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Posted by: (
Date: April 17, 2009 08:36AM

Hi Guys

Just a short one to pass on a lesson reminded rather than learnt anew. Now having a background in engineering (mining) I’ve been well use to removing my wedding ring before working (danger of crushing/catching) and even my watch (more for it’s protection than mine!)

A couple of weeks ago while working on Greg Walker’s car with him, I was lying into the footwell with my hand stuffed into the area between the dashboard and the front bulkhead tracing some of the electrics when there was a mighty bang, causing me to retreat quickly followed by a considerable pain in the wrist. Turns out that I’d managed to short a main feed (un-fused) from the battery to earth via my metal watch strap.

So I hopped about trying to ditch the watch – unfortunately the heat had melted, or at least part melted, a couple of the through pins and then welded the links together and stuck the catch which was too hot to handle. I did the usual – spat on it and licked it – that only achieved a singed tounge. At this stage as the watch moved about on the wrist you could see bits of skin shrivelling as it went so a quick trip to the tap was required to cool it sufficiently that I could attack the catch with a pliers.

In all I doubt the hot watch strap was in contact with the skin for much more than 20 seconds, but that was enough time to burn a band about 40mm wide around a third of the circumference of the wrist with a 20mm diameter full thickness burn at the main point of contact.

Now I know you’re all thinking “pillock” – described myself in just that way –realy should have removed the metalwork before starting play – as I said – usually do, but had the reminder the hard way , just thought I’d pass it on.

I attach a couple of photos, one of the watch strap and a second of the wrist two weeks down the line from the frying.

Happy tinkering.

Martin Rees

Edited 2 times. Last edit at 04/17/09 10:35AM by tmrdairees.

Re: ouch!
Posted by: (
Date: April 17, 2009 10:45AM

Tried to edit the photos as they opened so large, but having removed them can't find a way to re-attach, so I'll try again.


Edited 1 times. Last edit at 04/17/09 10:48AM by tmrdairees.

Attachments: 1.jpg (250kB)   2.jpg (124kB)  
Re: ouch!
Posted by: Mike Clark (
Date: April 17, 2009 04:18PM

Dangerous stuff this electrickery - can't see it catching on myself.


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