With more then a half-century behind me, I’m rather comfortable in saying that I’ve seen a lot of stupid things in my life. Having been host to the greater number of them, I count myself both lucky and rather stupid at times. Take yesterday, as an example.
Take a close look at the picture below. What kind of wound is it?
No, it’s not a splinter. However, if you guessed a 23 ga pin-nail hole – you’ed be correct.
The next logical question should be – how stupid could you be?
Rather, my friend – rather stupid.
My son and grandson just came out to the shop and started to talk to me. They asked what I was doing. I showed them my Senco pin-nailer and explained how I had recently read an article in Fine Homebuilding (November, 2011) about pin-nailers. The author had shot a 1” pin into his palm, with his Senco, just below his thumb. He underwent surgery to have it removed. I explained how the Senco did not have a safety feature on it, and showed them how it fired without having pressure applied to the tip.
No, I’m not THAT stupid. I didn’t aim it at my palm just to recreate the event. Give me a little credit – ok?
I went in the house, had dinner, then went back out to continue working on the cabinets. Rats! The nailer jammed. Ok, not a problem. I’ll take it apart and remove the culprits. While I’m at it, I’ll put a little oil in there too.
Yep, it worked great. But what the heck is that oil coming out of the tip. That’s no good. So, I take the strip of 1/2” pins out, and wiped the oil out. I pulled the trigger a couple of times (shooting the gun AWAY from me), and looked at the tip. Hmmm, looks good. Guess it’s time to shoot my palm just to see if any more oil comes out.
You guessed it. The magnet that pulls the pins up must have retained three pins (which I never saw). I shot the nailer twice, then turned it on my palm. I was holding the gun about 2” away from my palm.
Oh, what a tingly feeling I got as it hit the nerves. I looked, and saw a little hole (no blood). Come on now – I didn’t!! Oh yes stupid – you did.
Like I said in the beginning, I’ve seen many stupid injuries in my life. A fellow worker once shot a 2 1/2” nail through his foot (safety shoe and all). I saw the results of a painter who was cleaning his sprayer with solvent and shot it through his arm (looked like two legs by the time he was in the hospital). I know better not to do stupid things like this, but it happened.
1. Like any gun – assume it’s loaded.
2. Like a gun – never point it at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
3. Buy a tool that has a safety on it.
4. If I do it again, even after following rules 1 – 3, pick something safer to do with my spare time. Like reading a book, watching TV, or sleeping.
A final note:
If there happens to be a person who is working for, or knows someone who does work for a government regulatory agency, OSHA, or any other group that likes to keep people safe – don’t use this as part of your testimony before Congress. I was stupid, I did it to myself.
And if I want to keep shooting myself with pin nailers, please let me.
The last thing I want, or need, is some ineptocratic agency telling me how to save myself from myself.
-- 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.