Eye Safety & New Table Saw (lesson learned)

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Forum topic by johngoes posted 01-24-2009 09:16 AM 1200 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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54 posts in 3465 days

01-24-2009 09:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: eye safety new tool

A few years ago I bought a Delta Shopmaster 200 tablesaw from one of the local big-box stores. Boy was I excited to get that puppy up and going. As usual I glossed over the instructions, gleaning enough information on how to put it together and operate it. I assembled it with no problems then tried operating the blade lifting and angle controls. However, I noticed that the crank was really hard to turn. So I decided to crawl under the table to see how it operates.

I observed long gears operated by the cranks and gave the crank at wiggle to see what works. Unfortunately, this new tool was loaded with metal shavings that showered into my inquisitive eyes. On the first blink I experienced great pain and knew I was in trouble right away. I tried washing with cold water but that did nothing so I had my wife drive me to the emergency room where they put my eyes in a flushing machine for a long time. That got one eye cleared up but the next day the other eye was still bothering me so I went back where a doctor used a huge magnifying glass and tweezers to remove more shards of metal from both of my eyes.

I was blessed by God not to loose one or both eyes and since then I’ve been particularly careful to always wear my safety glasses.

So the moral of the story is to wear your safety glasses if you go crawling under your tools (and any time else you’re making sawdust fly.)

(Oh yes – they were hard to turn because I didn’t read about the center knob locking them into position.)

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsmen can hide his mistakes!

7 replies so far

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3459 days

#1 posted 01-24-2009 11:06 AM

oh man, i read this and my eyes started watering, just imagining! Great reminder! just like old Norm always says always wear these safety glasses!

I had a similiar expierence working under my car once ever since when I do something over my head I alway have a pair next to me

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3917 days

#2 posted 01-24-2009 03:06 PM

number one reason I’m at the doctor

to remove the unremovable foriegn object from my eye

Its a good idea to have an “eye wash staition” in the shop

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View johngoes's profile


54 posts in 3465 days

#3 posted 01-24-2009 05:00 PM

I think “on me” is a lot more important than “next to me” :-)

I had lasik surgery several years ago and really enjoy not having to wear glasses. For that reason I had always worn safety glasses since the surgery while woodworking. However, working under the table wasn’t woodworking so I didn’t think of the safety glasses. Now I think of them all the time.

To Roman, the doctor – For a small garage shop without the possibility to add plumbing, how would you add an eye wash station? (My downstairs bathroom is right off the garage and I washed my eyes there within 8 steps or so…)

-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsmen can hide his mistakes!

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 3930 days

#4 posted 01-25-2009 12:36 AM

My father was an optometrist. When I was kid we went to an A & W Root Beer stand. Dad opened the end of a straw, twisted the paper cover, turned around and blew the straw paper at me. It hit me right in the eye and scratched my cornea. He was so embarrassed especially since his whole life was dedicated to eye care and helping others see. If anything, this lesson taught me to wear safety glasses when working with tools. My eye healed and I’ve always had great vision…except now when reading. I forget from time to time…but it’s stories like johngoes that remind us we should never forget…never forget…never forget.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 3898 days

#5 posted 01-25-2009 06:14 AM

Moving a long board from rack onto workbench, I swung one end into a fluorescent light fixture which of course showered me with bits of glass. I brushed them out of my hair and eyebrows, but fortunately was wearing safety glasses. This reinforced one of my good habits…protecting my eyes. Thanks for the further reminders!

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4014 days

#6 posted 01-25-2009 06:58 AM

Ow!!!! I have been pretty fortunate to not have damaged my eyes severely. When I was in the navy my ship was in dry dock and I had to go down in the dock to work with a defense contractor. While down there I managed to get some of that large grit sandblasting medium in one eye. That stuff feels like glass!!!

My point is this: Not only should we wear eye protection; We should also ensure it fits properly. I did not and suffered for the lack of attention.

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

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#7 posted 01-25-2009 07:22 AM


thanx for the reminder… it’s a good thing to remind one self from time to time the importance of safety in the shop.

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

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