Keeping track of my wounds: 13 and counting...

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Blog entry by David A. P. posted 09-01-2008 12:06 PM 1332 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
I decided at the very start of my woodworking adventures to keep close track of any injuries I managed to incur, in part out of curiosity—knowing that it’s a hobby notorious for its danger, at least in comparison to most other hobbies—and in part because I want to identify where I go wrong, so I can address the problematic action(s).
So far, I’m up to 13 cuts. Of these, the breakdown by source is as follows:
  • 1, flush-cut saw.
  • 1, paint scraper.
  • 1, bow saw.
  • 1, chisel.
  • 9, carving injuries.

You may notice a trend here *wink*. I certainly did, and in fact, it was after injury #10 that I decided I’d better buy a carving glove. It’s about the same price as a copay at urgent care, for stitches, and it was obvious that no matter how careful I was, I was going to end up there sooner or later. Injury #11 was another minor cut from the carving knife, in between my resolution to buy a glove and carrying out my intent. After I bought a glove and started using it, my injury rate went way down *smile*.
Then, a couple nights ago, I was carving experimentally on a small piece of wood, and I decided I could just be extra careful and do without the glove. You can probably guess the next part: my momentary laxity cost me four stitches in the left index finger. On the bright side, this served as a very graphic safety lesson for my kids (at least two of whom are also carving), and my bloodstained thumb guard is a visible reminder of what happens when I don’t wear my glove.
Injury #13 happened earlier tonight, and was different from the previous 12. All of the others were direct results of applying force to wood via sharp metal, with a hand on the other side of said wood. This one didn’t fit that mold; it resulted from trying to wrestle a log into position while holding a bow saw in one hand. I’ve got a band-aid on my forearm to show why that’s a bad idea *smile*.
All in all, not terrible, especially given a marked tendency to be careless due to not paying attention (largely a side effect of the gift of ADHD). I find working with wood to be calming and conducive to focus, and this, along with a healthy dose of caution, has kept me from doing too badly. My tools, alas, do not always fare so well, several having become better acquainted with the shop floor than they probably like. Those that aren’t lost, anyway *smile*.

-- David A. P. -- Ars Arboris ("Art of the Tree") --

6 comments so far

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4871 days

#1 posted 09-02-2008 03:36 AM

Bet the pain gets you focused as well… :)

Seriously though, Not many of us would go through the trouble of logging every cut. I believe that’s because when we are in the middle of a project we just don’t consider that sometimes it might be our method of work causing the problem. We get so narrowly focused we don’t see the proverbial Forrest for the trees.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View Karson's profile


35226 posts in 5280 days

#2 posted 09-02-2008 03:40 AM

I’ve got more wounds walking through my shop. It seems that many pieces of pokie things search out my legs. More leg scars that I can count.

That seems to be s summer problem. having on long pants does protect the legs.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4624 days

#3 posted 09-02-2008 05:01 AM

Welcome to the world of working with your hands. If you’re going to keep track of every injury, however slight, you better get a big note book. Between being a mechanic and woodworking most of my life, I’ve got more scar tissue than I care to think about, much less log in a notebook. It’s just the dues you pay for having fun.

View Grumpy's profile


26674 posts in 4731 days

#4 posted 09-02-2008 11:23 AM

Two damaged fingers from tablesaw kickback & one scar from a 2” chisel. Otherwise all present & correct.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View David A. P.'s profile

David A. P.

28 posts in 4444 days

#5 posted 09-02-2008 08:46 PM

I have a stack of notebooks in which I don’t have enough excuses to write. A tall stack, in fact. There’s actually a funny story behind that, but I’ll save it for another time….

-- David A. P. -- Ars Arboris ("Art of the Tree") --

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4465 days

#6 posted 09-02-2008 09:17 PM

I once cut my knuckle badly when I dragged it a cross a jointer when changing the blade but considering Alistair

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

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