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"Dead-man" switch on buffer

Charles L-B, I just read your suggestion in E-bench about putting a
pressure-sensitive switch on the buffing motor so it would stop
immediately in case of an accident. What a great idea for a teaching
studio! Did you have to construct this switch yourself, or is there
an “off-the-shelp” component that will do the job?

A couple of years ago, I saw a lovely young woman with very long
hair get a chunk of it yanked out by the roots at the place where I
teach, and I don’t ever want to see that again. My own hair is less
than an inch long, so I don’t have to worry… :>)


Depending on the workpieces you do another suggestion would be a
guard of sorts, to direct ‘lost’ pieces from hitting you.

Years ago, as a favor, I was buffing a brass door knocker. The
buffer was big, about 3HP with a 12’ corrugated wheel. Piece snagged
and the wheel spun that thing right around and smacked me between the
eyes. I literally saw stars. Fractured skull. No, that’s NOT why I
am the way I am

A coworker once severely injured his eye when the chain caught on
the wheel. Someone had stacked some boxes behind where he would stand
to buff, he couldn’t even step back.

Anytime you operate machinery you must think safety first.

Hi Noel,

There are all kinds of versions, most are wired into the machine,
some you can plug your machine into. Most machine shop suppliers will
have something like this, electrical supply the same. They are
sometimes set at knee height so you just have to push your knee
forwards to shut off the machine. Usually it is a big (3" or so
across) red button. They are also called emergency stop buttons, kill
switches etc.


On the comment of a dead man switch, they can be ordered from about
any electrical provider. They are easy to install, the dead man
switch has two leads, one which the buffer is plugged into and the
other goes to the outlet. You then just leave the buffer on and when
you step on the switch, which is like your foredom foot pedal, the
buffer goes on and when you remove pressure, it goes off. You can
control the amount of spin by starting the buffer, and then take your
foot off so it is only spins without power. A great thing when you
are polishing chain. After my mother took off one of her fingers,
this is all I use.

Andy Lampe

Depending on the workpieces you do another suggestion would be a
guard of sorts, to direct 'lost' pieces from hitting you. 

Thanks, Neil. We don’t have a “guard” for this, but I have a piece
of foam fitted into the bottom of the machine under the wheels. It
is marked “DO NOT REMOVE-- this is here to absorb impact, so you
don’t have to”. We also insist on safety goggles.