Lessons learned

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Blog entry by Mark Shymanski posted 04-10-2008 03:57 AM 849 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Its been a while since I’ve been able to post (I never did get a chance to photograph the joints I’m making, yet).

Had some interesting experiences with my power tools and in light of what I’ve been reading here I am considering myself extremely lucky. I experienced my first jointer kickback and I now realize how tremendously lucky I was not to suffer a lot more for my inattention. Next time I’m in the shop I am placing large warning stickers 6 inches either side of the jointer blades.

I gained a lot more respect for the undivided attention the router requires to safely use it as I had a router bit work loose as I was half-lapping away. I’ve come to the conclusion I must pay far more attention to what I am doing than I was previously and I consider my self very fortunate to have had both of these events with out any bloodshed. I hope Phildo’s recovery is going well and I’ve have a small inkling of how scary it must have been.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

7 comments so far

View Earle Wright's profile

Earle Wright

121 posts in 3716 days

#1 posted 04-10-2008 04:13 AM

Thanks for posting the reminder to think SAFETY all the time. I need to hear it a lot.

-- Earle Wright, Lenoir City, Tennessee

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3818 days

#2 posted 04-10-2008 04:32 AM

Hi Mark,

I think that sooner or later we all go through something like this and it serves to remind us that these tools, around which we generally become complacent, are inherently dangerous and we need to focus on the job at hand and stay mentally alert.

Thanks for the post.

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

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3892 days

#3 posted 04-10-2008 04:54 AM

Mark – glad you learned a valuable lesson without having to “pay” for it. Sometimes that scary feeling is enough to make us pay attention to what we are doing.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4083 days

#4 posted 04-10-2008 05:05 AM

I try to get my 13 yo grandson to help on his futon sofa project. But if it involves a power tool there is no way he is getting near it. His attention span is ZERO.

I review every cut with every machine before I do it. I just hope I always remember to make that review.

I’ve finally learned that I need to wear a dust mask.


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

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3763 days

#5 posted 04-10-2008 06:45 AM

Mark, safety is a topic that is always top on the list here at LumberJocks. You are right, we should always have a lot of respect for every power tool in the shop. It seems that jointer kickback is common. I don’t think that our bare hands should ever touch the wood while using the jointer. And the router bit working loose, that is usually due to letting the bit shank go all the way down into the collet. Because of the curve between bottom of the bit and the shank, the bottom of the bit should be 1/16” to 1/8” above the top of the collet. I cut 1/4” or 1/2” plastic tubing, depending on the router bit shank size, into about 1/8” lenghts and slip them onto each router bit shank.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Grumpy's profile


23916 posts in 3847 days

#6 posted 04-10-2008 11:05 AM

A router bit working loose is a very awakening experience Mark. If you dont line up the gripper slots correctly you are not likely to to have a tight grip on the router bit. An old carpenters rule Mark ‘never put your finger where you wouldn’t put your you know what’.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View nat42's profile


14 posts in 3708 days

#7 posted 04-10-2008 11:26 AM

I agree with Ron as regards the jointer and our hands.I learnt by loseing the tip of my finger.

People are always talking about safety which is quite right, and we talk about dust and masks but i don’t often hear about ear protection i have been working with power tools for +- 35 years and never used ear protection and now i am statrting to loose my hearing (the wife says its because i don’t want to hear) but I think that is a subject we should write about more often.

-- Nathan South Afirica

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