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2 more deaths from fractal burning

hockenbery

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It is sad to hear of more needless deaths.

Unfortunately our nation has built up a tolerance for accepting preventable deaths from disease and violence.
A handful of deaths from fractal burning won’t be noticed-among the thousands of preventable deaths that our society deems acceptable.
 
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It is sad to hear of more needless deaths.

Unfortunately our nation has built up a tolerance for accepting preventable deaths from disease and violence.
A handful of deaths from fractal burning won’t be noticed-among the thousands of preventable deaths that our society deems acceptable.
All too true!
 
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Just a thought ... has anyone ever heard of anyone who has suffered an electrical injury while fractal burning and survived?
 

odie

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everything in life has risks.

True...

I have mixed feelings about this. Should we ban fast cars, firearms, ladders, sleeping pills, etc., because some people are stupid? I would imagine that done under the correct safety considerations, the risk from fractal burning could be minimized. If that is true, then wouldn't the best course of action be to supply warnings and information about safety procedures?

No matter what precautions to inform everyone of the risks, stupid people will do what stupid people do...can't prevent that, unless you restrict the ability of those who would have heeded the warnings, and would take the appropriate actions to safely pursue fractal burning.

-----odie-----
 
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I agree mostly with what you say Odie, but the technique, has such inherant dangers, especially for the person who does it infrequently, that it is easy to overlook an important step, or to inadvertantly make oneself the “ground” in the circuit, that its best to steer clear of this. One cannot see electrical current, and if something happens, those trying to assist a victim cannot see the issue either, and can easily end up dead as well. A wife, a son or daughter, a first responder……these folks can lose their lives, simply by trying to help a loved one who is “down” and then a double tragedy. Too many already dead due to this, as most do not truly realize the full gravity of the danger they are entering into….they just saw a youtube video, and thought they would try the tecnique…which might be the last one they ever try.
 

Roger Wiegand

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It's hard to track down an accurate number, but it seems as if about 40 OSHA regulated welders electrocute themselves each year (out of 500,000 welders). I'm sure there are more among casual welders working on farms and in their own garages, but I can't find numbers. It isn't obvious to me why fractal burning should be inherently that much more dangerous than welding. I've seen plenty of people who are pretty casual in their use of an electric arc welder, yet the proportion of deaths to practitioners seems much higher.
 
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It's hard to track down an accurate number, but it seems as if about 40 OSHA regulated welders electrocute themselves each year (out of 500,000 welders). I'm sure there are more among casual welders working on farms and in their own garages, but I can't find numbers. It isn't obvious to me why fractal burning should be inherently that much more dangerous than welding. I've seen plenty of people who are pretty casual in their use of an electric arc welder, yet the proportion of deaths to practitioners seems much higher.
Electric welders, such as the common stick and mig welders run high current at a relatively low voltage (<50V) whereas the process of fractal burning uses much higher voltages, sometimes in excess of 10KV at relatively high currents, in some cases (for the ultra-dangerous DIY methods out there) 500mA to 1000+mA! If you look at Ohm's law, higher voltages can more easily overcome resistance, which makes higher voltages, especially with significant current, a lot more deadly. At these high voltages, it takes less than 40mA to stop your heart. While it is possible to have painful injuries from low-voltage sources, it's the high-voltage, relatively high-current stuff that will kill you dead with barely a warning!

Current kills, but voltage helps the current get there... :oops:
 

odie

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I agree mostly with what you say Odie, but the technique, has such inherant dangers, especially for the person who does it infrequently, that it is easy to overlook an important step, or to inadvertantly make oneself the “ground” in the circuit, that its best to steer clear of this. One cannot see electrical current, and if something happens, those trying to assist a victim cannot see the issue either, and can easily end up dead as well. A wife, a son or daughter, a first responder……these folks can lose their lives, simply by trying to help a loved one who is “down” and then a double tragedy. Too many already dead due to this, as most do not truly realize the full gravity of the danger they are entering into….they just saw a youtube video, and thought they would try the tecnique…which might be the last one they ever try.

ln the OP's link, there were two people killed, and it's possible one was attempting to render assistance. I can agree that it's a good idea that the AAW safety committee has banned the practice of fractal burning within it's reach.

For the public to not have access to information where private individuals are using fractal burning is problematic at best. Unless there is a law against fractal burning, it becomes an issue of where to draw the line concerning individual rights. That's what freedom is all about, folks......protecting someone's individual freedoms means not allowing a majority opinion to tell someone else what they can, or can't do. I believe I heard somewhere that "freedom means having the right to fail", and that certainly seems to apply here...

Places like TicToc and YouTube have the right to ban, or not ban these amateur videos because they have rights that are also protected.....and it's my opinion they probably should do that.

Those who feel the practice of fractal burning should be banned, should probably contact lawmakers who have the power to do something about it.

All of the above contributes to why I initially stated that I have mixed feelings about this.

-----odie-----
 

Roger Wiegand

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Electric welders, such as the common stick and mig welders run high current at a relatively low voltage (<50V) whereas the process of fractal burning uses much higher voltages, sometimes in excess of 10KV at relatively high currents, in some cases (for the ultra-dangerous DIY methods out there) 500mA to 1000+mA! If you look at Ohm's law, higher voltages can more easily overcome resistance, which makes higher voltages, especially with significant current, a lot more deadly. At these high voltages, it takes less than 40mA to stop your heart. While it is possible to have painful injuries from low-voltage sources, it's the high-voltage, relatively high-current stuff that will kill you dead with barely a warning!

Current kills, but voltage helps the current get there... :oops:
Thanks, I didn't know that. Going to take my first welding class this fall and it always seemed like a fairly scary process. I've always been leery of high voltages since someone I knew at the lab managed to somehow defeat multiple safety interlocks and electrocute himself while doing paper electrophoresis back in the olden days.

I think if I wanted to do fractal burning I'd set up a robot, or at least a remote-controlled arm, to handle the high voltage, and work from a safe distance away with an enclosure that couldn't be opened while the power is on-- and wouldn't try to open the box anyway! Clearly the results aren't worth that kind of effort. I think I'm now ineligible for a Darwin Award (having already passed my genes on), but nevertheless...
 
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I have an acquaintance who happens to be a REAL licensed electrician working in commercial, heavy industry, and nuke plants . I asked if was familiar with fractal burning and told him the reason for my question. He offered similar information that is contained in "Chandler and Kelly" posts. His closing comments were (1) electricity does not discriminate. (2) your freedom to be stupid ends when it endangers others.
 
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I have an acquaintance who happens to be a REAL licensed electrician working in commercial, heavy industry, and nuke plants . I asked if was familiar with fractal burning and told him the reason for my question. He offered similar information that is contained in "Chandler and Kelly" posts. His closing comments were (1) electricity does not discriminate. (2) your freedom to be stupid ends when it endangers others.
I have always been in the crowd of those that do not like government controlling everything. However it seems prudent to insure that curtain crafts and activities require regulation. Brain surgeons, airplane pilots, automobile drivers to name a few...

Instead of banning this activity, it could be regulated. Meaning one could be required to complete a class and obtain a permit. At least those individuals could receive all the information needed to safely protect themselves and others.

I confess, I have no idea the process here, except electricity is forced to travel through a poor conductor that creates enough resistance to burn that conductor. That current while burning is constantly seeking another path of lesser resistance and for some reason bodies tend to supply that path.
 

odie

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(2) your freedom to be stupid ends when it endangers others.

I suppose we should consider at what point being stupid actually does occur, therefore endangering others.

Should someone who takes reasonable precautions to prevent an accident, have his freedom to pursue the activity arbitrarily restricted?

Or, should this universally apply when government decides danger to others exist in all cases, regardless of the level of competence and safety precautions?

Just things to consider.

-----odie-----
 
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With as risk adverse as social media platforms are maybe TikTok will start banning them after the negative publicity? I'm probably being a Pollyanna. lol
 
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Some of the people who have died doing this have been knowledgeable people who thought they had adequately managed the risk. Apparently there is NO reliably safe way for people to do this in a home environment.

The AAW hasn't banned people from doing fractal burning. They have simply decided that the practice will not be taught or promoted on AAW media or programs.

I don't believe that anyone is proposing banning the activity. If the government were to get involved or regulations of some sort developed, I assume they would likewise be directed at prohibiting the promotion of the practice or requiring a hazard warning such as is seen on cigarette packages.

Not long ago, there was some sort of Internet fad of drinking something that any sensible person would never consider safe. Maybe a Tik Tok challenge. A number of people were harmed. The news media publicized the risk, maybe the social media platform removed messages encouraging people to do it, and over time, it fell by the wayside. Fractal burning could/should be handled like that.
 
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It does not make any difference between "High Voltage" and "Low Voltage" an equal amount of current from either source has the same potential to interrupt the normal heartbeat which usually causes the injury. When the heart incurs a sufficient amount of current 50 milliamps or more it can cause an irregular heartbeat which can lead to death if not attended to. When ventricular fibrillation occurs, the heart stops pumping and the blood stops circulating. The victim rapidly loses consciousness and dies if a healthy heartbeat is not restored with a device called a defibrillator. The length of time that a person incurs the electrical shock also determines the level of internal injuries that can occur.

OSHA considers all voltages of 50 volts or above to be hazardous because, electric current, not voltage, passing through the human body causes injury, and the amount of current passing through an object depends on the resistance of the object.
 
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It's hard to track down an accurate number, but it seems as if about 40 OSHA regulated welders electrocute themselves each year (out of 500,000 welders). I'm sure there are more among casual welders working on farms and in their own garages, but I can't find numbers. It isn't obvious to me why fractal burning should be inherently that much more dangerous than welding. I've seen plenty of people who are pretty casual in their use of an electric arc welder, yet the proportion of deaths to practitioners seems much higher.
I agree but the difference with woodworkers is they are not using commercial products... these accidents are all (as far as know) from home made devices.
 
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2 people lost their lives and that is sad but like has been said above you have those choices to make in life that may kill you. For those that would ban this practice how many is the limit for deaths for banishment? 1,2,3 a year or more? People are killed by wood lathes should there be a number of deaths for that before banishment? How about other woodworking tools turners use? I'm sure the worst is the chainsaw how many deaths a year does that have? Should the chainsaw be illegal because of this? Getting the government involved in making personal choices is never a good idea.
 
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If anyone wants to read up on it, AAW has a pretty extensive write-up (link below) about the inherent dangers associated with fractal burning. Yes, woodturning and other leisure, and professional, activities have their dangers. Most of these dangers are well known and documented and; certified equipment, proper PPE, and training, can help minimize serious injuries (usually.....).

However, fractal burning, and the history of folks using unsafe and unapproved homemade devices, without any training, is what makes this extremely dangerous.

 
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I suspect remote activation using a dead mans switch, using high voltage gloves and not using a modified microwave oven transformer are a few things that would have saved most of these lives. All videos should come with a safety instructions and proper warnings to keep the average weekender from killing the themselves.
 
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If you've read about any of the annual Darwin Award winners, it'll be fairly clear that humans seam to like to engage in inherently dangerous activities. As my wife is known to say, "You can't cure stupid." The best we can do is learn from the mistakes of others. If I die doing something stupid, my wife will be really angry at me for the rest of her life. That's my motivation for not trying fractal burning!
 
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I suspect remote activation using a dead mans switch, using high voltage gloves and not using a modified microwave oven transformer are a few things that would have saved most of these lives. All videos should come with a safety instructions and proper warnings to keep the average weekender from killing the themselves.
They should. They people demoing this on TikTok don't have any kind of warnings and say how easy it is.
 
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My wife and I were having a coffee and donut at a local shop that had a flat board that had been fractal burned displayed on their wall. She thought it was nice. I thought it was no different than a "modern art piece" made by splattering paint on canvas. The "artist" in either case has no control of the outcome of their piece. This seems like one trying to create an object of interest without any artistic input from the practitioner. Why honor any short cut to glory? Are my donut shop and TicToc complicit in these deaths? Can we or should we try to regulate stupidity? Who among us didn't construct ramps for our bikes to emulate Evil Conevil? Lessons learned first hand are powerful teachers. On the other hand, cuts and broken arms don't compare to loss of life.
 
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I am working on a wind powered wood lathe today, seeing that electricity and modern technology is soon to be banned in the world we live in.
You can't fix stupid, and you can't legislate against it, stupid people have rights just like everyone else. Imagine where we would be if they banned
electricity when Thomas Edison or Nicoli Tesla were experimenting and developing the technologies we use today. No light bulb, no electric motors,
no radios, no video, no computers, no satellites, we would still be using whale blubber to burn in a lamp for lighting.
 

Roger Wiegand

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My wife and I were having a coffee and donut at a local shop that had a flat board that had been fractal burned displayed on their wall. She thought it was nice. I thought it was no different than a "modern art piece" made by splattering paint on canvas. The "artist" in either case has no control of the outcome of their piece. This seems like one trying to create an object of interest without any artistic input from the practitioner. Why honor any short cut to glory?
I plead guilty to taking advantage of the spectacular beauty of the wood I turn, over which I have very little control. I can make it into a more or less pleasing shape and do a more or less good job of sanding and finishing, but a huge part of the beauty of the final object is inherent in the wood, over which I have little control. Fortunately I'm not an artist, so I don't need to concern myself about the extent of my artistic input. I just try to make the nicest thing I can from each piece of wood, taking every advantage of a process that I do not control. Others seem to find value in it anyway.
 
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I plead guilty to taking advantage of the spectacular beauty of the wood I turn, over which I have very little control. I can make it into a more or less pleasing shape and do a more or less good job of sanding and finishing, but a huge part of the beauty of the final object is inherent in the wood, over which I have little control. Fortunately I'm not an artist, so I don't need to concern myself about the extent of my artistic input. I just try to make the nicest thing I can from each piece of wood, taking every advantage of a process that I do not control. Others seem to find value in it anyway.
I see your point, but l think most of us strive to achieve a finished piece that goes beyond utilitarian. The artistic eye and skill of the turner can bring out the best of a given chunk of wood. The process is what is being called out. I believe that those that do possess adequate knowledge to safely perform this stunt would totally shun the process. I just added my 2 cents worth that the piece has no artistic value to me.
 
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If I were moved to try fractal burning- I’m not, as I think it’s become a cliche and the results aren’t that attractive- I’d build a plexiglas or glass box to keep the workpiece and power supply in, with a ventilation fan and plastic rods to allow limited manipulation of the electrodes. I’d also set it up with a spring loaded switch that would shut the power supply down unless continuous pressure were applied.

I have yet to see anyone do this. A lot of practitioners just have everything exposed on a table.
 
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If I were moved to try fractal burning- I’m not, as I think it’s become a cliche and the results aren’t that attractive- I’d build a plexiglas or glass box to keep the workpiece and power supply in, with a ventilation fan and plastic rods to allow limited manipulation of the electrodes. I’d also set it up with a spring loaded switch that would shut the power supply down unless continuous pressure were applied.

I have yet to see anyone do this. A lot of practitioners just have everything exposed on a table.
When a person does irresponsible acts, then they are themselves to blame. Fractal process is a very safe thing to do when performed safely. I have developed my own safe process and feel quite confident when performing this procedure. With that stated, I will add that a Basic NO HANDS on operating the electrodes is best way to do this very interesting art form. My own device has a foot operated switch along with another inline on/off switch that then further away connects to car jumper cables that hold the electrodes. The operator of the foot switch stands on a rubber mat and the Fractal unit itself sits on another mat. Nobody is near the unit when energized. The unit is enclosed and has a warning light when powered up. I do not recommend anyone that does not have a in depth knowledge of high voltage electricity and the dangers of this process to perform this type of Art work. The best way I feel to curb the dangers is to educate those on the safe process to perform this art. People will try anything that is shunned, perhaps education is a viable solution. Please do not ask me to post pictures or wiring diagrams I will not, if you don't possess the knowledge do not do this.
 
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I’ve seen two things over the years. Unless someone’s career is/was in a heavily regulated industry where they had responsibility for attempting to have others adopt safe practices they do not take their personal safety seriously. See how often you see the mocking of “here comes the safety police.”
On the other side of this, I have seen the next younger generation than mine to be extremely risk averse, especially of things they do not understand or know a safe approach.
 
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I’ve seen two things over the years. Unless someone’s career is/was in a heavily regulated industry where they had responsibility for attempting to have others adopt safe practices they do not take their personal safety seriously. See how often you see the mocking of “here comes the safety police.”
On the other side of this, I have seen the next younger generation than mine to be extremely risk averse, especially of things they do not understand or know a safe approach.
There is also a fair amount of “if this was dangerous the government would ban it/regulate it/warn us/etc…” among people who have grown up in the past 40-50 years.

I remember a fatal accident some years ago when several inexperienced boaters were killed while speeding close to shore in Lake St. Claire. Their runabout hit a rock, was launched through the air, and landed upside down. One of the family members was seen on the local news sobbing and saying “They should post warning signs here!” They do, of course; they’re called charts.
 

hockenbery

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remember a fatal accident some years ago when several inexperienced boaters were killed while speeding

Don’t outrun your vision - back in the old days when every 10th grader in Dade county took Driver’s Ed in Phys Ed.
The instructors made sure everyone learned that one rule “don’t outrun your vision”. That is your stopping distance should not exceed the distance at which you can see danger.

Being able to react to danger or avoid it before it hurts you is the key to safety.

Three examples come to mind. Two guys riding motor cycles at night on UF practice field we’re going too fast to see the light pole guy wires that decapitated them. Copala’s son was killed when the boat he was in was going too fast to see the tow cable between two boats. A Cleveland Indians pitcher died when his boat hit a dock he couldn’t see.

The ability to “see” and avoid or minimize the danger is what safety is all about.
Most of those dying from Fractal burning out ran their vision. The didn’t “see” the danger.
 
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The problem with this process, with them using microwave transformers there is no safe way to do it. The circuit in a microwave transformer when you get a dead short or are getting electrocuted the breaker never knows it. It just thinks the circuit is under normal load and will keep cooking the person If he/she becomes part of the circuit. Simplified drawing but if the left side of the circuit gets grounded out then breaker will trip. But the live right side of circuit how the transformers are wired the breaker does not know it is grounded out or electrifying anything. The breaker will not trip, left side 120 volts right side 2200 volts.
 

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