Unusual experience in my workshop

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I walked in today after coming back from a New Zealand holiday and saw my TS and felt a little nervous. The last time I used it I cut 2 fingers and gouged a hole in my thumbprint. I think I came close to losing my left index finger, a few mil to the right and I would have. I know what I did wrong, I know how to avoid it happening again, I know I will be more careful, and yet still I am a bit anxious. Could I be losing my nerve? Will I get over it?
Mekon
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When younger, I had a near death experience that involved a circular saw and an artery in my left leg. Ultimately, I grew up to become a carpenter and now use a circular saw almost daily. So to answer your question, yes you probably have (at least temporarily) lost your nerve and yes, you will get over it. Stay out of the shop for a while and design some projects on paper, read WW related stuff , etc. until you get your nerve back. Hope you have a speedy recovery. --dave

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GOOD
I know how to avoid it happening again,
Very GOOD
I know I will be more careful, and yet still I am a bit anxious.
Normal. you will get over that.
Could I be losing my nerve?
No, proabbly not.
Will I get over it?
Yes, if you climb back on.
Every one that knew me thought that I was very safety oriented and yet 17 years ago I whacked off 1/2 of my left thumb, after completing the dado cut and after turning the saw off. Because I had completed the cut I was not sure what had happened, I almost did it again 1 year later. Forunatly this time my thumb was shorter and I only felt the breeze of the dado blade as it coasted down to a stop while I was reaching over to remove the rip fence. The light in my head came on. Knowing exactly what happend is very helpful in knowing how to prevent future accidents. I now have added watching the blade come to a stop befor proceeding.

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Mekon wrote:

yes and maybe .
you are naturally nervous about a tool on which you were injured. Pain is a very good teacher.
It may help if you use the saw for a few small tasks and take extra care in setting up the cut.
Every time you use it and nothing bad happens you will be a bit more comfortable.
Basic rule for table saws - do NOT stick your fingers in the blade
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(snip)

And of course, always leave the workshop with the same quantity of fingers and thumbs as you entered it with! :)
Mekon
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Preferably attached.
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total number of takeoffs equaled the total number of landings...there should NEVER be a difference. This is also why I keep my happy a$$ on terra firma.
Mike
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Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing!
Mekon

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About 6 years ago, I lost about 1/2 inch of my left index and middle fingers to a tablesaw after I turned the saw off, but did not wait until the blade stopped before doing something dumb. I forced myself to start using the saw again while my hand was still bandaged. It weasn't easy to do, but I felt it was necessary. In the beginning I often had flashbacks of the incident at almost anytime. The flashbacks became less and less frequent over time, and now after 6 years I only have flashbacks about once every 3 or 4 months. I'm hoping to be totally rid of them soon. I am a LOT more careful now, and have a much greater respect for all sharp spinning things.
You will get over it (if you have the desire to do so).
MikeG
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20+ years ago, I nicked my left index finger on the table saw. Lost the nail and a tip of the bone. I now know, never try to flick a loose cutoff before the blade come to a stop. Will you get over it? I hope not. You will however, understand your apprehension and move on with your work. I have never forgotten the incident and it has made me a better woodworked and I work more carefully now.
Dave
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Mekon wrote:

table saw ,F
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That is not always possible. In my case I was cutting dado's. Typically a factory guard does not allow it's use when not making through cuts.
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Leon wrote:

That's why I'm looking at building an overhead guard with dust collection.
You could also use a sled with a built-in guard, I suppose.
Chris
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wrote

The sled would not work when cutting groves the length of a board however as you mentioned the overhead would be the way to go. Unfortunately none of the are perfect for every cut.
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On Thu, 09 Nov 2006 22:06:32 GMT, "Leon"

There is only one cut I cannot use my overhead guard for and that's vertical cuts/panel raising, and in those cases, my hands are absolutely nowhere near the blade. Otherwise, that guard is on the saw for each and every cut, without exception, and I have no fear at all of cutting myself.
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Mekon wrote: [snipped for brevity]

Every injury comes with an express delivered package. In it are instruction to NEVER do that again. As was said in here earlier, every so wisely, that it is important to know what happened.
Some years back, I was using a 1-1/8 diameter x 1-1/2" long two flute routerbit with top bearing, so the entire bit was extended. It was mounted in a 5 speed PC production router. It was running at full speed. I use it, along with a 45-degree fence to clean out the inside corners of a 'lazy suzan' corner on a Corian countertop. I had done one side, and was on my way to do the second corner when I realized the cord was not going to make it as it was caught behind one of the legs of my aluminum stands. I held the router, bit pointing up, running, supported by the top of the countertop as I pulled the cord to flip it ontop of the countertop so I could continue the cut. As I flipped the cord, it got snagged behind one the clamps that held my jig/fence in place, so I reached over to give it yet another flip. I got a little too close with my baggy sweater... and as the bit grabbed the material of my sweater, it climbed, router and all, towards my chest. Like a scene out of some monster sc-fi movie.
The bulk of my sweater was wound around the bit, stalling the router, and it tripped the breaker in the router. So here I was, with a 3 1/2 HP router protruding from a mass of mangled material, perpendicular to my chest bone. Somehow, I ended up holding it there, maybe as a reflex to defend myself. Two of my workers came running over to me, one on his cellphone dialing 911, and we started to untangle me. I couldn't take a full breath, as it had wrapped my chest up pretty tight. I could not feel any pain, but expected some serious pain and blood gushing at any second now. Then slowly, as my helper took the router, the whole mess just unwound itself. The sweater was cut all to shit, but enough material had wound itself around to keep the bit itself away from my skin...but just barely. A t-shirt I was wearing underneat, was not tattered. Not a scratch on me, 'cept a heart rate of Neil Armstrong's moonlanding proportions. I did manage a mild bit of shock but the EMS guys calmed me down nicely. One of them said: "Drop your pants, I want to see that horseshoe up your ass, buddy." Laughter releases tension.
For several years that sweater, with its rips and tears, looking a bit like a tie-dyed sunburst radiating from the centre of the chest outward, hung in my mudroom at home. It was a daily reminder till my new wife threw it out one day with the garbage... something I have yet to forgive her for. Maybe I should have told her the story behind it.
Those big router bits take forever to wind down to a stop, maybe some sort of electronic brake would be nice. I think that a lot of accidents happen during the spindown of saws and ather tools. So never mind the SawStop's attempt at legislating their saws, a big help would be to force electonic brakes on these tools. At a friend's lumber store, he has two Makita circular saws on display. Identical, 'cept one has an automatic brake. IIRC $ 25.00 difference. That's an easy 25 bucks, IMHO.
r
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"Robatoy" told this tall tale of routers and sweater armor
It isn't often that you get lucky accident like that. You were quite fortunate that day. You should have bought a lottery ticket!
I understand why you wanted to keep the "evidence" sweater. It would be a constant reminder to practice shop safety. I have a tape measure like that. It is an old, standard Stanley tape measure that is over 30 years old. But it deflected a kickback that laid a nice "scar" into the front of it.
Everytime I put it on, I remember that sharp piece of wood flying at me at great speed. I have no doubt that it would have penetrated me and maybe even gone completely through me. It stuck into the wall behind me after being deflected off my tape measure that was being worn on my shop apron.
It is like a good luck charm. Because I go into a defensive-safety mode when I put it on. I have no intention of ever repeating that experience. I was shaking so bad, I could not continue working. And I am happy to say that I have not experienced any kind of serious shop or tool injury since that incident.
I had a grandfather who served in WW I. He had a small bible with a steel front cover that he wore over his heart. And it had a big dent in it where the bullet hit. He wore that the whole war. I can see why. He also considered it a good luck charm.
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Holy Crap! Glad you're okay. Tom Robatoy wrote:

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seven years ago I was building an oak coffee table as an engagement present for my, now wife, I cut the top off of one of my fingers in the table saw, after a month og healing I tried running the table saw and industrial shaper to finish the work and it took ten times longer than normal. Every pass of the wood forced me to take a five minute break and wipe my brow. Did I forget it? "HELL NO" every time I see an idiot getting his fingers close to the saw I show them muy cut off middle finger. Better safe than sorry.
P.S. We still ahve the coffee table and memories.

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It takes time to get over any type of accident. 5-6 years ago I was starting a bathroom remodel while my wife and daughter went out of town for a week. After gutting the bathroom. I grabbed my Makita recip saw to start cutting the rough opening of the new window. Now the saw was fairly new and was only used for small stuff before this. When I got about 3 ft into the cut the shaft on the saw broke. A quick trip to Lowe's to exchange it and I was back in business.
The saw cut the sides without a problem then as I was near finishing cutting the top the shaft broke again. However this time it broke a little further down. I didn't have time to let go as the shaft caught the sides of the saw and exploded ( not literally but went into a zillion pieces) sent a nice size piece of it into my hand. After a trip to the ER and OR I have a nice little reminder in the palm of my hand as to why you should wear leather gloves while using a recip saw. It took me quite awhile before I could handle a saw without my shirt becoming soaked.
Allen

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