View Full Version : splinter removal tips?
09-17-2005, 08:21 AM
Do any of you wood butchers (the artisans on this forum probably don't suffer my dilema) know of any unusually effective tips for removing splinters? These mahogany ply slivers are sharp and long and fast. If they go into callouses then it is easy to scrape them out with the flat of a razor. But every now and then I get one deep in the soft stuff and because the splinters are so thin, they break off easily under tweezer, knife or chewed fingernails. Hence the tops of my fingers have these pustulating sores that eventually disolve the wood but are annoying until they do so. Not that I'm whining or anything.
09-17-2005, 10:01 AM
There was a potentially useful discussion of splinters on this thread (http://www.woodenboat-ubb.com/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=025791&p=). Good luck...those sound like some really nasty splinters...
Vincent Serio III
09-17-2005, 10:10 AM
When they have broken off under the skin, often the only way to get them out is to make an incision with a scalpel along the top of the splinter. If the skin is tough enough, it may not even hurt. Anesthetic skin gels may help (like teething gels) to numb the skin prior to the incision.
The following article may help to illustrate this method--I find that often this is the only way to remove a splinter when someone comes to my office.
Splinter Removal (http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030615/2557.html)
09-17-2005, 10:19 AM
I've been working with wood or metal since I was 8 or 9 years old. Somewhere along the way I learned the rudiments of sliver removal.
I use two tools. An old fashioned woman's hat pin (don't know if these are available any more) and a carefully prepared tweezer. The hat pin is handy because it's about 4" long and is easy to grip.
The hat pin is used to break up the skin and expose the end of the sliver. Skin is just teased away from the sliver by pulling it sideways. The tweezer has it's tips honed on a sheet of very fine sandpaper so they are parallel to each other and are guaranteed to close on a tiny object.
This procedure is not authorized by the AMA but I've removed thousands of slivers with it in the last 50+ years.
09-17-2005, 10:22 AM
yo old fella i have heard if you get a bit of cotton like a 100p/c shirt and burnit over the splinter its meant to work,i know it sounds dumb but if you get a little burn on your finger and i did not believe but it does work you touch the finger [gently mind] on another hot thing and it takes the pain out,,,,true story the cotton thing just draws it out then you gotta pull it but cotton burns cool where yhis comes from is those horrible sea urchin things,leeches are just a bit of salt
[ 09-17-2005, 10:25 AM: Message edited by: nobby ]
09-17-2005, 10:25 AM
I preferr to use a razor to open the top of the splinter hole as I tend to push it in deeper if I go the pin route.
Anyway, prevention is much the best.
Getting the habit of gripping all wood (up to 3" or so thick) with fingers and thumb, no palm contact, does it. Keeps your hands away from the splinter sourses.
Never sliding your hand on the wood (at least not till into fine finishing) also helps.
09-17-2005, 10:28 AM
well ian i would like to thank you for the other help
09-17-2005, 01:05 PM
Let it get good and infected and swollen up. Then give it a good squeeze. Shell pop right out.
For bad splinters, soak in peroxide and squeeze, it should pop out.
09-17-2005, 03:10 PM
Still got a BIG yellow pine splinter from 1965 in the fleshy part of my palm just below the thumb. Used to be able to push on it and you could see it make a bulge deep below the skin. Then the damn thing broke in half an' I can't do that anymore :(
09-17-2005, 04:17 PM
X-Acto knife, new blade. Follow the splinter's path in, pull up or drag the blade out if the skin is too tough, virtually painless. I hardly ever have to tweeze, once it's opened up. My only problem is trying to do it through my bi-focals. If all else fails, I just put a medicated band aid on and wait, as mentioned above.
09-17-2005, 04:38 PM
Paul's method is the same as mine except I let a small, sharp eyed child do it.
09-17-2005, 04:45 PM
Same technique, no small children here so I use two pair of bifocals...LOL
I use Vincent's technique, illustrated above, with a new blade on a scalpel, and forceps. I also use one of those old round flourescent lamp magnifiers. This time of year, I extract more thorns than splinters.
09-17-2005, 09:25 PM
There seems to be a strong affinity between the wooden-boat nut and the do-it-at-home surgeon. The advice is good and the puss is no longer accumulating. What I learned is to use as sharp a knife as possible.
09-17-2005, 09:58 PM
I've had some nasty splinters .All I would add (too late for this poster I gather ), is that soaking the hand in water as hot as you can stand seems to ease the pain , and hasten the formation of puss around the wood so it can be pushed out ( white corpuscles ?).
09-17-2005, 10:53 PM
I read all the replies. Nobody mentions two very sensitive parts we have, among others. One, the lips, they are very handy to locate the tiny wee little onces and the bigger onces. The other are you front teeth or at least mine. They are a much better tweezer than anything you can buy. For the bigger onces, a needle, not a pin. or one of those injection needles that come with syringes, will do to make them protrude. Then pull them out with teeth,tweezers or plyers. Dogs lick their wounds. So can you.
09-17-2005, 11:10 PM
I once had a splinter the size of a match stick go under my right middle fingernail about a half inch past my first knuckle. I used a pair of channellocks on that one.
09-18-2005, 03:53 AM
Before going at a splinter with the needle digging technique, my sainted Irish grandmother used to put a piece of raw bacon fat on top of the splinter for an hour or so. It would make the skin really soft and the splinter would just slide out... or so I remember from when I was just a little squirt.
09-18-2005, 10:26 PM
Just let it get good and infected, and pop it out like a watermelon seed.
09-21-2005, 01:28 AM
Can also use a disposeable razor. with wood ones that are small you have to be careful not to shave them off but it will snag them to where you can grab it with something else. This really works best for metal or glass slivers but I have gotten some pesky wood ones out this way.
09-27-2005, 12:20 AM
09-27-2005, 09:20 AM
For exposed wood splinters, try puddling on a bit of Titebond, let dry, and use the resulting handle to extract the invader.
09-27-2005, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by Ralphw:
I once had a splinter the size of a match stick go under my right middle fingernail about a half inch past my first knuckle. I used a pair of channellocks on that one.once got a 2 by lodged in my torso, couldn't get myself in the car neither. had to saw it off front and back and then go rent a come-along for that one.
09-27-2005, 10:11 AM
Don't laugh, this really works. For smallish, difficult splinters, take a section of the membrane from the inside of a chicken's egg shell and lay it over the splinter site. Cover with a generic bandaid. The next morning, peel away the bandaid and the splinter will be neatly lying on the bandaid.
For annoying 2By intrusions, it may take a couple of dozen egg shells and a few rolls of gauze.
09-27-2005, 11:36 AM
Actually, for those annoying 2-by intrusions you need the whole chicken.
09-27-2005, 05:13 PM
Pry, dig, scrape at the splinter with a 99A Stanley utility knife (fresh Blade), when you get the splinter close to the surface bite it with your front teeth and rip it out, douse with a little beer then chug the rest of the beer, burp... get back to work.
I use these for the ones that are hard to see.
09-27-2005, 07:13 PM
The guys on the farm taught me to take your dykes outa your back pocket and cut a piece of bailing wire at a sharp angle. Use a match to sterilize if you's a sissy, then dig it out thataway. Grimace in a manly manner and bleed, bleedings good. Fairly Medieval but it worked...
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