The Zen of Woodworking #5: Blood

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Blog entry by BigAxe posted 12-16-2015 02:42 PM 1230 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: My adventures with #4 planes Part 5 of The Zen of Woodworking series Part 6: Respecting the wood »

I cut myself again. This time with my striking knife. It happens too frequently. I guess its nature way of infusing my DNA into my work.
In a story by Steinbeck (one of my favourite authors) a mechanic working on a car cuts himself and he takes as a sign the repair will go well. I wonder if this is a superstition held by woodworkers.
I didn’t always cut myself. I started woodworking about four years ago using power tools and I seldom cut myself.
But recently I changed over to hand tools and then the blood started to flow. Initially going from a power router to a chisel I did not hold my tools with the same respect. And once I learned how to properly sharpen my tools I didn’t realize how sharp they really were.
After a few bad cuts I began to treat my hand tools with new respect. However I still continue to cut myself in novel ways. The last severe cut I had was when I cut the edge of my hand on the edge of a board I was squaring up using a hand plane

7 comments so far

View Planeman40's profile


1472 posts in 3367 days

#1 posted 12-16-2015 05:43 PM

This is called “Performance Art” by the elite. Simply set some chairs up in your shop and charge admission to see a man bloody himself working. The higher the admission price, the more “arty” you will be. Soon you will be all the rage with the elite crowd!


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View BikerDad's profile


347 posts in 4207 days

#2 posted 12-17-2015 12:36 AM

Sharp hand tool blades are something I don’t have much trouble avoiding, having learned in grade school as an avid model builder. X-Acto knives can bite, and will do so frequently if given the chance. Wood edges being sharp enough to draw blood? That was a new one to me, and it still catches me on occasion.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3940 days

#3 posted 12-17-2015 01:35 PM

It is my guess that knicks and cuts are just a natural consequence of working with sharp hand tools. Dropping them outside the bench is another matter altogether. I dropped a very sharp chisel which hit me on my ankle and barely nicked a major artery. It bled for several days whenever i changed the bandage. Just a fraction higher and it would have been a bloodbath. I’m a lot more careful now when I’m using sharp tools off the bench

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View tomd's profile


2216 posts in 4376 days

#4 posted 12-19-2015 02:09 AM

I also seem to cut myself a lot and always in a new and different way. Now I buy the big one hundred box of bandages.

-- Tom D

View Picklehead's profile


1055 posts in 2535 days

#5 posted 12-19-2015 12:36 PM

You’re in good company. Roy Underhill has had his share of cuts on his show over the years. Here is a compilation he did. The self-abuse starts at around 2:20

-- Quote from ebay tool listing: " Has nicks and dings wear and tear dust and dirt rust and pitting but in good working condition"

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3940 days

#6 posted 12-19-2015 03:36 PM

Thanks for that link Picklehead, many amusing moments.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2002 days

#7 posted 04-06-2016 01:00 PM

Goes with the territory.
Half the time when I get a cut, I don’t know it’s happened until I see the blood smears on my work or tool handle.
“Hey, where’d that come from?”

-- Ed

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