Yeah, this was me today. Since I was just using a block plane and not some power tool, the moment I got smacked in the forehead with a hunk of red oak took me rather by surprise.
I’m pretty new to all this, and I haven’t built myself a workbench yet. So while I’m working on a little side table for my mother in law, I need to do some hand planing to take the burn marks off the legs after I ran them through my homemade tapering jig. Lacking an actual bench, I rig up a way to clamp the legs to the side of my table saw. For a while this crazy half-assed rig actually worked pretty well.
There was a really stubborn spot along the bottom of one leg and I needed to move around to that end so I’m not planing against the grain. As you can see from the picture above, I didn’t think to clamp the leg vertically. So as I’m planing and putting some muscle into that tough spot, the clamp furthest from me loses its grip on the leg, the rail for the table saw fence suddenly becomes a fulcrum, and the thicker end comes flying up at my forehead.
Got me with the corner, I think. I have a cut above my eyebrow that looks like a big bloody “Y”. At least there isn’t any blood on the table leg! That would’ve been annoying getting that out of bare wood. I guess next week at work I can tell everyone, “Yeah, you should see the other guy”.
Stylish, eh? It’s a truism that one should use the right tool for the job. And unlike many cliched phrases, this one has a very good reason to stick around. And in this case, the right tool for the job was a woodworker’s bench to hold that leg while I planed it. So keep this in mind, everyone! You always hear about tablesaw accidents, and handtools feel so non-dangerous in comparison, but crazy things happen. Well, they do when you’re improvising in extremely strange ways to make up for a lack of equipment.
Now go forth and makes lots of sawdust and shavings. And stay safe!
-- Brian in Arlington, TX