My Error in Woodworking

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Blog entry by Timothy posted 04-10-2012 06:19 PM 1185 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m posting this in the blog section, because it isn’t a completed project, even though it would get more traffic in that section.

About 9p last night I decided to work on the steamer trunk I’ve been working on for the past several months. I am working on getting the bottom to fit just right in the trunk. I had already cut the bottom, but it was just too small. I was thinking that wooden shims would make it fit better and I wouldn’t have to cut a new bottom. grabbing my box cutter I cross-cut the grain and snapped the piece off. Then for whatever reason to start the long grain cut I held the piece in my hand and then was going to sit in on the bench to finish. I didn’t get the chance. Given the unpredictability of wood the knife went right into my thumb. After examining the cut (I’m an ICU nurse) I decided I probably needed stitches. After waiting in the ED (yes employees have to wait too) I walked out with three brand new stitches and a lidocaine digital block. Below is the stitched up picture. Don’t do the same thing I did. As someone once said, “Fingers and thumbs, don’t be dumb.”

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2612 days

#1 posted 04-10-2012 06:24 PM

Ouch ,I’m glad it wasn’t worse.

-- Custom furniture

View GregD's profile


737 posts in 2171 days

#2 posted 04-10-2012 06:46 PM

My last stiches were also required because of a box cutter. I was half way through the thought I probably shouldn’t be cutting this way when the knife sliced my palm. I need to think faster or cut slower 8-)

-- Greg D.

View BTimmons's profile


2282 posts in 1520 days

#3 posted 04-10-2012 08:23 PM

Funny, my worst injury (apart from bone fractures) happened when I should’ve been using a box cutter. Instead I was using my pocket knife to break down a thick double walled cardboard box. Hit a snag, put some muscle into it instead of backing off. So the knife slipped and I ended up stabbing myself in the thigh. Penetrated about two inches. Thankfully it missed the nerves and major blood vessels.

I think I was more embarrassed than anything. After she got over the mild shock, my wife thought it was hilarious.

-- Brian Timmons -

View chrisstef's profile


13221 posts in 2041 days

#4 posted 04-10-2012 08:36 PM

Yup, i think this is how was all learn to clamp things down on the bench prior to using a chisel or razor knife. Ive got about 12 stitches attributed to both of those tools.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


17592 posts in 1709 days

#5 posted 04-10-2012 10:35 PM

Ouch!!! Glad it ain’t any worse.

A “Green Thumb” is OK, this time of year. However, it is NEVER a good time to have a “Red Thumb”!!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View jeepturner's profile


936 posts in 1827 days

#6 posted 04-10-2012 11:31 PM

Ouch, I am going to give this story only one thumb up though, and of course it will be the left one. The left one because us right handed folks know how to cut up the left one.
Here’s hoping it heals fast and well.

-- Mel,

View Bigrock's profile


270 posts in 1997 days

#7 posted 04-11-2012 12:14 AM

Timothy, welcome to the cut and stitches Club of Woodworkers. Now you can wait for the bill. My 5 stitches were $1200.00
Sure glad it was not to bad. It will seam like forever for it to heal. Please take good care of the wound. Please be Careful.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1621 posts in 1307 days

#8 posted 04-11-2012 05:26 PM


Those are very nice looking stitches. Think of this as adding one more experience to your woodworking prowess.

I’m glad it was not worse, I’m sure you’ve grown quite attached to that thumb.

Remember; “It’s not how bad we screw up, it’s how well we recover”. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Timothy's profile


59 posts in 2874 days

#9 posted 04-11-2012 07:49 PM

Thank you everyone for the comments. I am absolutely taking care of the wound especially since I work in one of the most germ infested places one can, a hospital. I keep it bandaged and with plenty of antibiotic ointment on it and change the dressing twice a day. I always wear gloves with patient contact and this would is no exception to that rule. I think the bill will be alright, I’ve already paid my $100 deductible and shouldn’t have anything on top of that (hospital is self-insured), but we’ll see. One thing for sure is I will just have to take a “time out” before I do anything with my hands and sharp objects.

View rodman40's profile


166 posts in 1362 days

#10 posted 04-12-2012 05:44 PM

It was because of accidents like these that Mosaic outlaw those box-cutters form all their plants in Florida

-- Rodman

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