Sunday, January 16, 2011

Simple Sunday - Shop Safety

This is not a 'Simple' Sunday post but I want to tell this story today after being inspired by some photos I saw on Facebook this weekend. A former college classmate of mine posted a series of photos of his son's finger that he cut severely with a band saw in wood shop.  By severely I mean he was super super lucky he got to keep it.  It was literally hanging.  Disgusting photos I have to say.  Seeing this took me back to a time when I had my own very close call in my dad's shop.

(Doe - 2nd Grade)

I was 7 and in the 2nd grade.  I was a tomboy (I guess I still kinda am).  As a kid I spent a lot of time with my dad in his shop.  He taught me so much out there.  He is a machinist by trade and has several big machines in his shop.  He has a lathe, milling machine, drill press, table saw, jig saw, grinders... and tons of power tools too.  For as long as I can remember if I could dream it, he could more than likely make it. 

This story, however has to do specifically with the drill press.  My Sunday school class had plans to make mobiles.  My dad volunteered to drill holes in the doweling we needed to make the mobiles.  As usual I was in the shop with him and he was teaching me how to drill the holes.  We marked the dots in pencil where the hole needed to be drilled and I would secure the dowels in the vice, then lower the handle down and put the hole right in.  It was fun for a kid like me who loved not only being helpful but helping out in the shop. 

As you can see from my 2nd grade photo above I had bangs and two ponytails just behind the rest of my hair hanging long in the back.  Although you can't see it in this photo the length of my hair was almost to my little skinny waist.  Dad was standing just to my left at the workbench and I was on a stool drilling holes.  I got hot, so I wanted to take my sweater off.  Instead of switching off the motor as my dad taught me, I accidentally turned off the machine's light switch instead.  As I turned to step off the stool I flung my head around and my hair flew out, my left ponytail getting wrapped up in the still spinning machine.

I screamed and my dad turned and to his worst horror sees his child up against a spinning drilling machine.  He turns off the motor and picks me up.  I was horrified and my dad completely freaked out.  He ran me into the house where my mom was giving my little sister a bath.  Mom got my sister dressed and we all got into the car and headed to the hospital.  There wasn't much they could do for me.  The nurse gave my mom scissors and she started to chop off my hair (I was kinda excited about this as I had been begging to get my hair cut short.)  I guess they also gave me a tetanus shot and then sent us home.  I had a scratch on my upper cheek, (you can still faintly see the scar if you really look) a bump on my forehead at my hairline and a little scratch in the now bald spot where my ponytail used to be. 

(My Bald Spot)
I don't remember crying although I am sure there were some tears.  I am pretty sure however that most of the tears came from my dad.  He was devastated and I cannot say I blame him one bit.  Thank the Lord above that it wasn't worse than it was.  My dad still has some little hairs on that drill press to act as a reminder of the dangers of machinery.  The moral of all of this being... you can never be too cautious or careful around machines.  The whole experience hasn't kept me out of the shop, it think it just made me stronger.  I did eventually get my super short tomboyish haircut but I refuse to post those photos.  I had no idea how bad short hair looked on me.  I should've stayed with the shoulder length locks like in these photos.  (See the little scratch on my cheek?)

(The new fancy do)
(My 2nd Grade Comb Over)
The owner of the local beauty school fixed me up with a, yep, you got it, a comb over!  Ha!  My mom would braid my hair over the side to cover the bald spot then eventually as the hair grew out I got a short hairdo that I didn't end up growing back out until the 8th grade and its been long ever since!  You'd never know today, my hair is as thick and long as ever. 

1 comment:

  1. Every time I hear this story I feel so bad for you, and your Dad. Ouch! You were lucky.