Splinters

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Cogsy

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So we know compressed air is dangerous, even at relatively low pressures, and shouldn't be used for cleaning (it is even illegal in some places). Like deeferdog says, we are free to choose our own safety standards in our own shops, but I don't think we should be promoting dangerous (and potentially illegal) practices to others.

I've been guilty of blowing myself down after rolling around in the dirt under trucks, etc., or sticking my hand in a compressed air stream, but after reading the info out there I won't be doing it anymore. The fact that nothing bad has happened to me even after doing it so many times is irrelevant - it's an instance of survivorship bias.

Oh - and now that I use LED tubes in the shed, I NEVER need to change light bulbs :p
 

charmseza

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Compressed air is very dangerous. It not only spread chips far and wide, but makes small particles airborne where you can inhale it. Trust me. Metal in the lungs / eyes are worse than in the hands.

Use an oiled brush to wipe chips into chip tray.

Gloves and rotating machines are a big no-no.

Ohs will have a field day here lol

BTW, I love this forum.
 

mortimer

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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.
Just to add to the confusion, in South Africa . a light bulb is referred to as a Globe
 

Mousetrap

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What a mob of wimps, just let the steel / brass splinters fester and they they squeeze out easily. They don't hurt as much as sparks from the arc welder.

A light bulb is also referred to as a Globe in Australia.
 

GrahamJTaylor49

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I am a compressed air engineer. I sell air compressors, air systems on workshops and factories and I am consulted on how to use compressed air safely.
I have to tell my clients about the danger of compressed air. DON'T, DON'T, DON'T ever blow yourself down with compressed air. A number of things can happen. 1. The compressed air can blow dirt and contaminants through the pores of the skin and can cause blood poisoning. 2. The compressed air itself can get through the skin and cause an embolism in the blood stream which if it reaches the heart will cause heart failure. Never put the nozzle of ablow gun anywhere near your mouth, even a small increase of air pressure above 1 bar can cause the very thin wall if the alveoli to rupture resulting in the collapse of the lung. I have to give talks on the whole subject of compressed air to foremen and charge hands in factories on the correct and safe use of compressed air and it's amazing how few of the people realize the dangers.
Compressed air is as dangerous as electricity but unfortunately is treated with contempt in most workshops. I repeat my warning,
DON'T, DON'T, DON'T blow yourself down with compressed air, use a soft brush and always wear safety glasses when blowing down your machinery.
 

tornitore45

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Pretty funny Dan, but we are not there yet.
Anyway the purpose of forums is the discuss, share experiences and debate.
Sure it can get out of hands.
Deeferdog clinched issue pretty well, I thought.
 

doc1955

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I was under the assumption that this message board was to promote best practices. Some seem to think just because nothing bad has happened to them it's just fine. I say you are never too old to learn something. That includes safe practices.
 

tornitore45

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To the self appointed safety czars. Safety is first and foremost a matter of knowledge and intelligence. There is value in experience and the fact that in 74 years one has not had a car crash, fall from high places, burns, broken bones, poisoned himself in a life free from regrets is a testament that my practice is fine despite what a piece of paper or unqualified evidence may indicate.
The first rule of physic is that fact and experiment win on theories.
Rigid ultra conservative rules are for those that lack the intelligence of addressing the specific issue at hand.
That said, is wise to reflect on the specific condition whenever one decide to brake a rule. You can cross on a red light, the light is not what is going to hurt you, just do not be stupid about.

The purpose of the board is primarily to share experiences on a common interest, if you think you know a best practice please share it but do not be pompous about if someone has a different opinion.
 

doc1955

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LOL I don't believe I was being pompous about anything. But as far as safety goes in the 43 years of working in the shop environment and 30 of them on the shop floor I do believe I have the knowledge to point out bad practices! In those 30 years have attended many safety class's and have learned about a lot of best practices. And yes you can make it though your life without any major accidents not following best practices does that mean it's ok. (I think not) And if you believe you are too old to learn anything new I truly feel sorry for you as life must be very boring LOL I once worked with a dude that thought he knew all about everything to say the least he did not last long.
 

IanN

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Hi,

Apart from the well documented dangers of using compressed air to "clean" work, machines and humans already mentioned, there is another angle:

Compressed air will blow tiny fragments between the bearing surfaces of machine slides, beds, etc. these particles mix with the oil present and form an excellent abrasive/grinding paste which results in greatly increased wear of beds, slides, etc.

Any form of metal cutting produces a localised dusting of swarf, and you know where this swarf is. Applying compressed air distributes the swarf over a larger area putting sharp shards of metal in to places where you don't expect them. It is not possible to blow distributed debris in to a nice neat pile.

In industry in the UK blowing down a machine to clean it constitutes "misuse of compressed air" and is considered so dangerous it can result in instant dismissal (I teach engineering apprentices and so I know air is used in some shops for cleaning, but it is through the the "initiative" of the worker and never specified as a documented procedure - and don't expect the company to back you when it causes an accident)

This recent article may be of interest regarding the "professional view" in the USA:

https://www.practicalmachinist.com/tips-and-tricks/safety-tips-machine-shops/

All the best,
Ian
 

Brian Lawson

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Getting away from the "air stories" for now and back to the splinter question.
I can't help much with how to avoid them other than luck or don't "DO" anything. I had a metal sliver in my thumd and went to the plant nurse, and she used an Exacto knife (sorry, it was YEARS ago) in the area I was complaining it hurt (poor me eh!?!). Anyway she worked the blade "flat" and parallel to the skin and dragged in a 90 degree pattern each way VERY slowly until she "caught" the sliver. This allowed her to lift it and grab it. Works for me now, except I use one of thoes replaceable sharp blades.
 

doc1955

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Getting away from the "air stories" for now and back to the splinter question.
I can't help much with how to avoid them other than luck or don't "DO" anything. I had a metal sliver in my thumd and went to the plant nurse, and she used an Exacto knife (sorry, it was YEARS ago) in the area I was complaining it hurt (poor me eh!?!). Anyway she worked the blade "flat" and parallel to the skin and dragged in a 90 degree pattern each way VERY slowly until she "caught" the sliver. This allowed her to lift it and grab it. Works for me now, except I use one of thoes replaceable sharp blades.
That is pretty much how I do the same only with a single edge razor blade I go from our paint shop many years back (still works). They since remover those plus the exacto knives from the shop so now you'd be SOL for that. They had too many minor cuts so corporate in all their wisdom or lack there of removed all knives of any kind.
 

57mm_M18

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Use a good shop vac to clean up slivers and chips. You may still get slivers from time to time but, you won't blow them all over creation and into your eyes, skin and machine nooks and crannies. Makes for a lot cleaner shop in my opinion.
 

ALEX1952

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To enlarge upon Brian Lawsons comment I use the open jaws of a vernier at flat to the skin using the same method to locate the splinter then close the jaws on the little blighter and pull, try it it works and for the us with less than 20/20 eyesight the jaws allow a large margin of error to grip the splinter.
 

CFLBob

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Yesterday I realized the forum wasn't updating me on this thread anymore. I thought the original poster always got updated. I missed everything since the bottom of page 1.

That aside, I always used to use an Xacto knife (approxo knife) or actual scalpel from my 47 year old, junior college, dissection kit and was using a scary sharp pocket knife when my wife got me to try a needle. These splinters were tiny. I couldn't see some with my optivisor but only with a 10x jeweler's triplet. By puncturing the skin over the splinter and then using the needle as a lever to lift it, I got virtually all of them out. All that I can feel for now, but if anything "festers up", I'll know.

I'm concerned about how to not create them anymore, and I really think these came from using a couple of saws for parting off the flywheel. That's primarily because a 4" diameter blank is stretching the limits of my 8-1/2 by 20 lathe. My parting blade was extended so far, it had no rigidity and I broke two. I'm looking into going over to a carbide insert parting tool. I just haven't found one that fits my tool holders. Maybe that means I need to look into some other way of holding it.
 

Bryanbdp

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Sometimes I use duct tape. I originally saw people use it to help remove fiberglass dust & splinters. Stick it on, peel it off... especially if nothing else is handy.
 

CFLBob

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I've used duct tape and plain old masking tape. Sometimes it works, although tape seemed to work best on fiberglass.

For steel, like we're talking about here, I've used a stack of those rare earth magnets. Those can work if the skin hasn't closed over. Not sure I'd want them to work if they ripped stuff out through my skin.
 

tornitore45

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If you can see a splinter there are dozen of ways to remove it as described here. If you feel it, see the black spot but the sliver is below the shin surface the only way I know is to dig it out. The trick is to avoid letting the sliver be pounded in and break above the surface by neglecting it and grabbing stuff that bury it. I did not know about the needle made for that purpose and order a couple of packages.
I often wandered if a strong magnet can pull it out enough to be able to grab it.
If it work at all it may take days and I never had the patience to tape a magnet to my finger and wait.
 

stackerjack

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If you can see a splinter there are dozen of ways to remove it as described here. If you feel it, see the black spot but the sliver is below the shin surface the only way I know is to dig it out. The trick is to avoid letting the sliver be pounded in and break above the surface by neglecting it and grabbing stuff that bury it. I did not know about the needle made for that purpose and order a couple of packages.
I often wandered if a strong magnet can pull it out enough to be able to grab it.
If it work at all it may take days and I never had the patience to tape a magnet to my finger and wait.

I find the best way is to make an "X" shaped cut across the splinter, with a scalpel. Then peel the corners of the skin back and pin them to the surrounding area. That way it becomes very easy to get splinters out.
 
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