An Aspect Of Home Machining No One Ever Talks About

What is this unspoken thing you may ask?

Dealing with the inevitable metal splinters you will encounter.

I get them all the time at work too because I not only have trouble even finding gloves that fit in the first place but because there are just too many things I have to do that require more feel than I can get wearing them.

The timing of this post however, relates to a recent incident here at home.

I know you are going to find this hard to believe.

I Fucked Up.

Just like every time I do that, I do it well too.

How did I Fuck Up?

Inadvertently and with the best intentions of course.

While I was struggling to get that first motor installed up on the back of the drill press, I discovered that I had bought the wrong diameter fasteners.

It needed 5/16’s nuts and bolts and I had purchased 3/8’s.

They juuuuuust quite wouldn’t go through the mounting plate slots on the motor.

Hey wait!

I have a brilliant solution to this problem and I am dying to try it out!

I had recently bought some Needle Dick Bug Fucker 3mm (1/8th inch) four flute carbide milling bits off of good old Under ten bucks and free shipping for 4 of them.

I also had a Dremel tool I had picked up over a year ago and had never used.



I stuck that dinky little milling end into that Dremel and started in.

As the British like to say, it worked a treat.

It just buzzed right along and made a nice shiny finish too.

The bolts went right in, success, right?

Yeah but.

While I was blissfully and myopically focused on the task at hand, I was completely fucking unaware that the entire time that while the metal was disappearing off the flange, it was being deposited somewhere else.

Virtual clouds of tiny, jagged, sub atomic almost, metallic lightning bolts of intense and instantly debilitating pain were being thrown over every fucking square inch of me, my work bench, the floor and everything within a six foot radius.

Dumbass move there Einstein.

How did I discover this turn of events?

By reaching over and grabbing a rag that had been sitting on the bench to wipe the flange off with.

Oh, My, Fucking God.

An instant hand full of metal splinters.

That wasn’t good enough though.

Then I had to grab the rag with my other hand to see why there was so much intense pain radiating out of the first one all of a sudden..

Double Jesus Christ!

There is still a mess of those fuckers out there. I tried vacuuming, I tried magnets, I tried wiping things with a rag and instantly tossing it in the garbage and there are still probably 3 billion of the little fuckers out there waiting for me.

Did I mention that they are tiny and that there are probably millions of them out there?


So fucking tiny, that even with a magnifying glass, the only way to find them is to turn your fingers around until you see a tiny reflection of light or a dark spot near where the intense pain is coming from..

Forget trying to pull them out too, you gotta DIG these little fuckers out.

I dug 11 of them out of one thumb and two fingers over a two day period at work.

You see, the real problem with that part is, my eyes.

I’m getting so damn blind in my old age that I am waiting to walk into a wall one of these days because I didn’t see it.

However, I did find a winning combination to this recurring problem last year.

Enter Harbor Freight, yet again.

Not only was I having trouble seeing these metal splinters at work, I couldn’t find anybody else who could see worth a shit either.

Then I remembered seeing one of these.


If you are over 40 years old or do any kind of hobby work out in your garage, you need to get one of these.

I am dead serious.

This thing is the shit. I just went and bought another one for here at the house because the first one is at work where I need it most of the time. I needed to dig a couple more out, right now.

Under ten bucks, spring for a nice flat magnet and glue it to the bottom, get some surgical tweezers and you are good to go.


I did mention these slivers are tiny, right?


I still have some embedded in places that I find out the hard way when I grab something just right.

I’ll be digging the little fuckers out for quite some time I suspect.

There is one upside to this disaster possibly.

It will give me plenty of incentive to go out there and clean that work space up finally.

I just gotta remember not to touch anything without putting gloves on first.

Live and learn.


31 thoughts on “An Aspect Of Home Machining No One Ever Talks About

  1. Oh Yeah.
    Ever find them like in the back of your neck? From rubbing your hand on back there when your trying to figure out something your building?
    I got a Inconel bur from a piece of thin wall tubing, the ID edge, a 3/4 inch sliver, went in my thumb like a curved suture needle, bent off the bone and broke off in tiny sections every time tried to dig it out. Had it for years till worrying out the last bit.
    Little fuckers are the worst, like thinner than a hair, can’t see them, hit them the right way they light up a nerve in your finger.


  2. That sucks. One thing you might want to do is check on your tetanus shut. We don’t need you getting rabies or distemper or blood poisoning.

    One of my worst ones was an aluminum chip on the cuff of my sleeve. I reached up to wipe my nose and ……HOLY FUCK THAT HURT! Sliced the center of my nose and the right side. I felt like Nicholson in Chinatown. Needless to say, it never happened again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had that happen when I grabbed a shop rag out of the bag that came back from the cleaners to blow my nose with. A great big curly piece of swarf from a drill was stuck right where I shoved it into my face. Cut the piss out of my nose too. I learned to always check those fuckers that day.
      Bled like a stuck pig.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Plant I worked at a fellow down in the slant bed section blew some crud into his skin with an air chuck he used for blowing out his lathe, got blood poisoning, pretty much all but died. Had a terrible time staying alive there for awhile. Docks told him if he had waited a few more ours to get the blazing red streak up his forearm checked out he was dead meat.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Speaking of getting cut by shavings, there was this nasty broad, a carpet muncher butch, who had a chip on her shoulder, no pun intended, about how woman in the plant where excluded from getting jobs as welders because we where the highest paid, blah blah blah. So we told her outright come on over, we’ll train you, we never have enough welders. We where an Aerospace rigid tube assembly plant. Not a lot of welders can pass the certs, they are simply difficult, and you have to follow a zillion manufacturers specs because we where a job shop. A lot of people want to weld to their private specs. You go to prison for hidden defects if you weld an FAA or .Mil part and it fails, and people die. They don’t fuck around. We had a guy get 10 years for pencil whipping the last and most important Radiographic Qualifying Xray Film reading before a series of parts shipped. The US military has a Defense Department Criminal Investigator branch. They traced everything when a jet crashes. Interview everyone who touched that particular part that failed and caused a crash.

      Anyways, I guess we didn’t fit the stereotype of cis white racist wife beaters and red neck mouth breathers, or something. real piece of work. But the seat warmers in HR made it our mission to get this thing weld certification.
      All she, IT really, did was shit stir and do the nasty to everyone who attempted to help her learn to weld to begin with, never mind cert. Spit in your water bottle, superglue the locks on tool boxes, throw out tooling and fixtures we all made that where off “the books” for assembling and tacking various parts, stupid stuff. Tack parts wrong, and swap them out from another order because she would forget to purge and gas back her parts, (very bad thing to do). After getting her SST butt joint cert, the easiest of all, she got real hateful.
      One day, we all get back from lunch, put on our welding shirts or helmets, somebody put titanium and stainless chips, made from carbide mills, the nastiest sharpest chips, embedded in our leather weld hood sweat bands and shirt collars, inside our tig gloves. I put my hood on, cranked down the adjuster, started to weld and blood is pouring onto the filter and down my face before I realized I was bleeding. One guy went to stick his hands in the butyl rubber gloves on the pure argon welding chamber for fusing titanium, and we had to cut the gloves off one hand because he was stuck from the burrs.
      She got walked out by the county sheriffs for that one because somebody across the plant watched her do the deed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Used to get them under my eyelids at the outboard motor shop I worked parts counter at. Fucking aluminum dust-crap would just float around and I’d pick it up.

    Got quite adroit at using a paperclip partially unfolded to reach up behind the eye and carefully rake that crap out.

    Other than that, yeah, metal splinters permanently in my feet from falling into my shoes before I remembered to wear boots and let the pants hang down over them. Can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen if I ever get an MRI.


    • Those are like weld spatter gets lodged red hot on the arch of your foot and you can’t stop the pass your making.
      Or when a hot ball of splatter bounces into your ear, and the sound of frying ear wax sounds like a freight train, and you taste it in your throat.


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  5. I’ve had luck with white glue on little splinters… they weren’t metal but the thin layer of glue grabbed them as it dried & them came with the glue as I peeled it off my hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If you ever have to have an MRI on your head you should be sure to inform them beforehand as you may have these splinters in your eye and don’t know it……The MRI will rip them out…

    Liked by 1 person

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