I wanted to urge people to use protective eye gear with my quick story of a
near-miss. Then I figured that what I really wanted was to read of other's
mishaps and close-calls to know what is dangerous. Maybe this thread dies
with 1 post, I hope not. Perhaps it's been done 100 times or more?
Mine: I was using a Dremel Tool (high speed rotary) for sharpening my lawn
mower blade. I was wearing the safety goggles, but it was hot out and I was
sweating into them. When I was done I checked the balance of the blade and
thought I could use a smidgeon off the very end of the blade to make it
The goggles were at the other end of the room. I figured it was a sec or
two of grinding. I got possitioned over the blade too close with no eye
protection. I *knew* the spin direction would throw the shards downward,
I've been doing it for nearly 20 minutes. But I figured that I might as
well get used to a no-exceptions rule, so I walked across the room, cleaned
them out, wiped my face with a towel, and put them on, all the while cursing
myself for being so safe.
I had lost track of the position of the dremel tool and the side of the
blade I was using. It actually was spinning up toward me in that position I
would have used. Shards of metal struck my eye goggles, and peppered much
of my face, at a very high rate of speed.
Thu, Aug 9, 2007, 5:57pm (EDT+4)
(Thomas G. Marshall) doth query:
<snip> Perhaps it's been done 100 times or more? <snip>
Yeah. Check the archives.
I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do
Several years ago I was doing an inspection in a plant where premanufactured
construction was being done. In the area where they were building floors, a
young Amish kid was framing with a hammer and 20d spikes. He and a friend
were showing off by seeing if they could drive the spike in a single blow
(they were able to do it by the way.) Anyway, he hit one of the spikes and
it flew. No harm and they both laughed. He set up the next one and took
swing. He hit it slightly off and it flew directly back towards him. He
screamed and grabbed his face. Some type of milky liquid came running out
between his fingers and I could then see the nail sticking out of his eye
socket. The eye itself was gone. They rushed him to the nearest hospital and
he was then airlifted to a better hospital a few hundred miles away (forget
which one, either Indianapolis or Cleveland). Wasn't able to save it. They
did rebuild the eyeball, but after that he was only able to see light and
dark out of it; nothing else.
Over the years I've seen inexperienced framers cut off fingers, get blown
off roof while carrying decking (he was killed), and other stuff. All it
takes is a moment of carelessness to cripple or maim.
wrote in message
A couple of weeks ago a buddy came over to use some of my tools. He's
probably got 2x the experience I do in woodwork and around a shop, but he
made a mistake. He was using the router in the router table, and put the
work pin on the wrong side of the router bit. Instead of giving him
protection from being drawn into the router, the pin served as a perfect
pivot to throw his small workpiece into the bit. His finger (or thumb, I
don't remember) hit the follower bearing on the bit instead of the cutting
surface, so he wasn't harmed. He was probably 1/4" away from losing part of
a finger. And routers, like belt sanders, don't leave pieces that can be
re-attached. They leave meat dust.
A few weeks ago I was on a job where another fellow was installing
some baseboard. He is 61, been a "handyman" for years. He was
cutting some baseboard with his 10" chop saw. He was holding the
board with his left hand and had the blade turned to 45. What i think
happened was that he was used to making straight cuts and was holding
the board pretty close to the blade-then when he turned it for the 45
he didn't realize that the back of the blade was now that much closer
towards his hand. Left index finger cut about halfway through. He
cut a tendon and was heading to a hand specialist last I heard, likely
to surgery after that.
I had a similar thing happen to me a few months ago.
Knocked a good piece out of my left index finger. Just a momentary lack
of concentration and bang, those machines never apologise.
Went up to the house, poured betadine all over the finger wrapped it in
a dressing and drove down to the local hospital. Was a fun drive as the
ute is a manual 4sp column shift.(We shift with our left hands in Oz)
Nothing much they could do at the hospital as there was nothing left to
stitch over the wound, so a more professional dressing was applied and
home I went.
The finger has a dent in it is still tender
On Thu, 09 Aug 2007 17:57:42 GMT, "Thomas G. Marshall"
Yeah you can get a nearly infinite list of accidents and near
accidents from a google search, but it never hurts to repeat this
My most serious incident was at the band saw. I was resawing a short
board that was a lot higher than my makeshift fence. I was using a
push stick, but because of the low fence I had to push low on the
stock. Because I was pushing low, and it was a short piece so there
wasn't much weight, it started to lift up at the back end.
So now I was paying more attention to what was going on behind the cut
than at the cut, which completed unexpectedly. The stock, the push
stick, and my hand all shot forward, and my knuckle was introduced to
a 1/2" 4 TPI bandsaw blade. Fortunately it didn't go very deep.
It's not usually one thing going wrong that causes problems, it's when
a bunch of little things accumulate that you suddenly find yourself in
an unexpected situation. At those times, just hit the damn red button
20+ years ago I was putting the railing on my deck and I used a couple
36" flat bar clamps to hold the railing to the posts temporarily. I
attached the clamps with the bars pointing out into the yard, not back
over the deck. I stepped back a few feet for a visual and then
walked towards to railing to adjust it. My eyes were focused on the
railing, not on the clamps, so I never saw the end of the steel bar
until it hit my safety glasses. It knocked them off and put a rather
large gash in my forehead, just above my left eye.
After I bandaged myself up and retrieved my safety glasses, I found a
deep scratch that started dead center in the left lens and extended up
to the frame. If not for the safety glasses deflecting the bar up
into my forehead, it would have gone straight into my left eye.
I still have a scar (and the railing) to remind me how important
safety glasses are.
I always wear safety glasses anytime I am working on a project or
using a power tool. I even wear safety glasses when I mow the lawn.
However I was careless at my table saw once and the damage cost about
$3000. I needed to cut out some drawer bottoms from a 1/4" piece of
plywood. Carelessly, I didn't set the blade to the proper height and
I was a little careless holding the plywood against the fence. I was
wearing safety glasses. The peice of plywood kicked back and struck
the fore finger on my right hand. It stung for a moment but the pain
went away quickly. When I looked down at my hand the fore finger was
bent where there is no knuckle but the skin was not broken. I walked
from my shop to the house (about 100 yds) and had the wife take me to
the emergency room. The bone in the finger had a clean break. It
required surgery and a plate and screws were used to repair the
break. The finger still has a lot of scar tissue but it works
normally, no tendon damage. Always take the time to set the blade at
the proper height on a table saw. If I had set the blade at the right
height the kick back would not have been as severe.
On Fri, 10 Aug 2007 21:02:17 +0000, Thomas G. Marshall wrote:
I used to spend more time setting up a cut than actually cutting, pissed
of my foreman du-jour but I almost never had a re-do, and in twenty five
years only had one accident. I was cutting a patch for a bathroom floor
that had rotted out from around the toilet, a complicated shape that I was
cutting with a porter-cable top handle circular saw (77s were too much for
my old, arthritic hands, etc) and dur to the lack of space I was cutting
freehand, well to make an unpleasant story short my saw opened up a sloppy
ragged gash on the thick part of my right hand (where the thumb meets the
wrist) and I wrapped it in my bandanna tightly and drove to the emergency
room. I finished up the next day with 10 stitches and an ace bandage.
And yes I took the time to pack up my tools before I left.
When I was a noob, I was using a fence mounted stop block to cut equal
length parts. A properly sized stop ends well before the blade starts.
Unfortunately, my stop was too long, extending to the area between the
fence and blade.
A cutoff got trapped between the blade and fence, and was launched like
a pitching machine. I got hit in the lower gut hard enough to
initially believe I would soon die. Luckily, the wood had hit my thumb
first. I broke my thumb, but the emergency room folks thought it took
some of the energy away from my abdominal impact.
I've been hit by frozen pucks, hockey sticks, linebackers, the ground
and curbing during serious bicycle crashes, I've stuck my hand into
large scale r/c propellers and had one serious auto accident. This
injury hurt worse than any of that.
A second thought and review of the procedure before the first cut would
have prevented the accident.
Let's be safe...
A quick point about eye wear.
Obviously, eye protection helps protect our eyes from direct damage.
A less mentioned benefit is that even nuisance dust can cause an eye to
blink, blur or heavily tear. Even though light dust irritation is
usually recoverable and only a nuisance, the thought of having my eyes
closed while my hands are near spinning blades and bits, or my bicycle
is traveling at decent speeds gives me the heebie-jeebies.
I find the glasses steam up after a few minutes, especially wearing a mask
filter too. One of those
whole-face guards that the Normster uses on the lathe is much better. Can't
afford a sealing version
with the filter and motorised fan though.
Another less-mentioned -- and less-appreciated -- point is that there are
other parts of your face besides your eyes that should be protected. I don't
believe I'd much enjoy catching chunk of wood in the teeth, or the nose.
Hence, I always wear a full-face shield when operating power tools -- and some
hand tools, too, like hammers.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How do you find that to work for you? I've found my face shield is
easily scratched (polycarbonate) and gets dusty very easily. So using
it is rather a nuisance, is there any way to reduce that?
I haven't used it myself, they make a spray for motorcycle goggles that
creates a no-fog, no-static barrier for plastic. I've heard of others using
it on their face shields and the no-static surface no longer attracts dust.
(The dust is attracted by static).
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