Crappy day in the shop and a nice kickback to the forehead.

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Blog entry by spaids posted 10-19-2009 05:17 PM 1585 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You ever have one of those days where you wonder why you do this? This is supposed to be a hobby. Shouldn’t a hobby be fun and relaxing?

This started going down hill when my Milwaukee cordless drill, which I love, has started crapping out on me after only a year of light hobby use. This drill had performed great for me. One of the things I liked was how it seemed to have full power right up to the last drop of battery life. Sunday afternoon I was trying to drill some pocket screw holes and my drill couldn’t do it. It was odd because I had half battery according to the indicator. I grabbed a fresh battery off the charger and I had the same results. I am very disappointed. The drill was a tremendous performer but only lasted a year. That’s strike one.

Now we move on to the drama. My table saw is screwed up! I wanted to adjust the bevel to 45 degrees to make a cut and it seemed very stiff. After digging in I found that the back of the .. um trunion? was digging in the back guide. There is a front and back curved slot that the whole assemble slides in when you adjust the angle. The curved slot on the back was actually getting cut into as I tried to change the angle. This was actually shaving off metal. I don’t know whats wrong or how to fix it. Strike two.

I was able to crank the thing to 45 degrees out of frustration and just try to make my cut and get on with my day. Turns out in the two years I’ve been woodworking I have pretty much learned NOTHING. I realize now that I don’t know how to make a safe bevel cut. Should the waste be on the left? Couldn’t that trap the scrap under the blade and give be kick back? Should the waste be on the right so its free to fall off? Well the scrap is actually sitting on top of the spinning blade. Guess what happens next. The scrap that was sitting on top of the spinning blade hit me right on the forehead. It rung me bell a little bit. There was only minor bleeding. This was a scrap of 1 inch think oak about the size of half a playing card. Strike three.

Pack up for the day and reassess my hobby.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#1 posted 10-19-2009 05:29 PM

Wow looks like you got it in spaides :-)) I don’t know if cordless drills have brushes or not but it might be worth checking out. as far as your trunnion is concerned I would see if it’s gummed up with pitch. If it is you can use so goof off to clean it up. If that’s not the problem I would see if you trunnion is coming loose from your saw. Yes the waste know as fall off is always on the outside not against the fence, that’s why it’s called fall off. If you need to make a cut that won’t allow this cut move your fence and use a sled or miter gauge I’m glad the kick back didn’t cause more injury.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3414 days

#2 posted 10-19-2009 05:37 PM

Man, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m just glad it hit you in the hardest part of your head! Seriously, a few inches down and you would have been really hurting.

My Dad always says that the best lessons learned in life are either expensive or painful. I’m sure you’ll be able to make a safer cut next time.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3521 days

#3 posted 10-19-2009 05:49 PM

There are those days… Good to hear you are roughly ok. As we learn, we grow, we move ahead. (It would be nice if the road was not so bumpy.)

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 4194 days

#4 posted 10-19-2009 05:50 PM

Yesterday my computer started acting up for no reason. I looked at my wife and said Iam not going into my wood shop today it’s just one of those days. Glad your ok.

-- Billp

View jlsmith5963's profile


297 posts in 3343 days

#5 posted 10-19-2009 06:07 PM

Glad to hear that your injury (while scary) wasn’t to serious. I learned growing up in a machine shop that doing anything with machine should never be considered ‘relaxing’. It only takes an instant of ‘relaxing’ to get really hurt.

-- criticism: the art of analyzing and evaluating the quality of an artistic work...

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3286 days

#6 posted 10-19-2009 06:12 PM

What you describe happening to your saw is called “galling” (appropriately), and once it starts, it feeds on itself, and there’s pretty much nothing you can do. You might try taking everything apart and seeing if you can have the parts re-machined, but since you forced it, it might need so much taken off that there will be excess clearance in the slot. The only other recourse is to replace both mating parts.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3816 days

#7 posted 10-19-2009 06:14 PM

I think a lot of us can relate to your “accident”. We have been in similar situations. I am just glad that you were not hurt any more seriously than you were. These “gentle reminders” help reinforce safe practices when using our power tools.

I hope you are able to get back into the shop soon.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#8 posted 10-19-2009 07:11 PM

Sometime everything goes wrong in the shop. It happens to me more than occasionally. The Norwegians call it “kverk”. We all have those days including the minor injuries.Glad you weren’t seriously injured. Don’t get discouraged. Instead view your negative experiences as a learning tool (I guess that means I’ve learned a lot over the years). And thanks for reminding us that compared to you we had a really good day!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View FMG's profile


65 posts in 3276 days

#9 posted 10-19-2009 07:35 PM

Glad your ok. As far as your drill, I’ve used Milwaukee almost exclusively for commercial use for almost 15 years and swore by them. Starting with the recall of batteries a few years back their customer service and quality have gone down hill. I’ll be doing a reveiw of the new 18V cordless i bought shortly, and I will never buy another tool from them thats for sure.

-- FMG- Woodworking is 90% mental the other half is physical

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3265 days

#10 posted 10-19-2009 07:42 PM

Well for good news? Milwaukee has a 5 year warrantee so you should be covered there (I had their circular saw break due to the spindle lock – self lockiing in the middle of a cut – the saw was 2.5 years old…they replaced the whole saw and gave me another battery for the bother. I don’t know about the TS but you might look there for warranty also. Otherwise, as the folks mentioned above, I would look at the mounts and see if they have shifted or loosened.

Lastly, we always have to take the good with the bad…..good here being you were not hurt badly….you will recover…and learn from the excercise – You can replace a tool…but you can’t replace the person… an old sky diving buddy of mine used to tell me….”in my hobby….if I walk away from a mistake…I’m one lucky sob!”

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Lisa Chan's profile

Lisa Chan

147 posts in 3145 days

#11 posted 10-19-2009 09:01 PM

Boy… you really had a lame day!

I had one of those last week. Flooding garage, fatigue, power issues.

I just bought a face shield from Rockler for $25ish bucks. It fits excellent and has been comfortable to wear for hours… might save you some reconstructive surgery. ;]

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3876 days

#12 posted 10-19-2009 10:51 PM

Sorry dude. Things suck sometimes.

Yesterday I was routing some dovetails with a 1/4” shank bit in a 1/2” router using a collet adapter. Well it didn’t hold too well and the bit started sliding down. It did not come out, nor did I get hurt, but it sucked none the less (read that as really sucked). But what was wasted time and effort, I decided to convert into lessons learned and came out on top.

Hope you can turn your experience around as well,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3688 days

#13 posted 10-20-2009 04:16 PM

Hey Jocks,

Thanks for the encouragement. I admit that a lack of patience is one of my most serious character flaws. If I ever learn anything from attempting to be a woodworker it will either be patience or failure. I think it might be common for some of us to feel rushed when we are in the shop because of what little time we spend out there. I know I hate to spend time working on a tool instead of using it.

If anyone is interested, part number 6 (the rear table trunion) in this pick is where my cradle assembly is cutting.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View Ozfiddler's profile


40 posts in 3418 days

#14 posted 10-20-2009 10:57 PM

I’m glad you weren’t hurt more seriously – I’ve had similar sized pieces fly off the lathe – and that’s where I’m glad I use an inexpensive face mask – it sure makes a noise when that block hits – but that’s all it does – perhaps I could recommend …?

On the saw – yeah I’d be cleaning out any old tree sap resin that might be affecting your saw set up.

Happy woodworking
Cheers mate :-)

-- Jerry, Australia

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4155 days

#15 posted 10-21-2009 04:27 PM

I’m glad you didn’t get hurt more than you did!
A little “warning” so you can fix the problem before something major happens.

Scary stuff.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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