Don’t Just RTFM, Pay Attention to It!

All my life I’ve tended not to Read The Futzy Manual. I skim instructional documents for key/new information, and then get on with the job. Often that ends up being okay…but not always.

To finish off my aquarium controller project I’m building a “simple” wooden case. I opted not to go with a prefab metal or plastic unit because the tank stand is finished in a nice stained wood veneer, and a metal case hanging off the side would look pretty ugly.

All good projects require the purchase of at least one new tool :). In this case, I bought an inexpensive drill press because the case has a number of holes, many of which have to be carefully aligned and/or countersunk.

In my quick perusal of the drill press manual I learned that you should always clamp your work piece to the press’ bench. I, in my infinite wisdom, decided my hands would be a good enough clamp. And they were…for all but the last countersink drill operation.

At which point the work piece was torqued out of my hands, banged against the press’ support column, and shattered into several pieces. Good thing I’m not charging myself for all the time I invested in working the piece into shape!!

Memo to file: it really does pay to follow the instructions. Particularly when working with powerful electric motors!!

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