A Lesson Learned

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Blog entry by Victor708 posted 03-29-2011 04:36 PM 5031 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

New Delta Unisaw 5 hp table saw $3000
New Jet 18” 3 hp bandsaw $1700
New Jet 8” Jointer with Helical Head $1700

Trip to the emergency room “Priceless”

Hi folks, after retiring about two years ago, and after procrastinating the entire time, I decided to set up the woodworking shop that I always wanted. With the wifes blessing I ordered everything I needed and as each arrived I carefully uncrated, move to location, and began the tedious task of seting up and fine tuning the tool.

Having my shop set up roughly how I wanted it, I decided my first project was going to be an assembly table with a torsion box top designed by Marc Spagnolo. Having the materials for the top on hand for the top, I needed to true up some 2×4’s to build it on. This is were my day takes a turn for the worse.

I though I was as safety conscience a woodworker there was. But it wasn’t enough. What I learned was that my new jointer, now named “JAWS” can chew up a finger faster than Elvis could consume a peanut butter banana sandwich.

I consider my self lucky, I only lost about a half a fingernail worth from one finger. The trip to the ER, courtesy of one panicked wife was an ordeal in itself. Having sat in one ER waiting room for 45 minutes with not so much as hint of anyone even caring about my condition. No triage, no nothing. And there was only one other in the waiting room. I left and went to another hospital and was seen in about 5 minutes. With a new bandage, some good drugs it was back to the house for a double scotch and a fine cigar.

My new safety poster.

Be Safe!


-- "If a man is alone in the forrest with no woman to hear him. Is he still Wrong?"

15 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


13568 posts in 3253 days

#1 posted 03-29-2011 04:43 PM

Sorry about your injury and I’m glad it wasn’t worse. On the upside, that’s a really nice jointer:)

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

View David Drummond's profile

David Drummond

98 posts in 3225 days

#2 posted 03-29-2011 04:44 PM

What were you doing when this happened? Was it just bad hand placement or was this a result of kickback of sorts?

-- "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore, Dream, Discover” Mark Twain

View StephenSC's profile


28 posts in 3676 days

#3 posted 03-29-2011 04:45 PM

Well done. I sawed through my fingernail with my tablesaw, and because I cut the bone, they kept me in the hospital for 4 days with antibiotic IV. I have a similar safety poster. I work much safer now.

-- Stephen, Riverside. If it's worth building, it's worth making it real heavy.

View Moron's profile


5043 posts in 4453 days

#4 posted 03-29-2011 04:52 PM

Been there, done that… that hurts

ouch. Hope it heals fast and eat lots of yogurt (helps bones heal)

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Victor708's profile


44 posts in 3873 days

#5 posted 03-29-2011 04:59 PM

David, it was nothing more than poor hand placement…..

-- "If a man is alone in the forrest with no woman to hear him. Is he still Wrong?"

View MakerofSawdust's profile


35 posts in 3176 days

#6 posted 03-29-2011 05:15 PM

I really love the new safety poster. That’s got to be very effective!

-- - Kevin from Cincinnati. All my work is guaranteed: Three minutes or three feet; whichever comes first.

View ken_c's profile


335 posts in 3722 days

#7 posted 03-29-2011 06:42 PM


View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3830 days

#8 posted 03-29-2011 07:02 PM

Ouch….and ouch again.

Glad to hear it was not a serious injury….best to have the small ones…use them to make sure you don’t get too off base and have a big one. Considering my hands look like the face of the moon with all the callus and scars…..I can at lease wave all 10 digits. I take safety to it’s most obsessive level…I learned that from my grandfather…who was a woodworking for more years than I can count…..when he passed away…he still had all fingers.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3500 days

#9 posted 03-29-2011 09:57 PM

Ouch! Don’t feel alone brother! Years down the line and my one thumb still has a flat jointed spot…. but all 10 are still in place….although some of them have scars from tablesaw, grinder, even bandsaw…
The jointer is probably the machine that most regularly takes blood of all!

Take care man, the blood is not good for your cast iron!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3448 days

#10 posted 03-29-2011 10:08 PM

A friend of mine in the air force was working on a badly warped board, trying to level it out on the jointer. He had it set pretty deep to take a lot at a pass, and hit an open spot, when the piece took off and he went fingers first into the cutter head. Took all four down to the second knuckle. Cost him his military career too, as they had no use for a one and a half handed military policeman.

Glad your injury was nowhere near as bad. You just need a push stick and a sign that says “beware of the end that bites!”

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Bertha's profile


13568 posts in 3253 days

#11 posted 03-29-2011 10:15 PM

The jointer is a very scary machine but I’m more likely to go lax at the cross cut sled. It feels so safe and protected, thus quite dangerous. I do 99% of my jointing by hand because I’m scared of the machine. Strangely, I get most scared at the lathe with a skew! I hate that out of nowhere, for no particular reason, the tool will jump and startle me, often mangling my work. I’ll actually tremble after it happens and have to stop. As much as we love these tools, they don’t mind biting the hands that feed them.

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

View Ken90712's profile


17786 posts in 3748 days

#12 posted 03-29-2011 11:05 PM

So glad you are OK!!! Hate when things go wrong and we get hurt. Glad it wasn’t worse. I had a real bad kick- back a few months ago. My stomach was black abd blue for 2 weeks too remind me of things can go wrong quickly, I felt pretty dumb. I think that saftey poster needs a nice frame.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DIYaholic's profile


19883 posts in 3235 days

#13 posted 03-29-2011 11:05 PM


Glad you are reasonably OK!

Since I just purchased my first jointer/planer (Ridgid JP06101) and I would like to keep all of my digits as they are (connected and at full length), can anyone post a link to a good online tutorial video?

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3578 days

#14 posted 03-31-2011 07:55 PM

I know exactly how you felt! This also happened to me as result of kickback while cutting a block that had a knot in it and when it disappeared to the right the tip of my left middle finger went down, I still have the whole finger but the side of the finger tip is missing! The stitches through the fingernail to hold the flap of skin together hurt worse than the actual cut! The next day I noticed a splash of blood on the ceiling from the jerk back of my hand. Had to repaint the ceiling as I couldn’t get the stain to wash off. (too much info?) Well I hope it reminds others to take care in using any power tools or any sharp tools for that matter! Heal well and don’t bump your finger too many times! (that hurts)

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Victor708's profile


44 posts in 3873 days

#15 posted 04-01-2011 05:52 AM

Been four days now and finger is doing better. I’m Back in the shop trying to finish the assembly table that started all this. I’ll finish the top tomorrow, then it’s on to the base. And yes Erwin, anything within 12 inches I manage to hit my finger on it.

Thanks for all the well wishes…........


-- "If a man is alone in the forrest with no woman to hear him. Is he still Wrong?"

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