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911rat

Think Safety First!

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Caution long post!

 

Often we post questions about the safety of our sporter projects. Almost always the concern is the safety of the finished product. I'm sharing a personal story hoping to address safety issues during our sporter projects' construction.

 

A few days ago, I inletted my first bolt handle. I practiced on a bad receiver until I learned to inlet the receiver just enough so that the bolt closed with the ejector cut at TDC. I plan to prep all my receivers and have them heat treated.

 

I found that a dremel tool with a small diamond burr worked perfectly. being careful I could remove a little metal at a time until I could finish the job with hand tools. My first good receiver looks great, Though I'm not sure it's right yet. It seems as if the locking lugs either aren't touching or I'm getting very little contact. But I can feel the bolt "cam in."

 

A bit of background, I always use appropriate safety equipment. Whenever I cut, drill, grind etc... I wear safety goggles that fit over my eyeglasses.

 

After I finished for the night I showered before bed and determined that I had an eylash or something driving me crazy. No problem, it'll be gone by morning.

 

The next day I worked a 12 hour shift and still had that eyelash driving me nuts and I still couldn't find it.

 

When I woke the next morning for my next 12 hour day, I felt much worse. looking for the &^%$ eyelash that had been tormenting me I saw a small brown object about the size of a grain of sand at 2 o'clock in the cornea of my shooting eye.

 

I went to my doctor's office and he confirmed that there was indeed a small VZ24 fragment in my cornea and it had rusted. I was sent to the Opthomologist accross the street.

 

The Opthomologist used an eye drop anesthetic and had me put my head in that cradle thing they use and had me stare "into the light".

 

The instrument she used looked like a small probe or lance from what I could see and after she removed the offending chunk of VZ24, she told me that she would have to "drill out the rust". The "drill" looked a bit like a mechanical pencil and was barely audible. The entire procedure was painless and took less than couple minutes. The doctor told me there will be no scarring and I filled a prescription for some antibiotic eyedrops. I see her again Monday.

 

Best I can figure, I may have removed my goggles to see better when they fogged up and didn't put them on right away. I honestly don't remember the injury occuring. A day later and a few dollars lighter, the vision in my shooting eye is still a bit blurred and red and not really all that comfortable. I'm confident that it will return to normal once it heals.

 

It's not something I'd like to repeat and I was hoping others could learn from the experience. Remember your shop teacher lecturing about safety? He was right. Just something to think about.

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I used to keep a pair of safety glasses around that had a melted spot where a hot chip hit the lens. It wouldn't have done my eye any good! Please wear glasses when working on most anything!

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Remember to protect your lungs too. Grinding dust inhaled can lead to lung disease in later years. An inexpensive dust mask can be a lifesaver.

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I did the same thing and went through the de-rusting process from a brake drum lathe. I did it back in the early 70's. Back then I never used goggles unless we had to use the grinder on hard spots. After the Worker's Comp claim, goggles and dust masks became manditory. I still get an annual chest x-ray because of that job. Didn't know the hazords of arc grinding asbestos brake shoes. I was still in my hippie stage and the only precaution I took was keeping my long hair out of the way.

 

Apparently there have been some advances in the medical procedure. The tool the eye doc used on me looked like a dremal tool and sounded like a loud dental drill. It took all I had to hold still. Seems to me from the best I recall the doc gave me a Valium shot before he started "grinding". Hopefully the eye drops don't burn as bad as they did in the 70's, that I do recall vividly.

 

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I learned my lesson early in my career as a weldor. At first it was eyeburn from welding with the wrong shade lens. The company doctor prescribed a #12 shade lens. Damned hard to weld anything but the big rods with that, but since that is what we were using most it did the trick. No more soaking the eyeballs in Visine after work.

 

Edit: I take that back. There was no bad pain like eyeburn, but I still had to use the old eyecup every day after I came home. Now I remember why I left that job!

 

Then there was the occasional failure to drop the face shield when using the air powered weld chipper. I have had more than one piece of steel removed from my eyeballs, but they weren't from a VZ-24.

 

I didn't mention the welding sparks that somehow found their way into the ear. Ouch!

 

fritz

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Remember to protect your lungs too. Grinding dust inhaled can lead to lung disease in later years. An inexpensive dust mask can be a lifesaver.

 

 

God point to bring up. Sand blasting too. Don't forget about the dangers of silica.

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I too experienced the same situation. I received a small sliver of metal in my eye while wearing safety glasses and working on a firearm. As AZ, my incedent occurred in the late seventies and the opthomoligist used what looked to be a dentist drill to remove the rusted metal from my eye. The procedure was much less painfull the the rusted metal in my eye. From then on I make shure I'm wearing the proper protective eyewear when working with metal. My vision was back to normal in a couple of days but my value of sight was changed forever. Whatever you're doing make sure you are wearing the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) for the job.

 

RWims

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