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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    756

    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
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    674

    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 03:40 PM.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    924

    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
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

    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
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    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 bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Interesting thread. I've had a few close calls myself, those being:

    Back in May of 2012, I was using my new Porter-Cable circular saw and I didn't realize that I had my left thumb gripping the underside of the board right in the path of the saw blade. Within a few short seconds I knew that my thumb was not where it should have been! Cut right in and even nicked up the bone a little. Got 16 stitches for that one, but I still have a whole thumb.
    _____________________________________

    In July of 2012, I had been out late moving bees the night before, and then got up early the next day. I started out early driving to one of our farther-out bee yards, and as I was flying down Interstate 80 at 74 1/2 MPH, cruise control set, I fell asleep! I woke up just before entering oncoming trafic after crossing the median. I got back on the road safely, and was a "little" shook up. Then I stopped at a truck stop and got a large coffee!
    _____________________________________

    Also in July, I was out at the same yard I was headed to in the last incident. I had lit my smoker and was getting ready to super up some hives. I realized my smoker was nearly out so I opened it and gave it several hearty puffs. What I didn't see was that several lit fuel shreds had gone airborn and lit in the dry corn husks in the corner of the bee yard. I lost 2 pallets (8 strong hives) of bees and burned an acre of prairie land and nearly blew up and oil rig. Learned an good old-fashioned lesson from that.
    _____________________________________

    Those are my tales of success!
    Last edited by westernbeekeeper; 01-11-2013 at 05:42 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    If I am ever in your neck of the woods please remind me to take a cab
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 01-11-2013 at 04:02 PM. Reason: UNQuote
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Will do! But the cabbies aren't much better here.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,658

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Good number of years back I was in the workshop making boxes. I had my 4-year old son with me as he liked to help. I needed to change the table saw blade so I had my hands down inside the saw opening tightening the nut on the blade when I heard a "click". My son had come by and saw the big green "start" button and thought that it would be fun to push it. The saw didn't start, but I almost passed out. Thank goodness I had unplugged the saw prior to changing the blade, or I would have likely lost both hands.

    Always keep your saws unplugged when not in use or during any type of maintenance. Also young children need 100 percent oversight while in a dangerous work area.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    When I was remodeling my house I had my wife and cousin holding one of my new windows in the opening while I ripped a board with my circular saw to use as a shim. As I was moving the saw forward through the board I evidently twisted it enough to grab and it kicked back and went through my hand right at the base of my thumb. I didnt even look at it,I just snatched my shirt off and wrapped it around my hand and told my wife(who at this point had almost dropped a $400 window)to drive me up to the emergency room. We got in her Dodge Caravan and took off(its only about 5 miles away)and about 2 miles into the trip I had to tell her to calm down before she killed us both in a car crash. I told her I wasnt going to die and I had cut myself worse than this and drove myself to the hospital. The doctor said it was like sewing hamburger back together. Fortunatly it only went through the meat and missed all the bones and tendons and such.
    I could tell some more like westernbee but I will save them for another day.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    I was ripping some top bars 3 years ago when my push stick slipped (borrowed saw had no guards, and had taken 6 fingers off 2 people previously.
    I managed to stop my hand in time, but not before the blade took off a couple layers of skin; you could see the cut, but it didn't bleed.
    A month ago, I was using my trusty 10" Rockwell Beaver.
    Somehow, the back of my hand contacted the blade as it was spinning down; I got lucky, and had only 3 minor cuts.
    That was enough.

    3 weeks ago I got a SawStop; one of those saws that stops and retracts the blade if it hits meat.
    Haven't had the brake deploy yet, but the saw is awesome.
    It's a high quality, precision tool.
    What's interesting is that it costs about the same as a saw of equivalent quality with no brake.
    Works beautifully, and the added security is priceless.
    Check them out.
    http://www.sawstop.com/how-it-works/...Fa9aMgodEUQABw

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Quote Originally Posted by hemichuck View Post
    When I was remodeling my house I had my wife and cousin holding one of my new windows in the opening while I ripped a board with my circular saw to use as a shim. As I was moving the saw forward through the board I evidently twisted it enough to grab and it kicked back and went through my hand right at the base of my thumb. I didnt even look at it,I just snatched my shirt off and wrapped it around my hand and told my wife(who at this point had almost dropped a $400 window)to drive me up to the emergency room. We got in her Dodge Caravan and took off(its only about 5 miles away)and about 2 miles into the trip I had to tell her to calm down before she killed us both in a car crash. I told her I wasnt going to die and I had cut myself worse than this and drove myself to the hospital. The doctor said it was like sewing hamburger back together. Fortunatly it only went through the meat and missed all the bones and tendons and such.
    I could tell some more like westernbee but I will save them for another day.
    Hemi, I did the same thing in 1982, ripping a thin narrow board when the saw kicked back. it went between my third and pinky finger up to my wrist, It took 6 hours of surgery the only thing left attached was one vein and a couple of nerves. Pinky still doesn't work. Needless to say it changed my safety habits. I've been doing carpentry for 30 years and have had different power tools kick back a little I had a grinder jump out of my had and almost hit me in the fact is, the more times you use a power tool the greater the odds that you can get injured.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Aint that the truth, The funny thing is that right before the saw kicked back in my mind I was thinking "keep a good hold on it" and about that time my hand relaxed just enough that the saw caught. I used to have this huge table saw that ran off 440 -3 phase electric and it was so old that there was no fence or guard or anything. It scared me a little when it just started up. It would probably cut a board 6 inches thick. I put it on craigslist and let it go because I just knew someone was getting hurt with it (and it would probably be me). When I was in wood shop in high school I was holding a piece of wood on the belt sander and it caught a little flaw in the belt and took off leaving all ten fingertips on the belt. It took about a 16th of an inch off each one. Fortunately I had fat fingers and short nails or it would have been really been bad. I could sit around and discuss work injuries and scars for hours but I think everybody gets the point, use extreme caution when working around me! The bad part was I was always in a family business so I couldn't claim workmans comp, kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,675

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    A couple of years ago, I was building some stuff, and needed to rip some 2X4s. I had cut them into 4' lengths on the RAS, and decided it was a nice day, and I would bring my 8" craftsman saw outside to save cleaning up a mess. I clamped the saw to the work table (one of those folding jobs from HD).

    I was midway through the cut (which was too big for the saw or the setup to begin with), when a huge gust of wind came up....all of a sudden, the wings on the saw caught the wind, and the whole saw/stand flew into the air....i pushed everything away from myself and jumped back....the saw did a complete flip, and landed with the blade running into the gravel driveway (a brand new blade).

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Better the driveway than a body part. I would gladly trade any of my scars back for a new blade! most of them scars cost me a lot of cash and pain.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    Some Words to Live by:

    1. Don't waste a perfectly good guard by taking it off.

    2. No matter how strong you are, you can't hold it tighter than a clamp.

    3. Unplug it before your try to change the blade, bit, ect.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
    Posts
    241

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    "No GPS." There is a road in Maine. At the start of the road is a sign. Written on the sign are the words "No GPS." People have rights. Nobody has the right to tell another person he/she cannot drive down a road with a GPS. The road is a dirt road. The fact that the road is dirt does not alarm me. The road is hard pack dirt and well traveled and wider than many side roads-even paved roads. As, I drive down the road I notice that the road is beginning to narrow. Well, that is alright it will get wider in a moment and maybe even turn into a paved road. I continue down the road. Well, I really should turn around, the road is getting much too narrow. At that moment the GPS says, "turn around,"not once, not twice, but three times and even more. I turn the GPS off. I am stuck on some hiking trail in the middle of the woods at the base of two look-out towers. Dispatch calls, "are you almost there; the customer just called." I reply that I am on my way. I am driving a taxi. I am glad I am driving a Lincoln Continental. A Lincoln Continental is a very heavy car and a Lincoln Continental has rear wheel drive. I am glad for all the real-life lessons of getting stuck in snow. I know enough not to spin my tires. I get out and look at the situation. Maybe I should turn the top light off. I pray, and I lay down some branches and move a little. I do it again and again and finally I am heading in the right way. I proceed down the road. Before turning onto the main road I pull over and look at the Delorme Atlas. Just then, the taxi dispatch calls. Dispatch asks where I am and says that the customer called again. I reply that I am five minutes away. In the cab world you are always 'five minutes away.' I arrive at my distination. I say to the customer, "you know there is a road with a sign-"No GPS." The customer says, "you didn't go down that road- did you?" "People are always getting stuck down that road-having to be towed out."
    Last edited by linn; 02-12-2013 at 12:47 AM. Reason: spelling and grammer

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Silverton, OR, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: OK post your close calls

    I had a worker nick his hand. Not bad but it really scared me. So the solution was to buy a Saw Stop. I have piece of mind with this saw. I'm not knocking on wood but haven't had an incident since. Reading all the stories here, I'm know I made the right choice. It costed me quite a lot at the time, but one has to think how much fingers are worth or hands. Yes it still doesn't solve kick backs but I always stand to one side of the saw. I've seen pieces of wood shoot thru walls. When dealing with table saws one has to think what's important in life. A few extra dollars can save a lot of headaches later.

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