Thread: Note to self:
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:21 PM   #94
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Oddometer: 329
Machine shop antics

I have a plethora of stupid mahine shop stunts, (comes from living in one for over 30 years!) fortunately, most of them are Not from me as I was merely a wintess. For most of them anyway......

One of my favorites was from when a buddy and I used to work at General Electric in Albuquerque. It was and still is a pretty big plant. Huge high bays with 20 ton cranes that have 10 ton auxillaries on the same platform.

My buddy Paul who I had just met that week when I went onto swing shift was changing out a lathe chuck that probably weighed around 70 pounds or so. You put an eye bolt into the chuck, put a nylon (about 2 ton) strap through the eyebolt, attach both ends to the crane hook, raise it with the crane, swing it into place on the lathe, and tighten the cam lock fasteners to hold it fast. Then remove the hardware and you are ready to go.

Well the break bell rang so we went on break. Came back and as Paul was talking to another worker and distracted he proceeded to raise the hook on the crane so he could drive it back to it's parking space at the end of the high bay. Had he been watching what he was doing instead of still shootin' the bull he probably would have noticed he had not disconnected the strap from the crane.

There was this bizarre sound like a giant rubber band snapping taut and then vibrating as it stretched and got REALLY tight followed by this real LOUD BAM, followed by boingy, boingy. Paul had yanked one end of the lathe, (about a 6 foot bed 3000 pound turret lathe) clean out of the concrete and it was hanging from the crane with the electrical conduit hanging off the end and two chunks of concrete about the size of a fist still attached to the bottom of the lathe where they had pulled out of the concrete.

Paul thinking fast dropped it back down but it would not go back to a horizontal position as the two chunks of concrete would not go back down into their respective holes. I can STILL see Paul climbing up onto that lathe and jumping up and down on it trying to get it back level.

The other workers and I about died from laughing, and fortunately they did not fire him but did have to have a crew come in next day to re-set and level the machine.
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