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I Think The Router Won!

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Blog entry by Dustin Ward (aka Tearen) posted 1930 days ago 1034 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since Rustic had to let my secret out of the bag, I figured I should post the picks and tell the story.

On Thursday night I was working on some cutting boards and business card holders for a local craft show on Saturday morning. While making a groove cut on one of the business card holders on the router I ran into a bunch of issues. After some investigation this morning I think I can finally say what fully happened.

1) The router bit ran into a hard knot in the black walnut piece.

2) The router bit twisted the part.

3) The router table has a plastic insert (craftsman table saw with router wing). This insert flexed and allowed the twisting wood to catch the edge of the cast iron wing.

4) The black walnut piece DISINTEGRATED!

5) I was using a shorter push stick then normal to improve my control over the small piece I was working with. When the wood disappeared, the stick and my hand move toward the bit.

6) My middle finger got pulled into the bit. I pulled and twisted my hand free, but still had this damage done.

The Side of the Middle Finger. As you can see, there is a large piece of missing material. It is also hard to see, but the skin just below this is also peeled away. The doctor thinks this will stay attached as long as I keep pressure on in with bandages.
The Damage 1

My nail was also damaged in two locations. All the way down to the meat under the nail.
The Damage 2

The Damage 3

The Damage 4

Most of the damage is done to the side on my middle finger, but somehow I got damage 360 degrees around the finger. To much damage for stitches, so I will also be 3-4 weeks before I am up to 100%.

Lessons Learned:

1) Make or buy a router table with metal inserts!

2) Cut the grooves while the piece is larger and then cut the part down to size on the table saw.

3) Don’t use a smaller push stick. Keep those fingers as far away as possible.

Even with this happening on Thursday night, I still finished 35 cutting boards, 15 business card holders, and some other odds and ends for my craft show today.



21 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

10003 posts in 2389 days


#1 posted 1930 days ago

OOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8773 posts in 2733 days


#2 posted 1930 days ago

lew said it all -

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112016 posts in 2211 days


#3 posted 1930 days ago

I’m sorry about you injury I hope you post will encourage all of us to be more careful .I hope your fingers heal quickly.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 2584 days


#4 posted 1930 days ago

If this is the only injury I ever get I will be very happy. It has made life a little difficult, and I am taking pain meds every 6 hours so it is not so bad. All of the daily tasks have become interesting also. I am right handed and of course it damaged the right middle finger.

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3133 posts in 2230 days


#5 posted 1930 days ago

Sorry Tearen, I didn’t mean to. Hop e the finger feels better.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View RBWoodworker's profile

RBWoodworker

416 posts in 1985 days


#6 posted 1930 days ago

Seeing your blog and the pictures made me shudder….ooooooow!! while I have not had this happen to me..your blog made me that much more aware we need to be while using cutters that spin at a whopping 25,000+ RPM.. my closest call was while using a fingerpull cutter on my router table and got distracted during set-up..forgot to tighten the bit in the router and accidently turned it on.. the bit spun for about 3 seconds before flying out of the collets and bouncing all over inside the router table..the carbide cutter cracked and chipped itself to pieces and landed a few feet away from me..I thank God it didn’t hit me anywhere and considered myself very, very fortunate.. but it taught me a valuable lesson to double check EVERYTHING twice and stand clear when first turning it on to make sure it’s properly seated..again..thanks for posting and I hope you heal well..

-- Randall Child http://www.racfurniture.com/

View oldskoolmodder's profile

oldskoolmodder

761 posts in 2313 days


#7 posted 1930 days ago

I often wonder why I read these kinds of posts and look at the pictures, while I’m eating breakfast or any meal for that matter. Your observations, after the fact as they are, are very correct about cutting smaller pieces after they’ve been routed. I’ve never understood why people risk injuring themselves with small pieces on a router. I guess so they can find out for themselves.

The more injuries that get posted here, the more I wish there was a special section for all of OUR postings about how we got injured and follow-ups on how we are doing days, weeks, months, years alter. Being in this not so exclusive group who’s permanently damaged a digit, I also find myself wondering how it was that I could look at my own injury and not feel queasy, but when I look at injuries from other people, bring on that queasiness.

Our forefathers are probably laughing at the fact that they never got kickbacks from tablesaws or running their fingers into router bits, because they didn’t have power tools. Their injuries were far less. They never had the luxury of having a piece of wood come back at their mouth and leave them bleeding like we get to have.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2192 days


#8 posted 1930 days ago

Once again, been there, done that…...........Ooooooow it hurts as I well know. I guess you learned your lesson.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View sIKE's profile

sIKE

1271 posts in 2387 days


#9 posted 1930 days ago

Ouch, hope you finger get to feeling better here soon!

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11644 posts in 2321 days


#10 posted 1930 days ago

Speedy recovery to you !
There’s nothing like the feeling of flesh meeting power cutting tool by accident : (
Would’ve , could’ve , should have used that darned push stick ! Thanks for sharing your pix with us . I never got any pix of my injury.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2455 days


#11 posted 1930 days ago

Wow!!! This is a serious injury but I am glad it was not any worse. This will put you out of commission for a little while but I am hoping that you get back into the shop and back to your “normal” routine soon.

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

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 2584 days


#12 posted 1930 days ago

I forgive you Rustic.

I plan on being back to work in the shop tonight. Need to make some more stock for the next couple of craft shows. Some new ideas to try out and some other ideas that I have seen on here. I hope I don’t get any emails about stealing ideas!

View Myron Wooley's profile

Myron Wooley

226 posts in 2530 days


#13 posted 1930 days ago

Ow ow ow! Hope everything heals up OK, and thankful you weren’t hurt worse!

-- The days are long and the years are short...

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2306 days


#14 posted 1930 days ago

Ouch! thats hurt!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View BethMartin's profile

BethMartin

111 posts in 2011 days


#15 posted 1929 days ago

These threads always give me the heebie jeebies but I open them to keep myself paranoid when I’m working.

Hope your finger feels better soon!

(shudder)

-- Beth

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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