Shop accident - Not for the squeamish, graphic content. You have been warned. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Default Shop accident - Not for the squeamish, graphic content. You have been warned.

Though this did not directly affect a wood worker per-say, the incident has still shaken me up. This past weekend (June 12) I was enjoying my breakfast with my family when our doorbell rang. I was odd as we were not expecting anyone, but when I looked toward the front door I could see my neighbor bouncing outside. "something is wrong" I thought to myself and hurried to the door. My neighbor blurted out "I think i cut my finger off". In shock and disbelief I asked the dumb question "Are you serious?"
"Yeah" he said, "can you get me some ice and drive me to the hospital?"
I grabbed some ice and a clean cloth and followed him outside. All the while thinking that I really don't want to pick a digit off the floor.

"This might be gross" he said, "I am not sure if my thumb is in my glove or not".
"No problem" I said. He later told me before he rang my doorbell he searched the garage for any pieces but could not find any.

He pulled his glove off to find his thumb still attached, but clearly the blade went through the bone.

We wrapped the thumb and hand in the towel and rushed to the hospital.
All the while he worried out loud that he might not be able to play his guitar again... of all the things to worry about. The plastic surgeon was able to reattached the thumb and gave him 90% chance of recovery, though his thumb will be 1/8" shorter...

He later told be that he had his work piece clamped in place and his hand well back of the blade, but the blade must have caught the metal he was cutting and kicked up the piece catching this glove in the blade and....


The adrenaline pulsed through my body most of the day and I would shiver at the thought. Several days later when I drive home I shiver, the sight of the wound and empathetic pain is burned into my mind. I have heard many stories, even seen from of the carnage from years gone by, but never so up close. It is taking sheer strength of will power to approach my tools again. I have always had respect for the blade, but you get complacent and fortunately for me, and mostly (but not as much) for my neighbor, something like this drives home the need to be careful...

Shiver.....
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 04:00 PM
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Thanks for the reminder. I have been fortunate to escape such an injury (just barely though) and now go thru a mental checkilst before I press the start button on my TS. The last thing I ask myself is "Am I ready to cut this?"

By the way - this wasn't graphic at all, there were no pictures.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 04:44 PM
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Dang glad they think hes gonna be able to use it again.

Ya know tho there is a flip side to getting complacent recently i was helping a co worker do some floor repairs on his kitchen and a few other things and it dawned on me that there is two ends to the spectrum one being to complacent and the other being scared of a tool both in my opinion is equally dangerous after watching him use a table saw he borrowed from his brother in law, He to had witnessed an accident with a table saw many years back he didnt go into to much detail but told enough to give me the mental image the guy could only count to 7 on his hands anymore.

After watching him so dangerously use the table saw I finally stepped in for fear of having much the same moment you had of him running into the kitchen with digits missing.
I happened to get done screwing a board in and glanced out the window to see if he was done with the next piece and to watch this guy it reminded me of someone who is scared of dogs trying to stroke one you know how they like jerk their hands back and fourth for fear its going to bite them, well he was doing much the same actions with the saw thrusting and jerking his hands back and fourth on the board as it passed across the blade it was like in his head the blade was going to jump up off the table and grab his fingers not to mention the fact his feet were a good two foot away from the edge of the saw and he was completely off balance leaning unnaturally over towards the saw thankfully he was standing to the side, only god knows how the board didnt go zinging back and next house over thinking they saw a UFO as a piece of lumber goes flying past their window cause it was a kick back waiting to happen.


Thats when it occurred to me that being respectful and fearful of a tool are two completely different kettles of fish while im not saying anyone on here is scared of a tool its just something that I keep in mind from that day fourth if I feel scared of a tool for some reason maybe the way im having to run a piece into it or something mentally that is stuck in my head making me fearful Ill avoid it at all costs.

Dont forget to live life for fear of death grasp each day and live it to it full otherwise it is pointless.

Last edited by newwoodworker; 06-16-2010 at 04:48 PM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 05:10 PM
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To have fear of a tool does show respect of the tool. However, to let fear rule over respect, then one has no business operating tools until they've learned to control that fear. For some, that may take a long time. There is no shame in saying, "I'm not ready yet" and asking a friend or neighbor for assistance. Safety should always come first even if stepping aside and letting someone help you.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
"I am not sure if my thumb is in my glove or not".
Gloves and moving machinery do NOT mix. We have had so many accidents at work with people getting thier hands pulled into machines because they were wearing gloves. There are many jobs where gloves are necessary, but using a tablesaw is not one of them.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I agree that this is not "graphic" by some standards, in fact I posted this then went to Darryl's post where he actually posted post-accident pictures... oh well. The image lives on in my mind.
To clarify this was a Chop-saw not a table saw.
And I appreciate the fear vs. respect wisdom. I agree and would add that that wisdom can be applied to many aspects of life, fear is a crippling feeling.

I have not reached fear yet, but rather will adjust my safety protocols! And will continue to browse here for ideas on safe operation of routers especially (I'm a new router owner). I just needed to vent and this place has sympathy and understanding to the event. I don't want the respect of the blade to turn to fear of it.

Again good words of wisdom here. Thanks.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 06:46 AM
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RULE NUMBER ONE...never wear gloves around rotating equipment. You are asking for trouble if you do. Sounds like your neighbor found it. He is lucky that it could be reattached and will still be functional.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2010, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlin View Post
To have fear of a tool does show respect of the tool. However, to let fear rule over respect, then one has no business operating tools until they've learned to control that fear. For some, that may take a long time. There is no shame in saying, "I'm not ready yet" and asking a friend or neighbor for assistance. Safety should always come first even if stepping aside and letting someone help you.
I am always fearful of my power tools, as much as I love using them. My last thought before starting them up is where will my hands etc be when the blade passes. I had a friend who lost his right arm in a sawmill and never forget how easy it can happen.

I cut the damned thing twice and its still too short
If you try to fail and succeed what have you done. Confucius:
Knowledge and timber shouldn't be much used till they are seasoned
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2010, 07:59 AM
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I hope your neighbour recovers well. This is a good warning to others to be cautious.

I do agree with others that gloves should never be worn around rotating machinery.

As far as fearing table saws or other equipment. It may be a silly way of looking at it, but I do not fear the equipment, but do fear the repercussions of improper use. I am very comfortable using my tools, because I know I am doing so in a respectably safe manner.

JIM
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 07:50 PM
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I do not fear my tools but I respect them for what they do to wood and what they can do to your hands. I keep the guards on my tools and I know there are times I have to remove them to accomplish some task.

I hope your neighbor recovers soon.

My brother lost his right finger tip last year in a work related accident by him and his working partner not following safety protocol. Then this year he could have lost his thumb on his miter saw that did not have a guard on it. He destroyed the saw after wards. Luckily this is one time that he had on cut resistant gloves and not a bare thumb. He only had a minor cut.

I do wear cut resistant gloves while working around my power tools. So I take my chances. I know this is wrong but as many wood cuts and splinters as I get I try my best to protect my hands and watch where my hands go. I also do not do wood working if I am tired. I call it quits before I get too tired to pay attention.
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