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  • Roy Underhill and his Chamber of Scary Woodworking Machines

    I debated in which topic area to place this post. I thought about the Safety Forum and a couple others. But I figured it was more or less a general topic so here it is.

    We all use power tools to varying degrees. Some of us as hobbyists and others as professionals. Some would say that those classifications might reflect on the level of proficiency with using power tools, but that would not be correct. There are many hobbyists or part-time users of power tools, be they woodworking tools or otherwise, that have experience or proficiency that may exceed that of professionals or those who use power tools on a day-to-day basis.

    As we have often heard Norm say; knowing how to use your power tools is important to their safe operation, read the manual. But no amount of safety guarding or other safety features can take the place of a fully functioning human brain. It's the individuals respect for and being conscience of the dangers and peculiarities of the power tools they use that determines many times whether the tool is the master or the slave.
    Their attention to that task at hand is also the biggest factor in using the tool safely, not matter if that tool was made 100 years ago or yesterday.

    Watch this video of Roy Underhill visiting a vintage sash and millwork shop run by a father and son team. Today, unless your employees were family you would not be allowed to operate a shop like this because no matter what kind of release from liability an employee might sign or agree to, you as the employer could not be released from your responsibility to provide a workplace free from known hazards, and this place is full of them.

    I guess I could have titled this thread; "Look Ma! No Guards!"; because there is not one guard or safety device to be found on these old machines. This whole shop is run off a line shaft power system, just like the one on the gravestone and monument factory my family ran for 100 years beginning in the 1860s. I remember wandering around in the shop when I was young and seeing the last pieces of this line shaft system in use. By the 1960s most of it had been shut down and replaced with pneumatic or electric powered tools, but a couple were still used form time to time. The old power house adjacent to the shop was originally powered by a steam engine, but that was replaced by two big electric motors in the early 1900s, long before I ever saw the place.

    Anyway, enjoy the video and if you need reproduction double-hung
    wood windows, these guys can fix you up.

    http://www.pbs.org/woodwrightsshop/video/2600/2612.html

    There are also the about four years of The Woodwrights Shop episodes available for viewing online at this same PBS website.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
    ---------
    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

  • #2
    Re: Roy Underhill and his Chamber of Scary Woodworking Machines

    That's just awesome.
    Thanks for sharing.
    "HONK if you've never seen a gun fired from a moving Harley"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Roy Underhill and his Chamber of Scary Woodworking Machines

      I did not watch the video this time, but have seen it in the past and for my own comfort I would think one would have fashioned some guards on some of the machines for there own piece of mind,
      but maybe it is just that I am older and not as steady as I once was, or that ever that place looked like an accident waiting to happen,

      and in general I think that much of the current safety push is nearly beyond logic,
      Last edited by BHD; 01-10-2011, 11:15 AM.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Roy Underhill and his Chamber of Scary Woodworking Machines

        Thanks for the link, Bob

        Go
        Practicing at practical wood working

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Roy Underhill and his Chamber of Scary Woodworking Machines

          Great video Bob,

          The great guard debate. I am of the opinion that people that are not safe around equipment will hurt themselves whether guards are used or not. I have noticed that some people I know who use guards, etc seem to be more complacent around a false sense of safety they have in the guards. I personally do not use guards but I do use and wear other safety equipment in my shop. Much like you say Bob, the best safety device we have in the shop, is a focused mind.

          As for the video, I'd be curious to know if there was ever any serious accidents in this shop? One thing is for sure, that shop is very original and no doubt has a lot of great history in it. Thank you for sharing Bob.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Roy Underhill and his Chamber of Scary Woodworking Machines

            I have worked around moving machinery most of my life,

            but I have to admit that plant was scary, so many of the shafts and pulleys were down where a pant leg could get caught, and to run all that plant on a line shaft there would be no way you would win, (just like getting caught in a tractors PTO),

            and on some of the cutting heads just a simple plate would have done wonders, on blocking an accidental contact with a moving cutting head,

            If you were just using the equipment on a few items you would most likely use the appropriate caution, but after a few thousand I could see how one could easily loose some of the concentration on the job,

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            I love seeing machinery like that tho and in a sense wish I could own and operate some thing like that, using old equipment like that,

            Thank you again,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Roy Underhill and his Chamber of Scary Woodworking Machines

              Yeah, the scary part of many of those machines is that they performed multiple operations, but the operator had to position the workpiece each time or perform some action to position the piece for the next cut. But ALL the cutters or blades were alway live, spinning just inches from your hand or fingers.



              I just came across this doing a Google search on the monument company name. it just happens to talk about my great grandfather ordering the line shaft and other equipment to outfit the new shop in 1902.

              http://books.google.com/books?id=-Fo...ammell&f=false


              www.ojhammell.com
              Last edited by Bob D.; 01-11-2011, 07:41 PM.
              ---------------
              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
              ---------------
              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
              ---------
              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
              ---------
              sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

              Comment

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