It’s not always easy to admit your mistakes… though it helps a little if others can learn from what you did wrong. A recent thread at WoodNet caught my attention: Admit it! The OP (original poster) asks: “Who has actually hurt themselves in the work shop and how. Admit it. It will help others NOT make the SAME mistake.”
What follows are grisly, forehead slapping stories that I hope will give you the chills. I picked out some of the best “illustrations” that could serve as friendly reminders for the next time you’re in the woodshop. If you haven’t checked it out in awhile, you should also catch up with ToolCrib.com’s Ultimate Guide to the Top Ten Most Dangerous Woodworking Power Tools.
Here goes, 10 woodworking injuries from the Woodnet thread Admit It!
1) GNP: Took my hand and swept the sawdust off my router table. It was turned off but about 1/2″ of bit was sticking up.
2) mongo: Lots of nics and small custs from sharp tooling and whatnot. Worst though was some poorly stacked lumber that fell on my head right after milling. nice sharp 90 degre edge cut my head open nicely.
3) DANNYBOY: Was wearing a hoodie jacket cause the shop was cold, rounding over edges with a 1/4″ roundover bit on a PC690. Dang drawstring got caught in the bit, ripped out of the jacket with blinding speed, and proceeded to horsewhip me about the face and neck before I could turn the damn thing off. Good God did that hurt! I had welts for a month.
4) BloomingtonMike: Kickback accident on old Delta saw cutting 3/4″ ply 12″X12″. Not using a guard. Man that Fixed that flaw in my work process. I have had a guard on 100% since then other than dados. That board was like a missle and hit me in the gut – only time in my life I was ever glad I was a fat dude. Cut me through my shift (no hole in shirt!) and it was a mark for 6 months!!
5) UncleJoe: My worst injury was when cleaning the shipping grease off of new jointer blades. I was holding a blade with one hand and a rag in the other, and wrapped the rag around the blade. When I swiped up, it went right through the rag and into my index and middle fingers.
6) SwedishIron: I was using my compound miter saw to cut up a strip of hard maple with the two sides ripped at an angle, i was making sliding dovetail keys for a project. I was holding the maple with the keys widest part flat on the table up against the fence, the wood must have shifted when I was making my last cut. The maple board squashed my middle finger like a grape as the blade quickly flipped the key against the fence and threw it behind the miter saw.
7) Murray M: “Uncle: just lost the 2 best fingers on his right hand (he’s righthanded) in the tablesaw–DOING SOMETHING EXTREMELY STUPID–took an 8″ piece of wood through the saw backwards. He was in a hurry and didn’t want to take time to reset the fence.”
8) DallasStarter: Up until age 17 I had no fear (or respect apparently) for power tools. Then I used my index finger as a hold-down while trying to plane (on a jointer) 1/16″ of thickness off some slats which were already only 3/8″ thick, 1″ wide and about 5″ long. Not one of my finer moments. Suffice to say it could’ve gone better, but I’m probably better off because I now view power tools with the respect that should be afforded.
9) wing nut: Got a new uni 12 yrs ago, one of the first cuts, 2×8 short piece of oak, kickback I think I cracked a couple of ribs, took 2-3 months to heal.
10) Andy Casiello: I had a kickback accident a couple weeks ago on my brand new Grizzly TS. I didn’t have the guard on. Ripped a 6″ wide piece of red oak that was about 15″ long. I made the cut, pushing the board through the saw with a push stick in my right hand, and a push block in my left. Once I was through the board I released pressure off the board with my right hand and went to shut the saw off. Instantly the board fired and hit me in the thigh. Hurt like hell for a few mins. I have a pretty good black and blue there. I shut the saw off and installed the guard. It’s staying on there.
More safety resources:
NewWoodworker.com Safety Survey
Which power tool causes the most injuries?
The Consumer Products Safety Commission Hazard Screening Report: Power Tools and Workshop Equipment (PDF)