Recovering, but thought all should make note... Heed those safety warnings.

Well, I finally answered that age old question "how could anybody be stupid enough to do that?", and managed to put my fingers into my nice new Freud Dado saw. The good news is the surgeon was quite skilled and it looks like I will retain the correct length on all of them, although they will look pretty ugly. Cutting a 3/16" deep dado in a piece of 2x4 it started to lift up so I went to put my hand on it to hold it down while pushing it into the blade with a stick. It was already completely over the blade and over an inch and a half thick, so I didn't see the danger. It happened so fast I still don't know exactly what took place, just that my ring finger and middle finger on my left hand were suddenly hamburger after the board kicked back.
Anyway, use that safety stuff folks, it really does happen.
--
-Jim


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stupid
like
lift
the
kicked
I hope you recover full use and speedily. I had a fight with a chain saw years ago, and almost had to change my name to 9of10.
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jtpr wrote:

Ouch! Glad it wasn't any worse.
What specifically will you do differently in the future making cuts like these? How could this accident have been prevented? My guard & splitter have to come off for cutting dados...
-- Mark
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I don't want to criticize Jim, accidents happen and I wish him a speedy recovery and hope his fingers heal well enough to continue to enjoy woodworking. The two rules I learned many moons (more than 2 decades) ago, before I ever cut a board on my grandfather's table saw:
1. NEVER reach over the blade, and,
2. despite the urge to push a board down onto the blade when it rides up, DON'T. Do what it take to pick the board UP, off the blade, and then start over. usually downward pressure on the trailing end of the board is sufficient,, or you can pick it up by the edge. Grandpa ran a furniture sample shop with about 12 employees and I've seen a few serious injuries from people pushing the work back down onto a table saw blade.
With regards, Richard
http://members.ispwest.com/rriddle

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I guess rule #1 (learned the hard way) is when something isn't going as planned, hit the "red" button and figure out why, fix the problem then try again. It is kind of amazing how fast the human brain reacts to things and your appendages get into the line of fire without you realizing it.

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Mark Jerde wrote:

Me too.

Can't speak for him, but after hearing his tale, I started examining my own practices. I could have the same mishap.
I think the solution is to use a hold down paddle thingie. Flat board about say 3" x 6" or something with a handle on it. Hold the handle, press against the wood, that way if you have one of those mystery kickbacks, the paddle thingie acts as a shield. I've seen a factory version of that somewhere. Maybe Lee Valley. I'll bet that's what they're all about.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery, Jim.
Another poster has pointed out that one should never allow one's hand to go over a running blade, be it saw, planer, router or spindle.
If you have problems, then use featherboards or hold-down springs whenever possible.to keep the work down and tight to the fence. They might be a PITA so set up, but we can usually find spare time, where we can't find spare fingers. Push sticks/blocks help as well.
Cheers,
Frank

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This does remind me a bit of my router accident a couple of years ago.
Mangled fingers sure do hurt, don't they? And your pride hurts worst of all.
I was surprised (like you) to find out just how sudden and violent a kickback can be. I like to use the analogy that I was counting on the workpiece to protect my hand from the bit, when an NFL placekicker suddenly booted the workpiece across the room.
In retrospect, it would have been so easy to make a push block or jig.
I was lucky; my two outside fingers on my left hand brushed over the top of a large panel raising cove bit and I lost some flesh and a bit of fingernail root. No bone damage, but some obvious changes to my fingers. It's a permanent reminder to stop and think.
I hope you heal well, and I know the experience will make you a more patient and safer woodworker, even if you want to leave your tools alone for a while, like I did.
--Martin
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Martin McCrorey wrote:

Anything can get you though. I have one of those on my left index finger. Big scar, big numb spot. I slipped with a backsaw cutting a piece I didn't have secured very well. It pivoted, slipped out of the vise, and I guillotined the saw into my finger.
Sad thing is, my left hand was just idle by my side at the time. I didn't have it in harm's way at all. It was just the trajectory the saw took as it slipped. Perhaps I was unconsciously reaching up to catch it or something.
I'm glad it wasn't something under power. I never really thought about the potential for harm using a simple hand-powered saw like that. I could have severed a tendon easily. I got lucky.
(I need to look into getting a chain mail gauntlet for my left hand. :)
--
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It happened so fast I

kicked
Did you look at the wood afterwards? Is it mangled too.
This happened to me 14 years ago and the wood I was cutting looked fine with no ragged tooth marks. I blanked out the incident and realized 1 year later that the accident actually happened after I had completed the dado and turned the saw off. I cut my thumb as the blade was coasting down to stop and reached over to remove the fence.
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Thanks for all the thoughts. I went into Sears afterward and was talking to a guy I know there in the table saw area. His recommendation was to always clamp a featherboard to the fence AND the table. That way it is held two ways. I also just bought a couple of push blocks and the biggest damn push stick thing I could find from Lee Valley. I'm NEVER getting near that blade again. I don't mind taking time to set up, I do this for relaxation, not work, so I should NEVER be in a rush.
Thanks again.
--
-Jim


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Hope you get well soon.
Do you still have that piece of wood? Somebody else wrote in that they used the devil timber and made a push block out of it as a reminder.
Myself, I made a push stick before I powered up my saw for the first time, because fellow ww'ers were kind enough to remind me.
-Phil Crow
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I still have it. gonna mount it on the wall. Remember, I was using a push stick, I should have used 2 of them instead. Damn, it's all so obvious now. I just hope my 2 boys learned something by this, then it is worth it.
--
-Jim


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