Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. --Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sometimes, Working In a Shop Environment Provides you with Good Stories

This brought to you by me, from work. Here goes.

So, I was at work and my particular job that morning was to make 150 feet of molding. No big deal, just mill out the pieces of wood, and send them through the molding machine. Done. I was particularly excited, because I had been informed that the blade on the straight-line rip saw had been changed. Bonus. Everything runs so much smoother with new blade.

I turned on the blower, which prevents me from getting covered in a plethora of saw dust by sucking it up via some ducts. And then I adjusted the machine accordingly, and pressed the two buttons that turn on the saw, and activate the feed. Great. Everything was going perfectly. I selected one of my ten foot boards, lined up the edge with the laser, and let the machine pull it in. 

Before continuing, I must say that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that something isn't right when cutting wood. Immediately, I knew that this was not how the saw was supposed to sound when it cut. Additionally, the plume of smoke that drifted away from my board was far from typical. My first thought was oh, shit. What did I do? At that precise moment, two options lay before me: 1.) Push the emergency stop; or 2.) Allow the board to continue through, and shut off the machine once it is out. 

I opted for #2 for a variety of reasons that I will not go into detail about at this moment.

When the feed had spit the board out the other side of the machine, I shut it off, and when to inspect the damage. The edges of the wood had been perfectly toasted black, and were impeccably shredded to mimic the look of rough stock (wood that has not been milled, yet, and is not smooth). 

I turned myself around, and walked straight to the guy that I was pretty sure would know what was going on (I had my own hunch, but would prefer the opinion of someone who has been in the field longer).
               "That didn't sound right," He commented, after I had walked over.
               "No," I answered.
               "It could be some oil I put on the blade when I changed it, let's run the piece again and see what happens."
                "Shut off the blower, before we do this."
I shut off the blower, and we ran the piece again. The machine made the same horrific noise, and this time, not only did the machine we were using emit a beautiful white cloud of swirling smoke, but so did several of the surrounding machines, and wherever there was a way for it to escape from the duct work. The board emerged from the other side, looking black as ever. We shut off the machine, and when I looked up, the guy motioned to our surroundings which were fogged up by the drifting, thin, white smoke.
                "Sweet," I said, being facetious, of course.
                "I think I know what's wrong," He told me. He made sure that the emergency stop was pushed so he could open up the machine and look inside.
                "Yup. I put the blade in backwards," He said, looking at the blade with a grin.
                "That would explain it," I responded.

And that was my adventure yesterday at work. On another, less humorous, but just-as-important note: I am almost finished with my first year at my new college. One year left till I have a bachelor's degree. Yay. About five years left until I am finished with school. Double yay.

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