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Tool Incident

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by Donovan Bailey, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
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    146
    Location:
    Gainesville, VA
    Before I get into this, I would like to relay that I am a solid Doug Thompson fan. Doug is a truly experienced engineer and he has spent a considerable amount of his life researching and developing what I consider to be the very best quality tools out there for us turners. Even so, I had a serious incident involving a Thompson tool that I pass on that will hopefully serve as a safety note to someone on the importance of developing a safe body position at the lathe during cutting operations. Awhile back I was making light inside finishing cuts on a walnut bowl and in a blink of an eye my 1/2 gouge was ripped out of my hands and slammed down on my left foot breaking my toe. After hopping around and yelling bad words for a respectable length of time I investigated what might have caused this "catch from hell." After exhausting my examination options involving the wood (tenon give way, etc.) I took a close look at the tool and discovered that the tool glue joint was starved to the point that it gave way (see the pic). I then picked up a detail gouge that I had ordered at about the same time and I was able to twist it in half in my hands...also starved glue joint. Of course I informed Doug (but not about the toe) and being the gentleman that he is he offered to repair the tools (said this was a problem that he had with one of his helpers that had now moved on)...but I just sanded/epoxyed them back together. I only relay this incident to pass on the importance of carefully thinking about and developing a technique and cutting stance that keeps you out of the firing line at all possible times. I have hesitated about passing the details of this incident along (plus I have 10 toes so that was no big deal)...but had I not had a good cutting position developed over the years then this fluke incident could have possibly had a much more ugly outcome. Hopefully this sorry incident might serve as an example and help someone.
    Thompson Tool.jpg
     
    Bill Boehme and hockenbery like this.
  2. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Southeast Tennessee
    Thanks for the information. Did you have to call a "toe" truck?
     
  3. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I guess I would add that we should never disregard the stress of shock loads with a major catch. Not sure if those collets are pressed in or just pushed in and rely on the adhesive to keep them in place. If it is both of the above, that would make for a stronger joint... Doug is a good man.

    robo hippy
     
  4. Paul Grenier

    Paul Grenier

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    Location:
    Mossup, CT
    Wouldn't a press fit result in the adhesive being pushed down into the tool handle resulting in even less adhesive in the joint?
     
  5. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    Apr 13, 2017
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    146
    Location:
    Gainesville, VA
    It is not a press fit...glue only, and I'm fine with that. However, I want to make sure that it is understood that I did not have a catch which led to the tool separation. What happened is that the tool elected to come apart at that particular time. In fact, I had minimum cutting pressure on the tool (light smoothing cut) when this happened.
     
  6. John Hicks

    John Hicks

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2020
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    136
    Location:
    Hoodsport, Washington
    Anything made by man can fail. How many YouTube videos I've watched and the person had a severely bent bowl gouge; all you can say is "ouch".
     
  7. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
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    You are watching the wrong videos
    There are a bunch of quacks with video cameras who have a very poor skill set making videos.
    They are a danger to themselves and anyone who watches their videos.

    AAW Volunteers have reviewed hundreds of videos for safe and effective practices.
    https://www.woodturner.org/AAW/Article-Search.aspx
    Pick video in the type.

    the videos you get will all have safe and effective techniques.

    stay safe and watch smartly.


     
  8. Curtis Fuller

    Curtis Fuller

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    121
    Location:
    North Ogden, Utah
    This post made me go take a close look at the couple Doug Thompson tool handles I have. I actually thought the handles were a one piece machined handle with an end that screws in. I would suggest you send the photos of the separated handle to Doug Thompson. I'm sure that would result in a new handle arriving shortly in your mailbox. Thompson tools are as good a turning tool as any tool out there and the only thing better than the tool is his guarantee. But the main thing is that he needs to know this occurred if he can make any changes to prevent it in the future.
     
  9. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    I have lost count how many times I have seen this same old story. I have to search but I think we even have a thread about it here on the forum.
     
  10. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    So his tools are known in the past to separate like this?
     
  11. Clifton C

    Clifton C

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    408
    Location:
    Hampton Roads Virginia
    Well, I lurked for awhile before joining, joined forum in 2006. Cannot remember reading about D/T tool handle failures. I searched this site and the web, and so far, haven't found anything about Thompson tool handle failures but still searching.
    Since I have two of his handles, I would like to know, "isolated incident" or "lost count"?
     
  12. Russ Braun

    Russ Braun

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    Nov 18, 2012
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    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    I have purchased several of Doug Thompson’s tools. The handles do not look like this on my tools. Perhaps this issue has been designed out in a newer, upgraded design. It’s not uncommon for improvements to have been made over time! A great post to remind people about the older handles and to be careful about anything man made. How many times have we gotten on an amusement park ride assuming they are safe to ride!
     
  13. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    La Grange, IL
    uhhh... Actually, never.
     
  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    :):)Hundreds of times at Disney world....:):)

    They are really safe now....
    They won’t be at all safe on July 9.
    My state is not doing well COVID-19. So sad that we can’t do 1/2 as well as South Korea.

    the Florida Symposium is scheduled for 5 February 2021.
    Not looking good with Florida’s COVID trajectory.
     
  15. Bob Sheppard

    Bob Sheppard

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2017
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    Location:
    Wanaque, NJ
    Sorry to hear about your incident. I hope your healing goes smoothly.
    I have several of Doug's tools, but I prefer to buy them unhandled. Partly because I'm cheap, but also because I make each handle a little different, between shape and wood, so I can quickly ID the tool I want.
     
    Curtis Fuller and hockenbery like this.
  16. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    Location:
    New City, NY
    Wow! Glue joint failure. Thanks for sharing your experience.
    To me it doesn’t matter who made the tool, it failed catastrophically. Many of the Woodturning tools from a variety of manufacturers especially the tools that have tang like connections in the handle, can over time, loosen up. They should be checked from time to time. Perhaps to make them safer, a mechanical connection made with screws or a weld added between the collar and the handle will secure them better.

    This could have been a horror story and I’m glad it wasn’t.

    In a past thread, it was reported that while sharpening, the joint that secures the gouge and the handle failed and destroyed a CBN wheel. As a result of reading this post, I stopped using the wolverine like slide for sharpening Skews or roughing gouges. For those tool handles that do not have a mechanical joint, I switched over to platform grinding.
    Although I have sharpened for over twenty years without incident, it is better to take the safer path. Check your handle joints periodically.
     

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