MAKE Asks: is a weekly column where we ask you, our readers, for responses to maker-related questions. We hope the column sparks interesting conversation and is a way for us to get to know more about each other.

This week’s question: We all love to tinker around, and of course, our experiments can sometimes go wrong. What is the first time a project has exploded on you? What did you learn from it? Non-explosive incendiary events are also fair game.

When I was running a BBS off an old 286, I had a persnickety monitor. It would randomly switch to monochrome, but return to color with a good smack. Once this stopped working, I started keeping a rubber mallet on top of the monitor to do the job. One day I gave it a good whack and heard a funny noise coming from inside. I opened it up and discovered a three inch long electrical arc methodically melting the case and various components. Sometimes a hammer is not the right tool for the job!

Post your responses in the comments section.