Band Saw Trance

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Forum topic by Zuki posted 03-07-2010 12:19 AM 1214 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1404 posts in 3495 days

03-07-2010 12:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: zuki

Something weird happened today while roughing out a couple of legs on the band saw for a chair that I am building.

I was closely following the line and guiding the wood when I noticed that the hum of the band saw and watching the blade slice through the wood was almost hypnotic.

Anyone ever had that sort of weird thing happen . . . or is it just me.

Oh . . . I was wearing hearing and breathing protection and did not drink or ingest anything that would cause this odd phenomena. :-)

-- BLOG -

15 replies so far

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1829 posts in 2587 days

#1 posted 03-07-2010 12:22 AM

Happend to me while using a router once, I hade to round over all four edges of about 75 1”x2” pine boards… its rather dangerous when this happens, you have to snap out of it really quickly or something could go really wrong.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

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Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3401 days

#2 posted 03-07-2010 12:25 AM

That can happen when I get tired.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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597 posts in 2501 days

#3 posted 03-07-2010 01:26 AM

It can happen with a lot of stationary mill work equipment. As Dan said….especially when your tired. When I train new people that’s one of the things they’re warned of. If it happens….SHUT ER’ DOWN! Sweep the floor for 5 or 10 go for a quick walk around the shop (outside) and get some fresh air. GET YOUR BRAINS BACK! Because if you don’t, it’ll happen again….only next time…

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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#4 posted 03-07-2010 02:02 AM

Whew . . . I thought I was weird . . . well weirder than normal. :-)

-- BLOG -

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10635 posts in 3665 days

#5 posted 03-07-2010 03:07 AM

Not weird at all Zuki in factory work or any repetitive job. We called it press hypnosis or press trance. After doing a job like operating a press for a few hours you can actually go into a trance like state, your actions become automatic and your brain isn’t even on what you’re doing, you’re a million miles away.That’s why so many limbs are lost in presses. It can happen in any repetitive job. Especially presses for some reasons. Even after safety measures were added in the early 60s with OSHA, they still occurred. I worked in a foundry for 20 years that was part of a press plant. My brother lost 3 fingers and part of his little finger in a press in 1965, he was wearing safety equipment. I’ve run a press in a drop forge, so I know how it can work on you. In the shop you couldn’t walk away from your job, but in your own shop you can. If you find your mind wandering, go do something else.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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1404 posts in 3495 days

#6 posted 03-07-2010 02:28 PM

Wow . . . that is scary Mike. Tks for the info.

So the moral of the story . . . if your mind starts to wander like the bs blade . . . then its time to get some fresh air.

-- BLOG -

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2180 posts in 3424 days

#7 posted 03-07-2010 02:35 PM

I have incentive not to let my mind wander. I’ve hit my thumb with a hammer before and figure cutting my thumb off might feel worse.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

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70 posts in 2501 days

#8 posted 03-07-2010 03:44 PM

Funny- I’m not speaking specifically to ‘hipnosis’ affect of the bandsaw- but being able to walk away is truly one of the things I cherish about woodworking. It’s the difference between a job and a hobby. It’s an obvious statement to sit here removed and say that if you are not focused on what you are doing- it will be dangerous. It’s another to come to the realization in the shop that you are in that situation and walk away- so if you are thinking it at all- guess what…

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1381 posts in 3546 days

#9 posted 03-07-2010 04:05 PM

Every band saw should be equipped with a small ice chest for transporting severed fingers to the hospital. :)

-- 温故知新

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2719 posts in 2851 days

#10 posted 03-07-2010 04:16 PM

I find that concentration to be rehabilitating. To me, the beauty of the bandsaw is just that hypnotic state where I can block everything else out of my mind. It refreshes me and I know I am concentrating on my work so there is less chance of injury. The only 2 times I have had injuries were when I was distracted by someone else.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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16229 posts in 3637 days

#11 posted 03-07-2010 05:26 PM

Ellen brings up a good point.

I think you can be in an almost trance-like state while you are in deep concentration. You become fully focused on what you are doing and the rest of the world melts away. That kind of trance is relaxing, because it provides escape from stress outside the shop. It’s also safe, because you are totally focused on the task.

On the other hand, that kind of trance Mike describes comes more from boredom, where your mind drifts away from the task at hand. That kind, as he pointed out, is extremely dangerous.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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10635 posts in 3665 days

#12 posted 03-07-2010 07:03 PM

You bet it’s dangerous Charlie, you should have seen the guys in that shop in Lansing, MI. it seemed like every 3rd or 4th guy you ran into had something missing, it was known around Lansing as the “meat market”. No kidding.” I still disagree with you guys to let your minds wander or to become absorbed in what you are doing to the point of shutting everything out, I believe it’s dangerous. Sorry to disagree.< All rights reserved Anyone can see this photo (edit >

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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#13 posted 03-07-2010 07:21 PM

Mike, that is really scary! I’m glad you didn’t have the same experience as your brother.

And after my run-in with a band saw, I am extra-alert whenever it gets turned on.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

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#14 posted 03-07-2010 07:26 PM

Happens to me all the time driving. I can’t tell you how many times I have driven past my exit while I am in dreamland.

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1404 posts in 3495 days

#15 posted 03-08-2010 01:27 AM

While using the BS today I made sure that I was more “alert”; however I did get into the “groove” (as Ellen mentioned) where everything else disappeared (even my shop help Chicklet).

To me there was a difference between the hypnosis I experience and getting in the groove.

On a side note I always wear tight fitting mechanics glove while using the BS. A couple of times the glove have been kissed by the blade preventing finger injury.

-- BLOG -

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