Fingers vs Router

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Blog entry by BillyJ posted 07-16-2010 11:21 PM 4937 reads 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Stupidity? No, just a momentary lapse of of concentration. Actually, carelessness is probably the correct word. However, I’ll stick with dumb azz as my personal description.

I prided myself for having all of my fingers – and I still do. Unfortunately, I am now missing the tips (the sides to be specific).

It happened so fast, all I felt was the bouncing of my fingers on the cutter, and the spray of blood going through the air out of the corner of my eye.

I was cutting the raised panels for some doors, and I just finished making a pass. I picked up the panel with my right hand and with my left I went to brush off the chips. I had been doing this all morning, but this time I took my eyes off of the table.

Oh well – I got what I was asking for. That split second of not concentrating almost cost me a couple of fingers. The good part is that I was using a large cutter and had it dialed down to 10,000 rpm. I know if I would have been cutting a 1/2 inch at 22,000, I would have cut down to the bone before I would have even known what happened.

Fingers vs router

The other consolation is that I only got a couple of spots of blood on the panel. I’m sure my customer would not want it on there. He’ll never see it, now that I’ve cleaned it up!

ps – it is sure hard to type while having the two wraps on the fingers.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

23 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3239 days

#1 posted 07-16-2010 11:45 PM

Billy, I am so sorry to hear this but at least you did not lose any fingers. I hope you are able to get back into the shop soon.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3663 days

#2 posted 07-16-2010 11:51 PM

Boy BJ does that look familiar, and I felt the same way. I’m glad it wasn’t worse than it is. I cursed myself out for days. I still do every time I type. My sawed off finger hits two keys at once. Hope it heals fast, and sorry, I feel for you, I really do. Mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2476 days

#3 posted 07-16-2010 11:56 PM

Ouch! I remember taking a small chunk out of the tip of my thumb with a table saw blade. It isn’t smart to push the board in line with the blade. Duh!. Anyway, I know the feeling when you do something you know you shouldn’t have done. Hope it heals quick.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 2620 days

#4 posted 07-16-2010 11:56 PM

Thanks Scott. After my trip to the ER, I came back and finished the job. I’m going to take the night off, they are throbbing too much.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 2620 days

#5 posted 07-17-2010 12:10 AM

I appreciate that Mike & Doc. Injuries have a way of reminding me of what not to do again!

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 2524 days

#6 posted 07-17-2010 12:12 AM

I’m sorry to hear about your brush with the router blade. When you lose a lot of skin you can get an infection very easy. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery and an even quicker return to the shop. Rand

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2400 days

#7 posted 07-17-2010 01:10 AM

Sorry to hear of your mishap. As the old saying goes Flesh vs. Metal= Flesh loses everytime. Hope you mend soon.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 2459 days

#8 posted 07-17-2010 01:16 AM

Been there, done that. A year and a half later and have the scars to remind me.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3663 days

#9 posted 07-17-2010 01:38 AM

Man aren’t we a bunch of dumb asses!!! Then we go right back at it again. I clipped two more fingers on my left hand just got some skin this time on the same TS. That damn Hitachii, two other lumberjocks agree it’s got a bent or warped fence on it. I’m going to write to them and send pictures, aught to be worth $500.000 at least. lol, monkeys might fly out of my butt too.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#10 posted 07-17-2010 01:48 AM

Wow sorry about your injury . None of us should never say never ,It just takes a second to get hurt.
I hope you heal quickly and completely Billy

-- Custom furniture

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 2858 days

#11 posted 07-17-2010 01:57 AM

Ouch I got tingles on my tingles Last week I took a chisel to the thumb and it was wicked sharp but your deal is pain god bless ya. Keep it clean now only if sawstop would come out with router stop


View Dark_Lightning's profile


2619 posts in 2526 days

#12 posted 07-17-2010 02:05 AM

Ouch. This isn’t about stupid, it’s about a split second of inattention. I’ve done stuff like this to myself, as well, from soldering irons to two-pound hammers. Stuff happens, but power tools REALLY bite. Get better soon!

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17570 posts in 3093 days

#13 posted 07-17-2010 09:47 AM

Sorry to hear this. I was cuttiing on the TS today, kept thinking of all the accidents I read about on here. Started to make a cut that was a little to close to my fingers, grabbed a piece of scrap and made a push stick. Must be mental telepathy:-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2532 days

#14 posted 07-17-2010 10:51 AM

another one of those trip we donĀ“t want to go on


View Uncle_Salty's profile


183 posts in 2490 days

#15 posted 07-17-2010 03:21 PM

No such thing as too much vacation, too much money, too much joy, and too much safety!

You mentioned a lack of concentration. That is generally about the only thing that gets experienced guys in trouble!

I know that it may seem a bigger pain than it is worth, but a fixed cover shield over the top of the panel cutter may have helped prevent your accident.

I used to be a bah humbugger when it came to shields. But a couple of close calls and a near finger amputation on the table saw (over a twenty year period; I am all about relative cumulative information!), and there really isn’t a guard, splitter, riving knife, kickback pawl, or shield that I won’t try to work with.

A lot of differently designed pushsticks and other jigs help make it all a little better. And a lot safer!

Best wishes and heal quickly!

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