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Tell us about your woodworking accidents

by timthetoolman
posted 12-21-2009 02:40 AM

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77 replies

77 replies so far

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133 posts in 3117 days

#1 posted 12-21-2009 03:06 AM

while roofing a building using a paslode express nailer i had an accident, i had nailed a 2×2 down too hold the felt down from flapping in the wind and when it was time to take up the 2×2 i used my claw hammer to pry it up my hand was on the rafter and i slipped my hand slipped up the roof thumb went under nail and lost grip of hammer 2×2 still under preasure sprung back down on my hand and the nail passed straight through my thumb, i let a yelp and pulled the 2×2 back up and slid my thumb off the nail, covered it up and continued working… it ended up i chiped a bone in my thumb when the nail passed straight through. i was lucky it was a straight nail and not one of those extra grip ringed nails ;)

-- thats not a mistake... i ment that

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986 posts in 3523 days

#2 posted 12-21-2009 04:02 AM

In college I cut 1/16” off my index finger with a table saw. It was a production class so we were “mass producing” Jenga knock off games in a wooden box (the wooden block stacking game) I was ripping stock to size, about 5”, and had a pile of pieces that I was cutting. One of the pieces had a rough edge with a taper that I didn’t notice so I ran it though skinny end first. As the board made it to the thicker end it wedged itself between the blade and the blade guard and got stuck. In a moment of not thinking I decided that I could pull the guard up a bit to un-stick my part and keep cutting, so I take my left hand and flick the guard and keep cutting. I grab my part to see if I burned it at all while it got stuck and noticed this red spot on the board then look at my hand and realize I got my finger. I walked calmly to the lab assistant and said “we have a problem” then went to the sink to wash off my hand. My college professor helped me get it cleaned up a bit and I held pressure on it while we talked to campus police to file the accident report, then he cleaned the blood drops off of my shoe. The cop took me to the urgent care to get looked at. My roommate freaked out when I called to tell her I would need a ride home from the hospital because I cut my finger, she actually beat me to the hospital and had hospital security looking for me. When I called my mom to tell her she said “I bet you wish you had that math minor”, my dad said “are you ok” followed by “how could you be so stupid. I was also taking a class called lab and classroom management at the time, we spent the rest of the week talking about how we can keep our students from doing things like it.
Now I tell my students about it and tell them that just because they know the safety rules, or can recite all of the rules, or have done it before, shit still can happen. it takes about 1/2 a second of not thinking for something bad to happen.

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3486 days

#3 posted 12-21-2009 04:19 AM

After dinner one night I decided to cut up a 10 foot 16/4 board of cherry into bowl sized turning blanks. I cut the wood with my circular saw into 16” lengths, then started cutting the 16” lengths on my bandsaw. I have on my 1” rake tooth blade, so I’m all set.

Put the first 16” on the bandsaw, cut in half like butter. Rounded both sides off. I then measured the true thickness and it was 5” not 4”. SOOOOOO, I said to myself, “Self, just resaw the bowl blank to 4” and you have a 1” piece for a plate to match.” I put the almost round blank up against my resaw fence, put it up to the blade and ZINGO, that very heavy piece of cherry bounced off my chin/cheek/mouth/nose in about 1 nanosecond. I used to box as a kid, and I never took a right as bad as this one hit.

I stood there for a second, dazed, wondering what the heck had happened. Then I felt some warm stuff on my mouth, nose and face, and I came inside. Looked in the mirror. Ouch. It had put my teeth through my bottom lip on the right hand side. It cut my upper lip inside and out and caused my nose to bleed. No loose teeth though! :) I’m bleeding like a stuck pig, so I grabbed a towel, headed out the door, and went to the ER. There I met a nice Physicians Assistant who stitched me up. She found a nice cherry splinter inside the laceration and in my mustache! :) When she went to inject the lidocaine, it squirted right through my lip from the outside to the inside. Man, that stuff tastes really bad.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

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91 posts in 3148 days

#4 posted 12-21-2009 04:34 AM

I basically bisected my thumb 4 weeks ago while cutting strips for the cutting boards I was making.

I said it before and I’ll say it again.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you are too skilled to have an accident.
The truth is you have been lucky…

Nobody plans an accident. Play it safe by using your guards and when you can’t, use sleds and/or jigs to keep your hands away from the blade.

I used to think I was experienced and would never be injured by a power tool.
I have now changed my tune..

-- ALS IK KAN “to the best of my ability,”

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3593 days

#5 posted 12-21-2009 04:35 AM

My father did you one better…He was using a circular saw to cut a board and had it propped up with his foot and damn near cut through the achilles tendon. I was cutting a piece of 4 inch PVC pipe on the TS and tried to turn into the blade (knowing I shouldn’t be doing this). Luckily I only mashed the skin on my right ring finger pretty bad.

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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412 posts in 3144 days

#6 posted 12-21-2009 05:10 AM

About 15 years ago, i was out in the garage. It was bitterly cold. So I was wearing my tough leather motorcycle jacket over a thick sweater on top of a flannel shirt and t-shirt. It was one of those “it will be okay just this once” moments and I was cross-cutting some 1/4” masonite on my table saw. The blade caught the workpiece and kicked it back into my abdomen. It felt like being kicked very hard. When I caught my breath, I went inside and discovered that despite all the layers, I was bleeding. Luckily it only broke the skin and all I suffered was serious bruising.

Since then, I have been very careful about kickback.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

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5710 posts in 3229 days

#7 posted 12-21-2009 05:48 AM

Since I first used a power tool, I have had 2 accidents. Although only one was woodworking (the other was automotive).

Automotive, back in 1992, I was the station manager of a badly understaffed full service gas station in Tucson. We had one of the old stationary tire changers, the kind with the spindle that goes through the hub hole of the wheel, instead of the newer rim clamp style.

I was showing a new hire how to patch a tire, on a customers 4×4 pickup, 35×12.50/15 (same rubber size, smaller rim as my current tire). We let the air out, when I ran the bead breaker in the whole assembly, 95lb tire, wheel, spindle and all came right at me, knocked me over and twisted my back something fierce. I finished the job up, but went to the hospital nearly unable to move after my shift was over…

I have back trouble to this day related to that, and a car wreck in 2001…

Woodworking accident involves my lathe, and a tenon that failed. I was turning a 6” osage orange bowl blank, and had the tenon outright fail completely, the blank flew off of the lathe, bounced off my face shield giving me a small bruise on the bridge of my nose, and then grazed my scalp giving me a pretty annoying 3” long scraping cut.

I am praying those are my worst…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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7836 posts in 3300 days

#8 posted 12-21-2009 06:03 AM

i was making a table for a friend who was coming on short notice from out west…so i was trying to get this project done before he came..i was useing my chisel to clean a tennon on the table apron and was holding it with my left hand..the chisel of coarse in my right hand…NEVER,, have a hand above the chisel..yep it slipped and i saw a nice 2 inch cut ..thinking it was just a light laceration…..wrong…it layed my hand open..6 stiches later…it made me mad because i was thinking i didnt have time for this…wanted to use butterflys but my wife said to the dr we went…....

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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1880 posts in 3558 days

#9 posted 12-21-2009 07:12 AM

A month ago I had a pint bottle of mineral spirits setting on my workbench, and a bottle of water setting about a foot away. You know what’s coming right?

So I’m working on something with my back to the bench, felt the need for a gulp of water, reached around without looking grabbed what I thought was the water and took a big gulp. Whoops – drank from the wrong container.

Thankfully the Lord was watching me, and my involunatary reflexes took over and I spit the MS out (all over the floor and project) before I swallowed any of it.

I rinsed my mouth with copius amounts of water and called poison control just in case. They said as long as I hadn’t swallowed or inhaled any of it I would be ok – and I was.

Lesson learned: Besides watching what you’re doing – keep chemicals a long distance away from anything that you intend to drink.

-- Joe

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51457 posts in 3477 days

#10 posted 12-22-2009 06:29 AM

Although I have used table saws for years, the worst accident that I ever had, happened just about a year ago. I was cutting a small cherry drawer front on the table saw. As the cut off piece fell away, the blade slid it towards me…no big deal it was moving very slowly. I stepped to the right to let it slide off the table and when I did that I must have turned the piece I had just cut slightly into the back of the blade with the bush stick. Next thing I heard was a loud bang as the wood drawer front hit the floor in front of me. I couldnt get my breath at first and I had no feeling from mid chest to by belt line. I staggered around the shop for a few minutes trying to get my bearings. The feeling finally came back after a few minutes. I pulled up my shirt and had a cut from mid chest to my belt that was all black and blue on both sides. My plastic push boot had the end sawed off too. I wasnt sure if I should go to emergency or not, but got some ice out and sat watching TV with an ice bag. Things finally started to feel better so I went back to the shop and finished for the night. It took months for the red mark to disappear. I used to box, was in karate, and I played hockey so I used to get hit in the chest and stomach all the time, but never was I ever hit that hard.

The funny thing was that a couple of weeks later I had gotten a cold, so went to the doc and they shot an XRAY. They saw a spot on my lung, so they did a CT scan and said there were several calcium deposits or swollen limph glands in my right lung which werent serious, but they felt it came from the impact.

I put a riving knife on the saw now. I dont want to take any more chances. One episode of clearing the cobwebs was enough.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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117 posts in 3078 days

#11 posted 12-22-2009 07:07 AM

When i was a kid in rural PA we would buy full cords of slatwood to burn in the winter. We usually had 10 to 12 cords to cut into 24 inch pieces so they would fit in the stoves. we used a 36 inch tractor driven crosscut saw that had a tilt table on it and absolutly no safety mechanism at all. As i was standing at that saw I fell asleep a little and grabbed a stack of boards and tilted it into the saw and BAAAM! i was awake. Ran the saw blade down the side of my right hand from the tip of the pinky to my wrist. I was bleeding like a stuck pig, I mean there was blood everywhere, my arms, face, chest, the saw, my brother next to me. My mom called the vet and he stiched me up, put a bandage on me and we finished cutting firewood, not me running the saw though. To this day i wont put my hands within 6 inches of my running table saw.

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Rick Dennington

5857 posts in 3191 days

#12 posted 12-22-2009 07:47 AM

Several years ago when I lived in Memphis, I was in the shop cutting some 1/4” birch ply to go on the back of a cabinet I was building. Done this a dozen times, right? So I’m feeding the ply through, and I thought I was all past the blade and through the cut, but I wasn’t. The blade caught the last little bit of the ply and shot that sucker back at me and hit my left hand and my hand went instantly numb for a bit. I looked at my hand, and my index finger was all boogered up and bleeding, layed open, and hurt like a banshee. This was about 10:00 a.m., so I grabbed some shop towels, wrapped it up, and went in and told my wife I might have to go to the Minor Medical Emergency. Went up there and there were about 30 people waiting to see a doctor. To heck with this. Went home, called our family doctor, and he didn’t even sew it up. He put that yellow goop on it, wrapped it up, and said let it heal from the niside out. Ok. The bad thing was, it was in the summertime, and I had to fish a night bass tournament that night. Guess I won’t be winning any mun tonight.

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

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2738 posts in 3429 days

#13 posted 12-22-2009 01:37 PM

Last summer I was working on a bandsaw box cutting out the overall shape. I was distracted (thinking of something else) and watched my thumb hit the blade as I said to myself… “my thumb is gonna hit that blade”!! Sure enough I had a 1 inch gash in my thumb. Being a nurse practitioner (and being a terrible patient), I decided that I was too busy to stop what I was doing. So… I “approximated the edges” as I learned in NP school and bandaged the finger with 4 band aids. It continued to bleed a little but not on the wood so I continued for another 6 hours (you have up to 12 hours to get stitches – that I know from my training). At the end of the day, I took the band aid off and that little 1 inch gash was about 1/2 inch deep and bleeding well. Off I went to the local ER where everyone knows me from my paying job. They all had a good laugh on me when the heard the story. They also put lots of novocaine into my thumb… that is the most painful part of getting sutures as most of you already know. Five sutures later I was fine. All my colleagues at work read me the riot act and told me to be more careful… duh!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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5032 posts in 3890 days

#14 posted 12-22-2009 03:01 PM

pushing a slab of 1/4” thick x 20” wide lumber through the vintage planer, the board slipped up, hands went under, wood slapped down and was feeding both hands and arms into the planer… stopped before entering but it sure pinched my fingers into one big blood blister.

slipping on junk on the floor, loose balance, fall and hand slides across moving jointer knives…........just shaved the skin off

cutting a board on the TS, kicked and jammed hand against saw blade….....burnt the skin off

cutting cove on the TS, multiple passes on a 45 degree angle and had the fence on the wrong side of the blade, kicked back and sharpened index finger into apencil point.

drove screw through finger, into ceiling, dropped screw driver and was crucified to ceiling forthe next couple hours

pulled nail from ceiling, hammer came down and sliced my forehead open.

TWICE…...........I’ve ripped small strips on the TS and cut index finger, then baby finger into liver patte’

Saw a piece of white oak shatter on a TS, driving huge splinters through a fellas eye and forearm

saw a guy rip wood, ran his hand across the rip blade removing all four fingers and his thumb

saw a guy put a piece of lumber across the shaper, kicked back and removed thumb, index finger and next finger

saw a guy push lumber through the planer, knot fell half way out and stopped lumber from going through, he pushed the knot back up with his thumb and his thumb was sheered off.

watched a guy adjust the spring on an industrial overhead door…....clamps let go and in seconds he looked like a disected Frankenstein

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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551 posts in 3239 days

#15 posted 12-22-2009 07:13 PM

Two weeks ago to the day, I allowed my mind to wander for just a split second but that’s all it took for my right thumb to kiss the tablesaw blade and leave a rather nasty rip up the side of it. Not a slice, as in a plunge, more of a paring or peeling action. Hope to be back in action next week.

A few years back I was pushing a large piece of plywood through the tablesaw, went to grab the cutoff which was falling off the table and saw the piece I was cutting get picked up by the blade and get thrown into the wall.

-- -- Don in Ottawa,

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Belle City Woodworking

355 posts in 4013 days

#16 posted 12-22-2009 09:39 PM

I’ve cut myself with chisels TWICE! Only accidents I have ever had woodworking. The first one happened when I was flattening the back of a chisel and the chisel slipped out of my hand flipped up in the air, and my natural reaction was to try and catch it. :( That didn’t work out so well, it cut my hand in two places. The other time I was wiping off the end of a chisel and I cut my finger just a little bit. Moral of the story for me is to stay away from Chisels :)

-- Formerly known as John's Woodshop - and NO not the one from Ohio!

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244 posts in 3918 days

#17 posted 12-22-2009 10:50 PM

I was ripping a check out of a red oak board on the table saw when a chunk of wood flew out of the split and hit me in the bottom lip. Smarted like crazy. I shut off the saw and ran my tongue around the inside of my lip and this piece of wood came up out of my beard. It was a 3 inch sliver about 1/4 thick. drove it clear through my lip . I pulled it out and went to the house to inspect the damage. Pretty good hole. I decided to pour the peroxide to it. While I was doing that I thought maybe that wasn’t such a good idea to pour peroxide down over a black beard, so I rinced it with water to get it all out bit the bullet and used alcohol. Guarantee you that was worse than the stick in my lip

-- mike & judy western md. www.

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244 posts in 3918 days

#18 posted 12-22-2009 10:51 PM

I was ripping a check out of a red oak board on the table saw when a chunk of wood flew out of the split and hit me in the bottom lip. Smarted like crazy. I shut off the saw and ran my tongue around the inside of my lip and this piece of wood came up out of my beard. It was a 3 inch sliver about 1/4 thick. drove it clear through my lip . I pulled it out and went to the house to inspect the damage. Pretty good hole. I decided to pour the peroxide to it. While I was doing that I thought maybe that wasn’t such a good idea to pour peroxide down over a black beard, so I rinsed it with water to get it all out bit the bullet and used alcohol. Guarantee you that was worse than the stick in my lip

-- mike & judy western md. www.

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929 posts in 3081 days

#19 posted 12-22-2009 11:07 PM

I’ve cut most of the left index finger tip off with a mitre saw 30 years ago. Stuck my left thumb in a tablesaw 7 years ago. Got a good scar on my left little finger from a worm drive due to lifting up the guard to cut a board. Lots of little scars all over my fore arms and hands for a myriad of reasons.

But the best I was witness to is a taller than me fellow worker severed his left testicle off due to his inattention on a tablesaw.

Seems he was cutting a narrow long piece of 1/4” temper board. He looked away and the saw kicked it back. Hit him in the groin. I saw all this happen and asked if he was ok he said no he didn’t feel right at all. I called the Boss over and we took him to emergency.

Several hours later they came out and said that the impact pinched whatever it was that dangles one’s kiwi and they couldn’t reattached. Everybody was hesitant to use the saw after that for a while. He was so tall that the kick back hit him in the groin and for the rest of us the kick back would hit much higher up.

Earned him the name lefty for a while.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

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2370 posts in 4378 days

#20 posted 12-22-2009 11:12 PM

All this talk about shop accidents lately is gonna start giving me a complex when i go out to my shop :)

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3081 days

#21 posted 12-22-2009 11:17 PM

Best way to ward off evil spirits in your shop is to go buy another tool to offer up to the shop Gods. This works for me.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

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924 posts in 3177 days

#22 posted 12-23-2009 12:20 AM

Several years ago I was in my workshop at about midnight trying to finish a flag case. I had been cutting a glass groove so the gaurd was off and I was too lazy to put it back on. While ripping a board I decided to hold another board in my left hand and use iot as a make shift feather board. Once a gain too lazy and in too much of a hurry to use the proper tool. Well the board I was cutting got caught in a bind and kicked back, causing the board in my left hand to follow. The result was the board hit me in the hip and my left index finger ran across the blade. It happened so quick I didn’t realize I had been cut. Once I realized this I went to get my wife to help. She hates it when I come in and go to the bathroom in a hurry. LOL Luckily it only cut the tip and chipped the bone. A few butterfly stitches and some thick gauze over it and I was good to go. I finished the case the following day and was able to play in a softball tournament that weekend, which is why I was in a hurry to finish the case in the first place.

Being in a hurry never works! No matter how many times I try it. Be safe and have a Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

-- Paul, North Dakota, USAF Ret.

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Blair Helgason

169 posts in 3411 days

#23 posted 12-23-2009 12:44 AM

My first and only major accident to date was a couple years ago working late on a bandsaw of all machines. The blade was not the sharpest and I was working with too small of a piece. Before I knew it my thumb hit the blade and I flung my arm back. My vision went fuzzy and I wanted to vomit immediately. I went to the ER that night and got 5 stitches. I still have a small numb spot at the tip of my thumb. It could have been much worse and my glad to have all of my digits.

-- Blair

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3118 posts in 3524 days

#24 posted 12-23-2009 01:38 AM

Along those lines, an instructor told us about a friend who had a similar accident involving his “kiwis”, as you say. He was cutting a taper, but with the point toward him. It kicked back and pinned them to his thigh. The kicker is that when he went to the ER, the doctor said, ”Next time, don’t pull it out yourself!”

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

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929 posts in 3081 days

#25 posted 12-23-2009 02:16 AM

Ya, buddy! Gotta be careful with ones wedding vegitables!

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

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744 posts in 3889 days

#26 posted 12-23-2009 02:28 AM

I’m more of a visual person….

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

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70 posts in 3080 days

#27 posted 12-23-2009 02:50 AM

This is a great thread. Thanks everyone for sharing and helping us all to remember how real the danger is. I’m a rather new hobbiest. I would say that I’ve probably been a little complacent at times. I’ve even had a couple of close calls.

I use a contractor saw with 1 3/4 hp which is not to say isn’t dangerous but I’m not sure some of those close calls wouldn’t have been more serious if the motor had been stronger. Makes me think twice about upgrading ;)

I value all of my digits and this thread has been a wakeup call (I never would have envisioned some of these things described involving a bandsaw). I think I’ll break out some of my ww reference books and review the ‘safety’ chapters.

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Aaron Taylor

37 posts in 3146 days

#28 posted 12-23-2009 03:28 AM

Well I have no pictures, but I will share mine as well. Several months ago I was was working on a very large media center. I don’t remember what I had been working on that required having the guard off, but it was off and probably had been for a while. Well I was lazy and didn’t put it back on when I decided to start cutting the ply for the shelves. It was close to the end of a very long day and I just had one more to cut. After I had made the cut and was picking the 16X20 board up and pulling it back toward me the still spinning blade caught the underside of the board and flung it back at me. Now being taller then the average person the board caught me right in the twins and smashed them against my leg. I stayed on my feet (at least to start out with), but I couldn’t breath for a bit. Needless to say I was finished for that day. I was swollen and very sore; with some bruising for a couple weeks after. Now the funny part about this was that my wife and I have been trying to have another child for about 4 years with but one miscarriage in-between well after the accident we have had one more miscarriage and now joke that the accident must have gotten the twins attention. :D I also make sure to put the guard back on after I am done with whatever has had me take it off.


-- "Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."--Cary Grant from the movie Arsenic and Old Lace

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593 posts in 3837 days

#29 posted 12-28-2009 06:50 PM

December 31st, 1989 we were visiting some friends down in North Carolinia, we were going to have dinner at their home and then go out to a New Years party. After dinner my friends Chow dog walked up to me while we were still sitting at the table. I just put my hand out with my palm turned up, I had pet the dog before, but we weren’t buddies.
The dog snapped at my hand, and his fang went through the second knucle on my index finger severing my finger. I ended up spending New Years at Duke University Medical Center, with a upset hand surgeon dressed in a Tux reattaching my finger. He had to leave his girl friend at a happening New Years parrty that he spent a small fortune to attend.
The finger works, but the ability to really feeling what I’m touch is dull. I feel the pressure more than anything, I have had to learn to be carefull without having the full sensation.

Knock on wood 37 years around commercial construction and I still have all ten fingers.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View russ777's profile


6 posts in 3067 days

#30 posted 12-29-2009 09:46 PM

This is my first post.
I have been woodworking only a couple of years.
My router accident happened about a month ago.

The photos and their description/details probably provide most of the info to understand the situation. I was not using a push stick because I only have narrow ones and they do not work well on a wide board with a wide cut being made. Nor was I using any featherboards, I have already purchased some wide push blocks. And I have also purchased a good table and fence so I can now better use featherboards.

My right ring finger got hit. It did not hurt. It did not even bleed much for a while. The underside of the finger tip bone was just scraped by the router bit. The tissue all around the tip was very mangled but was almost all still there (rather than spread around the router table and fence). The finger nail was all there but they removed it in the ER. It took 8-10 stitches to pull the fingertip area together.

Wood: 2” wide x 3/4” thick quarter-sawn white oak (with a strip of Peruvian Black Walnut glued to it). This is for a picture frame gift,,,,

Bit: 1-3/4” diameter, two flute (carbide cutting edges) “Horizontal Crown Molding” Bit (5/16” max depth of cove cut)

Cut: Final pass with each pass cutting maybe 1/32+ deeper, final total concave depth is 5/32”

Wood 1

Looking down on the end of the wood piece that the router-bit dug-into/grabbed. To shape/mill this piece with the router, the piece is turned upside down on the router table and the close edge in this photo is next to the router fence. Bit rotation was such that the flute in the fence side is cutting while going away or in other words, pulling the wood, which is, of course, not the preferred way – cutting is supposed occur while I’m pushing the wood into the bit.

wood 2

End view shows the concave cut.

Bit 1

View with the wood on the router table after the bit has made it’s cut (in other words, its been completely pushed though), Bit rotation is counter clockwise. Fence is on the right. My left hand was out of the photo at the top and beyond the bit – left hand holds the wood firmly against both the table and the fence. My right hand was at the end of the wood with the thumb hooked on the end of the piece at the extreme upper left corner of the end and my fingers on top of the wood, also pushing firmly against both the table and the fence.

finger 1

finger 2

And needless to say, this will be my last accident!!!

View Ger21's profile


1074 posts in 3128 days

#31 posted 12-30-2009 03:01 AM

The safe way to make that cut, is to leave the frame stock wider, so it’s supported by the table on both sides of the bit. After the route is done, flip it over and trim to width. When you got to the end of the cut, the whole part tipped into the bit, which allowed the bit to grab it. And now you know not to put fingers on the back of boards where they’ll travel closely over a bit.

-- Gerry,

View olddutchman's profile


187 posts in 3932 days

#32 posted 04-07-2010 01:44 AM

Yup, Been there, Done that. I have a short middle finger on my left hand. Was working on the jointer, finishing a face cut. I looked at the surface, and said, good. I moved my hand back wards to turn it off, and somehow, pushed the cover open, and took the top 1/3 off My finger including 1/2 of the front of My nail. nice thing was, that I didn’t get into a lot of nerves, They fixed My finger, and I was at work the next day. and the only trouble is that there is very little skin to hold My nail in place. I have had to be very careful with it, I have pulled one side of the nail free a time, or two! I am still unable to visualize how I did it.

-- Saved, and so grateful, consider who Created it ALL!!!

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13 posts in 2980 days

#33 posted 04-07-2010 07:16 AM

I have to add my first and hopefully only accident while working in the shop.

I needed to cut off about 3” of a 2×4, and instead of grabbing the circular saw, I decided to cut off the 3 inches on the TS. I had the fence to the left of the blade, and I was supporting the other 24” on the right of the blade with my right hand.

As I pushed the board slowly into the blade, the cut was made, but I was pushing too far with my right hand as well, which caused the 3” piece to get cocked sideways, and it flew off of the table into my left inner bicep. I was thankful I had my left hand positioned close to the fence, and after a quick scan, I could still count to 10 on all digits. I said to myself, “Self, that’s going to leave a mark.”

Sure enough, in about 2 minutes I had an imprint of a 3” block on the inside of my arm, with a slight abrasion. It wasn’t until later that night that the bruising appeared noticeable. 1)

2 days later, it’s still sore, and the bruising is very pronounced. It’s still tender. 3)

-- Common sense is not common practice.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3071 days

#34 posted 04-07-2010 05:25 PM

My only serious accident happened when a relatively large piece (6×6x24) of walnut jumped off my lathe and hit me in the head. I though everything was secure and I don’t really know why the walnut came loose. Lesson learned – - check – double check – triple check and then check again to make sure everything is secure.

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

View sspo's profile


2 posts in 1805 days

#35 posted 06-14-2013 08:58 AM

Hi – I’m teaching students (and staff) safety in the workshop but I fear that they just won’t get it and comply until something happens. I’d like to show photos of accidents – are there any on this site that I can use in my presentation? I’d really appreciate it!

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2625 days

#36 posted 06-14-2013 09:28 AM

so far I have been lucky to not needs stitches or any er visits related to woodworking but i have had my fair share of close calls.

in 2007 I was carving a piece of wood into a chain and when i was getting ready to separate the first link the knife went all the way through the link and into my finger which resulted in an instant blood fountain and a ruined towel though i wound up not needing stitches for that

in my high school shop class i was working on a project that needed slots for plexi-glass so i had to tke the guard off. as i was feeding my push stick went over the blade and unbeknownst to me one of the more moronic students had driven a nail into the push stick which caught and nearly my arm into the saw. after my heart rate went down i continued work of the saw with a healthy amount of terror associated with it

another time I was working at the radial saw and after cutting the stock I reached and removed the cut piece …. while the blade was still running (did i mention ive been extremely lucky so far) to this day i have never repeated that bit of idiocy

so far my only hospital visit involves wood. when i was 5 my neighbor had a pile of junk in his yard which included a piece of wood that had a nail sticking out of it. well i managed to step on it and I wound up needing surgery, antibiotics to clear up the massive infection, a 3 day stay in the hospital, and 5 stitches. occasionally while running my foot still hurts where i had the surgery. to this day i never leave nails sticking out of wood in the scrap or garbage pile so nobody else can get hurt.

not woodworking related but i figured i’d share this one anyways. I have been set on fire twice now. I was welding some 1” steel plate when i noticed my boot felt warm. thinking i must have had a piece of slag i looked down to see my pants smoldering. luckily it was small enough i was able to put it out with my gloves. a few weeks later i was helping somebody build a cutting table and this happened again. with the same pair of pants. I promptly threw those out when i got home

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 2896 days

#37 posted 06-14-2013 10:32 AM

This just happen a fow days ago. All last week I have been hanging white sheets of plastice on the walls of my shop and everything whent great intel I started cutting 1/16” pixyglass on my 2hp tablesaw bad idel I should have used my jigsaw.But frist it hurt hell but being woodworker I just had to look it was so cool you could see the musle’s and the little veins and the bone as well .

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2072 days

#38 posted 06-14-2013 10:41 AM

Very grateful not to see pictures of anyone’s pulpified kiwis…

One very close call with a bungee cord of all things. The stand for my miter saw does not always click closed when folded up. I bought it second hand and the previous owner had solved the problem by cutting the end of a bungee cord, attaching it to the table and using the hook end to keep it folded.

Went in the shop to set up, unhooked the bungee and started to lift the table into place. All of a sudden I heard a very loud TWANG and for a split second couldn’t see a thing before the blood started flying. The cord had caught on a piece of the stand, stretched while I tried to raise the stand and then broke. Thankfully, it hit me squarely on the end of the nose, missing my eyes. I have a rule about not plugging anything in until my safety glasses are on. Since nothing was plugged in, my face was bare.

Spent some time with a bag of frozen corn, cleaned up the mess, reassured the dog and then cut the danged cord off.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View LoydMoore's profile


105 posts in 1953 days

#39 posted 06-14-2013 10:53 AM

40 years at it and other than splinters and bruises can’t think of any. Worst that ever happened was when my 3 year old son stuck his finger up against the table saw blade as it was winding down. A chipped fingernail and a few drops of blood.

-- Loyd, San Angelo, TX

View scotsman9's profile


134 posts in 1886 days

#40 posted 06-14-2013 11:29 AM

I have very few coherent thoughts outside of woodworking or building.

Woodworking in general has caused me to become paralyzed from the neck up.

-- Just a man and his opinion.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1866 days

#41 posted 06-14-2013 12:05 PM

Bunkie… You said a mouthful. With the one line: “It will be okay, just this once.”

Famous last words.

I have nailed myself to a balloon framed wall through my thumbnail. I was about 30’ above the ground on an extension ladder. Putting in the last few studs on a gable wall. A hitachi (framing) nail gun just fits between studs framed at 16” o c. I held the stud in position with my left hand and shot a nail with my right hand. The nail gun rebounded of the previously nailed stud and back to my hand.

A buddy climbed up the other ladder we had on site and backed the nail out from the opposite side of the stud. Fortunately for me the nail did extend through the stud, rather than being buried in the plates. It would have been much more difficult to get out otherwise.

Strangest thing is, the lack of real pain. I went home for the day, but realized that it wasn’t necessary. Hitting your thumb or finger with a hammer is far more painful.

This was not a gun that had the option of shooting only one nail until the trigger is released, then re-engaged. I had those later, as that option became available, but rarely used that feature. It just slowed down production.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2295 days

#42 posted 06-14-2013 02:52 PM

the old router table got me one day I was in a hurry and routing some profiles had my air nozzle beside the table to blow dust off after each pass but got in a hurry and just had to use my hand to push the dust away, well you know what happened next brushed off the dust felt a nick held my hand up and the hole end off my finger was gone 1/2 inch was gone, but I was amazed I just didn’t know bones had such a brillant white color it didn’t really hurt but I was just amazed at those pure white bones, so I went in told my my to take me to the hospital and they just wrapped it up so I got to thinking that just ain’t right so next day I went to my family doctor, they went off and sent me to Jewish Hospital in louisville Ky and they worked on it for 3 hrs you can’t reall tell it even was cut off thats when the pain started after they pulled the fingernail out and boy was I in pain but never uae your hands to remove sawdust PLEASE

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 2295 days

#43 posted 06-14-2013 02:54 PM

my spelling is great and I have been told I have excellant punctuation

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View helluvawreck's profile


31056 posts in 2863 days

#44 posted 06-14-2013 03:08 PM

The most serious accident that I have had is when a piece of wood kicked back at me. Fortunately it just missed my side but it hit a cabinet in the shop behind me and cut a pretty good gash in the plywood. It was instantaneous and sounded like a shotgun went off. For a minute or two I kept looking at the fingers on my right hand to make sure they were all still there. It scared the hell out of me but I went on back to work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#45 posted 06-14-2013 08:45 PM

When I was just 22 and had helped wire and setup the equipment in the foundry’s first pattern shop, I used to go in there at night and on weekends and work on my own projects. Had access to some, at that time, very top end equipment. Powermatic 12” 7 1/2 hp cabinet saw, 20” planer, 8” jointer, floor model OSS and a 30” disk sander. A Doall 36” band saw with a blade welder built in. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Except I was a kid in a wood shop with powerful tools that I had no training on what so ever.

One night I was planing a 3”thick x 12”wide x 18” long piece of mahogany I got out of the scrap bin and Blam! That sucker came flying out and right past my head and embedded itself in the concrete block wall about 15’ behind me. Just a miracle it didn’t take my head off.

Learned a new respect for wood working machines after that.


View widdle's profile


2069 posts in 2996 days

#46 posted 06-14-2013 09:03 PM

A couple stiches twice, in two weeks after learning to sharpen..Once putting the chisel guard back…Once had my super sharp framing chisel work its way through the bottom of my leather framing bags and got me for about 8 stiches behind the knee

Did an all nighter in my twenties , went to work and put a 16 through my big toe, flush into the top plates..was stuck two stories up standing on 3 1/2”s…finished the day…

View Logan Windram's profile

Logan Windram

346 posts in 2459 days

#47 posted 07-10-2013 09:35 PM

I cut 1/2 way through my right hand ring finger with my bandsaw. It was powering down, almost at a stop and a swipe across the table at a scrape and tapped the blade. I knew right away I did somethign really dumb, I looked down at my hand and there was a very clean non bleeding gash in which I could see bone… I distinctly remember saying to myself “damn, that is going to need stiches”- I wrapped it up in a sock and drove to the ED, a nerve block irrigation and 5 stictches later it was fixed up.

On x-ray you could see a bandaw blade width nick in the bone. I taped my hosptal arm band on the saw to never forget that is that saw was running, my finger would have been lopped off….

View fredj's profile


186 posts in 1814 days

#48 posted 07-10-2013 10:32 PM

Oh, I’ve had a few. Shirt tail pulled into the rotor of a chainsaw at 19 while building a dock at a import lumber company. No harm done but I ruined the shirt and nearly had to change my pants. Always work with my shirt tucked in now. My hand slipped while sharping an ax (used to point pilings for a shrimp boat dock) and sliced a finger open. At 25 in a Hell Hole cabinet shop, I was cutting a 1/16 off of a warped 1/4 drawer bottom, as it was not laying down flat I reached behind the blade (which I knew was a bad idea) to keep it down. It kicked back and pushed the right middle finger into the blade nearly cutting off that finger from the last knuckle. Cut more than half way through the joint, did not loose the finger and I paddled whitewater two days latter with a raised middle finger all the way down the Nantahala. I’ve learned to be safe ( I was trained) and have trained a fair number of people. Very glad to say that no one has ever been hurt on my watch while doing things they way I trained them. Only eye injury I’ve had was while wearing safety glasses. While cutting a steep angle on a table saw a flake of plywood landed on my fore head and fell behind the glasses and into my eye scratching it badly.

-- Fredj

View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1940 days

#49 posted 08-22-2013 06:29 PM

Thirty some years ago I needed to cross-cut some oak 4×4s. I could drive 35 miles to my Dad’s and use his RAS. Or drive 5 miles to my brother’s barn and use his table saw. Well gas was approaching $1.00 a gallon back then so I opted for the closer TS.

I was alone. No phone in the barn. The closest thing to a cell phone was Maxwell Smart’s shoe. The nearest neighbor’s home was 1200 feet away. I had never used a TS. I had only “caught” plywood for my Dad because he had no outfeed table. I ran the board through backwards. (I was standing on the side I always stood on). The blade pulled the 4×4 out of my hands and threw it across the barn. I was stunned. I counted 10 fingers and said a prayer of thanks. I had visions of driving to the neighbors home with bloody stumps. Then I picked up the stock and finished the cuts. (the bravest thing I ever did until I got married)

Now I never use a tool without reading the manual or asking a few questions. It makes me look dumb but it’s actually smarter.


PS: I built an outfeed table so my son would never have to “catch” plywood for me.

View Biff's profile


126 posts in 2011 days

#50 posted 08-22-2013 07:11 PM

When I was about 16, I was replacing a battery cable on a truck. It was missing the terminal clamp bolt and the only replacement bolt I had was a little bigger diameter. No problem, I threw a 3/8 bit in the drill press and started to drill the soft lead clamp out while I held onto the terminal with a pair of vice grips.

The drill bit caught and pulled the entire cable in, wrapping my hand in along with it. Opened my thumb up to the bone. Had to unspool the cable and my hand from the chuck while pouring blood out. Luckily I was in a fire station when this all happened! Medic!!!

-- Interested in Oregon property? Visit me at

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