All Replies on Do you still have all of your digits??

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View Peter Hanson's profile

Do you still have all of your digits??

by Peter Hanson
posted 10-10-2010 11:32 PM

22 replies so far

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3254 days

#1 posted 10-11-2010 01:55 AM

I had a young man come to my shop to apply for a job. I noticed he was missing a finger and half of another. When I asked him what happened, he just laughed and said he was careless on a shaper and ran his hand in the bit…...........decided I didn’t need him on my payroll. LOL.

-- John @

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3250 days

#2 posted 10-11-2010 02:06 AM

I have all ten but not all of all ten. You probably wouldn’t notice what’s not there unless you compared my left hand to my right . Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of saw mills and I don’t think I’ve ever received a five-finger hand shake from a sawyer who’d been at it for a while.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3043 days

#3 posted 10-11-2010 04:40 PM

I still have all 10 digits but I have no feeling in the end of my left thumb because of a cut I took there. That was a close one. I could have easily lost that thumb.

I have a friend in a local woodworkers club who just lost 2 fingers on his TS. For me, this is very meaningful because I know him to be very careful in the shop. I’ve “dialed up” my focus on safety since I heard about him.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3960 days

#4 posted 10-11-2010 05:06 PM

My right index finger was amputated while I was in the military then re-attached. It works fine just no feeling to speak of; lucky for me I am left handed. I end up injuring it a lot without noticing till there is blood dripping on something and the dexterity just isn’t there because you don’t get the tactile feedback you need.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2851 days

#5 posted 10-11-2010 05:20 PM

So far all ten! I am an ER doctor, so I quite frequently see people who are missing fingers; most of their stories involve some sort of power tool. I had a guy the other day who had a nasty cut on his thumb from a TS; he got distracted for an instant and his thumb went into the blade. Thankfully it was “just a flesh wound” and all he needed was a few stitches.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3215 days

#6 posted 10-11-2010 05:29 PM

A cabinet shop I worked at hired me to replace a guy who cut his fingers off with a radial arm saw. He cut all four off and part of his thumb. Thought it was bs, until I found the ras table shoved in a storage shed. It was covered in blood. Most of the guys I worked with there were a little short on some digit or two. Sad thing is they were quite proud of it.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4215 days

#7 posted 10-11-2010 05:59 PM

I lost the tip of my rt. ring finger hurrying 2 days before last xmas. Trying to get everything done. Was up at 2 in the am, so wasn’t real sharp, but was careless to. Had the blade too high for the cut. After raking a couple fingers on my left hand across the same saw, had some LJ friends look it over with me and we noticed the fence was bowed. I put a couple boards on it and am using feather boards and a splitter now. No more problems.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2835 days

#8 posted 10-11-2010 06:14 PM

I knew a guy that owned a manufacturing company that built antique reproductions and he was missing a couple of fingers on each hand. He lost them in at least 3 accidents. He was pretty good natured about it and he’d hold up his hand and say “Give me three.”

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2807 days

#9 posted 10-11-2010 06:26 PM

I still have all parts of all ten, and since I don’t have a table saw or any of those other fancy tools I guess that might be a good thing in terms of finger preservation. It would take a lot of work to sand your fingers off I think? My a circular saw could do it, but I think that too would take a lot of careless effort.

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 3550 days

#10 posted 10-11-2010 09:58 PM

I still have all 10 unblemished fingers despite horrors of horrors,.... use of a 1958 DeWalt RAS which I purchased new. I attribute the non-accidents to the fact that I do not & never have owned a TS.


-- Lee

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3333 days

#11 posted 10-11-2010 10:10 PM

My Grandfather reflecting back, said to me once “I’ve worked with one saw or another all my Life, I have all my fingers, I truly am a lucky man.”

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 2807 days

#12 posted 10-11-2010 11:42 PM

Why are radial arm saws that dangerous? I hear people discuss them with fear & loathing. But what exactly is so bad about them? Or, for that matter, what is so good about them? I inherited a Black & Decker / Dewalt from my father. He did remove the ends of four fingers with it back in the late ‘60’s which were successfully reattached. He told me it was his fault, not the tools. He continued to use the RAS for decades. All the while not letting any of us kids touch it because it was too dangerous. When my dad died I collected all his tools and moved them to my shop. Except for the RAS which is built into a long bench. I don’t use the RAS because I have other tools that will do the job: TS, miter saw, etc. Or maybe, in the back of my head, I’m a little scared, which is silly because I don’t even know what makes a RAS’s so dangerous.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View Justin's profile


119 posts in 2938 days

#13 posted 10-12-2010 12:00 AM

I still have all 10 digits but my father cut one off at the knuckle and reamed the side of the other out on the table saw when i was about 6 years old (12ish years ago). He just went to flick a small chunk of wood off the table when he flicked the blade and not the wood. He wasn’t able to get it reattached the finger sadly.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#14 posted 10-12-2010 12:02 AM

I Still have all Ten but it just takes a second to change that.

Hey Tom I consider radial arm saws dangerous like all saw but the RAS has a head that tends to wobble a bit from side to side so if you change your pressure while saw it can grab your material and throw it at you.
Because of that same wobble I always discourage my students from using a RAS to rip with because the material can kick back or raise up off the table and cause big time injuries. It can be used to rip but only if clamped down with feather boards, but if you have a table saw use it instead.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 3011 days

#15 posted 10-12-2010 12:06 AM

I still have all ten but my left thumb is covered in scars from an incident with a router a year and a half ago. All surface damage, luckily I still have all the feeling and movement in it.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View CampD's profile


1653 posts in 3455 days

#16 posted 10-12-2010 12:40 AM

””Knocks on wood”“

-- Doug...

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2894 days

#17 posted 10-12-2010 01:42 AM

I have had my fingers for quite some time and am still very attached to all of them, but they are all scarred and some have been broken.

Up until I broke my leg while framing my deck 8 years ago, my horses had hurt me much worse than anything in my 35 year carpentry career (framing, finishing, contracting, and now I just get to point!).

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View randi's profile


43 posts in 2789 days

#18 posted 10-12-2010 02:26 AM

“Knocks on wood” is right!

I think of the horror stories my father had told me over the years nearly every time I run a piece of shop equipment, or a piece of machinery.

All 10 digits here, havent come too close to injuring myself in the shop, but have had some close calls working on equipment at my job…high speed gears and fingers don’t mix well.

Radial arm saw was the first “dangerous” piece of equipment I was exposed to as a child. And old Dewalt from the 50’s. That saw still works well to this day…and I rarely use it because I have never felt “safe” with it even though I understand it very well, respect it, and know how to use it safely.

The story that stuck in my mind as a kid (true or not I don’t know) was dad’s buddy rushing to make a lot of crosscuts with a RAS for some reason and trying to finish up so he could go watch the Super Bowl.
Well he ended up losing a few fingers and missing the game.

Stay safe everyone.

-- "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila." ~Mitch Ratcliffe

View SteveMI's profile


1092 posts in 3263 days

#19 posted 10-12-2010 02:29 AM

Still have all 10, but remember summer jobs in metal machine shops where most all of the machinists were missing a digit. All of them missing a digit were proud of the missing digit as if it meant they had made it.

BTW: Being exposed to them kept me in school without distraction of going for the money at the time.


View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 2753 days

#20 posted 10-12-2010 02:43 AM

Hello fellow woodworkers.
I’m new here but have been looking on for some time, just signed up today.
May as well since I won’t be doing any woodworking for a while.
This seemed to be the appropriate thread to get started with.
I took off the end of my left index finger about a week ago. Did a dumb thing and paid the price.
Now I look back at all of the other even more stupid things I have done in the past and realize how lucky I have been up to now. I count my blessings…at least up to 9-7/8 or so.


-- Website is finally up and

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3730 days

#21 posted 10-12-2010 04:07 AM

All ten here. I’ve used my Shopsmith since ‘83 and can’t remember even a close call. I love my saw guard. It stays on every time I saw.

I can’t understand how losing digits could be a point of pride.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3200 days

#22 posted 10-12-2010 04:24 AM

I can still count to 10. Been working with power tools since grade school in the 1970s… I have had a couple of close calls, but those were auto repair related, not woodworking…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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