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The Dreaded Laser Cutter

 |  Work

Cleaning and maintaining the laser cutter at work is somewhat ominous. Not because it’s worth around £15,000 and should I break it, it’d take me over two years to earn enough cash to pay for it on my meagre part-time wage — nope, more because of the key word: laser.

Now, I’m not talking one of those pissy-farting things you get in little “laser keyrings” that are actually just red LEDs, I’m talking a laser that can burn through wood, plastic, metal and my bloody arm if I forget to turn it off. As you can imagine, I not only switch the beast off, but unplug it and say a few prayers to the Great God of Laser CAD/CAM equipment before even lifting the lid.

So, why is it that despite this ritual I still flinch everytime I pass my hand under the little box of mirrors and lenses that project the sharp red beam onto the laser bed? Be honest, am I a scaredy cat?

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

23 comments so far

  1. Cate said:

    I have a strong feeling that I wouldn’t react any differently. Just because I wouldn’t want a huge-arse laser cutting through my arm either. And you never know, it might suddenly decide to turn itself on despite all safety precautions. One can never be too careful with large machinery – it can have a mind of its own. O_o

  2. Karl said:

    no..because I’ve seen what ours can do when mis-set. Same with the CAMM1 CNC milling machines. I won’t clean them without being 110% sure they’re off, as I’ve seen them (and the laserCAMM)happily try to cut themselves in half when they go on a bender. The laserCAMM is worse, because it’s a damned site quicker, more vicious, and quiet to boot!

  3. Amelie said:

    No you’re not a scaredy cat at all – I’d do the exact same thing. I flinch when I take a computer apart and touch the little bitty things for fear of static, even though I *know* I earthed myself and all that. It won’t kill me or anything, but I still don’t like it.

  4. Mariah said:

    Nuh, you’re not a scaredy cat. *makes little quote signs with fingers* My LAASER. Yep. Lasers rank right up there with axe murderers.

  5. Heather said:

    No, I don’t really think you’re a scaredy cat lol You’re just being a bit overly cautious. It reminds me of how I acted after my chemistry teacher got some flesh-eating chemicals exploded on my arm one day in chemistry class. You can never be too careful, trust me. If I was handling a laser that could burn my arm off I’d probably be doing the same thing so you’re not alone ;)

  6. Vera said:

    *pats Jem on the head* I’m still afraid of matches and use one of those automatic ‘gun’-s to light the fire. If they run out of gas I refuse to light the fire… so why should you be scared? There was a saying “better safe than sorry”, right?

  7. Belinda said:

    It’s called conditioning. You have the initial stimulus of the cutter that you know would really hurt you. You’ve gotten into the habit of being very careful around it and this increases your sensitivity to the stimulus. From this you’ve been conditioned to be fearful of it even when it’s off. Perfecty natural response. ^^

  8. Nikki-ann said:

    Hehe. We have a huge guillotine at work where 2 huge blades come down and cut through a few thousand sheets of paper at once. It’s got a laser that detects anyone putting an arm or something through it as it’s about to cut, so it stops… Not that I’d ever put my arm under those blades to reach something… I’d be turning it off and unplugging it too!

  9. Chans said:

    Better safe than sorry shall we say. I would probably react the same way. When I’m in the lab I always take extra caution even though I know I do things according to the protocols.

  10. Amelie said:

    Ooh, congrats on your qbee news, btw! I know I’ve already given you my congrats, but now you’ve announced it and all (well, sort of) I thought I’d contratulate you in public as well. :D

  11. Cindy said:

    That’s hilarious XD But it’s very understandable. Heck, I’m 15 years old and I’m still operating the gas stove in my house. =__= …it’s scary okay? x_x; It makes hissing noises …

  12. Shannon said:

    I’d do the exact same thing. Because people like us are weird like that. And I would certainly not like any part of me sliced off. Errgh.

  13. Beth said:

    I’d do the same thing, it’s understandable to so cautious around something that can cut your arm off. I like your site, very simple. I especially like the colors.

  14. Lita said:

    Oh snap. I’m sure I would be a little freaked, kinda maybe stare at it a little big eyed, haha. Anywho, just came across your blog and I think it is nice!

  15. Aled said:

    I’d be the same. I use one pretty regulary in uni, and, although I don’t have to clean it, fishing stuff out from it after the jobs done makes me feel uncomfortable, and I don’t even have to go close to the lazer!

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