Bandsaw's bite

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Blog entry by DataDoc posted 08-08-2007 12:39 AM 1367 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

No matter how careful you think you are, when you feel the thunk of the blade as it catches on the bone means it’s too late. I reached to brush away a cutoff and got my thumb snagged in the blade. With my wife’s assistance I got it bandaged up, and then sat around all afternoon holding my hand up to relieve the pounding in my thumb. Three Ibuprofen and 30 minutes later I had relief.

Now all I feel is stupid.

-- DataDoc, North Carolina,

22 comments so far

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4236 days

#1 posted 08-08-2007 12:42 AM

OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!! Man you never can let down your guard!!!! If it is down to the bone maybe a visit to the doctor for stitches is in order. Hope it stops throbbing soon….

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4263 days

#2 posted 08-08-2007 12:48 AM

I had a woodworking instructor that was real safety conscious. He taught us what to watch out for. One day after about 30 years he lost a finger on the bandsaw..

It can happen!! I’m glad you didn’t lose one.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3985 days

#3 posted 08-08-2007 12:57 AM

I treat my tools like I’m kissing a cobra!- Hand tools too.

p.s. whiskey and tylenol = Morphine ;-)

Good luck with your healing.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3925 days

#4 posted 08-08-2007 01:17 AM

Oh my but you are lucky to still have that thumb. 15 years ago I shut down the table saw and reached over to flick away a cutoff. It took a lot of stitches. The worst part was that Ii was in the middle of carving a saddle and had to use that thumb to run the swivel knife and all those little tools. I’ve never forgotten and I’ll bet you won’t either. good luck.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3960 days

#5 posted 08-08-2007 01:37 AM

I did something pretty similar yesterday – jabbed a chisel into my hand pretty deep! The hand was never intended to be used as a clamp – but silly me! You’re definitely not alone! i went in for a tetanus shot because of the depth of the wound – would suggest the same depending on how deep your cut is and when you had it last…

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4040 days

#6 posted 08-08-2007 01:45 AM


I had a real close call last year with my table saw. I was tired and it was the last piece of board I was ripping when my finger got a little to close to the blade. I was lucky as the finger of the glove I was wearing (I ALWAYS wear tight fitting mechanics type gloves when working with wood) caught the blade first and gave me a serious wake up call.

I hope you finger feels better soon DD.

-- BLOG -

View Dano's profile


222 posts in 3995 days

#7 posted 08-08-2007 02:47 AM

Sorry for the cut, I hope you heal quickly. I put 2 fingers into a 1/2 bit on a router table a few weeks back so I feel your pain. Makes you feel like a real dumb a@& doesn’t it! Welcome to the club and thanks for posting, we can only hope that our pain can teach others to avoid such incidents.

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4049 days

#8 posted 08-08-2007 04:13 AM

I like Bob’s analogy to the cobra. I’m so afraid of slicing something off that everytime I start something up I think through all the motions and try to not stray. I resist the urge to brush away pieces. Even that is a slow methodical process for me. I’ll still probably slip someday.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4051 days

#9 posted 08-08-2007 04:20 AM

I agree with Bob. I try to be real scared so to be real careful, especially around the table saw. Too many not near misses and close calls on kickback to not be worried.
Close friends have pared off pieces of their fingers on the jointer and router.
Next to the jig saw I thought the bandsaw was the safest power tool in the shop. Wrong, again.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Atelierwoodworks's profile


105 posts in 3977 days

#10 posted 08-08-2007 11:14 AM

Ok.. thanks for scaring the c..p out of all us newbies…......... but thanks for the wise words

-- Atelierwoodworks Vaud Switzerland

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 3987 days

#11 posted 08-08-2007 12:56 PM

Xavier, there’s no such thing as a “safe” tool—only safe technique.

The bandsaw can fool you. My own “interaction” came when doing a freehand rip on fairly thick stock. The problem was that I hadn’t planned on where the blade would exit the wood at the rear, and had my hand in the way. A little nick to the top of my left index finger cost me a trip to the ER for a tendon repair. This was followed by six weeks with the finger in a brace “pointing the way” for all to see.

I think the best thing to do is to go ahead & put a sign on the injured member for folks to read rather than have to explain what happened over and over and over. I guess they’d just ask anyway.

Better yet, let’s just avoid the whole thing if possible.

I tell people that I learn from my mistakes, but the problem is that there are so many different mistakes out there to make…

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 4207 days

#12 posted 08-08-2007 01:14 PM

It seems there is no way around it. Wood + tools (hand or powered) + our intervention = OUCH.

Hope your wound heals quickly.

-- Joel Tille

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4124 days

#13 posted 08-08-2007 02:41 PM

thanks for sharing your learning experience…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View leonmcd's profile


204 posts in 3935 days

#14 posted 08-08-2007 05:13 PM

I had a learning experience when using the bandsaw with a paper pattern. The pattern was drawn on the paper and I used spray adhesive to attach it to the wood. I did not trim off the excess paper around the pattern and as I was nearing an outside edge of the pattern the blade popped out of the side of the wood and caught the ends of two of my fingers. A little blood but no bone. Now I trim my patterns down to size.

Good thing I’ve been toughening my finger tips on the belt sander all these years.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4124 days

#15 posted 08-09-2007 06:01 PM

good point: know where the edge of the wood is.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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