The most intense PAIN!

Just today i was glassing a mini-tanker and as i was squeezing my bohdi bottle it started to slip out of my hands. Well i juggled it and then squeezed really hard to catch it from falling. Needlesss to say i jerked it upwards when i caught it and sent just about 15cc’s of catalyst into my eye and all over my face. I had already put some resin down on this board and it all of a sudden i cant even open my eyes because of the intense pain. Thank god i was buffing the other day and had a squirt bottle filled with water handy. It probably saved my eyesight. so i went into just flooding my eyes with water until i could actually see again. Then i think “CRAP MY MINI-TANKER” run into the glassing room and finish glassing with 1 blury eye and mainly squeegeeing from memory. Flipped the laps and have been soaking my face in water now for a good 35 minutes. Well i can kinda see out of both eyes now but my forehead is ON FIRE. pretty sure the sweat on my brow and the catalyst reacted and burnt the crap outta it.

Now here is the thing, a while back i read stories of someone getting catalyst in their eye and i was like how in the hell do you do that? YOU JUST DO!!! ACCIDENTS HAPPEN. So my suggestion to all of you, put a squirt bottle of water somewhere in your shop and keep it FULL.

Austin S.

Holy Shit Austin!!! Any thoughts of calling the doc/hospital. You know, just for grins and giggles???

Sr Pato


I don’t know if they were trying to scare us, but in composites class they told us it only takes about 30 seconds to blind us if we get catalyst in the eye. I think you did save your eyesight by having the water handy.

safety glasses? I work in a chemistry lab where I deal with some of the most toxic and potentially physically harmful chemicals you can possibly imagine. Ususally don’t wear a lab coat, often don’t wear gloves, but safety goggles are on ALL the time…lessons learned the hard way too…MEKP will react with most organics quite quickly and vigorously. Protection is yer only recourse when prevention fails.

Hey Austin, not to be too critical but your eyes are WAY more important than any surfboard - w/ MEKP/eye contact you’re supposed to continue flushing for 30 minutes minimum, then see a doctor… you should go see a physician NOW… good luck & hope all turns out OK!

PS I have an outdoor shower right next to my glassing area. Emergency eye wash station…

Man, what the hell happened today??? Is it accident day or what??? I just finished hotcoating a board and when I went to clean the brush it dropped in the can of acetone and splashed on my eye as well…I ran to the shower and stuck my eye in the stream for a good 5 mins. Maybe its a sign not to be doing any board work on good friday, hmmm.

Hmmmmm…I was JUUUUUUSSSSST about to go do some rail bands on a board with the electric planer…

Man austin i hope your eyes feel better. You can get Saline from any drug store and it will feel a lot better if you use that to keep flushing your eye. Luckily i am blind as a bat so I always wear glasses. I have to say that is some dedication to make a comeback and half blind glass the board…you know Bethoven was def…


but safety goggles are on ALL the time

You sound like Norm Abrams. I’ve watched to many New Yankees Workshop. Everytime I start a project I can hear “and there nothing more important the these, Safety Glasses”. The one time you don’t wear them the project jumps out to get you. I was soldering on a hose bib and forgot to open the bid. When I realized my error I quickly opened the bib and steam shot up into my eyes… I’m pretty good about wearing them now.

Howzit Austin, Now that's scary, I've had the occasional acetone splash in my eyes and that hurts enough, also dropped a 5 gal pail of open resin splash in my eyes which I had to use acetone to remove,luckally I saw it coming and shut my eyes so it wasn't that critical. Did have a friend get catalyst in his eyes and he was temporarally blind for 3 days. Be careful, glassing by braille can't be a good thing. Aloha,Kokua

Yes indeed. Safety glasses are a Good Thing, and clear face shields too if working with truly nasty stuff. Like Great White, I spent my time working (as a TA) in a chem lab, and I was merciless on the subject of eye protection. Better to reduce a student to tears cos I chewed 'em a new one ( and have them wear their safety glasses religiously) than have to carry the guilt load if they blinded themselves with hot sulfuric acid.

I’ve been asked why I refuse to have contact lenses. Wayull, the glasses protect my eyes very nicely and I can look straight at the work: it’s the safest way to do it with the lenses directly between anything that could fly out and zap my eyes. The new polycarbonate prescription lenses are lighter and stronger than glass, though they can scratch easier.

For that matter - contacts might be the worst thing going for working around any corrosive or reactive chemicals ( like catalyst, acetone or resin fumes of any kind) , as they’d trap the stuff against the surface of the eye and maybe the eye was wouldn’t work so hot. Or dust, or grit, or… so bag the contacts, get out the ugly old glasses, and then go to work.

Safely. Think of all the stuff you couldn’t do if you couldn’t see.

you can call me foureyes… but they all work.


man that sucks, when i first started laying up fins, i was using west marine epoxy and and wasnt real familiar with how it worked. I sat around and was waiting for it to thicken up (didnt know that it was supposed to thin) and when it started heating up (the cup was smoking) i figured it was a good time to lay it out, anyways, i wasnt wearing gloves and the cup superheated in my hand and melted the plastic and epoxy spilled out all over my left hand while it was kicking giving me 1st and 2nd degree burns. It hurt, especially because i was not able to get to a water source for a couple minutes and couldnt get the epoxy off. Still have scars left over today.

man that brought a tear to eye. i can understand your pain man, i hope that everything turns out all right.

i will definetly have the squeeze bottle of water when glassing.

wow, austin…when you said everything was especially frustrating lately, you weren’t kidding…glad there’s no permanent damage…and no worries…you’ll be in costa rica soon enough.

Thanks guys.

I have been washing my eyes out all day long, but the pain is down to minimal now. The good news is i caught the board before it kicked and ended up with no bubbles. For the other 2 boards i glassed today i was EXTREMELY CAREFUL when dumping catalyst. My vision is still kinda blury but not bad. The closest call ive had.

Austin S.

Now THAT’S a dedicated craftsman: " The good news is, I caught the board before it kicked and ended up with no bubbles."

Austin comes close to major eye damage, “BUT I saved the board”. Austin, you’re a true craftsman and a true addict. Be careful! You do outstanding work, and the industry needs guys like you. It would be a sad thing if a visual artist like you had problems with his eyes.

Best wishes on your recovery, and thanks for giving everyone an important heads up. Doug

Man, I would still see a doc or optician pretty quick…make sure there is no damage that needs attention…sometimes eye injuries get worse after a couple of days, and I heard MEKP melts eyeballs like butter…

Good luck, keep us posted…


Finishing a board after you just hosed your eyes with MEKP is not dedication, that is sheer stupidity to the nth degree!

What good is a board without bubbles if YOU ARE BLIND AND CANNOT SEE TO SURF!

Do not delay. Get to a doctor post haste. You have probably already suffered some serious damage to your eyes, but it may be possible to mitigate the worst of it.


"…I heard MEKP melts eyeballs like butter…

sorry , not quite graphic enough …have you got pictures of that , now I’m just sitting down to a bowl of lychees for pudding ?! geez … it’s okay , I’m kidding …my groin injury was about as graphic as I would EVER want to have to deal with personally. [for the new arrivals, don’t ask …please !] ben

Austin- MEKP is some serious stuff- If I were you I would have gone to the ER room ASAP. But that’s me. I only know one person who took a shot of MEKP to the eye- he washed his eyes out under the sink immediately for about 30 minutes and his eyes burned like hell for a day, but he never went to the doctor and he is totally fine. So I guess it’s a gamble. -Carl