Proper use of equipment

Sometime in the last few days, someone(s) came into the Leatherworking section and worked on a project - awesome!

What was less than awesome was how they treated some of the equipment:

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t use leather dye on anything other than the butcher paper that CA provides. It’s usually on a roller on top of flat storage near the back wall. If you use it on anything else (bare table or cutting board) it stains. For the table, it means we eventually have to sand it down or leave it as a testament to the mistake. For the cutting board - it makes it useless and we need to throw it away. The HDPE doesn’t hold dye as well as leather so it will seep out and stain future projects. So, not only is the board wrecked, but poor little Joey who is working on his first leather project with his paper route money has just had his leather stained. And he’s allergic to the color red.

  2. Workout routines are impressive. Especially when you never skip arm day. Whoever used the board (and associated punch) managed to go through their leather, some paper, as well as completely through the cutting board. First - congrats, and I hope you’re selling tickets to the “gun show” (but don’t work on said “guns” at DMS - there are rules against that). Second, going through the board completely means they had metal on granite - and there’s a better than fair chance that the cutting edge of the punch is blunted. If it was their circular punch, that sucks. If it was our circular punch - that super sucks, and I’ll have to spend my time going through all our punches of that size to figure out which one needs to be replaced.

  3. Cleanliness is next to (non-denominational) godliness - while it’s great they put the cutting board back, it was covered with (as of the morning of Sept 26) still damp dye. Which means said dye got all over the things it was stacked on. And there was still wet red dye on the outside of the bottle. Not super cool - because now I gots red on my hands until it fades.

In the scheme of things, this is not major. Yes, we need to replace 2 cutting boards now (I found the second one that they punched through - luckily no dye on that one, but punched through enough to be fundamentally useless) and that’s not horribly expensive - maybe $10-15. But it shows not only a lack of respect for the tools that DMS provides but also a fundamental lack of understanding of how to use those tools. CA has been talking for a bit now about taking certain tools off of “training required” because there are too many “common sense” spots where a good pdf handout and a link to some excellent YouTube tutorials should cover the basics to use the tools correctly, safely, and without damage. When we find the tools left like this - it becomes harder to justify giving up that control.

So, whoever did it? Be better. Ask if you don’t know. And if you do know, start caring a little more. This was all covered in 101, which if you’re using the tools - you had to take.


My guess is that they didn’t chip in $$ for the dye they used either.


I’ll add this: In this case, and other cases like this one, I think it’s appropriate for the person to at least contact the Chair, and arrange a way to cover the costs of damage, and volunteer some time to help make up for the mess.


I have a couple small plastic cutting boards in fairly decent condition that are just taking up space. Would you like me to leave them at DMS?

Note that I was not the user who did this, just saw the post and thought I could get rid of some junk around my house.


If they are HDPE, we would be more than happy to accept them; I believe a harder plastic wouldn’t work well because it could chip out. But I’ll also defer to people more knowledgeable, I’ve only ever used HDPE.

And don’t worry - I don’t know you in person, but your TALK persona is enough to convince anyone that you’re not the type of person to do this.

The reality is I’ll never find out who it was - I’m sure it’s on camera, but don’t really see a point in checking them now. Either the person who did this will see this, feel 30 seconds of guilt and be better or they won’t see it at all and continue until they’re eventually found out. It is what it is, and all that can happen is trying to be better going forward.

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I THINK that they are? They’re really just taking up space at my house. They are small so I’ll plan to leave them there. If they are the wrong type, feel free to trash them. I’ve got too many cutting boards at the house as is.

Let me know if you need relatively large HDPE cutting boards. They have them at the restaurant supply that DMS has a membership with. Also you can order large sheets and rip them down on the table saw.

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HDPE is white, slightly translucent, and has a somewhat oily/slippery feel to it. It’s the same plastic they make milk jugs out of, so if it looks/feels like milk jug plastic on steroids, it’s probably HDPE.

I can look at the cameras to see if we can find the owner of the big guns.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Restaurant Supplies

Assuming an appropriate thickness (depth of miter slot), when cut down to ~3/4" strips, these types of cutting boards come in very handy in making various sleds and jigs.

I left the ones that I have in the cabinet, hopefully they’re the right kind.

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pew! pew! pew!

Sorry, I’m easily entertained today

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I don’t see a point unless you or @jrkriehn want to hold them directly responsible. I’m frustrated and a little discouraged, but confronting the culprit isn’t going to change anything for me. I just want people who are using these tools (and really all the DMS tools) to just respect them for once.

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I don’t think we could really make somebody pay to replace the ruined equipment.

However, from my standpoint, knowing who did it allows us to implement the discipline guidelines we put into place, and this would be a big strike on their permanent record. Hence, if they repeat less-than-excellent behavior again, we have some teeth for displinary action.

And I’m curious what the hell they were using that enabled them to punch all the way through both the leather and the cutting board. A drill, perhaps?

It’s very possible to do if your tool is sharp enough and you use enough force. Especially with a round punch (and it’s lack of surface area) - if it’s sharp enough, you could go through 2 layers of 4-5oz leather and the relatively soft HDPE if you’re banging the hell out of it. Just look at our mauls - they’re pretty pockmarked from past users being a little more assertive than needed.

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Hmmm Good to know. I guess it’s presumptuous of me to think a test tap or two would be in order. (that’s my usual modus operandi)

But then, it might also indicate how crappy some tools have been allowed to get - because when I took the original version of THOR class, he was punching pieces out of veg-tan with a belt-tipper that was so dull, it took me multiple thwacks to get close to all the way through the leather.

When doing stuff at home, this has happened to me. I’ve punched through my cutting board like this, and I’ve punched through the anvil of my revolving-head hole punch by squeezing too tight. I’ve drilled through materials and my sacrificial backer board right into my workbench, too.

The funny part is, I only did each of these over-aggressive maneuvers one time. I stopped because I don’t want to have to replace my stuff prematurely.

Seems like this member didn’t care about whether the cutting board would have to be replaced.

Why couldn’t the person be required to pay for damaged equipment? People are banned for a variety of reasons. Couldn’t this be such a case.


I like the cut of your jib, Sir!!

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