Stupid move on the router table

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by Jofa posted 12-18-2013 02:25 PM 2163 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 1865 days

12-18-2013 02:25 PM

You know, I’ve been so vigilant about table saw safety and I’ve decided that (one day) I will own a Saw Stop. Been really good about learning all I can on TS safety.

So last night I use my router table that I haven’t used in a while and sure enough, I got hurt.

Lots of mistakes in hindsight. It was one of those things where I was tired and should have stopped working. I’ve heard that story so many times and now I get it.

Basically I was testing out some cuts, working fast and failed to use a push block (I was making a dado cut on a piece of maple… not too deep which is probably what saved me).

The piece shot out and the end of my right middle finger got into the bit and the motion of the bit carried it around a couple of times, basically like a paper cone around a cotton candy machine.

Immediately I thought the worst. Looked at the finger and I have cuts all the way around from the last knuckle to the tip. The nail was actually shaved so fortunately, it’s still there. Just a little thinner. Good amount of blood.

I’m thankful this wasn’t worse because it really could have been. Also thankful for the message that I need to be very intentional with EVERY piece of equipment.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

28 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 12-18-2013 02:33 PM

wow. the fact that you can type this post screams “LUCKY” !!!

glad to hear you got out of this with only ‘minor’ damage. this really could have gotten a whole lot worse. the router (table) is the worst damaging as it doesn’t do a clean cut – it garbles everything in it’s path and pulls it in deeper….

we should be mindful and careful with every tool we use in the shop – motor or no motor.

Thanks for the reminder

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

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


31403 posts in 2894 days

#2 posted 12-18-2013 02:39 PM

I’m so glad that it wasn’t worse. Accidents can happen to anyone at anytime. Just a little lapse in attention and concentration is all it takes.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1835 posts in 1996 days

#3 posted 12-18-2013 02:41 PM

Wow Jofa, great to see that you are mostly ok. Hope you heal quick man. Thanks for the reminders we all need them all the time. The only times I’ve been cut is with hand saws (I must be a total idiot).

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View verdesardog's profile


161 posts in 2638 days

#4 posted 12-18-2013 02:41 PM

We all make mistakes…good that it’s not too bad!

Several years ago I had a similar accident not using a bush block on a small piece…had to get sutures in one finger. but it’s all good now.

-- .. heyoka ..

View lsiberian's profile


8 posts in 1648 days

#5 posted 12-18-2013 02:44 PM

Glad you’re okay. Definitely a healthy reminder to never operate power tools tired. Another pro-tip never grab the cutting edge of a bit while installing it. I made that mistake one time and I nearly had to go to the ER.

View Sanding2day's profile


1013 posts in 1874 days

#6 posted 12-18-2013 02:45 PM

Glad to hear that you made it through without serious injury, am actually suprised it wasn’t more serious given your explanation of what happened. Certainly need to show all cutting tools especially those moving at a gazillion rpm their due respect… Thanks for posting the reminder…

-- Dan

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

608 posts in 2926 days

#7 posted 12-18-2013 02:53 PM

Well Jofa like the old man would say if you cant learn the easy way there’s always the hard way dont fell bad your not the only one.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2941 days

#8 posted 12-18-2013 02:55 PM

Thanks for sharing and I am very glad that damage was minimal. None of us like to hear about these things, but we do NEED to hear about them so that we all re-focus our attention. Again, thanks…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3075 days

#9 posted 12-18-2013 02:58 PM

I am glad you did not get hurt too bad.
Years ago I lost two fingers in a wood shaper.
One was fixed but not the other one
I see on your picture that you play the guitar, is this going to be a problem for you?

-- Bert

View Bullet's profile


150 posts in 3356 days

#10 posted 12-18-2013 03:05 PM

Wow – I’ve been putting in some late nights too. Thanks for the wake up and be safe post!

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 1865 days

#11 posted 12-18-2013 03:11 PM

Fortunately it was my right hand which is my picking hand. If it was my fretting hand things would be really bad. I hold the pick between my thumb and index finger but I do use my middle finger when fingerpicking. The tip is ok so the big guy was watching.

I have our church’s Christmas concert on Thursday night but I should be fine.

@ Sanding2day: The bit was set at about 1/4” so I got away with one. Any higher and it would have been worse.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View Scomel Basses's profile

Scomel Basses

169 posts in 2024 days

#12 posted 12-18-2013 03:21 PM

Same thing happened to me recently. I was cutting a dovetail groove and the wood shot forward, pulling my left hand into the bit. Thankfully it only shredded part of the tip on my index finger. I’m a musician, bass player, but was able to play my gigs. I bandaged it and just played through the pain. I’m good now but it was pretty damn scary. I don’t care about the naysayers, I’m getting a SawStop ASAP. I feel comfortable on the table saw, use the guard on every cut possible. That said, I also felt comfortable on the router table;)

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3075 days

#13 posted 12-18-2013 03:25 PM

Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation

-- Bert

View DocSavage45's profile


8601 posts in 2869 days

#14 posted 12-19-2013 01:09 AM

We all do dumb stuff. Some of us luckier than others. I held a small piece of wood to quickly cut something brief on my chop saw and broke my finger. I am ALWAYS respectful NOW

Charles Neil bought a Saw stop. Why? He fell asleep while trying to get a customer project finished! Lost his little finger.

Glad you can use your fingers to type. :)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Hinge's profile


79 posts in 1715 days

#15 posted 12-19-2013 01:55 AM

I like the fact that whenever an LJer has an accident it gets posted. Helps to jar the rest of us out of our complacency. Get well fast.

-- The Jesus is my Savior

showing 1 through 15 of 28 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics