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Posts: 137

Location: United States Sharpsburg, GA
Occupation: Retired Programer
Age: 73
#1   2019-03-02 08:23          
Like most blacksmiths I have worked around all kinds of tools including power saws for almost 50 years. I used to think I was pretty good at most of them. I was very comfortable with all of them. Some may even say I was just a little bit arrogant about my skills. All that changed on Saturday February 2nd. I was using my table saw to make some shims to mount a three cornered bookcase for my wife’s sewing room. Bet you can guess where this is going! Yup, in the blink of an eye, maybe quicker, I cut the tips of the first three fingers on my left hand. The blade went through the tips of the fingers to the base of the nail, about 5/16 deep. The board had started to rise up and I went to push it back to the table surface. It was a move I had done many times, even twice before that very morning. All it took was a slight push on the back of the board well away from the blade. Or so it says in the fine print. All I know for sure is that the blade caught my index finger and pulled it in along with the next two. I don’t know which was worst the initial pain or the fear that I may have ruined my hand. I can tell ya that the follow-on pain was like nothing I have ever experienced. Now almost a month later they still hurt enough that most days I have to decide whether to use the pain drugs or drink beer, most days the drugs win out. As it turned out my fingers will likely be ok but they will have some mighty ugly scars and the nails may not come back. Bottom line of all this is; please don’t get to the point that you are so comfortable with a tool or procedure that you think it can’t happen to you because it surely can. As a friend so aptly put it “When we are totally comfortable with a task it can become a trap that is ready to spring.” Make use of all the safety gear including guards, safety glasses, clothing and hearing protection.
Cal Kohler


Posts: 160

Location: United States
Age: 73
#2   2019-03-03 17:10          
So sorry to hear Cal. Take better care of yourself, we'd hate to lose you. Since you've opted for drugs, I'll drink the beer.


Dietrich Hoecht

Posts: 51

Location: United States Clayton, GA
Occupation: piddles in metal, roams the woods
Age: 82
#3   2019-03-05 10:10          
on the lighter side of things...
my grandfather at age five snuck into the railcar repair shop, turned on the bandsaw and cut off his pointer finger half-way down. He wrapped the stub in his handkerchief and kept it in his pants pocket all day, without mother knowing it. In his adult years he always made a big impression on children when he poked the stub in his nose, making his finger 'disappear'.

Yes, table saws can be wicked!

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