"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Big Lift

Is this a "Bench Press"?

I had to laugh at myself this week end. As usual I was pushing myself too hard and for too long in all the heat. Texas is having a very long spell of 105 degree weather. The high temperature must have made me wacky.

I know my PN has sapped most of the strength I used to have in stamina and ability to dead lift and carry things. Put the PN and the hot weather together and it doesn’t make for a good combination.

So my problem is how do I know my limits until I test them? I push hard enough to find those edges.

I have a small mini-lathe (a metal cutting machine tool) for which I sell conversion gears to buyers all over the world. I stored the machine on a bottom shelf of one of my work benches. It is made of cast iron and steel and weighs about 75-80 pounds.

Let’s say I used to be able to pick it up and move it. Well not any longer. That is now a limit I shouldn’t exceed. But I had to test that fact to be sure.

I was pretty sure this wasn’t a good idea but I didn’t let that stop me. I pulled the lathe out onto the floor off the shelf. Then I got what I thought was a good grasp and tried to do a power lift with my legs. I know my back is not good so I was looking out for it. Well, the legs are no darn good either.

I did not hurt myself other than my pride. I got the machine about a quarter the way up and my legs decided to quit. I sort of rolled back against the bench then off to one side in a semi squat position clutching this 75 pound chunk of iron.

Rolling on my back on the floor, I now have this awkward load laying upside down on top of me about the middle of my stomach. I felt like a pinned wrestler trying to keep my shoulders off the mat.  It’s not heavy enough to hurt me but I realized how stupid the situation made me feel laying there with the lathe on top of me.

I was able to slide it off to the left and set the machine safely back on the floor next to me without damage to the machine or myself. Well my pride was hurt a bit. If my wife had been there I’d of probably been mortally wounded from deserved verbal abuse.

After kicking my own butt a few dozen times I pulled out the engine hoist I purchase for doing such tasks and got the lathe up on the bench with no strain at all.

Well, I know my limit and I swear I’ll never try that stunt again. Please don’t do a dumb trick like this yourself. It is not worth getting hurt. I was just lucky I can laugh about the shear stupidly. I don’t claim to be perfect…

The photo here is staged but that is the lathe and it was not under this bench. But you can see the hoist chain to the right of the picture which is the correct way to lift a heavy load.

The answer to the question in the photo caption is, “No, it is a bench lathe…”

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