Scars seem to be one of the ways you can tell the newbies from pros. You would think it is the new to wood working novices that would be more likely to get hurt. But being careful and not overconfident is the key to staying safe. Here is a collection of some photos and stories that were submitted by visitors to this site.
Would we be better served in the workshop without a prehensile thumb?
This story comes from Bruno, a moderator, skeptic and voice of reason on the BobVila.com forums:
Funny how saws seem to be the most dangerous items in the shop!
Things NOT to do. Never ever drink and remodel! EVER! And if a steady-rest falls over, let it go!
Battle scar. Left thumb almost removed by table saw and stupidity.
The Y shaped scar is from a Rockwell table saw and is about 25 years old. I foolishly tried to cut a 1/2 inch off of a wooden screen door after a beer or two. The steady-rest fell over and I tried to stop the door from falling. I heard a 'zing' and that was it. I looked at my thumb since it seemed to be hurting. The thumb literally fell backwards against my hand! I had managed, in a split second, to nearly sever my thumb completely. The only thing holding the top half on was the skin on the other side of the thumb. I screamed, wrapped a shop rag around it, and the wife took me to the hospital. I had to wait over an hour to get pain killers since my body was in shock. It took about 12 hours of micro surgery to connect the upper half of my thumb to the stub. It took 9 months of physical therapy to regain movement in the thumb. I still can't feel anything above the cut. I sold the saw a week after I got home from the hospital, bloody blade and all. My new table saw runs at a different speed since the 3600 RPM sound of the Rockwell makes my blood run cold. I still flinch every time I hit the ON button.
Are ten fingers in the standard issue woodworkers toolbox?
This story comes from Stan Fettig an avid woodworker and fine gentleman: Now the explanation. I was cutting narrow strips of laminate for edging on cabinet doors. After a few strips were already cut the next one got stuck in the insert of the table saw. I pulled the strip back and tried to feed it again but it jammed in the same spot. Because the blade was set low I thought I had enough clearance to lift the back edge of laminate to free it up.
Wrong!! Before I could think that I should not do this the blade zipped through my finger tip. I should have shut the saw off and tried a different piece or perhaps I could have used a zero clearance insert. What can't be seen because of being stitched together was the perfect 1/8" slot in my finger tip. It doesn't hurt much and will heal. Never, never be too confident in your tools and how you use them