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Thread: Tablesaw can get you

  1. #1
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    Default Tablesaw can get you

    Say it aint so


    I keep thinking that it is a bad deam but there I real proof in my eyes and the nervous system. The tablesaw won and life has taken a bad turn. Through many years teaching boatbuilding and woodworking, safety has been at the forefront but any bit of carelessness will be seen by a tool looking for it.


    The job was making a large outdoor cutting board for Son Mark at his grill and the working day was almost finished.


    1. Workday is almost over. Time to be extra vigilant.


    2. Never wear a long sleeve shirt with loose cuffs when using a tablesaw. Really good idea that gets
    ignored too often and is the main culprit in this tale.


    3. Repetitive work can get boring. Ya think?


    4. Precision cutting should not take precedence over safety. A 300 piece board of heavy end grain hardwoods takes lots of precision.


    It has required a lot of forensics but here is our best version of the sequence.


    1. On drawing my arm with the shaved piece, the cuff was caught by the Delta 10Ē sawblade and jerked into the blade. Damage to the right hand is extensive and the thumb is the only real survivor.


    2. While I would think it impossible, the big heavy saw was jerked from its normal spot. The blade was jerked down about ĺĒ which was hard to fathom. The blade had been set at 90 degrees with precision but moved to about 70 or so degrees, which is also hard to fathom but that is where it wound up.


    3. I am 91 years old and getting weaker so I donít how any of this could have happened.


    The thumb is completely functional and undamaged.


    The second finger is gone and now a very small nub.


    The third finger is gone as well as its main joint. The surgeon was able take the skin/flesh and fold it over the top to cover the hole in the hand.


    The forth finger was made workable up to the first joint and will serve to oppose the thumb to allow some use as a grip.


    The pinky was crushed but has been saved although the upper tendon is gone. How the pinky will work in the future is unknown. It is now pinned but the finger will be removed if it cannot be workable and gets in the way.


    That is where we stand one week after the accident.


    A question we all face from doctors is, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much pain do you have? Iíve never been able to answer that accurately. However, I now know what a 10 is and can be truthful with an answer. Oxycodene pain killer helped but is not perfect and spikes of pain still grab me. Morphine was also given in the beginning. I have the usual sensation that the fingers are still there and can say exactly where each one is and when and where it moves. All in all I think I was lucky.


    I refuse to stop doing as much woodworking as I reasonably can when that becomes possible. Family, friends, doctors and nurses are all certain we will be able to make it work. As an old curmudgeon, I will do my part. As a set in the mold right hander, typing this with one left finger has been a task. Iím told that will get easier and I certainly hope so.

    We see this sort of accident all too much among our fellows and I do not expect my story to create a system change but perhaps it may cause another boat builder/woodworker to pause a moment before committing a similar careless act.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    holy ****ing s**t
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Man... sorry to hear that.

    I'll be more careful after reading this.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Damn! Very sorry to hear it. I've managed to avoid serious damage so far, sometimes dumb luck compensating for dumb behavior, but I've been getting more careful, and this will make more more careful yet.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 10-26-2022 at 10:21 AM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    So sorry to hear your story. Hate, hate, hate it when something like this happens.

    Thanks for sharing, though. Warnings about lurking, bloodthirsty power tools just waiting for an opportunity to savage our frail flesh are not heard often enough. All it takes is an instant's loss of concentration, or a small mistake like forgetting to roll up your sleeves... and the damage is done. Irreparable, horrific, and sadly... utterly avoidable damage.

    Everyone... DON'T let this happen to you.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    The older I get the more power tools terrify me! So sorry to hear of your accident.
    Last edited by Bill Griffin; 10-26-2022 at 10:00 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    What Paul said.

    That's a nightmare!

    I must admit I live in fear of my tablesaw. When thinking I need to use it, I always ask myself if there's any other way to get the job done.

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Sandlapper,

    Words fail me. I can't imagine the trauma you have experienced. Those things scare me so much that my father gave me his old saw and I have only used it once. I'd rather take my time with a handsaw even when the results are not as good.

    I want to wish you a speedy recovery, but you never really recover from that. I can only wish that you can get on with your life and enjoy all that it offers.

    -- CWSmith
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." - Will Rogers

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    D@MN! So sorry to hear that! Like Bill, the older I get the more they scare me. I've done just enough blood sacrifice to tools to provide me with the total respect they demand.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    I had to stop reading. Hope everything gets better.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    OMG. What a horrible, horrible thing for you. I am so terribly sorry.

    The tablesaw scares the willies out of me. I've rarely used mine in the couple of years since I got a bandsaw.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    oh crap

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Sorry to hear this. It only takes a moment. Hope the pain eases.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    there's a bit of a club of us here on the forum
    i took a sliver of my thumb off with an axe
    tried to get the tip back so it could be sewn back on but a dog ate it

    F5B68190-4278-47F4-B9CC-9B8A480CE84A.jpg

    only a little surprised bluedog isn't already a member
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Damn, damn, damn!

    I'm younger.. but not young.. and I know every cut I make any more gets a full scan/re think of all points.. always sorta did, but def a long pause now.

    damn sad to hear the saw won.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Damn, sl, so sorry that happened. I use the tablesaw pretty much every day for work and a couple of years ago bought a SawStop Jobsite Saw for site work. It was expensive but is a very nice machine. I made the purchase after my brother in law lost 3 fingers to his tablesaw. Iím planning on selling my big tablesaw in my shop and will replace it with the SawStop Jobite Saw and buy the new SawStop Compact Saw for the truck. Your post has helped me finalize this decision.
    Be careful everyone! Donít forget eye protection and ear protection, too. And dust control. Iím much better about all this than I used to be.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    there's a bit of a club of us here on the forum
    i took a sliver of my thumb off with an axe
    tried to get the tip back so it could be sewn back on but a dog ate it



    only a little surprised bluedog isn't already a member
    Seriously?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    yup
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    I was just telling my wife I consider the table saw to be the most dangerous tool in the wood shop. Wow that's tough accident. Get well soon.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Damn, sl, so sorry that happened. I use the tablesaw pretty much every day for work and a couple of years ago bought a SawStop Jobsite Saw for site work. It was expensive but is a very nice machine. I made the purchase after my brother in law lost 3 fingers to his tablesaw. Iím planning on selling my big tablesaw in my shop and will replace it with the SawStop Jobite Saw and buy the new SawStop Compact Saw for the truck. Your post has helped me finalize this decision.
    Be careful everyone! Donít forget eye protection and ear protection, too. And dust control. Iím much better about all this than I used to be.
    Sandlapper, I'll echo the other posters here to say that I'm very sorry to hear about your accident. That's awful and I don't wish that on anyone.

    I'd also like to add to Steven's post.

    My first experience with a SawStop saw was when I was teaching up at WoodenBoat - they had one in the milling room and it was very nice to work with. They've since added to their inventory of them at the school.

    At the school where I teach at home, we replaced several older Deltas and an Oliver with two of the Cabinet Saws from SawStop. I will say it is one of the best equipment decisions made for both experienced and new users of the saw. We have not had a saw-related injury that wasn't able to be dealt with using a band-aid since. Highly recommended. I'm thinking of either a Jobsite or Compact model for home.

    As far as cost goes, yeah, SawStop machines are a bit more pricey, but what are your fingers worth?
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  21. #21
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    i think it is almost as dangerous as a ladder
    sawstop...imagine a ladder that cannot fall over

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    I hope to be doing that type of work at 91. I am so sorry to hear this. The pain must be considerable. Watch out for those meds!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    yup
    Both sad and funny.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    So sorry to hear your news. I know too well that these things happen VERY QUICKLY, faster than the speed of thought. I had to reach around two guards to learn not to do that. I only lost 70% of the use of my right pinky, but I totally lost the ability to play Debussy's Second Arabesque (one of my favorites).

    I have a band saw (which I'm going to give to a friend) and a table saw. Of the table saw, I am reminded on each use of my son's words of warning: "Will it bite you on the 3rd time you use it, or the 300th time?" It's that red insert at the blade that reminds me. But...I'm not ninety yet, so I guess there's still time. [Shudder.]
    ďArenít you supposed to be the gentlemen who lie for the good of their country?Ē
    ďThatís diplomats. Weíre not gentlemen.Ē
    ďSo you lie to save your hides.Ē
    Thatís politicians. Different game entirely.Ē

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Yikes! I'm really sorry to hear of your accident. Hope it heals well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoez View Post
    At the school where I teach at home, we replaced several older Deltas and an Oliver with two of the Cabinet Saws from SawStop. I will say it is one of the best equipment decisions made for both experienced and new users of the saw. We have not had a saw-related injury that wasn't able to be dealt with using a band-aid since. Highly recommended. I'm thinking of either a Jobsite or Compact model for home.

    As far as cost goes, yeah, SawStop machines are a bit more pricey, but what are your fingers worth?
    A loaded SawStop cabinet saw runs less than $4,000. A trip to the emergency room after a serious accident with a table saw will likely cost that at the very least.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. ó P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Damn!
    The tablesaw is easily the scariest tool in my shop.
    I hope your recovery goes well.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Yikes! So sorry to hear of this misfortune.
    There is a lesson here for all of us who work with power tools.
    Be always vigilant.
    I hope the pain eases and you can adjust to your situation.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    As long as there those here that are not freaked out by this important stuff, I will show some of the dirty detail. The hand photos show it all. The picture of planes are the fleet just finished prior to the accident. They were made for the children's Hospital in Greenville, NC.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Jesus H. Christ.

    Maybe I'll sell my Bosch contractor's saw and get the compact Sawstop.

    I hope you can get over this horrible event.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Oooof. I used to be an EMT and saw a tablesaw accident up close back in the 1990s. Scary stuff.

    Best wishes for your recovery.

    Tom
    Ponoszenie konsekwencji!

    www.tompamperin.com

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    yer building toys for a childrens hospital when this happened?
    that's just.....karma gone wrong

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    i think it is almost as dangerous as a ladder
    sawstop...imagine a ladder that cannot fall over
    The only ladder that I know of that doesn't fall over is the one that is secured to the wall.

    Ever use a ladder on a government job site? The list of safety stuff you need to read and do to use a ladder is massive. They are dangerous, too.

    A ladder is what killed my FIL, so no joke.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  33. #33
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Admission time. I take off my ear protectors when I (rarely) use my tablesaw. I think the wood-cutting-shriek of 'I may just kill you' heightens and focusses my much-needed fear.

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    dang sandlapper, that's horrifying. i might have died of shock. glad you made it.

    but anyway, you may now be the most badass 91 year old i know, since my ww2 vet grandpa passed away.

    i like the planes, that is a very wholesome project.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Tablesaw can get you

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    there's a bit of a club of us here on the forum
    i took a sliver of my thumb off with an axe

    ...tried to get the tip back so it could be sewn back on but a dog ate it
    would this be the backstory to how "Sh#thead" got her glorious name?
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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