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Author Topic: Accidents Happen Fast  (Read 4274 times)

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Offline bugdust

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Accidents Happen Fast
« on: January 18, 2011, 09:30:34 PM »
Probably the most fearful and respected tool in my shop is the table saw, and with that always in the back of my mind I still got bit. I was sawing a 1/8" groove in a drawer bottom when the wood kicked back an threw my finger on the blade. As always I use a push stick so my fingers won't be close to the blade. My left hand was 6" from the blade on the opposite side and the kick back actually rolled my hand over causing my left forefinger to touch the blade. This accident happen so fast I still can't picture it. The cut is about 2" and the tendon to the forefinger is cut.The surgeon will attempt to sew the tendon back tomorrow at the VA hospital. It just shows that no matter how careful you are an accident is a split second away. To help make me fill not feel so dumb, how about sharing some of your misfortunes. Maybe it will help remind us all to be more careful. A little prayer would be nice too.  :'(
Since I retired I really like work: It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 09:40:01 PM »
I escaped an accident when I was in high school using a drill press.  I was building a guitar, and was thinning the headstock to the proper thickness using a router bit in a drill press, just like a book I was using showed.  I had the arbor locked 5/8" above the table.  The bit grabbed and drug my thumb under the spinning bit, slicing the flesh in a few spots, scared the crap out of me: I thought I had cut my thumb off. 

Thanks for sharing with us, do you know how the kickback happened?  I have never experienced a kickback, and never really understood how one happened, and how dangerous it was until I saw a video on the sawstop site.

I hope the surgery works out for you.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 09:45:54 PM »
My experience is that anytime the sawblade is below the thickness of the wood, or even just above it, and if the board racks even a little, the board can climb up over the blade sideways, and that creates a projectile of fast-moving-board.  Then, all kinds of nasty things happen. 
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 10:04:11 PM »
Sorry for the accident, bugdust. :(

I'm a little unclear on the position of your left hand leading up to the kickback.  Was your left hand on the outfeed side of the blade?  Were you reaching for the board after the cut?
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Busy Beaver Lumber

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 10:19:07 PM »
Prayers are with you Bugdust for a speedy and complete recovery.

Worst accident I ever had involved a bobcat skid steer back in NJ. We were doing some landscaping at a friends house and I was moving scoops of sand around to his back yard for a patio we were getting ready set with pavers. The yard was nice and flat and the turf was very firm. I had made about 4 trips back and forth and was taking the next scoop around when all of a sudden, and without any warning, the ground gave way on the left side of the machine and before I knew it, the machine toppled over on its left side. My head hit the inside of the cage and I took 5 stitches at the hospital.

When we returned to his house we went to see what caused the ground to give way without warning, only to find an old hillbilly septic which was built using a half dozen, now fully rotted 55 gallon steel drums burried in the ground. He never knew it was there since the house was connected to city water and sewer.
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Offline SPIKER

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 11:10:01 PM »
Back in 81~83 some time in JR High me and my Friend Paul Zinsmester were building a FFA projects. (Green Houses) & were ripping 1/4" plywood down to 4 or 6" x 8' on a BIG OLD table saw (full production unit probably 3~5hp).  Paul had on an old army types cotton shirt.   The cuff was tattered some and had a string hanging.   We had the blade up about 1~1.5" and as an OLD saw & he was using one of our NEW push blocks on the saw (a different project) and when pushing the drop through it caught the string yanked his arm down towards the blade.  I ripped the CUFF off and about 1" of the shirt instantly he yanked his arm back revealing not a scratch@! :o 8)   Was probably the closest call for what could have been a really REALLY bad accident.    I still dont know how nothing was removed from Paul to this day.

P.S. for some reason the site has not been posting my posts.   Click post and go back and my posts are missing.   happened about 3 or 4 times in the last week...   So had to RE-POST this one tonight..

Mark
I'm looking for help all the shrinks have given up on me :o

Offline tyb525

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 11:15:22 PM »
Last spring I was cutting a tapered piece of 1/4" birch plywood using one of those cheap taper jigs, well my right hand slipped on the aluminum jig as I was pushing it and it wound up right in the blade. Luckily, I had the blade set so the teeth just barely protruded above the surface of the plywood so the cut wasn't very deep, it just ripped the skin and some meat off. Couldn't do stitches as there was nothing to stitch together. It sure was ugly, but it fully healed in about 2 months I think, now it is fine just a scar.
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Offline low_48

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 11:21:22 PM »
So sorry bugdust, hope you heal up pretty good. I have a joint fused on my left middle finger from a saw accident. I always tell people who ask about my lifetime of woodworking, that I don't have all ten any more, I'm down to 9 and 3/4. I'm firmly convinced that the most hazardous area on the table saw is the back side of the blade. I never get my hands back there!

Offline paul case

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 11:27:00 PM »
my prayers going up now for your surgery and soon recovery.
i had a bad accident when i was 13. july 6, 1988 11:07 pm my folks decided to shut off the window ac unit and turn on the attic fan and open the windows. i was in the top bunk and reached over to pull on the roller blind which went all the way up so while reaching for it i started to slip out of bed and caught myself with my left hand thru the window. cut the  vein, nerve, and tendons on the lower part of my hand. thought i would bleed to death before we could possibly get to the hospital 22 miles away. 3 days in the hospital 3 hours of surgery and lots of physical therapy and i probably have 75% use of the last 2 fingers on my left hand. still half numb and wont bleed much if i cut them by accident. sorry no power tools in my worst accident.
i am fortunate to be alive. pc
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Offline Warbird

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 12:21:11 AM »
Prayers for a quick & full recovery.  I've never had a serious incident with my table saw and never want to.  I've had my fair share of mistakes elsewhere, though.

Offline redbeard

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 12:32:48 AM »
sorry to hear of your injury Bugdust our prayers are with you tomarrow on your surgery may you have a speedy recovery. I know about kickbacks they happen quick usually its a jammed finger or thumb or a bruised rib. I operate woodworking machinery at my regular job and at home, for me its when your doing the repetitve cuts that can get you in trouble you might get in a hurry or your thinking about the next phase  and then something like this can happen quickly. I was using a Hotdog saw this summer and after several days of using it I hit a staple that was broke off in the wood while ripping, Kapow! that cartridge sounded like a .45 caliber going off and believe me it stopped the blade it pretty much toasted the blade and i had more cuts on my fingers from trying to remove the cartridge from the blade but it definitelly works! Only draw back is cartridge is 75.00 and i toasted a nice 10" rip blade.
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Offline Burlkraft

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 09:09:31 AM »
I hope ya heal fast Bugdust 

It sure cudda been a lot worse
Why not just 1 pain free day?

Offline Onthesauk

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 10:46:32 AM »
I read a quote out of Fine Woodworking 20 years ago talking about treating your woodworking power tools just like rattlesnakes.  Always makes me think about it.
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2011, 11:11:20 AM »
Sorry about the injury.  You are experienced and careful, and look what happened.  It may not make you feel better, but my hopsital is home of the National Hand Center.  I don't specialize in hand injuries, but you should see all the stuff that rolls in here daily.  Most of it is from inexperienced people thinking they know what can go wrong and ignoring it.

Is the tendon that's cut the flexor tendon (on the palm side of the finger that bends it) or the extensor tendon (the one that straightens it)?
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline ErikC

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2011, 11:37:03 AM »
 I never cut myself with a table saw, but had to have a tendon repaired in my left forefinger one time. It works fine, but is sore in cold weather more than the others. There is a small lump of scar tissue in there somewhere I can feel most of the time. Overall I am real happy how mine turned out. I hope yours does even better. :)
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Offline bugdust

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2011, 08:32:17 PM »
Just to let everyone know the surgery went great. The surgery lasted 1 hour and they were able to attach the tendon (doctorb, that was the extensor tendon.) Thanks to all showing concern. It's a real comfort to hear encourging words from guys you've never met. That's what I call FAMILY. Thanks!
Since I retired I really like work: It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.

Offline CX3

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2011, 10:21:37 PM »
Prayer sent
John 3:16
You Better Believe It!

Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2011, 02:17:53 PM »
On March 8, 2010 I cut the fingers of my left hand while using a table saw.

My accident was due to absolute stupidity on my part. I’ve been using power woodworking equipment for over fifty years and certainly knew better…

What happened? I was using a tablesaw to rip 5/4 cypress slabs into strips to use as stickers when stacking my lumber for air dying. I put my left hand beyond the blade to pull the remainder of the board back to begin the next cut. I got too close to the blade with my little finger, it caught the finger, pulled my hand down, cutting each finger worse as it went.

Contributing factors:


  • No blade guard. If I had been using one the accident probably would not have happened. (I was using a push stick to push the cut strip past the blade.)
  • I was wearing kid leather gloves. The blade initially caught the small finger of the glove.
  • I was complacent, not really paying full attention to what I was doing.


I was very lucky that I was able to get good medical care quickly. Within thirty minutes I had been through triage and was in a treatment room at the ER. The surgeon who worked on me is said to be the best in the area. I think he made the right decision when he removed the badly damaged portion of my index finger back to the first joint.

So, don’t be stupid like me. Use guards and other protective features of the equipment. Do not wear gloves when working with moving equipment. And stay alert. Don’t daydream while sawing out the 299th piece…

Now, nine months later I'm in pretty good shape. I went for hand therapy three time a week for three months and it helped a lot.

Here what it looked like in June:



I seem to have a thing about injuring this hand.  Back in 2007 I put a nail into it using a nail gun:



And a year later I injured it again when a tire blew up on my air compressor... No pictures of that one and the damage was a lot less that it appeared initially.

So, ya'll be careful out there, you hear?

Herb

Offline ponderosae

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2019, 05:10:22 PM »
So, ya'll be careful out there, you hear?

Yes, thanks. I can appreciate learning from the experiences of others (good or bad). I've heard about this happening before, especially when people were unaware of the hazards (somebody has a blog about their first table saw they got at Sears, and lost a few fingers). But Murphy's law is ever present, so I'm glad that I don't have enough room for a shop, and mostly use hand saws (except for a jigsaw sometimes on plywood). I don't always cut perfectly, since most of the surface isn't level around here, but the funny thing is, I'm often fitting to non-square areas (for shelves and such), where the mis-cuts usually work in my favor (and I can't mis-cut my fingers off)!

I guess a hammer is about the most dangerous tool I use around my fingers (or loudest for the sake of wearing earmuffs, ha), but I'll usually pre-drill with screws to get the nails in easily without having to handle them much (or split the wood especially). Holding the nail with pliers could be a good idea too. I've only done that to prevent one from bending through a knot, but I got some chisels with hand guards (or wrapped tape around the punches—which I can also use to hit nails in from a distance). No nail guns for me, thanks.

Not to be a power tool critic, obviously they are more popular than hand tools, when I couldn't even find a flat rasp at any hardware store (and had to order one made for horse hooves)! Oh Wilbur, I'm just not in that much of a hurry to get 'r done (or get well soon either). Yeah, but I could get arthritis, so I'll probably keep my hand crafting to a minimum. Because accidents can happen slowly too (even typing this out could be dangerous on that note). smiley_anxious

Offline charles mann

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Re: Accidents Happen Fast
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2019, 02:31:42 PM »
I was using my 4” angle grinder with a cut off wheel to cut some 1/2” flat stock. I was back cutting when the blade grabbed and twisted, exploding and kicking the grinder up and back. I ALWAYS wear some for of eye protection and that day was an example of why. When the blade exploded, it sent shrapnel in all direction, including into my face, then a milisec later later, the grinder hit me just above the left eye and just left of the nose bridge. I grabbed my face and held pressure for a min or so, then removed my hand to check for blood. Reluctantly, there was minimal blood, but dang my head was hurting. I noticed my glasses on the ground, nearly cut in half as i walked to my tck to look in the mirror and all i had was a small cut. Looking in the mirror, i noticed i had a face full of abrasive wheel chunks peppering my face and neck. I inspected what was left of my glasses and the lenses had pop marks from the wheel and i realized how lucky i was from a $2.99 pair of HF safety glasses. 

Iv even had a grinder with a wire wheel kick back and tangle the wheel in my outer shirt and stopping in my undershirt with a few minor scratches from wire wheel on my stomach. 

Power tools can and will get away faster than we can react. 
Temple, Tx
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