem exam table and heard a
tell-tale glassy 'tink' and felt a good 'thunk' in the vacuum
handle and then confidently remove the bag and put in a safe place
for later inspection only to have your partner find the bag and get
it out just in time for the trash truck? Yea, me too. 

You can now get a vacuum cleaner attachment that is a little
centrifugal or cyclonic separator. It is designed to be a precleaner
to pick up sand & rocks & is only 12 - 18 inches long. I’ve seen it
come in two types. One is an attachment that you put at the top of
your floor wands; the other is a permanent part of the top wand.

The separate accessory type can also be fitted inline on a bench.
While it is designed to pick up sand & grit, it may be worth a try on
a few small stones. You may need to experiment with the air bleed
slide to get the vacuum level right. Many vacuum cleaners are
operated with too much vacuum anyway. It needs airflow to work so
when the vacuum is too high & the tool is too tight to the floor it
can’t operate efficiently.

I haven’t tried one with gems, but they do pick up tiny wire & solder
off cuts & screws & they seem to pick up & hold quite small sand
particles.