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Blog entry by Brad_Nailor posted 05-20-2012 05:13 PM 3141 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You think sometimes, that when your using certain pieces of machinery that your fairly safe. I mean..what could happen when innocently sanding a circular opening in a white oak panel with your spindle sander…right?

I don’t keep my compressor plugged in all the time. It kicks on @ 4AM to the delight of my family so I only plug it in when I need to use it, which I did this morning. I am spraying a tray with lacquer and I was using the compressed air to clean the dust off the piece after sanding between coats. I am also working on a white oak elevated dog bowl holder. I was sanding the round openings in the dog bowl holder that I had just cut out with my jigsaw, on the spindle sander. It’s alot like a router where you have a “climb cut” phenomenon especially exaggerated with the circular opening, with the spindle in the middle with 80 grit on it. Well I was sanding away making some good progress, when it the blink of an eye…the compressor kicked on to refill the tank, I wasn’t expecting it and it startled me. I took my concentration off what I was doing for a millisecond and the spindle grabbed the panel on the climb cut side and whipped it out of my hands, due also to the fact that my grip had loosened slightly due to the distraction. So in the blink of an eye I now have a 3/4” white oak panel spinning like a propeller around the spindle, and the whole sander starts walking twords the end of the counter due to the off balance swinging of the panel…all the stuff stored in the base is going flying and I am trying to reach down and hit the power switch without getting wailed by the spinning panel … I hit the power and the whole thing stopped….It all happened in the span of maybe a couple seconds. The panel hit me in the palm of my left hand and made a nice hole..and it dented the corners a little….my sander is OK, and I was able to find all the parts that went flying.

As I sit here thinking it could have been worse…it’s just how amazing how fast bad things can happen…


16 comments so far

View Myron Wooley's profile

Myron Wooley

226 posts in 5354 days

#1 posted 05-20-2012 05:45 PM

” the blink of an eye…” I’m glad you weren’t seriously injured. Things can go wrong so quickly, and even the fastest reflexes can’t possibly keep you from getting smacked or worse if you are in the path of destruction.

I’ve never thought of a spindle sander as being particularly dangerous; your mishap reinforces the fact that we must always expect the unexpected. Thanks for telling your story, and again, I’m glad you weren’t hurt!


-- The days are long and the years are short...

View ShipWreck's profile


557 posts in 5210 days

#2 posted 05-20-2012 06:43 PM

Glad to hear your ok Brad.

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 4229 days

#3 posted 05-20-2012 07:02 PM

My air compressor always startles me when it goes off even when I’m expecting it so I got in the habit of turning it on to fill it up, then turning it off. When I need it to fill I turn it back on again.

Another alternative is making a sound dampening box, so it doesn’t startle ya when it goes off.

Accidents happen, the important thing is to do our best to minimize them, and hopefully prevent any permanent injury when they do happen.


PS. That came off kinda like lecturing >< which wasn’t my intention I’m glad you’re ok and just wanted to say that accidents happen to all of us :)

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4573 days

#4 posted 05-20-2012 07:05 PM

glad to hear its only a minor thing
but accident normaly happens in a split second
thanks for the reminder of even a sander can be dangerous


View PurpLev's profile


8654 posts in 5106 days

#5 posted 05-20-2012 07:43 PM

makes you realize just how much the “it would never happen to me” phrase doesn’t hold any water. these things happen so fast there is no way anyone can react in time for this.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Gabe C.'s profile

Gabe C.

288 posts in 3799 days

#6 posted 05-20-2012 08:24 PM

It’s one of those things that rings in my head when I am involved in something that could potentially go badly. I think, “Well, I’m safe. It couldn’t happen to me…maybe I don’t need to go find my safety glasses…maybe I don’t need to have my push stick to run this through the saw”...or something similar. And then that little voice, “Hey, NOBODY ever PLANS to lose a finger, lose their sight…or have some sort of accident”.
It takes so much concentration and awareness…and as safe as we can be, these dangerous moments still occur. Thank god that you came out of it reasonably okay, and learned a valuable lesson. Good luck to all of us as we indulge our craft.

-- If I could just get this whole "Time/Money" problem figured out...

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5415 days

#7 posted 05-20-2012 09:47 PM

Thanks is one of those situations nobody expects or prepares for..not that I was being careless, but you just don’t expect anything to happen with a spindle sander except maybe a pinched finger…

And as a side note…the sander is the Rigid combo spindle/belt sander and while I like it alot I am starting to notice especially with larger pieces that the silver paint on the table seems to be rubbing off on my pieces. The panel was covered with rubbings from the table top. Nothing that a little sanding didn’t get rid of, but that’s not cool…


View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 4443 days

#8 posted 05-20-2012 11:32 PM

I had a similar “blink of an eye” moment this weekend when I took a cut just a little bit too deep on the lathe and next thing I know I’m hunting for the other half of my part. Sure confirmed that my heart works just fine. I bet yours did that too.

Glad to hear you are okay. Even when we ARE paying attention and doing things right, things can happen. Especially when it involves something spinning at high speeds!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 5371 days

#9 posted 05-21-2012 12:37 AM

Lessons learned. I’m glad you weren’t hurt seriously. If we all shared more stories like this it would be a wake up call for everyone. Stay safe.

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5440 days

#10 posted 05-21-2012 01:57 AM

Be careful Bud. Happy to hear only minor. Could have been allot worse.

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

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4475 days

#11 posted 05-21-2012 02:51 AM

Inattention or not, accidents happen when you least expect and sometimes scare the daylights out of you and rudely reminding you to take better care and with more awareness for “next time”, but hopefully there is no next time! Glad it was not any worse.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5130 days

#12 posted 05-21-2012 03:56 AM

Glad you was not hurt bad. Thats why it pays to pay attention.

View ChuckV's profile


3505 posts in 4985 days

#13 posted 05-21-2012 12:38 PM

I’m glad that you were not seriously hurt. Thanks for the reminder – it really helps us all.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3672 posts in 5170 days

#14 posted 05-22-2012 04:57 AM

Thanks for the wake-up call. Most of us have never thought of a spindle sander as being dangerous, but now we know better.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4324 days

#15 posted 05-22-2012 08:31 PM

I have a machinist buddy who was telling me about one time he was grinding the inside of a die with a die grinder when the bit bent and because of the speed it started vibrating something fierce. He was holding on with both hands and hopping around the shop trying to pull the drop cord with his feet but he had the cords taped as well as plugged and was having difficulty pulling it out of the wall. He was afraid to rearrange his hands. He finally got the cord pulled out with his feet. He’s got a pretty good sense of humor and when he tells it he’ll get a laugh out of you every time – I guarantee it.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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