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Kaneohe til the end
10-31-2009, 02:15 PM
table saws, jointers, routers, bandsaws, all potentially dangerous equipment. No matter how careful you are, sometimes accidents happen.

i think this is gonna make for some interesting stories, what (if any) injuries have you sustained while building?

ritzer012
10-31-2009, 02:26 PM
looking forward to these responses! kinda like the shop teacher with the token missing finger ;)

cornfedgroove
10-31-2009, 02:32 PM
although I'm not a luthier, I've never had anything major thank God, but my tools are limited. I do tend to sand off my knuckles on occasion with the dremel, cut my finger with the razor blade, or pinch my fingers with pliers when I'm squeezing real hard and it pops loose.

UkÚDan
10-31-2009, 02:41 PM
Don't know about you, but every new knife has either stabbed me or cut me. It's like a ritual thing. After the first initial cut, nothing. Other than that, no major accident. Never had a problem with power tools - but I'm extra careful... because of the knives..... Guess I'll knock on wood.

wfwhitson
10-31-2009, 02:49 PM
Dose this count, wood joiner/planer

http://i462.photobucket.com/albums/qq342/wfwhitson/IMG000003.jpg

eleuke
10-31-2009, 03:19 PM
Dose this count, wood joiner/planer

http://i462.photobucket.com/albums/qq342/wfwhitson/IMG000003.jpg

If this was a contest, I think you'd win...

All I can add is that I now officially have more holes in my left hand that aren't supposed to be there than I have on the rest of my body that are supposed to be there. X-acto damage. They heal quick, though. Trying to teach myself inlay. I'll get it in the next decade or two, I'm sure... Just keep practicing.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-31-2009, 04:16 PM
i wish I had never clicked on this thread.....:(

eleuke
10-31-2009, 04:27 PM
You definately are an artist, Chuck, and not only with ukulele's! Love the pumpkins. Brilliant.

Pete Howlett
10-31-2009, 09:39 PM
Definitely wf!

Thumb on my right hand is 3mm shorter than left - 4 table saw accidents to it over 30 years. Three nicks requiring minor attention and one major trauma in 2004 requiring reconstructive surgery done at The Morrisons down the road in Swansea. A month off work. Morrisons is the UK's leading plastic surgery hospital and because of some strategic planning on my part I was seen immediately - that means within 24 hours in the UK! ;)

It was an incredible experience watching the surgeon using nothing more than a medical 'spokeshave' - a two handled dermatome, to slice some skin off the side of my hand to stitch onto the end of my thumd - a lot of the end of my thumb! And yes, bone is white. I've googled this tool and can only come up with the elctric type. The one used was manual and the surgeon took a good deal of time setting it up so the right depth of cut could be achieved - you only get one shot at this stuff - no "Oops, where's the superglue"!

There were 2 disconcerting moments:

being pushed around in a wheelchair - that really is a weird experience.:confused:
Having an open wound scrubbed hard with nothing more than carbolic soap and a nylon nail brush... it was numbed up of course - now that was painful to watch!:eek:

If you want know how wound cleaning was done before the days of anaesthetic, read about it in the early chapters of Akenfield by Ronald Blythe...

Now I have no feeling in that thumb and cannot pick up small screws or fiddly bits of inlay with that hand. My thumb bleeds after a prolonged day of hand sanding as the nail bed slowly stretches away from the nail and separates due to pressure - it is an entirely different type of skin below the tip of the thumb.... It is sore a lot of the time and a constant reminder of the need to take a rest when I get tired and not use machines late in the day.

My table saw is now permanently converted into a fretting saw - I have no table saw nor ever will have. I don't cut myself with chisels, have accidents with any other tool except the occassional burn from my bending iron, though I have stabbed myself just once with the edge of a lip and spur bit...:eek:

When I was teaching back in 1977 I met a joiner who had most of the fingers on his hands diced and sliced. He made rowing boat paddles and other stuff. He did very silly things like ganging up blades in huge radial arm saws for trenching and stuff like that - he could never play the violin... or ukulele for that matter. Though I did meet a three fingered guitar player in Texas who worked for Bell Helicopters. He lost his digit in the most obvious way to a rotor blade...

Kaneohe til the end
11-01-2009, 12:13 AM
just realized i havent replied in my own thread.

been hit by kickback on the table saw 3 times, luckily they were all minor. enough to get me shaken up but no major injuries, just a few knicks.

now paul on the other hand, is missing a piece of his thumb from his table saw, but hopefully he'll share that story with you guys himself. pops is also missing a piece of his pinky from an accident with the jointer.

fromthee2me
11-01-2009, 01:13 AM
I dropped a railway sleeper on both my middle and ringfinger. Both nails turned blue instantly, and throbbing pain. I just wanted to shake my hand to get rid of the pain. Went to outpatients, where a doctor saw me. He requested the nurse to bring him a paperclip, erazer, and a methylated spirit flame. He straightened out the paperclip, pushed it through the erazer, and heated the paperclip red hot, which he pushed through the nail. The blood welled up through the hole, and the throbbing pain was gone. Instant relief.

Pete Howlett
11-01-2009, 01:30 AM
All those thousands of dollars training and they get to straighten a paper clip and use it as a hot micro poker... yes, it's the old low tech paper clip surgerery i did my 7 years training for!:D

Timbuck
11-01-2009, 03:48 AM
i wish I had never clicked on this thread.....:(
And there's this one...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwPvt96wt2w

HaileISela
11-01-2009, 10:57 AM
All those thousands of dollars training and they get to straighten a paper clip and use it as a hot micro poker... yes, it's the old low tech paper clip surgerery i did my 7 years training for!:D

it almost sounds like McGuyver...

koalohapaul
11-01-2009, 04:00 PM
My worse injury to date was when a zombie ate my brain, but we're talking about shop injuries.

I severed about a 1/4 of my left thumb in 98', I think. Maybe 97'. In any case, I was trying a new all purpose blade on my tablesaw, cutting neck billets. I was awake and clear headed, but my safety protocol was bad. My thumb was in the direct path of the blade and I pushed straight through. Funny thing is, I didn't realize that I had been hurt for a while. I heard the bone snap, which I thought was a knot in the wood, so I reached down to turn off the saw and inspect the table. Holy crap! My thumb tip was hanging by a shred of skin. I literally could have cut it off with a pair of scissors. I immediately wrapped my shirt around it and walked over to my brother, who then drove me to the emergency room.

Once I got there, I had to wait with a bloody hand wrapped in my shirt and a rag for about 30 minutes, before they could see me. In the prep room, the nurse gave me some local anesthetic and proceeded to inspect and clean the injury. Once the drugs kicked in, the pain became a lot more bearable and I watched intently as she cleaned up the wound. It was kind of funny. The nurse told me that she's never had a person smile and ask questions as they have their partially severed limb cleaned.

Then, I waited for a surgeon to arrive for 4 hours. Turns out that there's only a handful of reconstructive surgeons on Oahu and it was a busy day. Unfortunately, the tip couldn't be saved. Normally what they would do is shorten the digit and pull the skin over, but the thumb is special. Since it's already shorter than the other fingers, he decided to graft skin from my belly over the tip. My brother and I thought he was joking, so we added to the mix and asked if my hand could be stitched to my ass. We had a good laugh, then saw that the doctor was not joking. I opted for the belly. It was a full skin graft, so my thumb had to be sewn to by stomach for two weeks, until the capillaries connected.

I got bored as hell staying at home. The only thing I could do was watch tv. By the third day, I ignored my doctor's orders and headed back to work. Technically I wasn't supposed to be there, but I'm family, so bleh. I was able to use the surface sander and do other one handed operations, which was much better than rotting away at home.

While I wouldn't choose to cut off any more of my body, it all turned out okay. Since the tip is missing, I can't pick up small or flat objects easily with my left hand, but it's otherwise 90% functional. I can still play my uke, thank God, and do pretty much everything normally. When I got the worker's comp insurance check, I bought my first computer and went to Japan. I still had a sum of money saved, which I used a few years later to buy my wife's engagement ring.

uke5417
11-01-2009, 04:39 PM
Ha.

Be careful out there, people, is all I can say.

I don't build ukes, but I carpentered for a dozen years. I proudly display the fact that all of my digits are intact. Those 1950s saw safety films, for as much as we laughed at them in shop class, had a lot of good advice.

I've taken too many people to the ER. The tools'll kill you, given the chance. That's the way to look at it. It's not your cool acquisition, not your stylin' gizmo; it's got your name on it, like something out of a Stephen King story. Know that!

And respect it.

Pete Howlett
11-01-2009, 10:48 PM
Paul - I too have that with my right thumb. It's a perfect bummer because I am right handed.

There is a new comedy show on British TV. I've posted the link but it is regional specific. It (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00nsp3p/The_Impressions_Show_with_Culshaw_and_Stephenson_E pisode_1/) satirises TV shows. There is a priceless moment in one sketch where a guy is looking directly at a jammed nail gun and shaking it as the voiceover talks about the accident prone population of the area and how this puts strain on the local accident and emergency unit. The camera pans away and off shot you hear the gun go off and screams... it's a dumb set-up but had me in stitches because I am sure this happens on a regular basis with those tools.

A radio program called 'Knuckleheads in the news' used to be staturory listening on Thursday mornings when I lived and worked in Akron. I'd say Zombie's are pretty active brain eaters in all walks of life, not just those operating machines in the musical instrument making trade...

Pukulele Pete
11-02-2009, 02:00 AM
Wow......I was going to try a stewart macdonald kit......... but after reading these posts I think I'll try making one from Play Dough.

luckyd
11-02-2009, 06:40 AM
A required project here at school was reading an article entitled, "keeping all ten fingers". And you guys have all scared the heck out of me. I stop and think everytime I'm on the jointer. And the bandsaw. And the table saw. And the drill press. And the router. I sliced my hand wide open removing a bridge with a pallet knife. No stitches, but close. And I had a shop teacher in high school we called uno. He was short one testicle from a table saw kick back. Quite the cautionary tale. this thread is scary, but necessary. Good job. Hope I don't have to come back and post anything. Luckyd

Matt Clara
11-02-2009, 07:56 AM
The one lesson I've learned here is never buy a table saw. Or a joint planer.
(Who needs to plane their joints, any way? Smoke them buggers and be done with it.)
;)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-02-2009, 08:22 AM
You better expand that list to include bandsaws then. Twenty years ago I nearly severed my left arm at the elbow on a bandsaw. Cut right through the ulna (the major arm bone) as well as tendons and all the other stuff I never cared about that's in an arm. The thing you should've learned is to be careful, you're life can be seriously altered in a matter of seconds. Mistakes are mainly due to poor decisions; removing guards, working in haste, improper lighting, working while tired or otherwise impaired. (Drinking and power tools don't mix!)
Every time I change a blade or a bit now my brain does a double take and I actually pause while I consider whether everything is copacetic. Besides simple carelessness, if you do a lot of wood work your brain will also question whether what your doing is safe or not. "Do I really want to cut this little 1" block of wood on my large bandsaw"? "Do I really want my fingers this close to that router bit as I free-hand shape this piece"? Learn to trust your intuition. When in doubt, think it through again.

Particular tools aren't the problem. Everyone who posted here can likely tell you what they could've done to avoid their mishap.

Matt Clara
11-02-2009, 09:47 AM
What kind of idiot almost cuts his arm off in a band saw?
Just kidding! I'm kidding over here. That's what the winky emoticon means, same as in my last post.

;)

(no, really, that's what it means!)

You know, I've discovered it's a very fine line indeed between tongue in cheek and foot in mouth...

Pete Howlett
11-02-2009, 09:47 AM
It's a relief to know you have feet of clay Chuck :DI have a friend who was a wood machineist - never had an accident in his long working life. He could freehand shape a beechwood cabriole leg using a French head (now illegal as they proved effective knife throwing tools) on a shaper. It is possible, but not for most mortals...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
11-02-2009, 09:58 AM
What kind of idiot almost cuts his arm off in a band saw?

(no, really, that's what it means!)

You know, I've discovered it's a very fine line indeed between tongue in cheek and foot in mouth...
No worries, I deserve that. I only contributed this in the hopes it would help someone. Never think for a minute that you are above mistakes. That's when they usually happen.
No matter how much of a hurry you are in, ALWAYS replace the return guard on a bandsaw and don't use that area of the saw to steady your arm. I'm holding back on the gruesome details! I was in violation of every single point I mentioned earlier. That was many years ago, hopefully I've since learned.

haolejohn
11-02-2009, 10:16 AM
No worries, I deserve that. I only contributed this in the hopes it would help someone. Never think for a minute that you are above mistakes. That's when they usually happen.
No matter how much of a hurry you are in, ALWAYS replace the return guard on a bandsaw and don't use that area of the saw to steady your arm. I'm holding back on the gruesome details! I was in violation of every single point I mentioned earlier. That was many years ago, hopefully I've since learned.

WoW!!! Makes me not want to try my hand at building a uke.

PeformanceUke
11-02-2009, 01:38 PM
I do work with metal, and its not very forgiving. I never work on a empty stomach, i find that my senses and reaction is slightly off without the proper nutrients in the body.

koalohapaul
11-02-2009, 05:49 PM
From experience, I will agree that personal safety procedure is #1 for accident prevention. Accidents will happen, but you can greatly minimize the damage, if you follow good safety basics.

My father's been injured by pretty much every tool in the shop, but he rushes about a lot more than me. Almost all of his injuries have been a result of poor personal judgment.

It's important to respect the tool, but not fear them. If you're too skiddish about an operation, chances are you'll make a nervous mistake. If you're doing something you've never done before, think it through a couple of times and even do a dry run to make sure you're comfortable and safe. If you have even a small reservation, it's good to step back and think of an alternative way of executing your cut.

It's also a game of odds. The more you use a machine, the higher risk your risk of getting injured. You gain more confidence and too much is a bad thing.

Hopefully no one is scared off. Like Chuck said, most shop injuries are caused by poor judgment, rather than a machine spontaneously going out of control. Had I my current level of experience, I would have never cut off my thumb. That's the past, though. Live and learn.

Kaneohe til the end
11-02-2009, 08:16 PM
A required project here at school was reading an article entitled, "keeping all ten fingers". And you guys have all scared the heck out of me. I stop and think everytime I'm on the jointer. And the bandsaw. And the table saw. And the drill press. And the router. I sliced my hand wide open removing a bridge with a pallet knife. No stitches, but close. And I had a shop teacher in high school we called uno. He was short one testicle from a table saw kick back. Quite the cautionary tale. this thread is scary, but necessary. Good job. Hope I don't have to come back and post anything. Luckyd

i remember one of the first times i used the router, i didnt really know what it did, i touched the bearing on the bit while it was running. boy did i get stopped quickly. the efficient "eh, whatchu doing?!" was enough for me to know not to do that again. ive since learned that the router is one of those tools that seem safe, until you get messed up by one.

kaipo13
11-02-2009, 08:48 PM
Wow is all I can say. As a former woodshop teacher on O'ahu, I'm glad I never had any of you in any of my classes. Sounds like some of your companies would do well to institute some sort of a safety program to prevent future injuries. The way you guys explain getting hurt are very elementary safety no-no's. Don't mean to put you guys down or anything, but it's a little shocking.

You guys make me glad I kicked so many kids out of my classes in the name of safety. Be careful, I don't want to see any more threads on easily prevented injuries.

PeformanceUke
11-02-2009, 09:06 PM
Wow is all I can say. As a former woodshop teacher on O'ahu, I'm glad I never had any of you in any of my classes. Sounds like some of your companies would do well to institute some sort of a safety program to prevent future injuries. The way you guys explain getting hurt are very elementary safety no-no's. Don't mean to put you guys down or anything, but it's a little shocking.

You guys make me glad I kicked so many kids out of my classes in the name of safety. Be careful, I don't want to see any more threads on easily prevented injuries.


I am surprised as well, as a metal fabricator and welder, i work with plasma cutters, welders, torches, mills, lathe, grinders, high-pressured tanks with flammable liquids etc . One day your a little off and say bye bye to your eyesight our kaboom. and safety is paramount, anyone interested in doing what want to do should do it but just be careful and like one member said don't be scared of the tools you work with just respect it.

Pete Howlett
11-02-2009, 09:19 PM
I am not surprised - we all have lapses of concentration and judgement. It's not a right of passage or a given or even a likelihood. It really is 'sods law' as they say here in the UK. I have a considerable back injury from the days when I was a cabinet maker designer and I slipped a disc in the lower part of my back lifting one of my large pieces incorrectly. I've been troubled ever since by back problems as you do when this happens. I didn't consciously do this, it was a bried lapse in concetration that caused me to abandon a simple safety lifting proceedure.

Also, I note the comments from educators here - in the manufacturing situation the rules of safety stand but are applied in different ways. There is no-one to supervise in the same way you do in school (and I should know because I have been a school teacher of woodwork and metalwork). You can't just throw someone off the workshop floor because they are a jerk and are 'likely' to cause an accident. Very often you have to wait for the proverbial to happen, warn them, warn them again when they do it again, give them a letter of warning when they do it a third time and if you are lucky, then chuck them out with the permission of their Union!

However luthiers are solitary workers, who work very long hours and often don't drink enough water during the day - yes folks, it oxygenates the brain and keeps you awake whereas coffee keeps you wired and soda just loopy! If you drink water and take regular walks/breaks to do other things you are more awake and less likely to have an accident. My 4 tussles with the table saw all occured when I just lost focus for a brief moment because I was in a hurry or at the end of a long session on that particular machine.

I don't think we are careless - there are many factors which contribute to accidents happening and rarely is total negligence or indifference to the machine one of them.

Kaneohe til the end
11-03-2009, 09:24 PM
I am not surprised - we all have lapses of concentration and judgement. It's not a right of passage or a given or even a likelihood. It really is 'sods law' as they say here in the UK. I have a considerable back injury from the days when I was a cabinet maker designer and I slipped a disc in the lower part of my back lifting one of my large pieces incorrectly. I've been troubled ever since by back problems as you do when this happens. I didn't consciously do this, it was a bried lapse in concetration that caused me to abandon a simple safety lifting proceedure.

Also, I note the comments from educators here - in the manufacturing situation the rules of safety stand but are applied in different ways. There is no-one to supervise in the same way you do in school (and I should know because I have been a school teacher of woodwork and metalwork). You can't just throw someone off the workshop floor because they are a jerk and are 'likely' to cause an accident. Very often you have to wait for the proverbial to happen, warn them, warn them again when they do it again, give them a letter of warning when they do it a third time and if you are lucky, then chuck them out with the permission of their Union!

However luthiers are solitary workers, who work very long hours and often don't drink enough water during the day - yes folks, it oxygenates the brain and keeps you awake whereas coffee keeps you wired and soda just loopy! If you drink water and take regular walks/breaks to do other things you are more awake and less likely to have an accident. My 4 tussles with the table saw all occured when I just lost focus for a brief moment because I was in a hurry or at the end of a long session on that particular machine.

I don't think we are careless - there are many factors which contribute to accidents happening and rarely is total negligence or indifference to the machine one of them.

exactly what i was thinking. because we have our production line, either paul, griz or me will be on the table saw for a prolonged period of time, making head blocks, bracing etc etc. the longer you are on a machine, the higher the odds are you can get hurt. its impossible to be 100% focused 100% of the time. the trick is to not rush, i think it helps to keep your focus at its peak.

luckyd
11-06-2009, 05:44 AM
My rule of thumb (because i still have both, knock on wood) is if you have a bad feeling, STOP! Take a step back and think. If it feels wrong it usually is. I watched a guy trying to resaw a billet on a band saw not large enough to handle the wood the other night in class, and he snapped the blade. He stopped the saw without backing the piece out, got it stuck and tried to restart it. The instructor and I just stood back and wondered if it was first aid kit, or 911. No one got hurt but the potential was there.

keithy351
11-06-2009, 06:45 AM
i have seen first hand the damage of a band saw, let me take u back in time to when i was in yr 10 "2003" in wood work class, being the trouble makes we where, me a few others where makeing wooden spears cause thats how hard core we where back then, first got too close cut off his middle fingure because the push stick he was using to guide the wood was too short and slipped, so being the hero that i am, my first reaction was, point, laugh, pick up the cut off piece of fingure stick it a napkin and walk down to sick bay behind the running child screaming with blood pissin out.. lol then to top it off the kid 3 weeks later in sowing class got a sowing straight through the middle of his thumb nail.... and again, i pointed and laughed, it is truely funny seeing a kid cry with a needle stuck through his thumb and a teacher panicing trying to get him to stop moving to try and disconnect the needle :D

Pete Howlett
11-06-2009, 08:10 AM
Are you sick or what? :eek: No accident is fun...

ukantor
11-06-2009, 08:32 AM
Many years ago, I was in a party of trainees being shown around a cotton mill. A safety officer was giving us a cautionary talk, and urging us to keep away from the machines. To illustrate his point, he pointed to a bobbin winder - just as a small blade was deployed to cut the thread. It sliced his finger quite deeply. Without flinching, he said, "And that is why!" He wrapped his dripping finger in his handkerchief (it was the 1960's), and walked away to get medical attention.

I was left wondering if he did that every time people were shown around the factory.

Ukantor.

Kaneohe til the end
11-06-2009, 08:28 PM
Many years ago, I was in a party of trainees being shown around a cotton mill. A safety officer was giving us a cautionary talk, and urging us to keep away from the machines. To illustrate his point, he pointed to a bobbin winder - just as a small blade was deployed to cut the thread. It sliced his finger quite deeply. Without flinching, he said, "And that is why!" He wrapped his dripping finger in his handkerchief (it was the 1960's), and walked away to get medical attention.

I was left wondering if he did that every time people were shown around the factory.

Ukantor.

reminds me of the story i heard about the sawstop demo. the sales rep first throws a hot dog onto the blade and later actually cuts his own finger to show how effective it is.

yak
11-09-2009, 03:04 AM
As a kid I once used my fathers drill in our garage... with the key still in the chuck. No blood, no dents in cars, just a firm imprint of fear. So now every time I pick up a power tool, my mind goes back to that moment, shiver and concentrate.