It was another sunny day, temps in the 70’s and I was in the workshop. I decided to spend my time converting some rived white oak into some usable lumber. The pieces I was working on were rougher than those I’ve been working with. These had a lot of splintering left from the riving process, so I decided to use my drawknife to clean them up before moving on to my hand plane and/or jointer. As I began, the thought passed through my mind of how I had almost forgotten how well my drawknife cut throught the wood. As most of you know, a blade cuts better at an angle than when pushed or pulled straight through the wood, so I was angling my drawknife as I pulled it through the wood. The shavings of oak were flying everywhere. This was the third piece that I was working on. Oh, the joy of woodworking! As the shavings flew my enthusiasm increased and the speed at which I shaved the splintered wood increased. Then it happened! ”OUCH!” My hand was drawn into the side of the piece of wood and white oak splinters plowed deep into my ring and little finger on my left hand and my right thumb had several cuts on it. Blood came from my ring finger unceasingly as I pulled a half inch long splinter from it. I quickly grabbed a paper towel and applied direct pressure to stop the bleeding as I headed for the house to doctor my wounds. It hurt terribly, as I think it reached the bone (it felt like it anyway). On my little finger, it looked as though a smaller splinter had passed through, just under the skin. Well, a day later, even though I probed it after the accident, a small splinter about 1/4” long was extracted from my pinky.
A lesser man would have called it a day, but I put on some bandages and this time, put my leather gloves on to protect my hands from any further injury. I returned to the work at hand, riving some short pieces to be used for chair rungs and a couple of four footers to prepare them for the jointer or tablesaw.
The lessons learned: Be careful when your enthusiasm controls your actions and not your brain; wear all your safety gear even if you can’t see a need for it at the time and know that an accident is always waiting just around the corner. Waiting for you to let your guard down or for your mind to wander. So keep you mind on your work while enjoying your woodworking and beware of the mighty splinter.
-- Jesus is Lord!