It happened to me

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Forum topic by KevinVan posted 11-18-2009 09:27 PM 2426 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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91 posts in 3176 days

11-18-2009 09:27 PM

Well until last Sunday I was able to say that in the 20 + years of woodworking I have never been injured by a power tool.

I had just finished up a couple of big projects and was inspired to make some end grain cutting boards for Christmas presents.

I picked up some Maple, Walnut and Cherry and began production to make a dozen boards or so.

I still don’t know how I did it but I think my mind must have wandered after making a hundred or so of the same rip.

The result was an inch or so cut down the center of my thumb nail that ended just before the knuckle. I’m not going to gross you guys out with pictures cause I think you all have seen them before. I had surgery on Monday and the Doctor was able to save most of my thumb. I need to wear a cast for 2 weeks before seeing him again. Another surgery in 6 weeks to remove the pin and possibly more if I need skin graphs.

My 70’s era craftsman saw was not to blame although it lacks a good splitter and guard that have been misplaced since I inherited it from my father.

The bottom line is don’t spend too much time doing the same thing over and over and use your safety guards and push sticks. The saw will always win!

I’ve been saving for a new saw for some time now and will probably get the G0690. I would love to get a saw stop but it is not within my budget. Be assured that I will always use every precaution in the future.

Don’t ever think it won’t happen to you!


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

29 replies so far

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3496 days

#1 posted 11-18-2009 09:43 PM

Sorry about your misfortune.
You are right about repetitive tasks though…one must pay attention.
As far as this “saw stop” thingy…think I will save the money and just not stick my body parts into the machinery.

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3271 days

#2 posted 11-18-2009 09:43 PM

Glad to here it wasn’t more serious. Hard way to learn about being bored and a good reminder to the rest of us. Hope you heal fast.

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

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3505 days

#3 posted 11-19-2009 05:23 AM

Sorry to hear this. Glad you didnt loose your thumb. Hope you heal quickly.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View dlmckirdy's profile


199 posts in 3158 days

#4 posted 11-19-2009 05:51 AM

I did the same kind of thing two months ago, only I cut a nice flap from the knuckle to the lower joint. I missed all tendons, bones, and major nerves, and was back in the shop in about a week, but did not go back to the saw for a couple more weeks. Get that saw cleaned up as soon as possible! You won’t believe the putrid mess inside and on the blade! Mine was that infamous ONE LAST CUT.

Heal quickly, and good luck.


-- Doug, Bakersfield, CA - I measured twice, cut it twice, and it is still too short!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4243 days

#5 posted 11-19-2009 06:10 AM

I’m always leery of making repetitive cuts like that. Doing the same thing over and over is a sure recipe for losing your concentration. Thanks for the painful reminder.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3208 days

#6 posted 11-19-2009 06:22 AM

Sorry to hear of your accident but glad to hear you’ll be OK. I see my mishap with a table saw every day. I almost lost 4 fingers at the palm joint but luckily they saved them but have very limited feeling in those fingers. Whenever I go to power up a tool I actually see in my mind my fingers being cut and I take my time now. Good luck and let us know how everything turns out.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3489 days

#7 posted 11-20-2009 05:44 AM

Get well quick, these kind of lessons really suck.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#8 posted 11-20-2009 06:19 AM

Sorry about your accident. You can do it so many times and be safe and 1 time and be unsafe and pay the price.

Thanks for the reminder.

Hope that everything works out OK.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Webb's profile


46 posts in 3311 days

#9 posted 11-22-2009 10:31 PM

Wow – I had almost the same injury. Also making cutting boards. Maybe it was not us – cutting boards want us to feel what their life is going to be like in the kitchen?

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3313 days

#10 posted 11-22-2009 11:06 PM

dam that sucks i feel like crap cuz i work with acrylic and do multiple cuts on some stuff and i sometimes fall asleep on the machines at my job but im still working most of the time its sanding but i never got injured and hope i never do but i do know what u mean by u dont know how u did it cuz my mind wonders too when at work on a machine and i dont remember doing a cut or something but i come to and its done very crazy but GOOD LUCK with everything.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3847 days

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

Kevin, I am sorry I missed this when you first posted it. Man I hate to hear these things. I hope you are able to get back into the shop soon and, more importantly, hope everything comes out fine with your thumb.

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

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4272 days

#12 posted 11-22-2009 11:44 PM

I used to operate a punch press in a forge plant. You can become hypnotized by the repetitive motion. After a while your mind is not even there. I saw a lot of men loose fingers including my older brother who lost four on his left hand. The die fell out of the press and landed on the edge of the piece he was taking out. This was in 65, they just threw the fingers away back then. He got 3,000.00 dolllars from the insurance company back then. 33.00 dollars a week for about 3 years. Today can you imagine what he would have gotten? He did get a lifetime job that drove him nuts. He retired on a stress leave. Sorry you got cut up buddy. It can happen to any of us. Anyone that says otherwise is a fool. Mike

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

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3583 days

#13 posted 11-22-2009 11:54 PM

Sorry that you got hurt. I too know how these things happen. Repitition can cause you to forget what you are doing so you really have to stay focused on the task at hand. Hope you get better soon and get those cutting boards done for Christmas.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4047 days

#14 posted 11-23-2009 12:38 AM

I owned and operated a printing press for several years.
Table saws are easy by comparision.
A press will put you to sleep at 14,000 impressions and hour.
Seems every pressman had a finger missing or worse.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 3132 days

#15 posted 11-23-2009 02:16 AM

I am happy to say that besides a couple of pokes with a sharp chisel I have avoided serious injure to this point. Repetitive work is when it happens. I had a night mire wonce after a ten hour day of routing a thousand small items I woke up suddenly when in my dream I stuffed my entire hand into the router table. I was done sleeping and I was soaking with sweet. I hope that your thumb heals well and you continue to enjoy woodworking.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

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