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  • Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

    In the latest issue of Popular Woodworking, the editorial seems to be based around a rather ridiculous concept, that we're all idiots. The editor, Christopher Schwarz, compares woodworkers to motorcyclists and puts us into two categories: Those who have been in a serious accident and those who are going to be in a serious accident.

    What about those of us who just know how to be careful?

    Only a tiny percentage of woodworkers, or motorcyclists for that matter, are ever in serious accidents. For every woodworker who loses a finger, there are thousands more who never suffer more than a few splinters. It seems like they think we're all too damn stupid to figure out how to protect ourselves and it's an attitude that I'm getting sick and tired of. I've been doing this for more than 20 years now, my father did it for pretty close to 40 and out of the dozens of woodworkers I know, I think one of them ever really hurt himself.

    Seems they're either shooting at a miniscule minority or they're trying to say something about the intelligence of their readers.

  • #2
    Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

    duhhhhh what he said........ ahhhhhhh witch way did he go george
    9/11/01, never forget.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

      I consider my self a safety conscious person, and have been using power tools for nearly 50 years, and still have all my fingers and toes,

      actually I have hurt my self more with hand tools than ever with power tools, but I do know if it ever happens with a power tool the potential is or the damage will be greater.

      I have drug hand saws a cross my hand a number of time, had black thumb disease from hammers, and also a number of slips with knives,

      With power tools had a 16D nail on a air nailer end up in the palm of my hand, (yes I was doing ever thing correctly and my hand was over 12" away from the nailer), I have a hole in the shop door from a kick back on the table saw, and have a number of close calls with other tools. I had a 7" grinder catch my shirt one time and nearly tear my shirt off of me, brusing my belly, had had a cutting torch slip and fall into the cuff of my glove severy burning the back of my hand. (don't even really know what happened on that one).

      I did not read the article,
      and an sure some will use power tools for there enter life and never have A problem,
      but any time power tools are used there is a potential for injury,
      there was a post on drills a wile back and most any one who has used heavy power drills has a war story to tell.

      But when ever your dealing with moving cutting objects, there is danger, and more than likely most ever one who has used power tools has a few close calls they can talk about,
      yes most are our own stupidity, and should have know better, but some jsut happen.

      And I would agree, the longer you use tools I think it is not if but when, now it may not take a body part, but simply as the saying goes, "Stuff happens",

      It is like driving you can be driving and not do any thing wrong and still have an accident,

      About a year ago, there was a fellow who was working on a grain bin fan and the blade exploded, he was following all the rules and did nothing wrong, he was dead nearly before he hit the floor.

      Last week, Have a friend who is a home builder and some how got hit with a air nailer nail in the arm from a distance, he thought no real damage, he found this week the bone was actually fractured even tho it had not stuck in the bone. Stuff happens.

      and I would not consider any of the people I talked about above carless or stupid, but they got hurt and one lost his life tho no fault of his own.

      SIMPLY STATED
      POWER TOOLS ARE DANGEROUS.
      Last edited by BHD; 11-18-2007, 07:45 PM.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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      • #4
        Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

        Cephus,

        While I don't disagree with you, I feel that an occasional warning is always a good thing. I really don't take exception to it at all. Perhaps that's because I watched my Dad loose two fingers and mangle another in a table saw accident! I never considered my father to be a stupid man, but we can be overworked, tired, distracted, or even a bit over confident for a wee moment and that's all it takes.

        So, while that particular article might seem to be presumptious of our stupidity (I haven't read it yet), it might have been written with the mindset that we occasionally need to be reminded.

        Driving a motorcyle (I don't consider it as just "riding") is a lot like flying a plane in that you don't have a lot of protection about you and as such, you're more vulnerable than anything that might collide with you and your rather fragile craft. We use to have a saying, "There are old pilots and there bold pilots... but there are no old, bold pilots!" Motorcycles and woodworking power tools do have a commonality in that it only takes a lax moment to bring great harm.

        CWS
        Last edited by CWSmith; 11-18-2007, 07:55 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

          There's a difference between a warning, which is always a good thing, and a statement that you're all clumsy and going to hurt yourself because all woodworkers do.

          The funny thing is, looking at their "safety tips", I've been doing all of that and a lot more for decades, perhaps that's why I've never hurt myself, because I'm not a complete imbecile like they apparently think woodworkers are. And I didn't need their help to do it, I didn't need to watch people slicing off fingers (although I do know someone who worked in a commercial shop who ended up chopping off his hand with a commercial RAS, although it was successfully re-attached), etc. It's called common sense and apparently, far too few people, at least in their view, have it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

            well saddly all wood workers do hurt them selfs, it might be somethin at minor as a splinter, or something as major as getting caught up in a lagre tool and losing parts of you body or worse.

            buy no matter what happens you can be the safest person in the world, but an accident can happen any time.

            i have seen my father inlaw turning a 8" bowl on a lathe and i seen it just come apart and anything the got hit by the debre was just deavstated, he got very lucky that he did not get hit. in fact the table saw behind the lathe had the handle for the fence broken off due to the debre.

            the moral here is simple, work as safe as you can and be prepared for when there is an accident.



            man i hope that made seince
            9/11/01, never forget.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

              Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
              "While I don't disagree with you, I feel that an occasional warning is always a good thing."
              While I agree with CWS, that an occasional warning is a good thing. . .face it we all get lackadaisical. There is a difference between giving a warning and being condescending toward those whom read their magazine. In essence they are preaching to the choir, for the most part, but I realize that there is always someone new whom might be reading the magazine for the first time.

              Wording is everything. I have been writing articles for years, and while in person, I'm the type that call 'em as I see 'em..I don't pull any punches. But when writing an article, I know I must be more cautious with the way I articulate myself and the way I come across.

              Finesse is certainly an issue, in the media, print, TV, or otherwise. On the other hand, I don't get all bent out of shape when someone, whose opinion differs from mine, states their opinion.

              We all have different opinions, and that's fine. Just take it as though they are writing that particular editorial for the thousands of "Newbies" out there that are reading the magazine for the first time!!

              I can tell you too, that if someone writes an article, with the assumption that "everybody already knows this," and someone (a novice) get hurt or worse, they can then come back on that publication, publisher, editor, editorial writer, etc. and try to sue them for their injury. . . .Yes in this sue happy society it does happen.

              People like to "put the blame" on everybody else, but where it truly lies. . .with themselves!!
              Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
              Historic Renovations, Restoration, & Custom Log Homes


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              • #8
                Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

                just my $.02. I work in an emergency room, and EVERY table saw accident I've seen involved the guard/splitter/riving knife collecting dust somewhere and not on the saw. And all those woodworkers/contractors/subs all told me that it's more dangerous to have "those things" on the saw than not. One guy had been doing it for 40 years, was a master craftsman, and lost 2 fingers on his dominant hand from a table saw.

                I don't know where this urban legend came from, but while not perfect, they do serve a purpose. I get appropriately nervous when I have a totally naked spinning blade on my table saw. Accidents can still happen with the guard assembly on, but you have to work a little harder.

                Here's to technology like the SawStop becoming affordable for the average joe woodworker...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

                  Originally posted by oldslowchevy View Post
                  well saddly all wood workers do hurt them selfs, it might be somethin at minor as a splinter, or something as major as getting caught up in a lagre tool and losing parts of you body or worse.
                  Bzzzzt. The editorial specifically said *SERIOUS* injury, not just injury. I don't know anyone who works in an office who hasn't gotten a paper cut at some point but that's not the same as getting their arm eaten by the office shredder or fax machine.

                  It's not working with wood that guarantees that we're all going to get injured at some point in time, it's getting up in the morning.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

                    Originally posted by rprice54 View Post
                    just my $.02. I work in an emergency room, and EVERY table saw accident I've seen involved the guard/splitter/riving knife collecting dust somewhere and not on the saw. And all those woodworkers/contractors/subs all told me that it's more dangerous to have "those things" on the saw than not. One guy had been doing it for 40 years, was a master craftsman, and lost 2 fingers on his dominant hand from a table saw.
                    And that's complete crap. Long ago, I built a custom over-head blade guard that rarely ever cannot be used with a cut. The only two cuts I can think of that the blade guard isn't used for are panel cuts (and my panel sled has it's own blade guard integral to it) and panel raising/tennoning and your hands are nowhere close to the blade when using it. Otherwise, my fingers are never closer than 3-6" from the blade at any time that it's spinning. I have no fear that, excepting something bizarre happening, I'll ever lose a finger to the tablesaw gods.

                    Most of the people who do get seriously injured aren't involved in accidents, they're involved in lapses of judgement and personal stupidity. A lot of them bring it on themselves by not being careful, not using the safety equipment and doing things that most of us would find idiotic.

                    Here's to technology like the SawStop becoming affordable for the average joe woodworker...
                    In some ways yes because it will help to control the true accidents, but I think in a lot of ways, it'll make careless woodworkers even more careless because they're counting on a piece of technology to save their skin rather than just being careful and intelligent to begin with.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

                      The only time I have ever hurt myself is when trying to use the wrong tool for the job or working too fast. At 60 years old, I am no longer in a hurry and my wife says I have every tool imaginable so the odd of hurting myself have gone way down.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

                        I think that almost all accidents are a result of either (1) a brain fart or (2) an unexpected event like a knot or nail in a board. Both are to a degree our own fault and the chances of the accident being serious can be lowered dramatically by using all the usual precautions like the splitter and blade guard, feather boards pawls and the other usual stuff. This is a lot like looking both ways before crossing a one-way street. It's most likely unnecessary but then again it might keep you from getting run over by a beer truck.

                        Blind Bill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

                          I don't think an accident caused by a brain fart is an accident, you put yourself in harm's way and got bit and that's no one's fault but your own. Something unforseeable is an accident, not something that you knew better, you just chose not to follow proper protocols.

                          Honestly, the only chance I've got of getting hit by my table saw blade is if the arbor explodes and launches the spinning blade like a giant shuriken into my head. Otherwise, it ain't happening because I take every precaution I can think of, I think about what I'm doing before I do it and I consider all of the most likely failures and flaws in my technique.

                          I'm just offended at the idea that every woodworker, without exception, has either gotten seriously hurt or is headed for it because we're all idiots.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Why Do They Think We're Stupid?

                            Because they don't know us.

                            Don't worry about what they think its not important.

                            Its what you think & do thats important.

                            Stick & stones...............
                            Last edited by VLL; 11-24-2007, 02:07 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Do They Think We're Stupid? ... Maybe they don't.

                              Remember that there are people who are new to the hobby (or trade as the case may be) off woodworking every day. People who decide to take it up and have no background in woodworking and who never had even a smidgen of instruction in how to handle power tools. When I went through HS and I am sure for many of you Shop was a class almost every young man took. Either Wood Shop or Metal Shop or both. I did even though I was in a college prep curriculum.

                              Those people are new (as far as the periodicals are concerned) to the craft and they are out to infuse in them a mindset of safety first. For those who have been at it for a couple decades it seems obvious that you don't stick your finger into the path of a whirling blade but to the newbie its not s simple I guess.

                              Besides, if you get hurt using your power tools you are likely to loose interest in woodworking and not buy any more magazines. And if you're not buying their mag they are not making money.

                              And...there is always the "Upgrade Now Before its Too Late" philosophy that the manufacturers are spouting. It doesn't matter which company, they all do it. If you don't have the latest and greatest Gizmo then you are not as safe as you can be. Just like cameras, cars, and VCRs, the manufacturers only bring out one or two new features a year, even though they have a drawer full of them right now and could plug them all in at once. BUT, if they did they would not reap the maximum profits from their products. They get you to buy one now and then next year when that same tool or car or camera comes out with a better feature (more power, better mileage, faster lens, etc.) they try to get you to buy the new and improved model.

                              So pressure from the manufacturers could be helping to drive for 'safer' tools too.


                              It all boils down to "Follow the money".
                              ---------------
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                              ---------------
                              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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                              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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