View Full Version : Tool safety

03-14-2013, 12:43 AM
Well I am not writing this for sympathy I just wanted all my friends to be safe I thought I was a very careful wood worker after all I have been working with saws and other wood working tools for a few years
now. But all it takes is one error in judgment . I was sawing a a dado in a 2Ē dowel when it twisted or bound up or something, any way it pulled my hand into the blade I lost my left middle finger and
my ring and little finger had to be fused. I still have limited use of my thumb and index finger. I am facing a month or so of therapy . All I am asking is for all of you to be ever alert and donít let your
guard down I thought it canít happen to me. But like I said it only takes once. I also ask for your prayers for me and also my son Rick he just finished his third time of chemo and radiation for cancer.

03-14-2013, 02:11 AM
I am so sorry to hear about your accident. And thank you for the wake up call. I say a little prayer every day, before I enter my shop. I will pray for your speedy recovery and for your son.

03-14-2013, 06:18 AM
I'm sorry that that has happend to you, no one likes to see someone get hurt, Iv'e been a welder for 30 yrs and have seen some accidents happen that wasn't to pretty, I have seen on on three different occausions a total of 6 fingers lost in that time, one mistake is all it takes. I'm not trying to being a smart#*$.. there is two things that have been told to me that keeps ringing in my ears everytime I work with power tools... #1- keep yor hands away from moving parts... and this one that took awhile to set in and understand... made me angry when I heard it, usually when I got hurt..... #2 ....If your going to be dumb you gotta be tough... welders are a rough carractors and have a hard outer shell, but
do care about people getting hurt...... I wish for a speedy recovery, for you and your son. again I'm sorry.

Gary Koval
03-14-2013, 06:20 AM
I am sorry to hear about you're accident, and especially you're son. Prayers done for both of you! Now you get well soon, Rick's depending on you...

03-14-2013, 07:23 AM
Prayers and best wishes for you both.

03-14-2013, 07:28 AM
My prayers are with your and your son. Accidents do happen, seen my share of them, others and also myself after being a machinist for 40 plus years. There is a device out there for table saws to will prevent the loss of fingers. I think its made by saw stop company. Check out this link for yourself and see if you think it's worth the few dollars over the cost of missing fingers. I think I'd rather have a nick than loose a finger. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be a smart a$$, I'd rather be safe than sorry. http://www.sawstop.com/how-it-works/monitor-and-detect/

03-14-2013, 07:34 AM
I have to say Prayers and best wishes for you both. also I have been there but not as bad

03-14-2013, 08:03 AM

Very sorry to hear what happen to you and about your son's cancer.

You both will be in my prayers.

Smoken D
03-14-2013, 08:18 AM
Don't live on the past mistake, look forward and have the courage to beat it. You are still alive and a world of enjoyment is still there. That is why it is call an accident, was not intentional, it happened. Prayers up for you and the family.
Smoken D

03-14-2013, 10:15 AM
Hi Roughcut,

I too, offer my condolences for you and your son. May both of you heal quickly!

A few years ago, one of our forum moderators (Paul Kunkle) suffered an accident with his table saw (and posted some pics of the hand injury). He immediately invested in a SawStop table saw so it could not happen again. After I thought about his injury (and how it could possibly happen to me), I frequently discussed this with him for nearly two years, then I finally decided it was prudent to buy one as well. The peace of mind that I'll never lose an appendage is worth the price of admission alone, but it's also the best saw I've ever owned - very high quality, very accurate.

I have had a couple naysayers comment, "Well, if the blade brake triggers, then it will cost you $70 each time to replace it, as well as the cost of a new blade". I reply, yes of course, but the alternative is unthinkable and many thousands more costly in medical expenses.

If you get to the point where you'll want to replace your existing saw with a SawStop like Paul and I did, I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have (and dispel any myths that may be floating around 'out there').

03-14-2013, 10:15 AM
This makes me think about my shop teacher some 50 years ago. Before each class started he would hold up his hand and say "I don't want this happening to you, be careful."
I think of that almost every time I start up one of my power tools.
You and your son will both be in my thoughts and prayers.


03-14-2013, 12:08 PM
Thanks for the reminder, it can happen so fast. I cut my finger on my band saw a few weeks ago and it is still healing. My prayers are going to your son and your family.

03-14-2013, 02:18 PM
Prayers to you and your son.

I was asked once what the most dangerous tool in my shop was. Of course I said the table saw. I was then told no, it is the one you are currently using. That got me to thinking about it and you know what? He was 100% correct. Sure the table saw is dangerous, but not so much if you aren't using it at the time.

One of the tools I purchased was from http://www.microjig.com/. I use it every time I have a chance to. So much so I purchased two of them. Not only does it keep my hands farther from the blade, it definately gives me greater control of what I am doing. I did use it once without checking it for clearance. But after purchasing a replacement part I make it a point to check it each usage. Oh, BTW, it is not just used on my table saw.

03-14-2013, 03:29 PM
What is it you purchased? Looks like they have several products.

I recently purchased a Thin Rip Tablesaw Jig from Rockler http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=18056&site=ROCKLER
Makes ripping thin strips more accurate and safer.

03-14-2013, 04:12 PM
I purchased the GRR-Rripper. I should have used this link http://www.microjig.com/products/grr-ripper/index.shtml. I can groove dowels easily as well as easily cut 1/8" strips. I have had wood try to kickback on occasion but the GRR-Ripper maintains total control of the wood. In fact, I very ever rarely make a rip cut without it. I use their splitter as well, but it is not quite as important to me as the GRR-Ripper. Maybe because it just sits there unobtrusively doing it's job and I don't pay much attention of it.

03-14-2013, 04:25 PM
Thank you for the info! That's good to know.

03-14-2013, 04:43 PM
I just got off the phone with Steve at my local WOODCRAFT on 1960 in Houston.

Steve put my name on one of the Micro Jig GRR-Ripper System
Will pick it up on Saturday.

This forum is so much help.

Thank you Deolman and you Michael for talking about both systems.

03-14-2013, 06:03 PM
I just got this in my email today and thought it might fit in here..


03-14-2013, 06:38 PM
Last Christmas I was pulling an all-nighter trying to finish some lithopane orders. I was making the lightframe boxes and using 1/4" luaun for the back. I had a 4'x4' piece that I had painted white for reflective. I napped while the paint dried. When I awoke it was early morning and bitter cold. I figured the easiest way to cut it up would to be to venture out to the summer (unheated) workshop and use the big tablesaw. I ripped it in half and had two 2' sections 4' long. I then set the fence at 12" and proceeded to crosscut the 4' long sections. The thin board was warped and I was bending it flat as I passed it through the blade. This meant nothing was holding down the part between the fence and the blade. Knowing it was a dangerous cut. I stopped and said the woodworker prayer. Sure enough as the blade finished the cut, the piece lifted on the blade and it kicked back with terminal velocity. It slammed into the width of my right hand (as I was pushing was that hand) then deflected off and nicked the top of my forehead, barely leaving a scratch. The pain in my hand was so intense, I fell to my knees. It was a few moments before I had the nerve to look at it. Although bruised and sore, it was unharmed. It was several minutes before I could get up the nerve to get up and go in the house. But while I sat there on my knees, holding my hand in pain, I thanked God for not taking my hand! The next day I re-installed the splitter and vowed to never take it off again! I have been looking at DIY gripper plans. But I think I will save my pennies and buy the real thing!

03-14-2013, 07:16 PM
Be sure and get the handle bridge kit. By nature of the design it makes it better to push the wood as it helps to keep the wood against the fence. Yes it is an extra cost but still worth it.

If you do get the GRR-Ripper, I would be interested in your comments.

03-14-2013, 07:24 PM
Please know we are thinking of you and your family- may you heal as quickly and painlessly as possible.

As for the grrr-ipper... I have 2 and really like mine. (in addition to the microjig splitter) I really like them (especially with the thin rip attachment) They are a great addition to my arsenal of safety jigs/tools and though aren't appropriate for every situation, make some cuts much safer.

As a matter of honest full disclosure- the company (microjig) just sent me their new tapering jig to try out- free of charge - due to some feedback I gave them as well as an email. This gift was neither solicited nor expected but it is appreciated and I'll be giving them lots of honest feedback on how it works for me.

Again, please heal quickly,

03-14-2013, 07:42 PM
I purchased two of the Grrr-Rippers last year at the Wood Show, and love them. They beat all of the other pushers hands down. My son (14yr) doesn't use the router or the table saw without using atleast one of them. (He also loves them) With my handicapped hands, I can't hold onto alot of the pushers that are out there, but the Grrr-Ripper has a nice big handle which is not that difficult to hold onto and it keeps my hands well away from the blades. (Seeings how my fingers sometimes have a mind of their own)
Highly recommend to anybody who uses a table saw or router.

03-15-2013, 10:57 AM
@ FWHARRIS...........thank you. Everyone should take the time and read these stories. It makes you rethink SAFETY. As most know I'm an old machinist and still have all my fingers, but safety has always been a #1 reason. Just reading these stories will make you stop and think the next time you flip that switch. Thanks for the refresher lesson. Be SAFE not SORRY

03-15-2013, 11:58 AM
I mentioned I already own a SawStop table saw...but, it got me thinking about my radial arm saw (perhaps even more prone to cutting off a bunch of fingers). So...I called SawStop main office headquarters yesterday asking if they are coming out with a Radial SawStop. They are indeed looking at doing that, as well as a bandsaw version and other tools, but sadly, I was told it could be as long as ten years out on those iterations. Be that as it may, nothing beats good-ol-fashioned shop safety procedures and attentiveness from the user of course.