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Thread: Tablesaw Mishap (aka Operator Failure)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Jay, Maine

    Tablesaw Mishap (aka Operator Failure)

    Yesterday, I was making a zero-clearance throat plate for my tablesaw. Since the blade, when lowered, only sits 1/16Ē below the table top, I inserted an old insert without a splitter, carefully aligned the new insert atop the old one, held it down with a piece of 2◊4 and began raising the blade. I raised the blade a few turns, turned the saw off, and removed the 2◊4 to check my progress. Since the slot was only a couple of inches long, I wanted to raise the blade some more and make it longer. But, instead of either using the piece of 2◊4 again or lowering the blade and replacing the old insert with the new one, I decided to simply hold it with my hand.

    Iím sure you can guess the results Ė the insert I was holding immediately kicked back and my hand went into the spinning blade. After six hours in the ER, bleeding profusely, and another six hours in the OR and Recovery, I left the hospital with all fingers still attached, the gaping wound and severed tendon and nerves of my middle finger and the the deep laceration on my index finger repaired. Iím typing this report one-handed because of an instantís lack of attention and a very poor decision. Luckily, I still have all of my fingers and several weeks from now will be able to return to my woodworking hobby!

    Please donít let this happen to you!

    Jim Crockett

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway
    Yikes, Jim!

    Sorry you had to go through that!

    Hope all heals well, and you get back up to speed soon!

    Folks, be careful out there!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Aw man, I hate reading stuff like this. Glad you still have all the fingers you started out with, but man that hurts just thinking about it. Thanks for the sobering safety reminder. Seems it's always the "just this once" operations that come back and bite us like this, too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4

    So Sorry, So Sorry

    Jim, I am so sorry to hear about your accident. After all these years of working with my tablesaw I still get that strange feeling in my stomach when I start up my saw. Get well soon, Joe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    IM sorry to hear about your horrible accident. Heal quickly, and be careful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI


    I am so sorry to hear of you injury. But thank goodness your fingers are intact! Thank you for sharing this, and get well soon!


    No longer associated with Woodcraft. That's right, I am now a full time woodworker!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    That is scary. Hope your injured hand heals fast.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Thanks for sharing. I think it is always important to talk about these things whether it is dropping a chisel and catching it business end first on our shoe or something like you experienced. Vaughn is dead-on when he says it is often the "just this once" or "just real quick" maneuvers that bite us. Heal fast.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    after having been there, all i can say is i hope you heal quickly.
    benedictione omnes bene

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Odessa, Tx
    OUCH!!! Take good care of it and heal fast, Jim, ....... and Now for Everyone......... I'll repeat the little placard an old friend had glued on his toolbox for the 42 years I knew him, exactly as it was printed, (except for one word)....... "Them Lesuns we Larn, ain't wurth a flip, If'n yer Ferget 'em".

    Be safe everyone.
    Last edited by Norman Hitt; 03-04-2009 at 04:07 AM.

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