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Don't feel so bad...

I was working on a vacuum chuck system for my lathe that involved a lot of mounting and removing things from the spindle. My lathe has a spindle lock but it does not lock out the electricals. So it's easy to forget that the spindle is locked and turn on the machine. I have done this on more than one occasion, but this particular time, I did not get the switch turned off quickly enough and a breaker popped.

At first I thought it was the main breaker but, no, everything else was still powered up. I figured there must be a reset button on the motor somewhere. So I'm looking at the motor which, on my lathe, is mounted at the bottom of an enclosed cabinet. I can't see any reset button so I'm feeling around for one. Then I remember that on many motors the reset button is on the end. But the motor is mounted so close to the cabinet side that I can't slip my hand in to feel around. And there’s no access cover on the side of the cabinet either. Oh crap… now I'm going to have to pull the freakin' motor out just to get to the stupid reset button!

With a long sigh, I get out my wrenches, get down on the floor and start unbolting the motor. It's really tight in there and so it takes me a half hour to get the motor out. Plus, the sides of the steel cabinet are kinda sharp and the opening is not all that big so in the process, I scrape the dickins out of both forearms. But finally the motor is out and I turn it up on end to press the… DOH! no reset button!?!?

Now I'm really freaking out because I'm thinking the motor is cooked. But I did not smell any burning motor smell and I get the brilliant idea that the reset must be in the switch somewhere. So I spend another twenty minutes pulling the switch but no reset there either. OK, maybe the switch is toast. I have a motor over at my shop so I drive over there, get the motor, bring it back and connect the power leads to it. Punch the button and nothing happens.

At this point I have even less of a clue because it could be the motor or the switch and how am I going to figure out which? I'm standing there scratching my head and looking at my lathe scattered all over the place when my gaze falls on the power strip my lathe is plugged into. There on the end is a reset button.

So to anyone who is feeling particularly stupid today, don't feel so bad. There is always someone out there doing something dumber than whatever dumb thing you just did. I feel sorry for the guy who is doing something dumber than what I just did!


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