I know that the majority of injuries in the shop seem to be table saw accidents but I thought I ought to share this story with everyone.
If tha table saw is the most used tool in the shop, then the router is a close second. Between handheld operations and the router table, how often do you use it every day? I know for me it’s a lot. In fact, about half the time I use my routers more than the saw. That said, I’ve always tried to be safe and careful with them. Something about carbide spinning at 22,000 RPMs + an inch or two from my hand makes me think.
On March 13th of last year (Friday the 13th, go figure) I was building a Red Oak china cabinet for a guy. I had to do some routing to trim a panel. Used a straightedge and a top roller flush trim bit. The cutter was 2” long. Somehow, and I still don’t know how, the bit hit SOMETHING and kicked back so hard and fast the the router did a backflip out of my hands. The torque of the free spinning motor spun it back and over- right to left. I reacted by jerking my hands back as soon as it left them, which is probably the only thing that saved my thumb. As it came down the bit landed on my left thumb at the knuckle on it’s side and the cutters ran down my thumb getting deeper as it went.
I was lucky. The doc said if I hadn’t been pulling away as quickly as I had, they’d be re-attaching my thumb instead of cleaning it and sending me home with pain pills.
I’m curious about injuries other than the table saw. Those seem to be shared pretty quickly. There are so many dangerous tools in our shops to be cautious with. Sometimes we get too comfortable with many of them and things like this happen. I still don’t know if the cord got pulled tight causing it to tip and bite or if I hit somthing with the bit or shavings got between the bit and part causing the kick back. Maybe other stories will help. Anyway, thanks for looking. I hope it helps someone else avoid this. The scarring’s there for life but I do have full use of the thumb still.
-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts