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Forum topic by shaun posted 10-23-2007 02:29 PM 1586 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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360 posts in 3935 days

10-23-2007 02:29 PM

I was working in the yard this weekend cutting down the monster branches from the neighbors tree that overhang our yard, ruin our roof, clog our gutters, and prevent anything but moss from growing in our yard. I got all the branches down that I could reach ultimately standing on the garage roof. Got through that part incident free and was cutting up the branches into managable pieces.

The rest is just my own foolishness. Lets say that it’s very important to pay close attention to what you are doing when you have a chainsaw in your hand. It’s also not a bad idea to find a better way to support the branch you are cuting and avoid fancy one handed chainsaw manuvers so you can hold the branch with the other hand. I know better than this and yet stupidity prevailed. I am embarrased beyond explanation, DO NOT let this happen to you.

The folks at the ER tell me it’s minor compared to most chainsaw incidents but I’ll tell ya they had a hard time convincing me of that on Sunday. Thank god it was a small saw. I’ve got a boatload of stitches but can still count to ten with my shoes on (I continue to have problems getting past eleventeen but that’s an un-related issue).

The moral of the story, absolutley nothing is worth the few minutes saved by doing things hastily. Anyone that needs convincing is welcome to a picture of the reminder I get to carry around with me now which also serves as a token of just how fortunate I was this weekend.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

18 replies so far

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3925 days

#1 posted 10-23-2007 03:10 PM

Shaun – I’m glad you’ll be ok. I’m even happier that you were willing to tell your story. There are a lot of accidents in the yard this time of year doing exactly what you did. So folks – listen up!

Another thing that comes to mind this time of year is hanging Christmas lights. Now ya’ll those lights are real pretty, but not from the advantage of a hospital bed. Don’t over extend on those ladders and try to do something in five minutes that it would take to do in 15 if you did you right and safely. If you can’t think of a safe way to put them up AND take them down – don’t do it. If you don’t have the right size ladder – buy one, borrow one or don’t do it.

Common sense is not so common – but please try to make it more prevelant in your homes this winter. LJs would miss you.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3904 days

#2 posted 10-23-2007 03:13 PM

Yikes! Glad to hear you are still in one piece. I had a couple of chainsaw incidents when I was younger – both were the result of poor footing. You are 100% right – take a minute to be safe.

-- -- --

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4343 days

#3 posted 10-23-2007 03:16 PM

Ouch! I know I get too comfortable cutting firewood with my little saw. Glad to hear you are OK!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4190 days

#4 posted 10-23-2007 03:59 PM

phew… close call!

reminds me of the time my husband was cutting branches off a tree and I heard “help help” – finding him hanging upside down still holding the running chainsaw with one hand. His years of hanging tobacco in kilns probably saved him from the error in judgment.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4093 days

#5 posted 10-23-2007 04:59 PM

Glad your okay, relative to an amputation. And that you were willing to share the exhortation for safety.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4023 days

#6 posted 10-23-2007 05:00 PM


Thanks for being humble enough to tell us your true story. I don’t think that we can ever be reminded enough. Accidents really can be prevented.

I cut my finger in my lawnmower several years ago. I remember that just before the “accident,” a voice inside me said, “you had better turn off the mower before you do this.” I ignored that “voice” and later was on my way to the hospital.

The moral of the story is, “Don’t ignore the voice.”

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 3910 days

#7 posted 10-23-2007 05:19 PM

A few weeks ago, I was (made to) watch “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, and the carpenter was doing an art project for a US soldier: a bas-relief wavy US flag (something like my avatar). Well, they were carving much of it using an angle grinder with a chainsaw wheel, and the project was coming along nicely it would seem, but it appears the head carpenter could not get his tool “under” the waves properly, so he removed the guard to give him more reach.

Well, suffice it to say, they faded to black, a loud exclamation was heard, and the next scene had him on a gurney in a hospital, with doubts about his hand’s survival…

The part that all woodworkers should have seen is his on-camera comments, laying there in pain, waiting for surgery when he said something to the effect of: “This is for all you people out there: The safety guards are there for a reason. Use them. Don’t be an idiot like me”. The text at the end of the show said his hand was saved…

I have not seen him on the show in the last couple weeks… but the guy's blog says he’s lucky and the doctors are amazed at his recovery… I’m just amazed that he will still be able to do woodwork!

Seeing that episode scared the bejeebies out of my wife, knowing that when I am in the workshop, I’m out of her sight. For me, the angle grinder is already a finicky piece of machinery without removing the guard!

-- Dekker -

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 3935 days

#8 posted 10-23-2007 05:36 PM

Thanks all, I appreciate the well wishes.

Funny you should mention the word comfortable Dennis, that’s exactly what happened to me. I got the limbs on the ground and was running low on gas so I put the Husqvarna away and was finishing the job with a dinky 10” electric. You know, the one that gets picked on by all the other saws. This was about where my sense of super hero powers kicked in.

I’d like to trust the voice Tom but as I recall, it was saying “it’s the little saw, you can do it”

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4023 days

#9 posted 10-23-2007 09:25 PM

Yikes! Yeah, don’t listen to that voice ;^(

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 3918 days

#10 posted 10-24-2007 06:01 PM

I am reminded of a Chinese proverb my dad gave me years ago. I will have to paraphrase: “You can sail on the sea for a thousand years, if you sail with care.”

I am guilty of taking risks when I am in a hurry and been fortunate not to have injured either myself or others. I appreciate you telling your story. It makes me think of one suggestion on this forum I saw a few weeks ago. Before you start a cut, rehearse your moves first.

Get well soon


View RHH's profile


23 posts in 4009 days

#11 posted 11-01-2007 05:58 AM

D@mn, Shaun!

That hurts just hearing about it. Really glad to hear that you’re going to be ok physically and thankful that you learned a valuable lesson.

Many years ago I had a close call with a chainsaw doing yard work and it scared me so bad that I don’t use one except for felling trees now (and at 65 I don’ t fell many trees anymore). Lee Valley sells a handsaw that will do the job far safer – and just about as fast as – a chain saw for anything up to about 3-4” in diameter. Any bigger than that and you probably should be getting help or hiring it done (especially at my age). Don’t remember the product name or specs, but look on the Lee Valley site for gardening tools then pruning saws. It’s about 20” long with large, heavily set teeth. The exercise is good for you, too. It will cut through skin about as well as wood if you’re careless, too (DAMHIKT). I mention it here because lot’s of folks think that a power tool is a necessity for this kind of work, but in this case the hand tool has it all over the fuss of a chain saw and the damage it can do if things go awry. Hope it will make folks stop and rethink their tool choice for pruning trees.


-- RHH - Temple, Texas, USA

View RAH's profile


414 posts in 3906 days

#12 posted 11-01-2007 06:20 AM

I was away from my tools for along time, so when I set up my shop again I took a beginners night class on wood working for review of the safety procedures. I have been self employed all my life, safety is my first agenda.

I’m glad you are ok, could have changed your life.

-- Ron Central, CA

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3991 days

#13 posted 11-01-2007 01:31 PM

I am assuming that by now, Shaun, you are much better. In 1965, I was clearing some pasture land for a friend in Wisconsin. I would limb the small trees and then cut them down and pile them. I cut through a limb about 5 inches thick and the saw went clear through and the limb fell on it and drove it into my left knee. The limb was hanging on an other tree at the tips of the branches. It only made a small hole in my Levi’s but I could feel the blood running down my leg into my boot. I really had jerked up on the saw but still got my leg. Needless to say, I wound up with 36 stitches in my knee and was lucky that it didn’t go 1/8 inch deeper or my knee wouldn’t bend anymore. This was in the days when I made my living riding bucking horses(rodeoing). I needed money and so I wrapped the leg up real tight and got in the bronc riding at a rodeo above Green Bay. This was about a week after the incident. I got a check but tore out most of the stitches. The chain saw incident happened in July and the leg was finally healed a little after Christmas. I’m not sure what any of this exibits but I don’t think it’s good sense.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Josh's profile


119 posts in 3967 days

#14 posted 11-01-2007 03:30 PM

Good to hear you are ok Shaun. I got careless last summer cutting down a tree limb and almost hurt myself to. A storm had broken a tree limb on one of may parents trees. I went and got a ladder and the telascope tree pruner. I climbed the ladder and was using the saw side to cut down the limb. I cut and the limb fell, but when it fell it went straight down. That limb hit the ground and shot right back up and got me in the chest. It rocked the ladder backwards, but i was able to hold on with one hand. My big butt saved me that day.

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 3904 days

#15 posted 11-02-2007 07:15 AM

Suffice it to say, sometimes I’m surprised I made to my current age! And I fear for my son approaching his teen years. (I started a family later than most)

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

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