i shot a 16g nail into my hand

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Forum topic by , posted 04-09-2010 05:08 PM 6074 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 2590 days

04-09-2010 05:08 PM

So I have done it. Several times I have come close but this time the nail sunk about 2” into the fatty part of my hand between the thumb and index finger at an angle. It entered the inner side of my hand where the thumb joins the hand, right at the joint and proceeded about 2” from that point. Shocked, I just grabbed it and pulled it out immediately. Not sure if that was the best thing to do but certainly I did not like the looks of the nail sticking out of my hand.

What I was doing, I was attempting to put a nail in wood at an angle with a 15g pasload gun. I actually held the gun a more of an angle then I should have, instead of the nail going into the wood, it just scraped the wood and went into the air like a missle. I had my other hand far away in order to ensure I did not have it where the nail might get me at. So with my other hand at least 2’ away from the nailer/operation, the nail traveled through the air and went right into my hand. I was happy anyway, because that nail had enough velocity behind it that it could have caused some serious damage if it were to hit someone else or somewhere else, such as an eye, or a neck, etc… My pain is minimal at best, feels like it might be bruised inside and has some minimal swelling. My friend says it is always best to learn a lesson when the price is small and the pain is minimal.

happy woodworking,


-- .

30 replies so far

View lew's profile


10631 posts in 2798 days

#1 posted 04-09-2010 05:10 PM


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sras's profile


4239 posts in 2172 days

#2 posted 04-09-2010 05:24 PM

Glad to hear you are not seriously hurt. You only need to stretch the truth slightly and you can claim you caught it!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View jm82435's profile


1283 posts in 2785 days

#3 posted 04-09-2010 05:25 PM

when I first read this I thought it said 16 penny nail. Still you should try to avoid this…

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View patron's profile


13409 posts in 2384 days

#4 posted 04-09-2010 05:25 PM

glad you are o.k. .
just can’t be to careful .

my mom was showing us kids how to use a paper stapler ,
she grabbed it with both hands pointing away from herself ,
and squeezed it together with her thumbs ,

stapled both index fingers together !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 2514 days

#5 posted 04-09-2010 05:43 PM

I got a splinter once. Wow it really hurt! btw I am suspiciuos of your 2’ away hand story. Just so you know.
(oops forgot the “i’m just kidding smiley face”) :)

View rhett's profile


711 posts in 2710 days

#6 posted 04-09-2010 05:47 PM

That sucks. I had one shot through my thumb once. Hurts like hell.
On a more serious note, puncture wounds, while they look harmless, are the most dangerous injuries since the wound doesn’t bleed out to clean itself of foreign material. Please keep an eye on your hand for any redness or itchyness as this will be a sign of infection. Also if you can’t remember the last tetnus shot you had, you may want to go to the UTC to be on the safe side. One handed woodworkers aren’t in high demand.

-- Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 2347 days

#7 posted 04-09-2010 05:51 PM

Thanks for posting. We can all use a wake up call now and then.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2118 days

#8 posted 04-09-2010 05:58 PM

Well – It is the Easter season.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View PurpLev's profile


8520 posts in 2692 days

#9 posted 04-09-2010 05:58 PM


I mean – glad to know I’m not the only one that can do these things – not a nail though, I actually screwed a board to my finger (was holding the board with one hand while driving the screw through it with the other)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2217 days

#10 posted 04-09-2010 06:14 PM

So … a couple of things:

a) YOUCH!!!

b) Glad you’re relatively okay

c) If I’m not mistaken … that SHOULD have fixed any smoking habit you may have had ;-)

Heal fast!!

-- -- Neil

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 2590 days

#11 posted 04-09-2010 06:49 PM

Yeah, it was quite the little experience. I cannot remember how far my hand was away exactly but it was not close because I stay conscious of this as I do not want this type of thing to happen.

One small correction though, as I am remembering my fun incident, I was shooting 2 1/2” nails and 1/2 of the nail was in my hand and the other half was sticking out. So just like most fish stories, maybe it was not as bad as I remember it but it sure woke me up.

And, well officially, yes I did catch a flying nail, almost as good as catching a speeding bullet. Wow, did not actually think of it that way.

I will say, my dad and mom has framed 3 houses as owner builders and I do remember getting a call since my dad shot a 16 penny nail through his hand. Course he survived fine. Not exactly sure how that happened.

-- .

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2026 days

#12 posted 04-09-2010 07:04 PM

Ouch! Done that myself with angling the gun to much. Been lucky, but it only takes once to get hurt. Cheap lesson for me not to do that anymore. Sure puts meaning behind blood sweat and tears on a project. It reminds me of my number 1 rule in the shop. ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Glad you weren’t hurt to seriously.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 2590 days

#13 posted 04-09-2010 08:26 PM

Shopguryl, your story hurts me worse as I visualize it then my actual accident hurt. Thanks for more “cyber pain”.


-- .

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2523 days

#14 posted 04-09-2010 08:47 PM

Easy to do…glad you are OK.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Tony_S's profile


514 posts in 2126 days

#15 posted 04-10-2010 04:08 AM

If it makes you feel any better….about 6 months ago, I shot myself in the left hand, right in the crotch of my thumb…with a…..FRAMING NAILER! I needed to frame a small landing for a set of stairs I was building, so I asked one of the guys in the shop If I could borrow his nail gun.
Material was layed out, had one foot on one 2×6…left hand holding the other in place….put the nail gun in place…pulled the trigger…...BAM BAM!! Gun DOUBLE FIRES!
I jumped and dropped the gun…not sure what just happened, but knew SOMETHING bad just happened. I look down at my hand, and there’s a 3 1/2” spike stuck in my hand….But my eyes damn near popped out of my head(it took a few seconds to do the math) when I looked at the gun…looked at my hand….realized the head of the nail was only sticking out by about AN INCH!!!


Took a deep breath….thought…DON’T THINK ABOUT IT!! just count to three and pull it out! (EXPLETIVE)! (EXPLETIVE)! (EXPLETIVE)! Bleed….(EXPLETIVE) Bleed some more…(EXPLETIVE) Etc, Etc.

I got REALLY lucky! Doctor said it went in at the perfect spot, and at the perfect angle. No harm done to anything but MEAT! Holy crap was it sore for a couple of days though…

When I got back to the shop the same morning, I asked the guy that lent me the gun if it has ever double fired like that before….oh ya…actually, quite often he says!!Guns to light…likes to jump, blah blah blah.

Well…I won’t tell you about the rest of the ‘conversation’ we had…(EXPLETIVE) (EXPLETIVE)...

-- Come Heavy...or don't come at all.

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