First post on lumberjocks - a lesson learned in pain

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Forum topic by CADguy posted 04-14-2011 10:19 AM 1384 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 2769 days

04-14-2011 10:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: oops finger cut off ridgid 14 bandsaw band saw safety lesson

Hello all, i recently had an accident resulting in a trip to the ER I thought I’d share as my first post on lumber jocks. Before i start, I want to make sure you don’t get me as an idiot who is careless, etc. I am very anal about safety and know my own boundaries. Here we go: Well, I have a 14” ridgid bandsaw and put on a brand new 1/8” timber wolf blade last week. I removed the rear guard to install the blade and forgot to put it back. I was cutting out my 3rd little 1/8” thick bunny rabbit shape(for my kids to paint) and went to reach for the off switch and found out how sharp that new blade was. I actually ended up a little lucky really as I only got the tip of my middle finger; it could have easily been 3 or 4 fingers in the middle of joints, etc. . The blade entered on the fingerprint side and went all the way through the bone and actually notched both sides of my fingernail before I yanked it away in agony. So the only part of the finger that wasn’t severed was about 1/2 the thckness of the arch of my fingernail. The end result yielded 8 stitches and what is still a very sore finger tip. The ortho doc left the severed piece of bone in there and said it should reattach itself over time. I may never have feeling again in the tip of my finger. It’s been about 10 days now and I just removed the stitches. I finished modifying the saw to make the guard easier to install and remove for blade changes. One thing is for sure now though, I learned a lesson on this one and I won’t do it again. I think the reason it happened is mostly that I think we are all so careful with the work surface or platform of a saw but in this case, the danger was on the return side where I wouldn’t normally think of it as danger. Thanks for reading.

-- "Country Roads, take me home to the place I belong...West Virginia..."

7 replies so far

View amateur's profile


91 posts in 2827 days

#1 posted 04-14-2011 11:01 AM

Careless idiot? No way! It takes so little to have a terrible accident. I hope you recover fully and swiftly. And thanks for the post, I will be stopping, looking and listening a little more intently in my shop today because of it.

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2837 days

#2 posted 04-14-2011 12:05 PM

NO band saw I have had ,required me to remove guard on the back of the saw
Do you have to take that off to change the blade ?
If so ,,bad design

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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Mickey Cassiba

312 posts in 3201 days

#3 posted 04-14-2011 01:40 PM

Oww! Always room for another safety post !Hoping your recovery is swift and complete.

-- One of these hammers oughta fix that...

View CADguy's profile


5 posts in 2769 days

#4 posted 04-14-2011 01:43 PM

Yeah, the guard has to come off in order to change the blade. What’s worse, you have to walk across the shop and get a Phillips head screwdriver and remove two screws to get it off. I’ve now modified mine by drilling out and tapping the two small screw holes to accept a 1/4-20 threaded stud which I put a little apoxy on before I inserted it. Then I put two small rubber knobs I found at lowes in the specialty drawers on there. Then the knobs ended up being too big to clear both the upper and lower doors(only about a 1/4” of space there which I think is why they used screws) so I fired up the air compressor and proceeded to drill/cut/grind notches in both doors until the knobs could come through them. I didn’t plan on having to do that but once I’d epoxy’d 1/4-20 studs in place I was committed and had to do something to make it work. I agree the initial design could have been better but I bought the thing new for about 250 bucks out the door at a “factory direct tools” outlet over in Foley, AL. That’s the same place I bought my thickness planer (ridgid 13”) for 279. Cant argue with a decent product for an outstanding price, you know?

-- "Country Roads, take me home to the place I belong...West Virginia..."

View jackass's profile


350 posts in 3882 days

#5 posted 04-14-2011 02:04 PM

Hi Cadguy,
I once gave my right thumb a real bad cut with a Swiss Army Knife, I was fishing with a bunch of guys among some alder bushes, when I got the hook caught in an Alder for the 0ne millionth time I decided to sit and make a whistle. I cut the appropriate piece and started, well you know the rest. The Doc said I would never feel anything with the side of the thumb again, he was wrong, after about 5 years the feeling started to come back. It’s OK now, I hope you have the same luck. I only needed 5 stitches, lots of blood though. I was concerned watching my life drip away through the end of my thumb, until I got a drive to the Doctor’s office.

-- Jack Keefe Shediac NB Canada

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184 posts in 3227 days

#6 posted 04-14-2011 02:35 PM

What rear guard was that, could you show pics

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

View CADguy's profile


5 posts in 2769 days

#7 posted 04-14-2011 03:27 PM

I’m at work this morning replying via my iPhone so I cant show you a pic right now. Do a google image search for ridgid bs1400. The guard is a plastic guard that is grey in color and covers the blade while it runs past the power switch on the rear of the saw.

-- "Country Roads, take me home to the place I belong...West Virginia..."

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