Injury Time

I’ve always felt a bit smug when I meet woodworkers who have damaged fingers and other bits and pieces with power tools: obviously my continued possession of ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes and good hearing is owed to a combination of my own skill, foresight and, of course, some special dispensation of good fortune.

No longer:


Underneath that workmanlike dressing  (thank you to Israel in the emergency room at Lady Minto Hospital) is a finger with a nasty chunk scooped out of the tip. 

How did it happen? I was using a small hand-held 45 degree trimmer to put a neat chamfer on J.G. Lawson’s new “Medium Large Finishing Press” when I stuck my finger into the carbide blade. This was surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly) easy to do, since a) I had removed the guard (and subsequently mislaid it), and b) was using too large a bit for the tool:


It’s quite obvious that however I hold the tool, some part of my hand is bound to curl around the plexiglass base and come into contact with that dangerous-looking metallic cutting edge on the red 45° router bit, especially since this is the first time I have used this tool in this way.

I should say in my defence that I did go to town yesterday afternoon to look for a smaller (safer) bit, but drew the line at paying $32.50 for something I already had, albeit rather oversize.  So at least I knew that there was a problem. Of course, someone might argue that if you know that there’s a risk and ignore it, then that is in fact quite a bit more stupid than not being aware of that risk in the first place.

I think that I’d probably have to agree with them.