God looks out for stupid people and people who play with wood, I'm covered on both counts

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Blog entry by getlostinwood posted 08-11-2011 03:48 AM 1595 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I found myself with a couple of free hours today and wanted to clean up the shop a bit. With school starting, my father in law sick and the wife planning a few trips back to Louisiana, time in the forseeable future is at a premium. After doing a little clean up I decided to start working on a box for an award dinner I host every year. Had it all planned out using some oak and maple I’ve been gathering. Nothing complicated, butt joints, and a liitle trim, no sweat. Got the sides done and cutting a piece birch ply for the bottom. Got it to a managable size just a little trimmimg, 1/4” sr so should do it. And then it happened, done it a hundred times but this time it got me. I reached over a pulled the left over bit away from the blade. Thump and I knew it wouldnt be pretty.

Here is where Cabmaker is saying “told you so”, as it was not long ago he and I were discussing this very issue in detail. I will be building a nail style push stick as soon as doc clears me to go back to the shop. A zero clearance insert won’t be far behind.
After a quick trip to the ER, and getting fussed at by my wife for interupting school supply shopping, I am able to think about a couple things:

You should not tell your wife what you think the bill will be based on how it compares to the tool you’ve been wanting – Oh man, for what this is going to cost I could have bought the planer I’ve been eyeing

When asking your neighbor for a ride to the ER it’s polite to cover your wound with some kind of rag – I grabbed one out of my staining rag box.

Whatching videos of the woodwhisperer while the Physician’s Assistant stitches you up will have them question you’re sanity. Although one of the Dr’s did ask for the website so he could check it out at home.

Never call a Physician’s Assistant a nurse, they dont like it

I’ve always been a big fan of getting back on the horse that threw you, so as soon as I came home I went to the shop and turned on the saw. I just listened at first, then put my hand on the table (way away from the blade). I have to admit there was a second of uneasyness, then as I felt the hum, and imagined what that power can build, I smiled and turned it off.
In a way I’m OK with this little injury, my dad lost finger and almost lost the thumb to a bandsaw. This is minor compared to that and will serve as a cautionary tale for the rest of my life.
If I ramble off at all is because the vicadin is beginning to kick in. Thanks for reading

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

4 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


1735 posts in 2834 days

#1 posted 08-11-2011 04:00 AM

No I wont say I told you so, cause you knew better. You are very lucky that is all you got. I have known quite a few 8 and 9 finger cabinetmakers and in one case he only has seven left. Go for the nail in the stick. 11 inch min. That 12 inch powermatic didnt even no you were there. Take care JB

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3084 days

#2 posted 08-11-2011 04:59 AM

A few years ago, I took about a 1/4” chunk of the tip of the thumb of my right hand (I’m right handed too). I have been much more careful to use push sticks and other safety gear since that time. On another incident, I had a kickback that sent a piece back and hit me in the lower chest/upper abdomen and knocked out my breath. Although I never had it X-rayed, based on the bruise, I imagine it also cracked a rib or two as well. I’m extra cautious around all of my power tools, but I use hand tools a lot more now, but like you, some things can just be done more precisely and a lot quicker using power tools, especially repeat operation. My table saw is the heart of my shop and I can’t imagine not having one. Glad to know your injuries aren’t any worse than that. Keep making sawdust.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3043 days

#3 posted 08-11-2011 07:34 AM

I’m glad it wasn’t any worse than this. I know the feeling as I have the outside tip of my middle finger left hand missing from contact with my jointer when the knot in the wood caused a kickback. Since that happened I am much more careful. Heal fast and make some sawdust without the red dye!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View justoneofme's profile


639 posts in 2505 days

#4 posted 08-16-2011 11:36 PM

Hi Get Lost In Wood:

Ouch … that’s one sorry looking finger! We can all thank God he provides healing powers too!! Hopefully it won’t be much longer before the sawdust flies again within your workshop.

Many thanks for your comments on Sealover’s Wine Box. I look forward to seeing more of your woodwork … and less blood!!!!

Cheers … Elaine from Duncan

-- Elaine in Duncan

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