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!