Woodworking Accident (another's) and its Psychological Effect on me

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Now why did you have to go and turn this into some kind of Socialism rant? I am quite sure that German Unions would be the first to go ballistic if the employer fired an employee who came to work hung over or for failing to get his 8 hours of sleep.
Dave Hall
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in article snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com, Neuromancer at snipped-for-privacy@pop.net wrote on 1/18/04 9:21 PM:
I too had a go around with my jointer several years ago. I took off most of the first joint of on three fingers. It was the worst pain I had experienced for the longest amount of time. I am self employed and I lost most of a month's work. Months more of healing and difficult adapting to the loss. They are super sensitive to the cold, the ends split and crack and the thought of cold weather, and my keyboarding, fine touch ability, nose picking, personal hygiene and just about everything else has been affected negatively. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not reminded of the stupidity of my actions. However, there's not a tool that I use now, not a power switch that I throw, that I am not keenly aware of where my hands are, and how to safely keep intact the remainder of my digits and whatever else I was born with. For as much bad as it was, I have probably reaped more in safety awareness and possibly saved myself from doing something *really* stupid that would have more dramatic results. It's great to be a bit scared. Now turn that fear into more respect and share it with everyone else who wanders into your shop, an use it to your advantage. The world is full of things we all need a healthy respect for. Guns, automobiles, woodstoves and power tools. Continue to use those you enjoy working with, and rejoice that you learned your respect without having a personal tragedy. Thanks for allowing me time on the soapbox. -still healing-
--
"Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be
recalled and perhaps remedied." - Pearl S. Buck-
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snipped-for-privacy@pop.net (Neuromancer) wrote in message

I read a lutherie article a few years ago, writen by a guy who cut his fingers on a bandsaw. He and the surgeon were chatting during the repair, and the surgeon asked him what the "most dangerous" tool was in a woodshop. The answer was "jointer." He then asked what tool caused the most injuries, with the answer being "bandsaw." Why? The bandsaw "seems" safer, so more people relax when using it. And cut their fingers off while doing so. Being more aware of the potential for injury on the TS means you are much less likely to get injured while using it.
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Scott) wrote

And it's not just power tools. I try to be compulsively rigourous in my power tool use - just like flying, you use the checklist and do it the same every time. But the one serious hurt I've gotten came from hand tooling. While working on a mortise with a 1/2" chisel, I rested my left hand beside the mortise, leaned on the chisel, the board split and the chisel went right through my index finger. Incredibly, it missed all tendons and arteries, but it doesn't quite straighten out anymore.
It's all sharp, it all can hurt you, always know where the edge is going to go *when* it slips.
Jim
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On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 05:58:43 -0800, Scott wrote:

Good Lord! They use bandsaws in butchershops. Need we say more?
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Thanks for all the replies guys, I think in part what the amount of spooking I feel comes from the fact that I am a very novice wood worker. I think experience and time lends a person the confidence they need to know, understand and feel comfortable with the tools they work with.
I can recall an incident that happened to me maybe 8 years ago. I was at my fathers house, pushing maybe a 4 foot long piece of wood through the table saw, using a push stick, cutting a strip maybe 2 inches wide off. I was standing directly behind the saw.
Everything was going well until something pinched, and that strip came flaying back at me. It hit me int he thigh/hip area, did no damage, but I know it could have been much, much worse, maybe even fatal. Thing was, I didn't have a clue that that *could* happen. Since that time I have tried to read newsgroups, articles, anything I can get my hands on for tips of all sorts.
It always seems a little more real to me when someone I know in passing has an accident. That being said, I think woodworking is a great hobby that I really enjoy. Anyway, thanks so much for the advice, I feel better now.
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 18:21:33 -0800, Neuromancer wrote:

What's your point? Accidents happen, many of them due to stupidity.
If you understand Darwin, then these accidents shouldn't bother you.
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something. Something that is going to keep you far away from the blade. Gradually work your way in to more difficult cuts until your fear is gone. The alternate choiced is to sell your TS. If you are scared of your table saw then you will probably be scared of any other power tools that you have. I remember being scared of working on my wood lathe. To start turning large pieces of wood to make something as big as a PV (spelling) handle requied quite a big piece of rough wood. To me this was always (and still keeps my heart rate up) a scary moment. I learned to make sure that the wood was well secured and to always start with very sharp tools. When the bark started flying it was scary. Good luck, i hope you overcome this and carry on with your woodworking. Ken, makin dust in NS

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Fear is good, where appropriate. You should have fear set in when you are doing or are about to do something unsafe. Fear should be your warning signal, not your mode of operation. If you are afraid of your tablesaw, then I would suggest that you don't have a good grasp of what causes accidents with it. By understanding what causes accidents and by taking the proper precautions, you will be able to think about what you are doing instead of being paralyzed with fear.
What did this person do wrong? Obviously, working while tired. It should be like second nature to you that when you start to get tired, stop working or do something which will not maim you, like switch to sanding, scraping or sweeping the floor. Next, I assume there were no guards in place since he was able to shove his whole hand into the blade. Get a proper guard and use it. Use feather boards where appropriate as well as pushsticks. Learn what causes kickback and how to prevent it and there will be nothing to fear.
But don't loose your appreciation for your tools. Frank
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When non-woodworking types come into the shop, after eyeing the TS, BS, jointer and planer the first question they all seem to ask is "aren't you afraid these machines might cut off your [fingers] [hand] [arm}" etc. My standard answer is "Yup, every time I push the 'on' switch and until I push the 'off' switch." Knock on wood, {inside joke, eh?), I've never had an issue, but perk up every time someone else has an unfortunate experience. Someone said its better to learn from another's negative experience than to experience a negative yourself, and I try to live by that phrase. Fear is really the wrong word, the word really is respect. I started as an apprentice butcher at 16 (which convinced me college was the way to go) and learned the semi-hard way (after about 20 stitches in various places) that you never cut yourself with a sharp knife, its always the dull ones which don't go where you want them to go without forcing the cut. When you get paid by piece-work, you get rather aggressive with big band saws, and you learn early to pay attention to spinning sharp things, and pay attention consistently.
I take both lessons to heart when in the shop. Keep tools sharp, hand and power tools. Respect the big machines - they don't discriminate between wood, flesh, or bone. Think of the 'on' switch as the 'it can cut my finger off' switch and pay attention until whatever stops spinning. If the cut seems dangerous to you, it usually is, find another way to skin that cat. Nobody ever has enough clamps, or enough pushsticks or featherboards. Always, always use splitters (and blade guards, but we all tend to take them off sooner or later)on table saws. Make jigs to be sure of safe cuts. Keep a first aid kit in the shop, and put in a phone, 'cause you never know. Mutt
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snipped-for-privacy@pop.net (Neuromancer) wrote in message

I don't think woodworking is markedly different than any other activity with a potential for injury. Take driving for instance. Every day people are maimed and killed because of careless or inattentive behavior. To make matters worse, many times the biggest victims are not the ones who were careless. At least with woodworking, *you* are in control and it's up to you to work safely. Working tired is a bad idea in many ways. Aside from a higher potential for injury, there's also a higher potential to mess up a perfectly good project.
Cheers, Mike
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