Hello Forum!! First post here. I've been lingering around for some time now, but now decided to start posting.
First, a bit of kudos to the forum: Thanks to the vast knowledge of routing here, I was able to construct my own router table and begin a side business making a specific type of reproduction pistol grip for the old Swedish Mauser rifles. It provides me with "shop money" as well. It says a lot that I gained all my help by just searching thru your posts and reading. I didn't have to ask one question!!!
Next, some background: Well, going back to last January (2010), I wanted to start making these grips. I quickly got up and running and had my table built by the end of the month. Now, being a newbie to table routing, I should have taken precautions and gone slower, but I didn't. One of my routing tasks is to put a 1/2" round over on four sides of the grip (see first pic below). I had to do this free handed and, as you can see, the part is quite small. Suffice it to say, I ended up running my middle, ring and pinky fingers of my right hand through the bit (I'll spare you the details) but, boy, did it smart. I had surgery and wore a big bandage for 1 month then another one for 2 months. I came away with near full capability of my hand and a new-found respect for the router!!!
Finally, lessons learned: So, what can I say but JIGS CAN MAKE ROUTING SAFER!! Like an epiphany, on my 2 hour ambulance ride to Columbus (I live in the sticks), I realized how wrong it was to free hand route such a small piece and I thought up a jig to keep my hands faaaar away from the bit (see first picture in the back ground).
I hope this experience of mine can shed some light onto fellow Newbies to table routing and prevent them from repeating it.
Grips ROUGH cut (notice my jig in the back ground):
First grip Finally finished (Right) compared to original (Left):
INSTALLED on an 1899 Swedish m/96 Mauser: