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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Clackamas Oregon

    Default OK post your close calls

    its woodworking season and we need to think about safety:
    Table saw kick back last night.
    Like most good ‘close call’ stories it was late, I was feeling in hurry, I was staring at a huge pile of wood. So I decided to use the existing dato stack on the table saw to cut hand holds rather than the usual jig. After reading about the ‘under cut’ on the hand hold from the jig I figured I would cut the hand holds with the saw and maybe use my normal jig to put the slope to it. So I measured to center of the blade for the correct height and put my aux fence behind the blade (big mistake). I would put the edge of the box to the back of the blade and rock it forward until it hit the table. About every 10 sides I would get a catch and it would bounce a little forward. One ripped it out of my hand and planted it directly into my groin; another went past me and the third time it bounced around the saw, completely destroying the side. Finally I got smart, ok less stupid, and moved the aux fence to the front of the blade. Now the blade forced the wood into the stop and the stop protected me. One hour without an incident.
    I upgraded to a bigger saw after using a craftsman for 30 yrs and that blade does not stop like that old saw did.
    OK post your close calls, pictures welcome.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Santa Fe, NM

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    My brother has been a professional woodworker for over 30 years. His shop is a sight to behold. In addition, he still has all 10 fingers primarily because he knows what he's doing every day and every minute he's in front of one of his machines. When I told him what I was doing and how much money I was saving by making my own inner covers and other beekeeping components he just laughed at me. He has seen way too many shop accidents in his time to buy into my "make your own philosophy". When I thought about it its true. Once you factor in your time (which you should do as all time is valuable) you really can't make woodenware and save anything substantial. As my brother explained the table saw is indeed a dangerous tools in all but professional hands. Fooling around with a router in all but professional setups is insane. They are both finger eaters and most inexperienced people will eventually make a mistake and get really hurt. The problem is that any of these tools in the hands of the self taught novice are dangerous. I am now down to ripping a few sheets of plywood to put together 20-30 nuc boxes each year. The rest of the stuff I used to make I quit doing. Its amazing how much time I now have to do other bee related activities. I know i'll hear about it from all you pros who save hundreds of dollars a year, but when I read some of the posts on here from people who want to know how to make their own frames to me thats ridiculous. As the saying goes if you can't afford to play the game then get out of it and find something else to do. For me its not that I can't make some bee equipment its more like why would I want to when I can buy components for assembly and keep things safe. Getting a staple shot in your finger is one thing, but getting 2-3 fingers ripped off by a router bit is something you'll never forget.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  3. #3

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Not about me but....
    I have a friend who has been a carpenter for over thirty years. Mr Careful. As with many in the business…things were slow. I had a couple of big jobs I’d been putting off, so I contracted him to do them. One afternoon, as I was returning from the beeyards, I saw him come around the corner of the house holding his hand….I knew it wasn’t going to be good. He said ‘I’ve cut my thumb off!’ And sure enough, when I looked it was mostly severed. We wrapped the hand to hold it in place…and took off for the hospital. I met a cop travelling the opposite direction…he turned on his blue light, flashed his headlights but made no effort to turn around. I was at least thirty over….go figure.
    My friend kept telling me he had been cutting wood with his miter…but didn’t remember what happened.
    When I got home that night…I got a flashlight and went out to see. The guard on the blade had practically disintegrated. I could only guess that the wood he was cutting had broken in some weird way…and it was then that I realized why the ‘cut’ on his hand was ragged….it wasn’t cut loose, it was pulled away in the explosion. Just a freak accident.
    About six weeks later, after surgery that removed one joint, he returned to finish the job with metal pins protruding from his hand.
    If I hadn’t driven up at that moment, I ‘m not sure what he would have done. He doesn’t have a cell phone.
    He’s mostly recovered now.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 01-10-2013 at 04:40 PM.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Many years ago my dad was cutting a piece of wood in the garage. A small chunk of wood flew up and hit him in the eyeglasses and shattered the glass. He had bleeding cuts all over the eye area. Think he had glass bits in the eye, too but no damage to his sight. He was lucky his brother was there when it happened.

    Few years back had a self-employed construction guy come over to convert a window area to a patio door. He had done good work for a cousin so we wanted him for the job. He was doing some measuring the first day and I was watching him. Didn't even notice some parts of fingers missing till he mentioned it.


    A little off topic, but there are reasons for recalls. Ignoring them can be deadly. A few months ago, my son rented the first floor of a big house with two others. There are two more adults that live on the second floor. A couple of weeks ago, their basement gas water heater started shooting flames like a jet. It melted water pipes and even a pipe 20 feet away. The fire department came and quickly put out the fire. Lots of damage to the basement wiring and pipes, etc. Could have been worse. FD told them it could have exploded. It could have burned the house down. They were all fortunate. Water heater was charred.

    FD told them there was a recall on the water heater from 2005 and they wanted to talk to the owner.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Had a few close calls myself but the one Ill never forget. Last week in my college carpentry program my friend put his fingertips through the jointer. If that wasent bad enough I got stuck cleaning the jointer picking out perfect 1/16th inch cross sections of his fingers =)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    A friend and co-worker had been doing cabinet and carpentry for 50 years when he first got hurt on a saw. He was tired and in one split second lost his concentration and got his thumb in the saw. Because he was always careful and the saw was only 1/8" or so past the wood, he kept his thumb but it always bothered him and it never worked quite right after that. it only takes a split second of distraction.
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF


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