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Old 01-01-2019, 12:29 PM   #1
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So I almost cut my arm off with an angle grinder

I had taken the guard off to remove floor bolts, forgot to put it back on, and was using it overhead to take the ceiling panels down. I lost my grip when it got caught and it landed in my shoulder. Now I might have to sell the bus to pay for the medical bills.

PSA don't be a dumbass like me!


Anyway, do y'all have advice about getting the ceiling panels off without major injuries? Other than "put the guard back on" because I don't think I'll have the arm strength to hold that thing any time soon and also I'm just not ever putting it over my head again. I tried tapping the rivets with a drill and it works for the slightly rusted wall panels but the ceiling enamel makes the drill bit just bounce around. Maybe I can take it off with a wire brush.

Anybody near Asheville want to come give me a hand? I'm scheduling friends as spotters for the next time I pick up a power tool.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:32 PM   #2
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Ouch!!! The are bad enough with the guard in place. Without it...they are seriously dangerous.


Glad it didn't land a little higher...like on your jugular.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:41 PM   #3
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Yeah. I'm recognizing that I have absolutely no idea how to use power tools safely, despite all those YouTube "how I did ____in my bus" videos I've watched. I think I need a safety course.

Hey I do have a respirator though!
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliot_peas View Post
.. tried tapping the rivets with a drill and it works for the slightly rusted wall panels but the ceiling enamel makes the drill bit just bounce around. Maybe I can take it off with a wire brush.
Sorry to hear about your learning experience, that is a tough lesson, but glad you passed, or survived as the case may be; and glad that you are not giving up. It would be a shame to waste such a expensive lesson.

I love to help neighbors but I'm afraid that's a little far, sorry.

as far as dealing with the enamel, YMMV, but I would try hitting them with a good center punch chisel, wear good grade safety glasses, to break and chip the enamel to get at the metal rivets. Hit right in the center. The center punch will also provide a depression to guide the drill bit, and start with a sharp small drill and them step drill.
Good luck, and don't be a stranger.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by alpinekid View Post
as far as dealing with the enamel, YMMV, but I would try hitting them with a good center punch chisel, wear good grade safety glasses, to break and chip the enamel to get at the metal rivets. Hit right in the center. The center punch will also provide a depression to guide the drill bit, and start with a sharp small drill and them step drill.
Good luck, and don't be a stranger.
Center punch chisel is a taper I whack with a hammer, right? That sounds helpful. Especially with safety glasses. And maybe chainmail.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:06 PM   #6
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I know, I know you're gun shy with the angle grinder right now.....I assume you were using a cut-off wheel? Try using a flap wheel. I dunno how well it would work for grinding down rivets, but it's worth a shot. A lot less sketchy IMO than a flimsy cut off wheel.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:15 PM   #7
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I was using a bigass metal cutting wheel. Would that flap wheel not just take a bigger chunk out if I drop it on myself? I'd been slicing the metal panels from inside the rivet lines (like cutting the crust off a slice of bread) using the wheel I had put on it to get the bolts off the floor. Might try a flap wheel on the rest of the wall panels when my arm strength is back. Thanks!

Edit: attached a picture of the wheel I had on the grinder. Bad bad bad.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:47 PM   #8
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Ouch!

Flap wheel would be a lot less dangerous than that blade you were using. You would just abrade the rivet heads off if you were using one.

It would still be no fun to drop one one yourself, but it would not slice like the other one.
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:52 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your injuries. I work with all kinds of cutting tools and they all scare the crap out of me.
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:24 PM   #10
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Hope you heal soon! I used a grinding wheel on my cut-off tool to get rid of the heads of the rivets when I took down our ceiling. Certainly safer than a cutting wheel and more aggressive than a flapper wheel.
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