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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #735: An "ouchie"

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-17-2012 10:50 AM 1558 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 734: Much to Do Today Part 735 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 736: A Very Productive Sunday »

Many of those who read work with power tools on a regular basis, myself included. Those of you who know me know that I do everything possible to keep my workplace clean and safe. One big part of that is organization. Removing the clutter that you have around you when working with power tools allows you to focus completely on what you are doing, not what is next to your work table and possible vibrating and falling onto the floor.

No matter how small the tool is, power tools are relentless and unforgiving. It only takes a split second for something dreadful to occur and I am certain that a high percentage of accidents happen when our concentration is broken for one reason or another.

Yesterday while cutting I had a small ‘mishap.’ I was zipping along cutting out some 1/8” ornaments for the kits I was making and I got bit by my scroll saw. It didn’t happen when I was cutting, but when I was removing the pieces from the frame of wood around them.

I was stack cutting the pieces four layers thick, and some of the pieces had curls and turns that were sometimes a bit difficult to get to release from the outer frame of waste wood. I really don’t think carelessness was a factor, because I am pretty good about staying focused when I am working on my saw. My mind may wander from time to time, but I do keep my attention on the piece in front of me.

What happened was just as the piece was falling out, the edge of the waste wood caught on the blade and jumped. I really couldn’t tell you if I instinctively tried to grab it or not, but I do know the final results was my thumb going into the moving blade.

“Ouch!”

I jammed it in there pretty good, and the cut was at least 1/8” deep. Fortunately I was close to the sink and I was able to flush it immediately. It bled pretty good, which I am sure helped clean it out a bit. While I was running it under the water, Keith got me some antibiotic ointment and a band-aid.

I was using a small blade and the cut came out pretty clean, and I was able to close it up by using the band aid to stop the bleeding. It reminded me of a paper cut.

After I patched it up, I took a short break and continued cutting. While I was aware of it, it wasn’t enough to stop me. I did, however slow down a little bit and take extra caution.

Just a week or so ago, a member from Steve Good’s forum cut off his thumb with a miter saw. Unfortunately it was not able to be reattached, as it was damaged too much. I had felt so bad about it these past weeks, and ironically, his name on the forum was “Thumbs.” He showed a great sense of humor about it though and was even back to scroll sawing after a couple of weeks. I admire him a lot.

While my little “ouchie” isn’t nearly as severe, it does serve as a good warning that no matter how much you do something and how much of a seasoned veteran you are, you still need to have a great deal of respect for your tools.

Fortunately, the scroll saw is one of the more benign power tools. You would probably really have to work at it to cut off a finger. But it can bite pretty hard at times and it certainly is not fun. While my injury is small, it still throbbed throughout the night and is a bit sore today. It did close up though, and I should not suffer any lasting consequences from it.

It is however a good reminder to me to be careful and pay attention. I think it is important to take short breaks too when doing a long session of working with any power tool. It helps you keep focused and stay fresh.

Today, I think I will take a day off of cutting. I still have some computer work to do on the patterns for the kits and we are going to see Keith’s dad for father’s day today. It is a good reason to give my thumb an additional day of rest and let it heal a bit more before returning to the saw on Monday.

I wish all the dads out there a happy fathers day today. Enjoy the day and be safe. :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"



12 comments so far

View jerrells's profile

jerrells

860 posts in 1604 days


#1 posted 06-17-2012 10:59 AM

YES I have done that a few times and put a little notch in one of my fingernails. OUCH!!

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7830 posts in 1640 days


#2 posted 06-17-2012 11:06 AM

I am actually glad that it is where it is, as it doesn’t affect my typing much. If I want to look on the bright side, I did get out of washing the dishes last night. ;)

Have a good day!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile (online now)

Roger

15043 posts in 1524 days


#3 posted 06-17-2012 11:31 AM

Glad it wasn’t any worse, and you are ok. Just goes to show, anything could happen, any time. Everyone, be safe out there.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View NH_Hermit's profile

NH_Hermit

391 posts in 1816 days


#4 posted 06-17-2012 01:14 PM

This reminds me of an event this week. I sold my old Skil table saw in Craig’s List. Some guy was buying it for his father for Father’s Day.

After the sale was completed, I saw the father sitting in the truck, and noticed he was quite old (older than I, so that’s very old). After they left, I remembered that I had not asked if either had ever used a table saw before, and had a strong sense of guilt rush over me for not asking, and giving a lecture on safety.

I still feel a bit guilty.

-- John from Horse Shoe

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6683 posts in 2699 days


#5 posted 06-17-2012 01:21 PM

Hi Sheila,

Ah, that’s nothing. I cut my fingers worse than that when I’m shaving. Seriously, I’m glad to see your reaction time is very good. To realize you’ve contacted the blade, and pull away quickly enough to do very little harm is a good sign. Scroll saws cut fingers very quickly, often before you realize it.

Sorry to hear about thumbs. You did remind me of something a bit more devastating, with that information. We have a sky diving place a mile or so from my house. One of the instructors there was nicknamed splat. Guess what happened to him the day his chute didn’t open?

I am beginning to think we should choose our nicknames very carefully.

Maybe from today forward I’ll go by “the wealthy gentleman woodworker”

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7830 posts in 1640 days


#6 posted 06-17-2012 01:32 PM

John, while it is nice of you to think that way, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it at all. People know what power tools are and realistically, it is our own responsibility to educate ourselves on their use. As you said, the gentleman was a bit older so he has apparently been around long enough to know some things. It is good you have a conscience, but you can’t be responsible for the whole world. :)

Lee – that is just too sad! I could never understand why someone would want to jump out of a plane (unless it was on fire or something!) I know I am going to hear a lot of crap about saying that, but it is beyond me. As with bungie jumping and a couple of other ‘extreme sports’)

I like the new name though! It will just give people an idea of what you are about before you even say a word!

Let’s see . . . Maybe I should be the “crazy cat girl who likes to scrollsaw and paint” ;)

It’s a little lengthy, but I like it! :D

Have a great Sunday!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View patron's profile

patron

13142 posts in 2061 days


#7 posted 06-17-2012 05:16 PM

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7830 posts in 1640 days


#8 posted 06-17-2012 05:57 PM

(AWWWW!!!) :D

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1646 posts in 1642 days


#9 posted 06-18-2012 03:56 AM

Hi Sheila,
Ouch! Careful. We are just human to commit mistakes… that’s why it is called human error. Why… and… Have you heard of the word HUMAN CORRECT… LOL.

Take care not to infect the wound though.

-- Bert

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1646 posts in 1642 days


#10 posted 06-18-2012 04:01 AM

Oh… there is one that will be opposite of human error…. HUMAN RIGHTS will do… LOL. Just want you to recover fast.

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7830 posts in 1640 days


#11 posted 06-18-2012 10:41 AM

Thank you Bert! I am really glad that it wasn’t worse too. I suppose I feel stupid more than anything. Have a good one! :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Danpaddles's profile

Danpaddles

540 posts in 1032 days


#12 posted 06-18-2012 10:56 AM

Thanks for the reminder to be careful. Yup, any tool can bite.

Had a bad ouch from my little random orbit sander one time- the edge of the paper went under a finger nail. I think that has been my most painful shop injury.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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