Splinters

Discussion in 'The Shop' started by CFLBob, Sep 3, 2019.

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  1. Sep 3, 2019 #1

    CFLBob

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    I've been working on a steel flywheel on my lathe and I'm noticing a problem I've never had while machining aluminum. Splinters. Maybe a better word is sharp chips.

    Small, sharp splinters that get under my skin without me noticing and then stick whenever I grab something.

    I'm not good at wearing heavy clothes to keep things off or out of me, mainly because it's too hot in the shop to feel comfortable wearing something like denim, even though the air conditioner is on. I have a shop apron but haven't been wearing it. Even that is good compared to gloves, which I've never worn and have been afraid of thanks to the safety warnings I've seen.

    What do you guys do to keep sharp chips or splinters out of your hands?

    Moderators - I didn't know where else to put this. If it's in the wrong place, please let me know.
     
  2. Sep 3, 2019 #2

    stevehuckss396

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    I'm suprised that you are having this problem on the lathe. Usually it's the mill with tiny cutters. Only thing I can think of is heavier cuts so you get bigger chips.
     
  3. Sep 3, 2019 #3

    CFLBob

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    I'm surprised, too. I think they came from parting a piece off - I used a hacksaw because my cutoff blade wasn't long enough. It was a 4" diameter piece I was cutting off.
     
  4. Sep 4, 2019 #4

    tornitore45

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    I use my compressed air a lot and frequently to blow chips and oil off my hands, forearm and any tool holder as I change it. Before going inside the home I blow all of my body, hair and shoes. Wife goes ballistic when she find chips in the house.
    Rarely a problem with aluminum, usually is the steel splinter that get you.
     
  5. Sep 4, 2019 #5

    Cogsy

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    I keep a pair of those wearable magnifying glasses LINK, a splinter probe and a decent pair of tweezers in the shed at all times. When I get one of those annoying invisible splinters I drag out the magnifiers and dig it out. I have no idea how to stop them getting in though.
     
  6. Sep 4, 2019 #6

    CFLBob

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    I really hadn't even thought of using the compressor and I have no idea why I didn't. I have my compressor set to a relatively low pressure for my coolant mist and attached to it, but I could add another hose.

    One of my concerns is our two cats. I would hate to see one of them get a splinter - they can't exactly tell you something hurts. On the other hand, the shop is attached to the house and one of them will come out to talk to me, so keeping him out of the shop is difficult.

    Exactly what I did. The ones I had were looked like a dot in the 4x magnifiers I was wearing and had worked their way deep enough into my skin that I had to dig them out with a needle.
     
  7. Sep 4, 2019 #7

    Brian Rupnow

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    Bob, I get splinters too---it goes with the hobby. I never get them from aluminum or brass, but I certainly do from steel. I have a lighted magnifying viewer, and those I see are removed with tweezers. The ones I can't see generally get sore, with a certain amount of infection. These call for a bit more radical surgery with a sewing needle and scalpel. I then soak the damaged digit in a cup of the hottest water I can stand for about half an hour, then soak in hydrogen peroxide for half an hour. That always seems to fix me up. I learned that "soak in hot water" thing from my dad. He worked in the local sawmill in the summers, and was always getting slivers of wood in his fingers.
     
  8. Sep 4, 2019 #8

    CFLBob

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    Thanks, Brian. I used either a sewing needle or a sharp knife.

    I gather most people would rather not deal with gloves, both from the loss of finger sensitivity and the possibility of a glove getting grabbed and pulling your hand into something far worse than a splinter.
     
  9. Sep 4, 2019 #9

    stevehuckss396

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    I tried for a short time using a shop apron. Chips ended up between the apron and me so that didn't last long. I would think gloves would be the same way. Even if it were safe I wouldn't wear them anyway.
     
  10. Sep 4, 2019 #10

    John Antliff

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    I do quite a bit of commercial work involving brass turning which produces a lot of small thin splinters and occasionally I'll pick up one of these in my finger. The pain is like what you get from a fine hypodermic needle. Usually they can be pulled out fairly easily but if they work there way into the skin and remain undetected for a day or so then they get really difficult to remove requiring a digging operation in bright light with a sharp needle and a magnifying glass. I have not found a fool proof way of avoiding these little blighters, no matter what clothing I adorn myself with, they still occur. I seldom pick up steel splinters off the mill probably because I have more respect for those!
     
  11. Sep 5, 2019 #11

    tornitore45

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    After a couple hours machining, just about anything you touch has chips and oil stuck on, there is where one picks up splinters. I try to keep tools clean with air and rags but when I feel a splinter I should immediately take it out. Sometime laziness and the urge to progress on the project makes me delay and THEN is when the splinter get pounded "below deck" requiring the unpleasant digging.
    I do not usually let the dog in the garage/shop but it happens. For that reason and because I hate the mess of chips everywhere I stop, vacuum and sweep at least every hour of making chips, put away tools make order. I am COD about my work area.
     
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  12. Sep 5, 2019 #12

    TonyM

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    Before anyone follows Tomitores advise in post 4 they should read up on the dangers of using compressed air on the skin.
    Even low pressure can be dangerous
    I don't even use compressed air for cleaning down equipment because it blows dust and debris into places it would not normally go.
     
  13. Sep 5, 2019 #13

    Cogsy

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    Rather than use a needle to dig the nasty ones out, I use a disposable splinter probe which are nice and sharp, have a plastic handle which makes manipulating them simple, and have a bit of a 'triangular' grind on the tip which somehow seems to grab onto the splinters easier. They come in packs of 10 for around $1 so I always keep some on hand.

    And I agree about not blowing chips off machines with compressed air - sure it takes most of them off but it makes the tiny ones airborne and can drive some into places they couldn't/shouldn't normally get.
     
  14. Sep 5, 2019 #14

    tornitore45

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    Out of curiosity I googled "Compressed Air on Skin Danger" and got several hits.
    My conclusion is that a 500 PSI gun in in the hands of a 5 years old is extremely dangerous.
    A wide nozzle, fed by a 100 PSI tank, in the hand of somebody with no less than 64 working brain cells is very safe.

    I have been using compressed air for 16 years and never had a problem.

    Of course I do not use a needle gun pressed on skin but keep a large bore nozzle far away to disperse the air stream and pressure, do not blow in my ears, nose or eyes, navel or other orifices.
    I vacuum most chips and blow the few left over paying attention in which direction, avoid stirring up light dust that can stay airborne and then breathing into the cloud.

    If you think you can operate a tool machine safely, you are smart enough to use your air gun.

    I remember a piece of new 60 years ago where one idiot horsing around someway managed to put an air gun into or near a coworker anus and killed him.
    Yes compressed air is dangerous.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  15. Sep 5, 2019 #15

    doc1955

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    Yes air can be dangerous on skin. If you have any nicks or cuts it is even low pressure that can be bad. I watched a dud blow chips off on his clothing and next thing he was an the floor. Seems he had a very small cut and the air was blown under the skin and the air caused him to black out. The doctor said he was lucky and that he could have died from it. Keep a brush handy on your machines a cheapy brush works fine. I fine that and the vac work the best. I will occasionally give the vise a blast but I try not to.
     
  16. Sep 5, 2019 #16

    goldstar31

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    Where iron and steel are involved, the sim[;e thing is obviously a powerful magnet.Usually from the field coil pf of a duff electric motor!
    Again, I use what could be regarded as a crude topical anaesthetic which used to be ether meths from my days with 'Diesel' model engines etc.
    I now find that impossible to obtain and I simply use a damp start aerosol to numb the damaged finger'

    However, I did find many replies quite constructive too

    Happy probing

    N orm
     
  17. Sep 5, 2019 #17

    TonyM

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    I am biting my lip here because I think you are uneducated in the safe use of compressed air. Nevertheless I am getting on my high horse because I think trying to reinforce your extremely bad advice is unforgivable.

    I cannot believe you could possibly draw those conclusions if you had checked reputable sources, not just your average internet dope. In some countries it is even illegal to use compressed air for cleaning. I think Canada is one of them.

    I believe that the more experienced members here have a degree of responsibility to help make our hobby as safe as we can for novices and those less experienced than ourselves. It's part of what this site is about.

    I have personally witnessed two cases of compressed air embolism. One was with 60 psi line pressure and one was less than 40 psi. One guy only survived because he was near a decompression tank in a navy yard.

    The proper advice is NEVER use compressed air to dust down your clothes or skin.
     
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  18. Sep 5, 2019 #18

    doc1955

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    Amen you should never use air and I totally agree with what yu have said here!!
     
  19. Sep 5, 2019 #19

    deeferdog

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    I think that most of us are of an age where we have the ability to set our own safety standards in our own workplaces. It's your shop and if you think using compressed air to clean is good, then that's OK by me. In my shed, I do what I think is necessary for a safe environment.
     
  20. Sep 5, 2019 #20

    abby

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    I saw this posted on another modelling forum , reading the replies to this thread reminded me of it !

    Q: How many people does it take to change a light bulb on a Forum?

    A: 1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.
    14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.
    7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.
    17 purists who use candles and are offended by light bulb discussions.
    6 to argue over whether it's 'lightbulb' or 'light bulb'.
    Another 6 to condemn those 6 as stupid.
    22 to tell THOSE 6 to stop being jackasses.
    2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is 'lamp'.
    15 know-it-alls who claim they were in the industry, and that 'light bulb' is perfectly correct.
    19 to post that this page is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a light bulb page.
    11 to defend the posting to this page saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant here.
    36 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty.
    7 to ask if the brands of light bulbs used are worth the money.
    19 to tell them that if they like the light bulbs, buy them.
    5 People to post pics of their own light bulbs.
    15 People to post "I can't see S$%^!" and use their own light bulbs.
    7 to post URL's where one can see examples of different light bulbs.
    4 to post that the URL's were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL's.
    5 to post to the page that they will no longer post or are leaving because they cannot handle the $!%cking light bulb controversy.
    6 to report the post or PM an admin because someone said "f÷×$"
    4 to say "Didn't we go through this already a short time ago?".
    13 to say "Do a search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs".
    1 to bring politics into the discussion by adding that (insert politician of choice) isn't the brightest bulb.
    4 more to get into personal attacks over their political views.
    5 admins to ban the light bulb posters who took it all too seriously.
    1 late arrival to comment on the original post 6 months later and start it all over again.

    Dan.
     

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