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Forum topic by Noskcaj posted 04-14-2018 01:10 PM 1475 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 1252 days

04-14-2018 01:10 PM

Just wanted to post my story that landed me in the ER. I consider myself a safety geek not only in the shop but in life in general. Yesterday (Friday the 13th oddly enough) I did what I consider the most stupid thing I have ever done.
I was making a shop cabinet with drawers and got to the last one (going up from the bottom) and noticed I had room for just one more drawer. A tray actually. No plans drawn- mistake number one. I decided to make a 2 inch drawer that would be great for those small items. So I went back to the sheet goods rack pulled out a half sheet. Made my measurement for the track saw and instinctually started cutting. As I made the cut , I reached for the cut off . I didn’t want my precious part to fall to the concrete floor and be damaged. Mistake number two- my hands should have been considered more valuable than the cut off. Normally this action is no problem. The part that I’m trying to save from injury is wide enough that my fingers can’t reach into the path of the blade. Not so with a 2inch piece. Without thinking I reached my hand under the part to stabilize it and grabbed hold of the carbide teeth of the blade spinning at 5200 rpm . Instantly realizing my stupidity but it was too late. My fingertips of my index and middle fingers were shredded.
After a trip to the ER And 15 stitches later I now am in substantial pain and my precious little tray will have to wait now for about 2weeks while I heal.

There were quite a few mistakes here. The cut off should have been supported prior to my cut. I should have slowed down and engaged my brain before my actions etc…

Thankfully I did habitually set the blade at a depth where it cleared the work by only about 3/16ths of an inch. I get a nauseous feeling thinking what could have happened if I hadn’t at least done that.

From now on though I will slow down. I’m retired- there’s no hurry here. Take time and think through my cuts thoroughly- safety first.

Just wanted to tell this story in the hopes that one of you may be saved from such a careless injury. It’s a hobby not a race.

Anyway sorry for the rambling stream of consciousness writing style. I’m a woodworker not a journalist haha
And hopefully I’ll be a more careful woodworker going forward.


12 replies so far

View Billfish's profile


156 posts in 2540 days

#1 posted 04-14-2018 01:17 PM

Sorry to hear that you injured yourself glad your on the mend


View GR8HUNTER's profile


8255 posts in 1681 days

#2 posted 04-14-2018 02:14 PM

sounds like it could have been a real life disaster NOT downplaying stitches happy for you its only 2 weeks down instead of 2 months FEEL BETTER :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Ripper70's profile


1379 posts in 1877 days

#3 posted 04-14-2018 02:33 PM

So sorry to hear about your mishap, Rick. Thank goodness you’re knowledgeable enough to set your blade depth for safety.

We hobbyists would probably be more aware of the risks and dangers of woodworking if we weren’t enjoying ourselves so much while playing with fast spinning, razor sharp hunks of hardened steel. Hope you mend quickly.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 4035 days

#4 posted 04-14-2018 03:56 PM

Sorry man. HOpe you heal quickly.

I use a festool ts55 tracksaw and being one man shop never wanted to heft a sheet good to the TS. I got a 2” thick 4×8 sheet of solid insulation. I lay that on the floor, and put the sheet good on that and cut on the floor. Works great and safe. It’s going on 4 years old now and still no where near replacing time.

Will keep you from reaching.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View jsk12's profile


39 posts in 1518 days

#5 posted 04-14-2018 07:06 PM

so glad it wasnt worse

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4001 days

#6 posted 04-14-2018 08:13 PM

From now on though I will slow down. I’m retired- there’s no hurry here. Take time and think through my cuts thoroughly- safety first.

Just wanted to tell this story in the hopes that one of you may be saved from such a careless injury. It’s a hobby not a race.

That’s a couple of Key Points for sure! THINK and check all aspects of what you are doing before you hit the ON Button and Take Your Time! Your Equipment will wait for YOU!

I hope everything heals up for you Rick!

Regards: Rick

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View clin's profile


1127 posts in 1964 days

#7 posted 04-15-2018 12:14 AM

Thanks for sharing and reminding us all that we need to keep our head in the game. Glad your injury wasn’t much worse and hope your recover quickly. I think it’s human nature to feel embarrassed about such things and therefore want to hide or failures. So again, good on you for letting us know. I know these reports on injuries stick with me. So I’m sure it helps to keep us all a bit safer.

Safe behavior is an odd thing. With too little experience, you make mistakes because you do not know better. With more experience, you can become complacent, or perhaps just too “trained” in your ways. Then when something a bit different comes along, a narrower strip in your case, and the ingrained, automatic behavior, is not appropriate.

My brother-in-law cut his whole thumb open with a circular saw many years ago (he’s a contractor). He carries the photo around (hamburger is a good description) as a reminder and shows it to his employees to get their attention.

This of course can happen to us all. And I’d bet that we all have done something similar, but most of the time we escape without injury. For example, finishing a cut, and realizing we just missed our fingers, or at least can’t believe we didn’t cut the power cord.

-- Clin

View MKH's profile


53 posts in 1095 days

#8 posted 04-15-2018 01:10 AM

Thanks for the reminder. Hope you heal quickly.

-- Marshall --------------------------- In with 10. Out with 10.

View runswithscissors's profile


3124 posts in 2993 days

#9 posted 04-15-2018 03:30 AM

To top it all off, I suppose you got blood on the wood, too? Sorry to hear about your mishap. Heal soon!

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View HTown's profile


114 posts in 2155 days

#10 posted 04-15-2018 12:38 PM

Rick, Thanks for sharing. It is much better to learn from others. Glad it wasn’t any worse.
I work for a construction company. When we have an accident, it is studied and then broadcast throughout the company. I’ll offer some observations in that tune:
1, Have a plan. (You mentioned that one). Most our accidents happen when someone deviates from the agreed plan.
2. A good outfeed table would have avoided making a choice between workpiece damage and stopping the saw.
3. A bump switch to turn off the saw with your knee would have kept your hands at the workpiece.
4. 2” is closer than I want to have my hands. I’d go to a push stick for narrow work.
I’m not trying to be preachy, but different observations from others can help the next guy avoid a similar fate. Thanks again. Greg.

View Noskcaj's profile


24 posts in 1252 days

#11 posted 04-19-2018 10:28 PM

Just wanted to add to my original post. The one very obvious safety factor built into the saw by makita and ignored by me. ... the saw has two handles. One for each hand. If I had used the saw as designed as well as following all the suggestions written here nothing would have happened. Reflecting on the suggestions here one of the best regarding a track saw is to put the work down on a large panel of rigid insulation. Which I was going to do but was too lazy to make the trip to the big box to buy one.

Retrospect can be a funny thing!

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1508 days

#12 posted 04-20-2018 12:16 AM

Thanks for the timely reminder…..I hope that you are back to 100% soon

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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