You’ll have to grant me, it’d been a while since I’d been to the ER.

Thumbs up!

I do understand that the ultimate goal is zero ER visits, period, but spacing them out as much as possible seems like a good backup, right?

So what happened? This was an accident borne purely of negligence, I’m afraid (almost my second of the week, after nearly being picked off by a texting driver as I crossed the street a few days ago), and it happened on the table saw in my workshop.

Table saw

I was putzing around the shop yesterday, not really working on anything in particular / working on a few things at once, and I was pretty distracted. After I ripped a small-ish piece of wood, I brought my hand back over the (spinning at full-speed) blade and it caught my thumb. No good.

What should have happened instead? A few things:

  • I shouldn’t have been working on the saw to begin with (since I was distracted)
  • I should have had the rip guard installed (it was off because I was lazy and had been crosscutting with the sled)
  • I should have used a push stick (instead of having my hand so close to the blade)

I’ll spare the gory pictures and details, but I’m happy to say I didn’t need surgery, there was no damage to the bone, I have full sensation at the fingertip, the nail bed is nearly completely intact, and though it might look just a little funny in the long run, the doctors expect everything to grow back.

I thought I had a pretty healthy fear of the table saw before, but this accident has kicked that up several notches, and no question I’ll be even more on guard for a good long time.

posted July 23, 2012 – 11:02 am
Old News
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