My Hand Tool Journey #9: Lawsuit Pending!

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Blog entry by Kent Shepherd posted 07-05-2011 09:39 PM 6329 reads 0 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: It Works! Part 9 of My Hand Tool Journey series Part 10: Tool Gloat! »

I went out to my shop early Monday morning. How wonderful to have a day off work to get work done on several projects I have going. I was working on an antique dining chair we have. As I was trimming a piece on a rung, my Japanese hand saw slipped—right down into my hand. If you don’t know how sharp these saws are, this is not the way to check. I didn’t think at first that I hit my hand that hard, but boy was I wrong.
Lovely reds stains everywhere.

I spent the rest of the morning in the ER. Not only did I lay my hand open, I severed a tendon to my index finger. The hand specialist got it repaired OK, I think. To bad I don’t have a video of that! I never thought about what happens to a tendon when it is cut in half. I’m in a splint for a couple of weeks, and then probably therapy. Obviously no woodworking for me for a while. (No yard work either—oh shucks!) Life one-handed is not all that much fun, but you learn quickly how to get by.

As far as the lawsuit, since it was a Bridge City saw, shouldn’t I sue them. After all shouldn’t they make their saws idiot proof. Maybe our government needs to step in and protect me—-from me. Ironically, as I laid there in the ER, a customer of mine showed up in the room next to mine. He cut his finger on a router. Funny, he claimed responsibility too, but again, can’t we blame the router manufacturer for this.

I really post this as a warning—don’t get complacent with your hand tools. This is probably my worst accident in all my years in woodworking, and I have used power tools all my life.


45 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7281 posts in 4411 days

#1 posted 07-05-2011 09:42 PM

Kent hope all is well and you recover full use of the hand… and yes it is important to be aware of hand tools as well as the electron eaters…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View ajosephg's profile


1897 posts in 4617 days

#2 posted 07-05-2011 09:44 PM

Thanks for the warning. I too am injury free after many years of woodworking (and other working too.) It’s a good reminder to remember that safety needs to be our constant companion.

Hope your recovery goes well and that you’ll be back making sawdust soon.

-- Joe

View cklinkebiel's profile


6 posts in 3746 days

#3 posted 07-05-2011 09:50 PM

Hope you’re back to 110% soon, Kent!

-- Cole, Lubbock -- Life is Good

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4704 days

#4 posted 07-05-2011 09:57 PM

ouch! get better soon Kent.

and yes – sue the saw mfg. it should have had flesh sensing technology implemented as it is already available in the market.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4843 days

#5 posted 07-05-2011 09:58 PM

Sorry to hear about the mishap. Hope you heel fast.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4938 days

#6 posted 07-05-2011 10:01 PM

Yikes. Take care of yourself.

(Ouch, I hate reading about boo boos. But good reminders are needed every now and then)

Recover soon,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5274 days

#7 posted 07-05-2011 10:04 PM

It’s a;ways good to be warned, Kent. I’m sorry you had to be the example this time.

Knock on wood, I’ve never really been injured with a power tool. But on more than one occasion I’ve had a minor injury when a hand tool slipped. And the only difference between a minor injury and a major injury can sometimes be just a couple of millimeters.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4641 days

#8 posted 07-05-2011 10:06 PM

The Government cant protect you from the Government how do you expect them to protect you from yourself ? So sorry about your accident and also sad to hear you didn’t make a dime from it.
It’s a mercenarily cruel world ,However I am sure some smart a$$ed lawyer will do just that somewhere.You certainly need protection from yourself.maybe they’ll bring in a law whereby you need a sane memeber of the comunity to provide you with a note of authenticity to prove your actually (well maybe not actually but reasonably) sane to be able to buy a hand saw in the future.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Bertha's profile


13615 posts in 3749 days

#9 posted 07-05-2011 10:08 PM

I’m terribly sorry to hear this and I cringe just thinking about it. You should have had a guard on the saw, exposing only the teeth your were using, right? Sue! Sue! Sue! I raise my glass to you for accepting it for what it is, a consequence of inattention, nothing more. Those pesky Japanese saws hurt me more than any tool in the shop. I can’t resist putting my thumb on the rip teeth when steadying the cross-cut teeth for a cut. I just sometimes forget to move my thumb! My worst injury in the shop so far was from trying to cut a nylon wire tie with a box cutter. I’d been working all day with a guardless $99 tablesaw with a dull blade and skewed fence.

You can’t let your guard down for a minute these days;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 4327 days

#10 posted 07-05-2011 10:10 PM

Sorry to hear about the accident, hope your hand heals quicker than expected.. So you can once again type two handed, (and get some woodworking done too..) :)

Seriously thanks for the post, I know all too often many of us get nonchalant about our tools (power and hand). I for one appreciate the reminder, but I’m sorry that most post like this are an afterthought from an injury.

Like I said – hope your hand heals quicker than expected.
Regards, Scotty

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 3696 days

#11 posted 07-05-2011 10:11 PM

I can’t wait for the RouterStop technology.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Bertha's profile


13615 posts in 3749 days

#12 posted 07-05-2011 10:12 PM

^Marking knife stop-glove.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3936 days

#13 posted 07-05-2011 10:35 PM


I had a minor injury using my pull saw this past weekend. I was making a cross cut with the board hanging off the side of my bench and when I completed the cut the saw kept going and I stabbed myself in the leg. Very minor injury but it hurt like crap and put 5 small holes in my leg.

I have been hurt many times by slipping with hand tools but I have yet to suffer an injury from a power tool.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 4174 days

#14 posted 07-05-2011 10:41 PM

Sorry to hear this Kent, A speedy recovery I am praying for You

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Randy's profile


395 posts in 4503 days

#15 posted 07-05-2011 10:41 PM

sorry to hear about the mishap kent. Those japanese saws are serious sharp, if you want me to take them off your hands i will.
I wish you a quick recovery.

-- RKWoods

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