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Good Safety Reminder!!!

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  • Good Safety Reminder!!!

    Cut my finger really good on the tablesaw last night. I always talk about shop safety, and my wife always reminds me that Norm still has all his fingers.
    I guess I must have figured that I was in control. I have a friend who says that you can only ever be 90% in control of a power tool at best, so you need to stay 10% away from the business end of it! Well, I was cutting very thin kurfs, 1/8 inch to be exact. It was delicate work, and I had my fingers really close. I remember looking at my fingers and watching the blade carefully thinking "I'm pretty close to that blade, be damn careful".
    Well all of a sudden the blade kicked the wood and sucked me right in. It was so fast I didn't even see it happen, and I was staring at the blade. I'm fine, just lopped off the tip of the finger and about half of the nail, but It should all grow back.
    Two lessons learned here:

    1) Tablesaws are too unpredictable for close work!
    2) If you can't fit a jig or pushstick in there, consider an alternate method, like maybe using the bandsaw.
    3) Zero clearance inserts increase your safety margin as well as accuracy.
    4) Whenever you're pushing wood into a blade, consider what would happen if suddenly the wood wasn't there. Because once in awhile it dissapears.

    Hurts my pride a little to admit I made such a stupid mistake, especially since I consider myself one of the safer people, but I thought maybe someone out there will one day look twice at a cut and change tactics.

  • #2
    Thats my fiance's fear, she really can't stand the sight of blood. Or the thought of it for that matter. I'm well aware of the fact that if I do something to myself I'm gonna be on my own, and if anything she will be passed out on the floor.

    As a matter of respect and common sense I take far greater care to use safety precautions here at home, especially compared to work.


    • #3

      Every time I read one of these stories it reinforces my opinion that safety is paramount. I’m glad to hear the damage was not so severe that it would not grow back. That must be quite a relief when you realize that you’ve made a mistake and the outcome could have been much worse.

      Work safe



      • #4

        Very sorry to read about your unfortunate accident. Very happy to read it will not be a permanent missing digit. I also appreciate the time you took to share your accident with us all. It always brings a sad feeling when a story like yours is posted, but has a tendancy to wake us up from auto pilot when working and make us all more aware of the sometimes over looked dangers of our procedures.

        I know it hurt allot to type your post. I remember in high school I was using the 12" disc sander, and before I knew what happened, the wood kicked away and the tip of my right index finger was missing, much the same as you. It took 3 months to grow back, and 2 years before I got full feeling back.

        Anytime I use a belt/disc sander to this day, a flash of that extended sorness rushes through my mind. Wareing the guard for 2 months hindered everything, but it was so sore I couldn't stand the touch of a tissue on it. So that mistake I will never forget.
        John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


        • #5
          What truly demonstrates the danger of a table saw is I cut my finger on the blade - and the saw was turned off. My highest woodworking goal is for that to be my worst injury.

          Best Regards,

          Henry Anthony


          • #6
            I can truly understand how you feel. many years ago I had an old wooble dado blade. I was cuting a dado in 2"x2". They were only foot or little longer, I was cutting one and all of the sudden it wasnot there and my ring and litlle finger were mangled. I guess I wass lucky I still have them. But the last knuckles are stiff and they are boyh about 1/4" shorter than before. Very good recontruction doctor.

            If any of these stories will help one person be a little more carefull, it is well worth the time to write them.

            Be Safe or be sorry like me


            • #7
              Thanks everyone for the support stories.
              I feel very lucky and stupid as well. I'm a bit scared of my shop right now, I think I will be for awhile. And I suppose that's good. What scares me is trying to look into the future and imagine when I will again become so comfortable that I make another mistake. Maybe next time I'll get my shirt caught in the planer! Just makes me nervous to think about all the dangers out there. I need to keep those thoughts close to me. Maybe my finger will be a good reminder. Every time I hold a piece of wood that little reminder will be staring back at me.


              • #8
                My doctor was a woodworker but decided to give it up later he had to many like me. You do not make a good surgen without all your finger and working.

                Through away the wobble dado blade


                • #9
                  Creature---your wife and mine must be related! Know, I too, am on my own in case of injury, which makes me doubely cautious. Best laugh I've had in a while----my SWMBO tells me she's going to volunteer in a hospital when she retires!

                  Vigs---thanks for sharing and glad it wasn't more serious. These stories are sooooo important, since there are still those rugid individuals who don't think safety equipment/rules apply to them! It never hurts to be reminded.


                  • #10
                    Re: Good Safety Reminder!!!

                    I know all about that.. I cut my thumb 2 years ago on a Craftsman 10 inch table saw. I was finishing a desk that was my Final Project for a Carpentry class i was taking during my Senior year of HS. I was ripping a small peice and remember guiding the piece in and the next thing i knew i heard skin rip and saw blood... luckly i didnt cross cut but i shaved about an 1/8th inch off of the outside of my right thumb.. all the way back to the first bend.. Never thought it would happen to me...


                    • #11
                      Re: Good Safety Reminder!!!

                      Sorry to hear about your accident, been there done that. I love table saws and just got at TS3650 a couple of weeks ago, before that I used a BT3000 for 10 years or so. One thing I've come to understand is that you should not do very thin cuts on a table saw. I just invested in a EasySmart system. Basically it's a guide system for your circular saw. I can cut 1/16" shavings. I just used it to cut up 5 sheets of plywood (another place I've damaged myself in the past) And I could not see myself with out this tool. Don't get me wrong, as I said above I love table saws, but the days of putting my fingers anywhere near the blade are over. I also just ordered the Osborne EB3 miter gauge for cross cutting safely. Check out the link for the easysmart system.

                      Reagards, Daryl