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Wow, that was dumb...

Started by EmannVB, December 09, 2010, 04:17:09 PM

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...And I do mean dumb!  The following event could have been far, far worse than it turned out; I'll tell you all of my stupidity in the hope of keeping someone from doing the same thing.

So it's been mighty cold here in southern WV.  My TK B-20 has been covered for the better part of a month, and today being a heat wave at 30, I decided to uncover her and run through a warm up.  All went smoothly as I moved all the hydraulics and motors as my wife and 7 y/o loaded slab wood into a basket (which was very unusual, as the mill is about a 1/4 mile frm the house, and I'm usually alone...).  I had shut off the hydraulics motor, and had the drive motor at idle, with the blade disengaged.  I heard an unusual vibration, and set about finding it's source.  In the process of looking around, I thought it might be the belt vibrating near the pulley.  I put my right hand on the belt to stop the vibe...  well, in doing so, I tensioned the belt and the motor was at idle.  In a split second, my hand was yanked into pulley.  Luckily, at idle, the motor wasn't strong enough to pull my hand (and arm) all the way around.  It was, however strong enough to pull it from the 4 o'clock position to the 6 o'clock position and hold it there.  I reached up and turned off the drive motor, but was unable to pull the drive train back wards and retrieve my hand (and ego).  I yelled for my wife, in my calmest "oh s*it, this could be bad!" voice and had her take the guard off the blade.  When she got it off, I had her pull the wheel backwards and I got my hand out.  The other piece that saved me was that I had on a pair of heavy John Deere work gloves.  They're really thick, with insulation and plastic lining.  Without them, I think I would have lost a good bit of flesh.  As it turned out, I have a very swollen hand that won't be of much use in the near term and a glove that's now shredded.

The lesson here:  Don't be an idiot like I was.  If you're gonna stick your mitts in the mill, make sure it's OFF...EVERY THING!!  I can't tell you how many times I've adjusted the throat plate with the saw running.  No more, lesson (painfully) learned!


2006 TK B20, 2005 JD TLB 110, 2007 JD 4520, Stihl MS 390, Husqy 350, 1970 Homelite C72, Husky 22 ton splitter, Kawasaki Brute Force 750, and a King Ranch F350 to haul it all!


Good post, Mark.

We all do dumb stuff now and again.  Thanks for the wake-up call.

Yes, sometimes safety has a steep learning curve.  Thank goodness yours came out OK. 

I still look at the end of my finger, every once in a while, to remind me of my lesson.  :D


Thanks for the candid report, Mark.  Maybe your confession will keep somebody else from making the same mistake.  We all get away with little mistakes all the time, and are usually only reminded of the danger right after we didn't get away with one. :D  Might not be a bad idea to get an xray to be sure nothing is broken in that hand. ;)
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Chuck White

Good post Mark!

Good lesson learned.

Most people don't/won't admit to doing something dumb like that, but we've all (most of us anyway) done something dumb and unsafe!
~Chuck~  Cooks Cat Claw sharpener and single tooth setter.  2018 Chevy Silverado and 2021 Subaru Ascent.
With basic mechanical skills and the ability to read you can maintain a Woodmizer  LT40!

Texas Ranger

Battle scars are for sharing, in hopes the other guy can duck, jump, just not do the stunt.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry


Glad that it wasn't worse.  Thanks for another safety reminder. 
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

It's Weird being the Same Age as Old People

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman


I have had my dumb moments too.  Real dumb, in fact.  Thanks for sharing.  I will be a little less dumb tomorrow.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.


Hi Emann

I just wanted to check in while the old geezer brigade was in the front.

I have the scars like all and frequietly remember how I got them.  We would like to think that we have learned from the scars and won't repeat the mistakes but old Murphy is always hanging around to bite right there where you sit down.  We're still as likely toward those forgetful moments as we ever were.

Thanks for the reminder.
Slabs  : Offloader, slab and sawdust Mexican, mill mechanic and electrician, general flunky.  Woodshop, metal woorking shop and electronics shop.


Very glad you're OK.  Things can go either way and we must be thankful when it's only a close call.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide 55 Yanmar,  LogRite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed


I'm a cabinetmaker and have had way too many close calls around my machines.  I have discovered that I never get in harms way when I'm using ALL my thinking.  The moment of inattention can be disasterous.  Now that I've added a 48" circle of death to my life, I try to remember the old mantra from my millwrighting days, "Lock out, tag out, always"

morbid fury

I have to "hand" it to you , that was close. Just a reminder that it takes a second to do something that can go bad. I can see me doing the exact thing. Thanks for the post. I would much rather read it than live it. Hope you heal quick.
If at first you don`t succed, skydiving is not for you.
Thomas 2411
Husky 266xp
Honda 850 sportsman
Thomas log Arch
Happiness is a fresh pile of sawdust


So it would seem I have no broken bones  8)  Aside from being mighty swollen and sore I think I'm going to be semi-usable tomorrow.  Gotta build the doors for the barn before Monday as it'll be 9 degrees!  The one things still causing a bit of concern is that I have to feeling in my thumb.  It works just fine, but feels like it has Novacaine in it.  Must have mashed a nerve!

Having recently retired from the Navy, I find that our tradition of reporting our injuries for the benefit of others is worth the embarassment.  And for the record, you guys have been far easier on me than a ready room full of Aviators  :D

Be safe!

2006 TK B20, 2005 JD TLB 110, 2007 JD 4520, Stihl MS 390, Husqy 350, 1970 Homelite C72, Husky 22 ton splitter, Kawasaki Brute Force 750, and a King Ranch F350 to haul it all!


...something about people in glass houses throwing stones :D


Glad your OK & thanks for the post. I had a fall last January while carrying some boards & fell on the ice. I thought I broke some ribs but x-rays were negative. About ten days later my hand started to swell & I couldn't use it at all. Seveal weeks, some xrays & an MRI later they determined the bone was bruised. I never realized it when I fell but I must have landed on my hand. Hopefully the bones in your hand arn't bruised. The Doc said when you bruise a bone it takes about a week for it to show up.
Have a great day

gator gar

I worked with a welder who, I guess had his mill engaged and decided to grease the roller bearings as they were turning. The blade caught the grease hose, snatched his hand in there and now,he is the proud owner of three fingers and a thumb on one hand. Cut one finger smooth off at the knuckle.


thanks for the note of caution.  We all need these wake up calls to remind us to keep our mind on what we are doing.

I was at a farm show once, and watched a man apply belt dressing to the inside of a running belt by hand on a shingle mill.  I put that in my "not smart category".
Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Just Me

 Glad you are ok. I di that same thing with a cement mixer that was running when I was a kid.

In thirty five years of woodworking I have had some serious injurys. All in all I have cut or mangled five fingers, and cut the same one off twice!

I never did the same thing twice but seem to always be able to find new ways to do damage. My last one cut off my left index, half of my thumb, and half way into my middle finger. The middle finger and thumb were saved, the index is gone. The index was sown back on before, guess it was just not meant to be.

People startling me is my big problem, three of my five injuries were being startled when concentrating on the task at hand. In the shop I can lock the door, but on site I have to watch it.

I am much more careful now that I have realized that I am not superman............


iv had lots of those times when i think " what the hell was i thinking" most of the time the answer is i wasnt.

glad your ok. dont do it again.
god bless america god save the queen god defend new zealand and thank christ for Australia

backwoods sawyer

That was a close call!!!
I was working night shift when the sorter operator shut the mill down and sounded the alarm. He was missing the end of his index finger. When he returned to work, I asked him to show me what had happened. It had been a slow night and he had noticed a small hole in the chain guard and had stuck his finger in the hole. These machines will bight and deserve that respect.
Backwoods Custom Milling Inc.
100% portable. . Oregons largest portable sawmill service, serving all of Oregon, from our Backwoods to yours..sawing since 1991


 now that was funny. i guess he found out what the chain guard was for.


I don't know what you guys are talking about , those things never happen here ...  ???    :-X :-X ;)
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .



think i may build that belt guard ive ben puting off


Looks as if I've lost the feeling in my thumb and index finger for good.  Just seems to be on the inside of the thumb and index finger.  Not too bad considering!

So I took some time off from the mill, just as a "breather".  Decided to put up the trolley doors on the back of my new barn... yeah, ladder came out from under me and the metal trolley channel caught me under the arm pit!  Geez, I think I need to hibernate until Spring!

Y'all stay safe (and warm!)

Hazardously yours,
2006 TK B20, 2005 JD TLB 110, 2007 JD 4520, Stihl MS 390, Husqy 350, 1970 Homelite C72, Husky 22 ton splitter, Kawasaki Brute Force 750, and a King Ranch F350 to haul it all!

backwoods sawyer

You ought not to move, you never know when one of those computer cables will trip you up, and no power tools either. ;D
Backwoods Custom Milling Inc.
100% portable. . Oregons largest portable sawmill service, serving all of Oregon, from our Backwoods to yours..sawing since 1991


Quote from: backwoods sawyer on December 23, 2010, 02:07:11 AM
You ought not to move, you never know when one of those computer cables will trip you up, and no power tools either. ;D

Yeah, I have times when I think this might just be the best idea... I just recently reached over my motorcycle to get something, and forgot about the muffler being in the way... sigh.
So, how did I end up here anyway?

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