A Dozen Things I learned the Hard Way in Mike’s Amateur Workshop

  1. Never change the blade of a cordless Dremel tool, without removing the battery first. Just don’t do it!
  2. Never start a plumbing project, after the hardware stores have closed. Never, ever.
  3. Never strip the insulation off a 110 V house power line with your teeth, even if you are “quite sure” the current to that room has been cut off. I’m warning, just don’t do it!
  4. Never weld on the frame of a car AFTER you have coated the frame with rubberized rust proofing.
  5. Related to # 4, always check your fire extinguisher in your workshop BEFORE you actually need it.
  6. Never forgo wearing ear protectors when you use power equipment, even though you are behind schedule and cannot find the ear protectors. Go to the hardware store and buy new ones if you must. It is hard to type right now with the ringing that lives inside my head, perpetually.
  7. Don’t forget to put your face shield back down, after sipping your beer, when you are using an angle grinder. Trips to the ED for cornea FB removal and using a bur to remove rust stains are not pleasant.
  8. Related to # 7, when a colleague takes care of your eye in the ED, don’t allow him to get distracted by asking you questions about your clinic, then forgetting to give you something for pain for when the local wears off. Keep him or her focused on your eye, no pun intended. I almost chewed the foam out of my pillow when the corneal pain returned.
  9. Never look into the end of a paint spray gun, that wasn’t working and then pull the trigger. Just don’t do it!
  10. Never build a project when your radial arm saw is not squared up and locked in (2 degrees off on woodcuts adds up to a wobbly nightmare).
  11. Never lay with your torso under a car, grinding on with an angle grinder, your pelvis and legs sticking out, and a 10 lb. sledgehammer laying on top of the car. It will ALWAYS find your crotch when it falls off.
  12. Never get your fingers within three inches of the blade of a miter saw. When the wood slips, you will find that trimming your nails to the nail plate with a 12-inch rough cut saw blade is not the safest way to get a manicure.

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