Introduction: Drill Press Safety ( Lesson Cost Six Stiches)
Any accident, mistake, or blunder is a learning opportunity. The following incident is no exception.
I was making an oak cabinet which included some nice brass hinges, but the screw holes in the hinges were not large enough. No problem, I could just ream out the holes on my drill press. I chucked the drill bit. I paused, realizing that a power drill can be dangerous, the bit can catch in the workpiece and cause it to spin; it can become a very dangerous spinning blade. Since I didn’t want that, I got out my vise grips and held the hinge tightly in one hand as I operated the drill press with the other. It did not spin, that’s for sure. The helix of the bit caught in the hole and slammed the hinge and my hand almost instantly up into the chuck. In a fraction of a second the sharp edges of the spinning chuck did the inevitable damage to my thumb and forefinger. A trip to the emergency room and six stitches later, I had definitely learned another lesson. Like clamp the workpiece down and get my hands out of the way!