Since dust collector woes and questions occasionally show up in this
newsgroup, last year I shared my own sad tale of woe with you all. With
Christmas approaching and many of you thinking about dust collectors being the
perfect present to give your wives, here's at tale that'll make your hair
stand on end.
(First appeared a year ago in this newsgroup)
A little over a year ago, I had an serious accident in my own shop
involving my 3 hp Jet dust collector. The recent discussion about dust
collecting has given me the "shove" necessary to write about it and the
passage of time has dulled the memory to the point where I can now discuss
it in public.
My wife is a sweetheart of a person, who I met for the first time while
attending kindergarten in our home town of Marshall MO. She beat me up
that first day of school. We were always friends during our school years
and continued to be friends right up to the time we were married. We've
now been married for 29 years and she has mellowed to the point where she
seldom beats me up anymore, since it upsets the dog when it happens.
About a year ago, my wife and I decided to "reward" ourselves for the last
kid going off to college with a trip to Alaska and a leisurely cruise down
the Inside Passage to Vancouver. It was to be a vacation of a lifetime
for us. Planning for the trip went smoothly, with the only glitch being
my good wife forgetting to make an appointment at the beauty parlor for
the day before we were to leave.
I spent the day before the trip straightening up my shop so that a
burglar wouldn't trip over anything and sue me for his injuries. My wife
came downstairs in the afternoon to ask me if I would trim her hair just
a tad so that it would look better for the trip. Since I've been
virtually bald since my days in college, I have always just cut my own
hair with an old pair of Oster clippers that I bought while in college.
There, I had learned the simple fact that food is more important than a
In my shop, I have a 3-hp Jet dust collector that is fed via blast gates
from both ducts in the floor AND via a 25' 4" flex hose that connects to the
floor sweep/planer/jointer or other movable tools. Since my wife's hair
is about 3" long, I thought that it'd be nice to hold the clippers inside
the 4" flex pipe so that her hair would stand straight out from her
head. This would make it easier to get a smooth cut, in my opinion.
note: FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO MIGHT BE SENSITIVE, quit reading right here
For those of you continuing to read this tale of woe, here's what
happened. This is absolutely true and unadulterated or exaggerated.
My dear wife of 29 years, and the mother of my children, placed her rump
on a stool I keep in the shop and proceeded to tell me exactly how much
hair she wanted removed from the top, sides and bangs. I walked over to
the DC, fired it up and closed off all but the blast gate leading to the
4" flex hose. With the old Oster clippers up inside the hose and me
grasping the cutter end of them between my thumb and forefinger, I could
hold the 4" flex hose with the other hand and maneuver both things easily.
I leaned over my wife's pretty face and made the first cut- doing her
The hair stood out perfectly from her forehead and the results of that
first swipe was terrific. I figured that I would probably get some reward
from a beauty college for my wonderful invention. The second swipe was
from side-to-side just above and behind the bangs. It went equally well.
Then all hell broke loose.
I claim that my wife moved, but she claims that claim is merely caused by
the random firing of obviously defective neurons in my addled brain.
For the third swipe, I had walked around to the rear of my wife's head and
was beginning to make the cut across the top of her head. Regardless of
the cause (I still say it had to be her fault), the damn 4" flex hose
somehow sucked down onto the top of her dear, sweet head. The clippers
were running full bore inside the pipe and doing the job that Mr. Oster
had designed his clippers to do.
The suction of a DC hose isn't great, but when even the most modest
suction is spread over the area of a 4" hose (that conforms well to the
shape of a wife's head), there actually is a momentary "grab." It
startled my good wife, who let out with a squall and tried to stand up/
kick me/ brush the 4" hose off of her head and explain how I was mentally
defective all at the same time. During all this, I was attempting to
knock the hose away from her head as well. I naturally succeeded in
dislodging it (actually, it probably fell off on its own), but it fell to
the OTHER side of her precious little head.
The result was that my wife now had perfectly trimmed bangs, followed by
a bald stripe that went damn near from ear-to-ear across the top of her
head. Think of it as an inverted Mowhawk that has been rotated 90
degrees. This was NOT what my dear wife had in mind when she asked me to
trim a bit off of her hair.
This tale now goes from bad to worse, because I tried to remedy the
problem by tapering the hair toward the "kerf" and shortening up the rest.
Saying that my attempts to remedy the situation were unsuccessful would be
like saying that Custer was unsuccessful at taming the Indians.
When that poor old woman finally got to the mirror, I knew that a personal
Hell for me was at hand. It was. Now I stand just over 6', am in pretty
good shape and tip the scales at almost 280#. My sweet wife and companion
of all those years couldn't be over 5'-4", weighs a LOT less and has
Multiple Sclerosis. However, she took one look at her new "do" and took
off after me like a rabid doberman. She runs pretty darn well when she's
mad. I learned something else that afternoon. I learned that the sweet
old woman had obviously been kicked out of the Marine Corps because of her
foul, potty mouth. The things that woman said, and the things that she
called me, have absolutely prevented her from EVER enjoying the pleasures
of heaven, in my humble opinion.
I got little sleep that night, since my good wife felt the need to wake me
every ten minutes or so to further discuss the consternation and distress
I'd caused her, and to share her emotions and feelings with me. Since
Lorena Bobbit had been in the news recently, I had very real additional
reasons to remain awake and sober. We were leaving that next morning and
there was no time for her to get a wig. We simply went ahead with the
trip, with my wife acting (and looking) like a madwoman. Needless to say,
the subject of her hair came up frequently. Whenever things would get a
little boring on the cruise, I'd tell her, "Vicki, that haircut looks like
hell," and it would start all over again.
I tried to alleviate the tension by confidentially offering more rational
explanations to inquiring folks than that she was "having a bad-hair day."
I explained to our cabin steward that my wife had been in a fight with a
wildcat while knife-hunting in Colorado. I told our waiter that she had
she had almost completely overcome a terribly contageous case of head
lice. A waitress in the lounge was told that medication had almost
completely curbed my wife's terrible impulses with butcher knives.
Generally, I'd just comment to curious folks that, "She's much calmer now
that the medication is taking effect."
A year later, my good wife STILL winces whenever she hears my DC winding
up in the shop. The hair has grown back and is as pretty as before my
"trim," but the fleeting trust that my wife has for my ability to cut
hair is certainly diminished.
Tom Gauldin Here's to the land of the longleaf pine,
Raleigh NC The Summerland,where the sun doth shine.
fax 919-676-1404 Where the weak grow strong,and the strong grow great,
Here's to Downhome,the Old North State.
Reminds me of our first (eagerly awaited) trip to Europe 25 years ago. We
needed new luggage so I went to a Samsonite outlet here in Denver (where
Samsonite is manufactured) and picked up some factory seconds (minor
surface imperfections). I used mine for a business trip or two, but hers
sat in the basement until the morning of our departure. She kept fussing
over her suitcase and rearranging it until I reminded her that the taxi was
due in a few minutes. She finally said "OK I'm ready -- close it up!"
I closed it, locked it, and when I picked it up the entire suitcase
disintegrated before our eyes.
We had sent our other luggage to grandma's house with our children. The
only piece I could find in the storage bin was an old straw case that had
made the trip to Oz along with Dorothy in the great Kansas tornado. We
crammed as much as we could in it and wrapped it with belts and duct tape.
I took a few items out of mine and put her dresses in my case. Between
sobs I kept promising my wife I would buy her a new case when we got to
London, We made our flight with little time to spare.
I bought her a cheap softside suitcase in London. We still have it. It
took us three days to throw away the old case in London. Someone kept
finding it and bringing back to our room. On the morning we left London to
fly to Amsterdam I hid it the alley behind our hotel.
I know an accident can happen to anyone but some how I gotta think that
common sense could have prevented all of this.
...Come to think of it, why couldn't I trim my nails with my router and
a flush/trimming bit ?
I WOpUiLsDbN;'T RExCiOnMMEbND IyT@!@!
The idea you had wasnt bad but has already been invented patented and is
selling on the 1 800 TV advertising and in `1 800 stores in major malls
in america. The device is called a FLOWBEE and the make one for humans
and one for pets. It was invented by a carpenter in his shop
because of sawdust in his curly locks. The FLOWBEE connects
to a house central or regular vacuum and works
essentially the same as you described. Give a better
cut than you method since the blades in the hand held unit are fixed
length from you head depending upon which set or combination of clear
plastic spacers you use. Spacers let you see the hair being sucked
into the plastic for length while cutting. Have been using the
FLOWBEE for 2 12 years and believe me it has saved a bundle of money
from beauticians....Hair cuts in this area for women run $33.00 plus
tip every 2-3 weeks. Flowbee only costs about 75.00..
I know of someone who felt comfortable enough with their band saw to trim
thier fingernail with it. As you might guess.....
Better living and Lower Productivity
through the use of Technology
My dad used his jointer to trim his fingernail....right off his hand, along
with the end of his finger. He was lucky. It could have been MUCH worse.
It was one hell of an object lesson for me. I am now a FIRM believer in
blade guards, properly aligned fences, push sticks, and fingerboards.
(who's just DYING to finish grad school so he has time to play with tools
Joe Skaggs | "Politicians and diapers both need
jsk...@mines.edu | to be changed -- usually for the same
| reason..." - Seen on a bumper.