Garage Sandals: a Title, Not a Recommendation

I really enjoy reading blogs and articles about peoples’ projects and their tools and techniques.

But something that tends to stick in my mind even more than these little “how to” stories with their various tips and tricks are the mistakes made.
I like it when a craftsman has the honesty to point out the errors they made, and the various ways not to accomplish a goal.

Being a mistake-prone person myself, it’s nice to have a hefty knowledge of what not to do while figuring out what my next steps should be.

This weekend I made a couple mistakes, but I fear that their value lies in entertainment more than education, since I’m fairly certain that very few people out there would have thought these mistakes were a good idea to begin with.

I suspect that I have been gifted with a peculiar form of creativity: the ability to think of and carry out completely unprecedented errors.

I will share with you my lessons learned:

  1. Do not wear sandals while welding
    • Sparks and slag are subject to the effects of gravity, and as such they will tend to move down from the work piece and on to your feet
    • Many of the pieces of hot falling metal will fall elsewhere or harmlessly bounce off your skin, but a small (yet significant) percentage will either stick to your skin or lodge between your toes
    • Lesson Learned: the resulting distraction is likely to cause a poor quality weld
  2. Do not use Masking Tape to protect items near your weld
    • Although the sparks and slag may seem more likely to deflect off the tape, the quantity or sparks involved greatly increase the likelihood of detrimental effects to the tape’s integrity
    • Lessons Learned:
      • Burnt masking tape is much harder to remove than raw masking tape
      • The resulting flames from the tape itself likely pose a significant threat to the item or surface you were trying to protect

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