How not to use a router

My arm has been in bandages from beyond my fingers to just short of my elbow for four weeks. All because I was in a hurry and could not take the time to install the handles on my 1 3/4 hp Porta-Cable router while I made just one cut. Alright, I had a 3/4 diameter pattern bit in it. Alright, I was doing a climb cut (just cleaning it up).
When the router jumped it cut my left hand from the base of my thumb towards my elbow about six inches. If the router had came down across my wrist I would have lost my hand. Thank God it did not, I only lost flesh and will regain 100% of motion and control.
It only took 12 hours to get it fixed. First to the emergency room where they controlled the bleeding and went looking for a hand surgeon. Then to a different hospital where a hand surgeon was the trauma surgeon for the day (real lucky on my part).
I am probably four more weeks away from starting therapy (physical)
Ya know, if I spent the extra 15 minutes setting up my router table this story would never of happened.
If you are right handed, and cannot use your left hand at all (suddenly) simple tasks (toothpaste, toilet paper, tying your shoes, etc.) become real challenging.
There are many people with much more serious problems but I could have prevented this one completely.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/30/2011 9:39 PM, Ed Ahern wrote:

Very sorry to hear about that. Many of us are just luckier, having done some similar things and got away with it.
Hope you heal fast, good luck, and thanks for the reminder that none of us can be too careful.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 4/15/2010
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wow... I have dodged a few bullets in my time, but I guess in some way you were lucky as well. Thanks for reminding us to remain vigilant
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Ed Ahern" wrote:

<snip the just one more story> ----------------------------------------- Sorry for your mishap.
Glad to see you will be able to recover.
Lew
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ed:
I'm very glad to know it wasn't an irrecoverable catastrophe. Best wishes on a full recovery.
There isn't anyone who hasn't used tools when tired, miffed or otherwise distracted who can't tell or be on the verge of telling a similar account. Thanks for reminding all of us what is most important.
Regards,
Edward Hennessey

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am very sorry to hear about your accident. I think everyone who reads what you wrote will take away something from it. I certainly wish you the fastest recovery possible.
Bill in IN.
Ed Ahern wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I also have had some injuys by not taking the time to set up properly, however not as serious as yours. But I am learning and getting smarter about what can happen. WW

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hope you heal fast and get completely rehabilitated.
Oh, and thanks for sharing this with us. A very beneficial reminder for all of us!
--
"He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy! "
Brian's Mum
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Condolensces. Hope you're getting a suitable amount of painkillers. And as far as those real challenges go, take some relief in that it could have been your dominant right hand that was injured. Then stuff like you've described above becomes much more of an irritation. So, heal up fast and once that's done, we want to see pictures of the scar you'll have to remind you what could have happened.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

<snip> Hope you heal fast, Ed. Get a good therapist, and do the exercises religiously. Get the good painkillers too (I got prescribed Ultracet, which is a good one, just below Percoset, and not addicting too much <grin>). DAMHIKT.
I cut a relatively small piece of 1/4" luan, when the cutoff decided to ride the tablesaw several years ago. I needed plastic surgery on the middle bone in my left ring finger (I'm right handed, and the piece came off the right side of the saw), because the tendon was partially torn. The router has been kind to me so far. (Knocking wood, uh, head). Have to really sharpen my chisels so they don't jump into the meat part of my fingers anymore.
--
Best regards
Han
email address is invalid
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not good, but not uncommon either. It is a dangerous tool. Have been an expert witness in cases like yours, not fun either. http://patwarner.com/safety.html ********************************************************************************

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Glad to see you're still hanging around these parts, Pat.
Ed, thanks for posting your story. I'm glad to hear that the docs say you'll recover 100%.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ed Ahern wrote:

Came to the conclusion long ago that setup is 9/10ths of the job on almost everything you do. Hoping you get well soon and learn the hard lesson. Glad it wasn't any worse.
--
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can't make them THINK"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ouch. That has to hurt, but as you indicate it is probably a good lesson in safety. I got a comparatively minor nick from my table saw several years ago that removed most of the meat from the end of a finger and chipped the bone. Very painful but pretty easy heal. I have not taken my eyes off of that blade, while it is turning, since then. Take care of your wound because they can escalate.
Your post reminded me of the Modern Masters show several years ago. They did one on Sam Maloof and focused on the process he went through to build on of his rocking chairs. They actually showed video of him holding one of the long vertical rails in one hand, and a fairly hefty router in the other (probably a Bosch 1600 series). He held the rail in front of him and shaped the rounded edges... some of the routing done at arm's length.
It made my spine contract, and the host even mentioned his routing technique. Sam smiled and said something like "Yeah, I pick up a band aid now and then, but it gets the job done quickly." I'm thinking "Holy crap and he still has hands!" I guess that is why he was a master - and lucky. Imagine the strength that guy had in his hands and arms.
RonB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I remember seeing the same thing, and thinking to myself "What an IDIOT!"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
Ouch. That has to hurt, but as you indicate it is probably a good lesson in safety. I got a comparatively minor nick from my table saw several years ago that removed most of the meat from the end of a finger and chipped the bone. Very painful but pretty easy heal. I have not taken my eyes off of that blade, while it is turning, since then. Take care of your wound because they can escalate.
Your post reminded me of the Modern Masters show several years ago. They did one on Sam Maloof and focused on the process he went through to build on of his rocking chairs. They actually showed video of him holding one of the long vertical rails in one hand, and a fairly hefty router in the other (probably a Bosch 1600 series). He held the rail in front of him and shaped the rounded edges... some of the routing done at arm's length.
It made my spine contract, and the host even mentioned his routing technique. Sam smiled and said something like "Yeah, I pick up a band aid now and then, but it gets the job done quickly." I'm thinking "Holy crap and he still has hands!" I guess that is why he was a master - and lucky. Imagine the strength that guy had in his hands and arms.
RonB
IIRC Sam Maloof did not have whole digits.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<"Describe exactly how accident happened snipped ..............>
Hope you heal quickly, and there is no residual damage.
I have had accidents, some this serious some not, but isn't it amazing how a 1.00347 second episode gets played back by our mind in three minute long clips? Pre-accident, the accident, the .0358 second span when we realize what has happened and what we did wrong, the time span thinking of "Oh, shit, now I'm in trouble with SWMBO, the scrambling for bandages, the "Oh, shit, how much is this going to cost, and am I covered, and lastly, "Is there any way I can cover this up ............. maybe just wear a long sleeved shirt for a few months?"
Not making light of a very serious episode, just reflecting on my own thoughts from those 1.00347 second episodes.
Now, go buy yourself a damn fine router table AND LEAVE IT SET UP. For those little jobs where it's too much trouble to set up a router table. I have four routers, two loose, and two on tables. I hardly ever use the loose ones except when the workpiece is too big.
Glad to hear it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Get well soon.
Steve - Only a newbie, and have the scars to prove it...........................
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. Download the book. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Well I have said this many times, regardless of how careful you think you are it is more a matter of when and not if an accident will happen. I lost half my left thumb 20 years ago so I know exactly how you feel. The hard part is buttoning that long sleeve button. ;~) Good luck with recovery, I never went through physical therapy although it was suggested.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That never would have happened if he'd had a RouterStop router (Now only $37.5k!), huh?
(Condolences on your minor bad luck and congrats on the major good luck, Ed.)
-- If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do. -- Samuel Butler
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry to hear about your accident. Glad to hear it wasn't worse and you are on the mend. I certainly hope it mends very well. And thanks for reminding us (me) to be careful to avoid these accidents. `Casper
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.