|Forum topic by MattinCincy||posted 03-30-2010 11:00 PM||1754 views||0 times favorited||27 replies|
03-30-2010 11:00 PM
Wow, I came very close to a serious (or possibly fatal) injury the other day when setting up my router. I want to tell my story so others can learn not to make the same mistake.
I was installing a brand new, 1/2” 2 flute spiral bit in my router, which I had just grabbed from under my work bench where it had been sitting on a shelf with a few other tools. I made sure it was unplugged and then proceeded to install the bit with the router sitting on it’s flat top (with the bit facing toward the ceiling) on my workbench. I had removed the base to install the bit and planned on putting it back on and adjusting the bit height after I plugged it in, so I picked up the cord and leaned over my bench to plug it in to the receptacle on the wall behind my bench, not giving a second thought to the router sitting in front of me. Well, apparently the switch on the router got bumped to the “on” position at some point when it was under my bench and when I plugged it in it started up and the torque of the motor caused it to tip over towards me (and my very important bodily parts) before I could react. When I saw it happen, I tried to back up out of the way but the bit immediately found its way to the sweat pants that I was wearing and proceeded to suck itself into my groin area. This all happened with my hand still on the plug (I think) but my attention was now focused on what was happening down there so I didn’t immediately unplug the router, but grabbed it and attempted to pull it away from my body, but it was completely wound up in my pants and had stalled the motor. When I realized that, I did finally unplug it and it immediately released itself from my sweats.
At this point I wasn’t sure if I was injured or not – everything happened so quickly – but after a few seconds and a quick check I realized that I didn’t have a scratch on me. I got incredibly lucky. For those of you who don’t know, your femoral artery, which is one of the main trunks supplying blood to your body and is about the size of your thumb, is fairly close to the surface of your body in the groin area and could have easily been severed by this incident. If that had happened, There is a good chance I would have bled to death within minutes without medical treatment. Even if that didn’t happen, the other possibilities for injury in that area make me shudder as well. The router tore a hole in my sweats the size of a softball, and if it hadn’t been for the bit winding itself up and stalling the motor, things might have been much worse.
My lesson to myself and anyone else is to check and double check everything you do in the shop when it comes to power tools. Something as simple as a switch getting inadvertantly turned on when a tool is unplugged can lead to disasterous results.
-- Wag more, bark less.