Something told me it was going to be an interesting day . . . but it’s always interesting in some way or another.
This is a very unusual wound . . . and an interesting story nonetheless. Peggy and I had my parents over on Saturday night. We worked to get the garden stuff done as well as the final things for the dust collector. I was showing my dad the stuff in the garage and was thinking out loud on the old router that he gave me. It was an old McGrawHill router that is all steel and very well made. I don’t think there’s more than two or three plastic parts in the entire thing—in fact it probably has more metal in it than three new routers.
My idea that I was bouncing off him was putting the router on a drop in table for the Shopsmith. I’ve seen other examples of that and Shopsmith even had a table that would bolt in, so I know it’s a possible and would be handy. I spun the collet on the router a few times and it seemed very dry. I loosened a few screws and got the end housing apart.
So I had the end cover off but decided to see if I could disassemble it further. I removed the four screws that I thought would hold the front piece on. I yanked on it and it wouldn’t budge. I figured there must be something else holding things in where they are supposed to be. I instead grabbed some turbine oil and proceeded to oil the ends. I think the front cover has a bearing, but the back end (commutator side) has one HUGE bushing. I decided to plug it in to see how it sounded now.
Ok—here’s where it gets interesting. I have several outlets in the garage and some of them are in the ceiling. I went to plug the router into one of those plugs . . . and your mind is probably racing already at the fun that soon ensued. Yes friends, it was mechanical mayhem at it’s best and perhaps this photo will give you a taste of what happened . . . and note the spacing of my wounds in the first picture.
The router was in the on position when I plugged it in and instantly started up. It probably reached full speed—about 20,000 RPM when the unexpected happened. Those four screws that firmly had held the front cover on—those that were laying on the bench . . . suddenly they became very necessary. Instead they watched haplessly as the rotor and endbell fell out of the housing at warp 10 . . . and fell directly down my front onto a cardboard box in front of me at waist level. I was still hanging onto the housing (sans guts) as the rotor was coming down and I instinctively tried to keep it from falling and tried to bat it back. The rotor still at speed wasn’t going to be thwarted by mere skin and bone. It latched into my hand and launched itself down and across the floor.
I don’t know what the biggest pain was, the actual wounds or the laughter that my dad and I shared in the complete chaos that had just transpired. My gut was wrenching from the shear hilarity of the entire thing. My dad didn’t know for sure if we should clue Peggy and my mom in on what exactly had happened. I have to promise Peggy that I keep all digits attached when I work in the garage, so this little injury was going to be another worry point. Thankfully I don’t plan on dissecting any other power tools and turning their mechanical fury against my flesh.
I was counting my blessings that the business end of the rotor didn’t decide to go for a little song and dance in my jeans crotch. I experienced a “fabric failure” when I was shoveling the next day and given the fact I managed to thrust the shovel handle through the fabric in my jeans, the “high speed rotor of doom” could have “Cuisinarted” it’s way through with no problems. It’s never a dull moment around our household—that’s for sure!
-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO - http://myoldgarage.blogspot.com