Do you still have all of your digits??

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Forum topic by Peter Hanson posted 10-10-2010 11:32 PM 1817 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Peter Hanson

12 posts in 2801 days

10-10-2010 11:32 PM

I am a general contractor to a fairly large construction company here in the Midwest and am currently heading up a fairly large build-out project to an existing post office. I couldn’t help but notice not one, but two of my carpenters missing some fingers!!

Anyone else have any stories about missing digits?

-- Follow Me! Twitter: | Facebook: | YouTube:

22 replies so far

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3281 days

#1 posted 10-11-2010 01:55 AM

I had a young man come to my shop to apply for a job. I noticed he was missing a finger and half of another. When I asked him what happened, he just laughed and said he was careless on a shaper and ran his hand in the bit…...........decided I didn’t need him on my payroll. LOL.

-- John @

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3277 days

#2 posted 10-11-2010 02:06 AM

I have all ten but not all of all ten. You probably wouldn’t notice what’s not there unless you compared my left hand to my right . Over the years, I’ve been to a lot of saw mills and I don’t think I’ve ever received a five-finger hand shake from a sawyer who’d been at it for a while.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3070 days

#3 posted 10-11-2010 04:40 PM

I still have all 10 digits but I have no feeling in the end of my left thumb because of a cut I took there. That was a close one. I could have easily lost that thumb.

I have a friend in a local woodworkers club who just lost 2 fingers on his TS. For me, this is very meaningful because I know him to be very careful in the shop. I’ve “dialed up” my focus on safety since I heard about him.

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

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3987 days

#4 posted 10-11-2010 05:06 PM

My right index finger was amputated while I was in the military then re-attached. It works fine just no feeling to speak of; lucky for me I am left handed. I end up injuring it a lot without noticing till there is blood dripping on something and the dexterity just isn’t there because you don’t get the tactile feedback you need.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2879 days

#5 posted 10-11-2010 05:20 PM

So far all ten! I am an ER doctor, so I quite frequently see people who are missing fingers; most of their stories involve some sort of power tool. I had a guy the other day who had a nasty cut on his thumb from a TS; he got distracted for an instant and his thumb went into the blade. Thankfully it was “just a flesh wound” and all he needed was a few stitches.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3242 days

#6 posted 10-11-2010 05:29 PM

A cabinet shop I worked at hired me to replace a guy who cut his fingers off with a radial arm saw. He cut all four off and part of his thumb. Thought it was bs, until I found the ras table shoved in a storage shed. It was covered in blood. Most of the guys I worked with there were a little short on some digit or two. Sad thing is they were quite proud of it.

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

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4242 days

#7 posted 10-11-2010 05:59 PM

I lost the tip of my rt. ring finger hurrying 2 days before last xmas. Trying to get everything done. Was up at 2 in the am, so wasn’t real sharp, but was careless to. Had the blade too high for the cut. After raking a couple fingers on my left hand across the same saw, had some LJ friends look it over with me and we noticed the fence was bowed. I put a couple boards on it and am using feather boards and a splitter now. No more problems.

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

View helluvawreck's profile


31044 posts in 2862 days

#8 posted 10-11-2010 06:14 PM

I knew a guy that owned a manufacturing company that built antique reproductions and he was missing a couple of fingers on each hand. He lost them in at least 3 accidents. He was pretty good natured about it and he’d hold up his hand and say “Give me three.”

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2834 days

#9 posted 10-11-2010 06:26 PM

I still have all parts of all ten, and since I don’t have a table saw or any of those other fancy tools I guess that might be a good thing in terms of finger preservation. It would take a lot of work to sand your fingers off I think? My a circular saw could do it, but I think that too would take a lot of careless effort.

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View LeeinEdmonton's profile


254 posts in 3577 days

#10 posted 10-11-2010 09:58 PM

I still have all 10 unblemished fingers despite horrors of horrors,.... use of a 1958 DeWalt RAS which I purchased new. I attribute the non-accidents to the fact that I do not & never have owned a TS.


-- Lee

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 3360 days

#11 posted 10-11-2010 10:10 PM

My Grandfather reflecting back, said to me once “I’ve worked with one saw or another all my Life, I have all my fingers, I truly am a lucky man.”

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 2834 days

#12 posted 10-11-2010 11:42 PM

Why are radial arm saws that dangerous? I hear people discuss them with fear & loathing. But what exactly is so bad about them? Or, for that matter, what is so good about them? I inherited a Black & Decker / Dewalt from my father. He did remove the ends of four fingers with it back in the late ‘60’s which were successfully reattached. He told me it was his fault, not the tools. He continued to use the RAS for decades. All the while not letting any of us kids touch it because it was too dangerous. When my dad died I collected all his tools and moved them to my shop. Except for the RAS which is built into a long bench. I don’t use the RAS because I have other tools that will do the job: TS, miter saw, etc. Or maybe, in the back of my head, I’m a little scared, which is silly because I don’t even know what makes a RAS’s so dangerous.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View Justin's profile


119 posts in 2965 days

#13 posted 10-12-2010 12:00 AM

I still have all 10 digits but my father cut one off at the knuckle and reamed the side of the other out on the table saw when i was about 6 years old (12ish years ago). He just went to flick a small chunk of wood off the table when he flicked the blade and not the wood. He wasn’t able to get it reattached the finger sadly.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#14 posted 10-12-2010 12:02 AM

I Still have all Ten but it just takes a second to change that.

Hey Tom I consider radial arm saws dangerous like all saw but the RAS has a head that tends to wobble a bit from side to side so if you change your pressure while saw it can grab your material and throw it at you.
Because of that same wobble I always discourage my students from using a RAS to rip with because the material can kick back or raise up off the table and cause big time injuries. It can be used to rip but only if clamped down with feather boards, but if you have a table saw use it instead.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View rsmith71's profile


269 posts in 3038 days

#15 posted 10-12-2010 12:06 AM

I still have all ten but my left thumb is covered in scars from an incident with a router a year and a half ago. All surface damage, luckily I still have all the feeling and movement in it.

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

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