September 3, 2018

On September 3, 2018, a New Zealander proved why a little more education is worth an ounce of prevention in welding. Howard Miller, a professional welder, was trying to help a friend weld an exhaust pipe on a car. Being a welder and an amateur inventor, he brought his new invention along with him. It was an LPG bottle into which he’d already mixed his welding components, acetylene and oxygen. All professional welders normally keep these components in separate tanks. Why? Because when they mix, they burn hot enough to cut concrete and metal. Without a flow regulator, it’s a bomb that hasn’t exploded yet. Why did Mr. Miller do this? It’s speculated that he believed it would save some time. When Mr. Miller’s friend saw the contraption, he told him that it was dangerous. Mr. Miller ignored the advice and attached a torch-head to the bottle. The friend immediately and with haste exited the car-shed. Mr. Miller lit the welding tip, and as high school chemistry and physics would have taught him, without the regulator, it didn’t take long for the flame to burn back into the bottle. The resultant explosion flattened the shed along with the car and the twenty liters of paint thinner and gasoline that was stored in the building. The force was so powerful, it shattered the windows of the neighboring properties. Mr. Miller was the only known casualty and it’s believed he didn’t feel a thing. When Mr. Miller got to heaven, Saint Peter did tell him, “You forgot to say, ‘Hey Ya’ll, watch this.”

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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