go home, loser  
 
WTF?

It's...

  • ...making art.
  • ...having fun.
  • ...not being arrested, burned to a crisp, or evicted in the process.

It's Also About Being Safe

I hate to sound like your mom, but safety is really important. Maybe you are in a hurry to weld that joint, hook up that fuel line, or test your new igniter. Is it worth burning almost to death, losing a limb or two, or spending the rest of your life laying on your back being spoon fed because you can't control any muscles below your jaw? Somehow, I doubt it.

True, life is dangerous. You can get run over crossing the street or catch a nasty virus while flying cross country in a jet-powered petri dish. Random things happen and people die, there's nothing you can do about that.

However, purposefully doing dangerous things is another matter. You can plan on what you'll do if something goes wrong, but you can't predict every failure. Every time I work with fire, electricity or use a welder or machine tools, I try and plan for everything that could possibly go wrong. What if this thing comes lose? If this catches on fire, am I screwed? Does my girlfriend know where the master circuit breaker for my tig is?

If I can't think of anything that might go wrong, I become very very nervous. Three astronauts on Apollo 1 died because nobody thought there was any danger in what they were doing. It was just a routine ground test, nothing as dangerous as going into space, so what could possibly go wrong. Yeah, right.

Be careful -- and don't assume that because you're being careful nothing bad will happen. I've smashed my fingers, burnt myself, sent parts flying across the garage because they weren't clamped properly and broken my share of expensive tools and parts even tho I was being careful.

ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SAFETY GOGGLES, don't look at the arc, wear steel toed shoes, don't wear long sleeves while using a lathe, hot metal looks just like cold metal, it's heavier than it looks, cover your entire body when tig welding, know where your fire extinguishers are, have a phone nearby, tell people what you're doing in advance, and if the cops ask, it's not your house, they're not your tools, you're just keeping an eye on your friend's place while they run some errands.

Privacy

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Who's responsible?

Website design - Drue Miller

Everything else - Eric Townsend

For a week-long city in the desert - the fine Burning Man folks.

For your own safety - you. Like I need to tell you that.

 

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All original text and images Copyright 2000-2002 J. Eric Townsend.