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?
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
I know how to avoid it happening again,
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
I now have added watching the blade come to a stop befor proceeding.
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
Basic rule for table saws - do NOT stick your fingers in the blade
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).
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.
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.
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,
"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
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.
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.
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.
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