Tales of Woe (stupid maker stories)

Inspired by my recent solder station mishap, I thought it might start a thread where we can share stories about setting our hair on fire, almost burning the house down or generally just doing stupid stuff while trying to build things.

I’ll start: When I was a young teen, I needed an extension cord. I didn’t have one, but what I did have was an extension cord made for ceiling lamps. In Sweden, these use a small round 3-prong connector, which is different from what is used for regular wall plugs.

The thing that I needed the extension cord for had a power plug that I could unscrew from the cable. Same thing with the lamp extension cord. So I unscrewed one end of the lamp extension cord, then I put the wall plug there, and the small 3-prong thingy went on the end of the cord I wanted to extend. So now I had a longer cable, which worked great.

At some point later, though, I ended up unplugging this extension cord, and got my first taste of 220 volt. Turns out that I had made what is sometimes called a “suicide cable”; a cable with prongs at both ends. Luckily the voltage only went through my hand, and only briefly, but it’s not something you easily forget, and I haven’t made that particular mistake again…


Does being temporarily braindead and wiring two live 120v circuits together make the list? Just tripped the breaker, but that scared me, lol. Took me a good few seconds to realize what I just did, what just happened, and how stupid it was.

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Of course it counts. :slight_smile:

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This is why my hard rule for home DIY is ‘no electrics, no gas’. It’s like the equivalent of ‘no women, no children’ for assassins.

I was working on site wiring up a machine with two 30kw motors.
They had deul star windings on the motors and I managed to wire up one supply to the windings across the jumper bars that make it a star configuration.
Started up the machine and everything ran fine for a little, but one motor seemed to be running hot?
Seconds later and I tripped a 32amp breaker.

I did take me a little while to work out what I had done.
And then :man_facepalming:.
The daft thing is is I’m very qualified for this work but just can’t work out what was going on to make me do this😆

Still no one was hurt and I didn’t damage anything.

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