Please be careful today

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Forum topic by joey502 posted 04-16-2015 04:45 AM 1155 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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482 posts in 940 days

04-16-2015 04:45 AM

This is not a PSA but a close to home reminder of how things can go bad. I discovered first hand this morning that they go bad much quicker than you can move or think.

I had my first woodworking related trip to the ER today and would prefer if it was the last. I took a bite out of my right thigh with a pattern bit and trim router. The wound was just flesh and a little meat but did take 2 layers of stiches to patch up. Luckily it will not keep me from moving and it did not hit anything important. I was fortunate not to be hurt worse.

The router I was using was only in use because of my laziness. I quit using this router last year because the base does not have handles and when I bought it there was not a plunge base for it. I bought a DW611 last year and it has been my go to for smaller operations because of the plunge base and control. I had the 611 set up with an upcut bit that I was not finished using on another project and did not feel like setting it up again… so I picked up the one I don’t like to use.

I could not tell the ER doctor what went wrong, it is that fast. One second chips are flying and the next your skin is flying. After getting home so I could inspect the damage it is clear what happened. The small base of the router tipped ever so slightly and grabbed. The gouges in the work piece tell the whole story.

Long story short… PLease be careful being careful today in your woodshop. I was lucky and hope no one else has to be.

10 replies so far

View skatefriday's profile


379 posts in 904 days

#1 posted 04-16-2015 05:05 AM

About a year ago I had a router grab a piece of work and throw it around
because I was routing the wrong direction for the workpiece. I was lucky
that the bit didn’t come in contact with any flesh, but I now have router
direction arrows for inside or outside work on a permanent place on a
blackboard wall in my shop.

Good to hear it’s no more than stitches. Hope you are young enough
to heal fast.

View joey502's profile


482 posts in 940 days

#2 posted 04-16-2015 05:29 AM

The routing direction was not the problem. I was not routing when it happened. I made the first pass, reset the depth with the router off, checked the new depth with the router off. I then turned the router back on and due to the small base, maybe I was not use to the size, got the bit too close to the work before I had my position and the router position correct. The bit grabbed and threw it back at me.

Thanks for your well wishes, I appreciate it. I am 35 and have not had to be sewn up in almost 25 years. I am hoping the healing is still fast as well.

View CharlesA's profile


2974 posts in 1219 days

#3 posted 04-16-2015 02:46 PM


-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Nubsnstubs's profile


811 posts in 1152 days

#4 posted 04-16-2015 03:01 PM

I hate to sound uneducated, but why were you routing on your thigh? Isn’t that what work surfaces are for??? I’m just kidding, but this sounds like the stories you’ve already heard of people and Skil saws.
You’ll heal ok, but but what you did will always be in your mind when you start your routers again. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View joey502's profile


482 posts in 940 days

#5 posted 04-16-2015 03:17 PM

The work piece was not against my leg. I was routing the edge of a laminated oak bench top. 51”x36”x2.5” thick. The router grabbed and jumped off, not hard enough to come out my hand but hard enough to swing my arm around with it.

I would have been much better off had I let go of the router.

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 598 days

#6 posted 04-16-2015 03:43 PM

I am glade you are ok!

Many people say they fear the table saw, or some the band saw but to me the most dangerous is the hand held router. Saws will slice but a router grinds.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View EricN's profile


5 posts in 561 days

#7 posted 04-16-2015 03:51 PM

Glad to hear you are okay and the injury was not worse.

One month ago I learned a really hard lesson while using my table saw (which I have been using for 20 years). Always shut the saw off after finishing the cut. See that mallet in my picture at the left? The head is black walnut. I was roughing it out on the table saw and after making the first cut I picked it up and left the saw running. I will never leave a saw running again before I pick up the work piece. As I picked it up it just touched the running blade and hit me square on the chin. I lost one tooth completely and am going to lose another. The ER doctor thought I also had a broken jaw but thankfully I didn’t. Never, ever again.

So, I guess I hit myself with my own mallet before I even finished it.

Be safe.

View BurlyBob's profile


3483 posts in 1687 days

#8 posted 04-16-2015 04:47 PM

Joe, Glad your gonna be okay. Stories like yours and Eric’s send a shiver down my spine. The other day I was doing just what Eric described and was thinking as I reached for the piece, how easy it would be for a minor error to go terribly bad. I do believe I’ll rethink some of my shop practices now. Thanks for the eye opener!

View mramseyISU's profile


406 posts in 967 days

#9 posted 04-16-2015 07:32 PM

Stuff like this is why I’m on the hunt for a Stanley 45 with a bunch of cutters. My router scares the hell out of me.

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1275 posts in 1357 days

#10 posted 04-16-2015 11:17 PM

I’ll sleep on top of my tablesaw, but I’m still scared of my router…

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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