Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kick back! Relax!

Sorry, no, not when it is the table saw that is kicking back.

I have something on my right thigh right now that matches what is on my hand. I was cutting a large, but thin piece of wood to construct the box that the water heater will sit on. I was making the second to the last cut when it happened. I’m not really sure what happened. My optometrist is missing a few fingers from a table saw accident, so I have the greatest of respect for the tool. ALWAYS push the piece of board all the way through. And that’s what I did. When I asked him how it happened he says the same thing, “I’m really not sure”.

The board was resting on the edge of the saw and the out-feed table, but the end was still close to the blade. I looked down as I went to flip the switch to turn off the motor when the board suddenly hit me. My theory is that when I hit the switch, I jostled the saw enough to move the very light piece of wood. It caught on the blade and shot back at me.

The board hit me really hard. The wounds are really only superficial. They are nasty skin breaks, really. Fortunately I had moved to the side to flip the switch and the board really only grazed me. Had it been a direct hit in the stomach, given that board was so thin, I might be in the hospital right now, or maybe even bleeding out on the floor of the shop.

Despite the relative minor injuries, there was a shock to my system of the unexpected and violent force of the board. After a few seconds I got really light headed, my tongue went all tingly, and I was forced to lie on the ground before I passed out. After about 5 minutes I made it to the kitchen to wash the wound and I ended up on the floor again. I laid there for a good 10 minutes just trying to compose myself. I was amazed because I only lost a few drops of blood. It is really very minor.

The important thing is I finished the box. Although I did make the last cut with the jig saw.


fhdogs said...

Ouch! Glad you are ok. Don't go to long without using that saw again. The sooner you use it the easier it will be.

STAG said...

Hmmm. I feel for ya. In MY shop the culprit is (take yer pick) the jigsaw or the side grinder. The jigsaw made my hand look like yours, and yeah...the shock can make you light headed. On two separate occasions, I split my finger bone with the jigsaw. The sidegrinder just takes off large swaths of skin. My neighbour tried to clear the frost out of his air powered framing hammer this winter by banging it on his the rails of the scaffold, and drove a 3.5 inch nail through his shinbone. He fainted dead away, and rolled off the scaffold!
Bet you were peroxided and taped up and back in action within the hour though! Good on ya.

This working for a living sux.

JAXTER said...

been lurking around for quite a while now - but I thought I would come out to say that I am glad you are OK and that you had moved to the side.

Greg said...

Yea, this could have been much, much worse. Oddly enough, my first thought when I got back in to the shop was that I need a bigger saw. I need more room at the end past the blade.

Eureka Observer said...

You were lucky, that is for sure. All shop tools are dangerous, but a there are a lot of ways a table saw can get you. As much as I believe in push sticks and making an extra effort to clear the blade I have had a couple pieces skin me like that. Shock can be a delayed reaction to injury so laying down on the floor was a good idea.

Chris said...

I have the same table saw and that riving knife leaves something to be desired. If i leave it on it binds and if I have a greater chance to have it kick back. After seeing your hand I think i might have to upgrade.

Glad to see it wasn't to bad.

darazzberry said...

It's good that the box is finished. But the most important thing is that you are okay. Glad to see that it was only minor.

Sandy said...

I sure am glad you're OK!

Jennifer said...

Table saws... they'll get you every time. Well... almost every time. Ok, some of the time... when you least expect it.

I'm glad it's so superficial! I had the same shocky effect from my somewhat superficial hand cut last month... it's amazing how many nerves there are in your hand!

Bones said...

Dude. That is hard core.

And we laughed pretty loud when we got to the last line.

Anonymous said...

I second Eureka O, pusher sticks can be nice. More honored in the breach then done I fear. Eye protection too. I had a carbide saw tooth taken out of my face a quarter inch from my left eye. Think my guardian angel was on O. T.

Glad you posted the picture as the rest of us need a reminder now and again.

Best laundry room ever. I really liked the ceiling.