Table saws aren't the only thing to be careful of...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by ryno101 posted 1658 days ago 2551 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was just about to start on the first glue up of the walnut entertainment center I’m working on… well, needless to say, I didn’t end up finishing.

One of the tenons was about 1/32” too long, and I was just in that “finish quick and get on to the glue-up” mindset. One inattentive cut, and I ended up with a razor-sharp 3/4” bench chisel through the back side of my thumb.

I put this up as a reminder…BE CAREFUL!

Whenever I am using my chisels, I always think to myself “If I slip, is my hand in the path of the chisel?”. It’s not like setting up a table saw, laying out a cut, etc. where the process forces the safety issue into your thoughts. Hand tools are easy to grab, use for 2 seconds, and move on. But those 2 seconds need to be as important to you safety-wise as the time on the big power tools. Every time you use a chisel, make sure you’re not in it’s path!

Seven stitches, and two days of lost shop time, not to mention the fact that I came within a millimeter of severing a tendon, and it seems like I’ve lost all the nerves on the back of my thumb from the knuckle to the end.

Be careful out there, my fellow Jocks!

-- Ryno

18 comments so far

View rtb's profile


1099 posts in 2347 days

#1 posted 1658 days ago

We can always use a reminder, thanks for sharing your accident and especially the photos, which always bring the lessen home.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View bluchz's profile


187 posts in 2008 days

#2 posted 1658 days ago

I did the same thing this past summer only to my index finger. See my seven stitch pencil box project. Now it’s 2 hands on the chisel for me.

-- flash=250,100][/flash]

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 1677 days

#3 posted 1658 days ago

Did something similar several years ago. Quick trim with chisel in right hand, holding part down with left. Chisel skipped off, down 2nd finger and buries between 1st and 2nd fingers. 6 stitches in the meat between fingers at the base. Yeah, it happens fast.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8775 posts in 2734 days

#4 posted 1658 days ago


-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View a1Jim's profile


112018 posts in 2211 days

#5 posted 1658 days ago

YEEEEEEEEWWWWe That’s gotta hurt. Wish you a speedy recovery

-- Custom furniture

View PurpLev's profile


8476 posts in 2283 days

#6 posted 1658 days ago

ouch! sorry to hear you’ve been woodworked ON. what I find amusing in this is that WE ALL seem to be using paper towel/TP and tape as first aid supplies… except those lucky enough to have pads around.

this is where the need for workbench+vises+stops came from. when you don’t use your hands/body parts to support the wood while working on it, there’s (usually) nothing in the way of the blades that can get hurt. I always make sure that there’s NOTHING in the direction of the cut when working with hand tools. been there done that – and didn’t like it.

hope the feelings come back soon, and this will be nothing more than a good lesson.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2531 posts in 2592 days

#7 posted 1658 days ago

The one downside to having extremely sharp chisels! Hope you regain the feeling soon….

It is so true that most accidents happen when we are in a rush…SLOW DOWN AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR DOING!


View Padre's profile


930 posts in 2123 days

#8 posted 1658 days ago

So sorry to hear about your accident. I hope it heals quickly and you are back to full health quickly. And thank you for posting this reminder about shop safety. We all need to be reminded time and again.

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

View sras's profile


3820 posts in 1764 days

#9 posted 1658 days ago

The only time I have drawn blood with a tool was with a chisel. Hand was in the path and I knew better. Lucky for me, it was only a small cut – no down time. Any tool that can cut wood will cut flesh. Thanks for the reminder.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Dez's profile


1113 posts in 2712 days

#10 posted 1658 days ago

No matter how tough we think we are we are not near as hard as wood.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 1677 days

#11 posted 1658 days ago

Except we’re usually more hard(headed) than wood!

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View lou's profile


340 posts in 2077 days

#12 posted 1658 days ago

SAFETY FIRST,but we seem to learn the hard way.glad it was not worse.get well quick.

View RandyMarine's profile


235 posts in 2004 days

#13 posted 1658 days ago

And sometimes it just happens….I was taking a 3 1/2” deck screw out of a deck, when the bit broke at a good clip causing the drill to slip and drill into my knuckle…yup that was a fun injury.

Hope your recovery is quick.

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View WoodshopJoe's profile


99 posts in 1894 days

#14 posted 1657 days ago

Yup, that’s gonna leave a mark

-- Joe Truehart - The Craftsmans Woodshop

View DocK16's profile


1139 posts in 2721 days

#15 posted 1657 days ago

I did this exact same thing last weekend except I managed to put a nice gash in my left index finger. (Should have been using my new shoulder plane instead of a chisel. The diagonal slice went clear thru the skin but lucklily mised the underlying tendons. Skiipped the ER and have been keeping it bandaged, healing but slowly. got to use that first aid kit that has been hanging on my shop wall for the past few years. One thing about those shop mishaps is you always think afterwards “that was dumb” Hope you’re healing well.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase