My Thumb was DUMB! ... and it led to this...

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Project by Milo posted 10-16-2014 01:21 AM 4066 views 3 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My thumb was dumb!

Ok, it started out like all these things do…

I was tired…

I was reaching the end of the day…


My thumb was dumb!

I’m a big fan of Matt Vanderlist (Matt’s Basement Workshop), and “Fingers and thumbs, don’t be dumb” came instantly to mind when I got REALLY lucky and didn’t lose my thumb! That gash was about 1/8 inch wide, and just a little deeper. Instant shock. I was amazed though how quickly it quit bleeding. I lucked out HUGELY.

That all said, I learned a lesson, I needed a blade guard. I have an old Delta Uni, and don’t have the original. So, after some research came up with two options I liked. The Shark Guard and the Issue 92 blade guard in Shopnotes.

I didn’t like the way Shopnotes guard attached to the back of the saw, and didn’t want to wait months for a Sharkguard (plus funds are tight).

I DID however want a blade guard. Remember, my thumb was dumb. Fortunetly, there are old plans for a Sharkguard on the website, so AWAY I went.

Things I wanted in a blade guard included small footprint, minimum width, dust collection, and the right price.

I don’t have the steps I took in making the guard (you can find that on the website Here,

Here is the guard on my saw…

Changes you easily may not are I included 1/8 ply on the top and in the body of the guard. Since I couldn’t easily get 3/8 Plexiglas, I settled for what the Big Box had. The Ply gave it a little more rigidity.

As you can also see, I took a page out of the Shopnotes blade guard and inserted a dust adapter into the top of the blade guard. It ended up working better that I hope!.

In the back, I had a basic, after market splitter on my saw. I removed the anti kickback prawns, drilled a hole, and had my blade guard mount.

It is very light. Hence that magnet on the top. When the dust collector is on, the duct contract and pulled up on the guard. That kind of nixed the whole purpose of the guard, ya know? The magnet was just heavy enough and small enough to do the job weighing it down.

Do you have a small shop? Bungy cords can be your friends!

And finally, a last tip. Do you have problems with dust collection connectors? Cheap beer coozies can make great connectors on 3 inch hoses. Here is an example.

Short and sweet. Hope this helps you out in your endeavors. I’ll answer questions if you have any.

Don’t let your thumb be dumb, and DON’T cut when you’re tired!


-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

25 comments so far

View hoosier0311's profile


706 posts in 2204 days

#1 posted 10-16-2014 01:31 AM

Dang, sorry for the bad luck Bud. good call on the blade guard and I like the dust port addition.

-- atta boy Clarence!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10299 posts in 4230 days

#2 posted 10-16-2014 03:14 AM

Sorry you got knicked…
... could have been a lot worse…

Glad you got off easy…

You will never forget this one! :)

Thank you for reporting it…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Dutchy's profile


3127 posts in 2347 days

#3 posted 10-16-2014 04:56 AM

I.m glad your tumb is still there! You are lucky man.

In europe it is forbiidden to work without a dusthood. On”": you can see how I did solve the problem.


View UncleStumpy's profile


736 posts in 2491 days

#4 posted 10-16-2014 07:22 AM

What a baby! Come on, you have to almost cut it off like I did. THEN you can feel as stupid as I did.
Seriously, it was a long time ago and I was tired and in a hurry. Now my fingers never get near the blade – ever.
I even got a Kevlar glove for when it might be iffy.
Really nice set up you have now, by the way!!!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8518 posts in 2507 days

#5 posted 10-16-2014 01:30 PM

Great looking guard…. similar to some of the thoughts I’ve had, as I’m in the exact same boat (though with an older Jet)...

Fortunately, I haven’t been bit yet…

I have the factory guard (needs much repair) but it’s a tank and totally obscures your view of the cut, which in my opinion is just a different type of hazard.

Your link is broke… please see if you can get it to work… as I’d love to see the details of your riving blade and it’s attachment.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View LJackson's profile


295 posts in 1772 days

#6 posted 10-16-2014 02:40 PM

It seems one consistent characteristic of someone getting injured by their table saw is that they are tired. I have the Craftsman version of the Ryobi BT3100. It is a great saw for it’s price, but I do not like the saw blade protection mechanism. Perhaps I will build one of these instead.

For now, I will remember to never use my saw when I am tired. I always use push sticks and blocks.

View Oldtool's profile


2732 posts in 2369 days

#7 posted 10-16-2014 03:09 PM

Tired, over confident, or complacent, these conditions will get you injured with power tools. Lucky guy, could have been worse. Glad you can still hitch hike with that hand.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3497 days

#8 posted 10-16-2014 04:28 PM

Matt, I fixed the link.

Stumpy, Kevlar gloves? From where?

Yeah, I realize lucked out. If I told you I did it reaching over the blade, you’d all call me an idiot, so I won’t….

Fortunetly it is healing up well. If you need a guard, this one works really well for the price. Just over $20 out of pocket, not including items I already had, like the splitter.

Be safe!

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View MikeSpanky's profile


179 posts in 1541 days

#9 posted 10-16-2014 07:48 PM

Wow, that hurts just looking at it. Glad you still have that finger though. Gonna make sure I’m not over tired when I’m running mine. This old saw don’t have a blade guard but I’m hoping to get a new saw very soon which will make my selection harder I’m sure. Got this flex drive craftsman from my mom after my father passed. He never would run machines with guards. Just happy you are OK.

-- There's no crying in woodworking. Just measure and cut again.

View Fettler's profile


200 posts in 2175 days

#10 posted 10-16-2014 08:01 PM

Very lucky, thanks for sharing. IMO, you should go to Vegas now =)

I’ve been having trouble with my splitter (I have a sharkguard splitter and it’s too thick) on my 1942 Unisaw causing binding so i haven’t been running it. I generally keep my fingers >4” away from the blade. If i’m making a narrow rip i’ll use feather boards. I use a notched stick style push stick which keeps my fingers 12” away from the blade. Staying out of the blade trajectory is hard but i always try to stay to the side.

My near misses have all been with binding and the work piece lifting or with the piece shattering.

Eventually i’ll be getting a saw stop. hopefully i’ll have all my fingers by then.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2868 days

#11 posted 10-16-2014 11:48 PM

You were VERY fortunate! That is probably the most superficial wound ever inflicted by a tablesaw.

And just FYI: you should post this in the safety forum rather than projects.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2246 days

#12 posted 10-16-2014 11:53 PM

I don’t like to be critical but your shop area looks too crowded to work safely in. Give your self some clear working space, especially around your table saw. Hope your thumb heals and works like new.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View Mean_Dean's profile


6890 posts in 3325 days

#13 posted 10-17-2014 12:03 AM

Well I’m glad your digit is going to be ok! That must have got your adrenaline going, I would imagine!

Take care, and be safe out there—and thanks for posting us a reminder!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View NormG's profile


6269 posts in 3182 days

#14 posted 10-17-2014 12:09 AM

Sorry for the injury, glad to see something positive came out of it

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 3497 days

#15 posted 10-17-2014 12:15 AM

Gfadvm, the new blade guard was the project, the injury was the “inspiration”.

Dean. Snatched my hand back so fast no blood got on the saw. Heartbeat aroun 300, I’d estimate. ;)

Art, I hear you, seriously, but I only have 16×10 to work with, hence everything on wheels. And I mean EVERYTHING.

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

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