So far, I’m up to 13 cuts. Of these, the breakdown by source is as follows:
- 1, flush-cut saw.
- 1, paint scraper.
- 1, bow saw.
- 1, chisel.
- 9, carving injuries.
You may notice a trend here . I certainly did, and in fact, it was after injury #10 that I decided I’d better buy a carving glove. It’s about the same price as a copay at urgent care, for stitches, and it was obvious that no matter how careful I was, I was going to end up there sooner or later. Injury #11 was another minor cut from the carving knife, in between my resolution to buy a glove and carrying out my intent. After I bought a glove and started using it, my injury rate went way down .
Then, a couple nights ago, I was carving experimentally on a small piece of wood, and I decided I could just be extra careful and do without the glove. You can probably guess the next part: my momentary laxity cost me four stitches in the left index finger. On the bright side, this served as a very graphic safety lesson for my kids (at least two of whom are also carving), and my bloodstained thumb guard is a visible reminder of what happens when I don’t wear my glove.
Injury #13 happened earlier tonight, and was different from the previous 12. All of the others were direct results of applying force to wood via sharp metal, with a hand on the other side of said wood. This one didn’t fit that mold; it resulted from trying to wrestle a log into position while holding a bow saw in one hand. I’ve got a band-aid on my forearm to show why that’s a bad idea .
All in all, not terrible, especially given a marked tendency to be careless due to not paying attention (largely a side effect of the gift of ADHD). I find working with wood to be calming and conducive to focus, and this, along with a healthy dose of caution, has kept me from doing too badly. My tools, alas, do not always fare so well, several having become better acquainted with the shop floor than they probably like. Those that aren’t lost, anyway .
-- David A. P. -- Ars Arboris ("Art of the Tree") -- ArsArboris.com