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Old 05-08-2010, 09:51 PM  
SJNServices
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Default Hard lesson to learn

Last week I found a great helper. Hard worker, and a quick learner. Hell, he was even reliable...27 years old. But today he was making an easy cut on the table saw while I was inside the house I'm working on and though neither of us are sure exactly what happened, he ended up for the most part lopping off all of the fingers on his right hand. Great thing gone horribly wrong. Right now he's at the hospital trying to have his fingers put back together. So, a quick note to all those who have great helpers with great prospects: take a minute and go over some safety things with them. And ALWAYS respect your tools, because they won't respect you if you blink.



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Old 05-08-2010, 10:36 PM  
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SJN:
I know I speak for everyone at HRT when I say that we're all hoping your employee and friend will regain the full use of his right hand. All you can do now is wait for things to heal as best they can.



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Old 05-09-2010, 05:49 AM  
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Last week. . .
Without a guard, I did this in '94. Strangely, it didn't hurt.

Pointer finger severed 2/3rds of the way and the joint is now fused, middle finger cut halfway through.

It cost $50,000 and 9 months of physical therapy and it sort of works. The 'brawny edema' doesn't go away.

I borrowed a 4" thk book on hand injuries. You don't want to look at the pictures of 'degloving' injuries but now, with Google Images, you probably can.

In addition to other offensive conduct, CIGNA stiffed me out of $12k of this [they said I didn't get it preapproved] so I paid the surgeon $100/mon for years.

Now I keep a guard on and find other ways to make the cuts that are easily made without the guard.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:33 AM  
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Steve, I really hate to hear this, tell him we hope for a full recovery. Let us know how he's doing.

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Old 05-09-2010, 06:55 AM  
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Default Safety

Yea, send our best, he will need it unfortunatly.

And a short story....and by no means do I blame anyone, accidents happen...thats why they are not called "planned on's".

I have been in the trades 25 years building 15000 sq ft homes to running cabinet shops... and still see dumb things done by ol' timers all the time. Folks do not realize when they are doing it that a youngster is lookin on....the old do as I say, not as I do never works.

When ever I hired a new person, they where trained on how to use the power tools right away, keep your hands away from the blades, use push sticks on tablesaws and never try to push the back of the piece down when it starts to lift or chatter behind the blade. (sounds like what your guy did to a tee, the board lifts and you push the back down grabbing the wood and pulling your fingers back toward you into the blade) And this is why I would get hurt more than my employees. I was teaching the saftey meetings , and ignoring myself ..because I was the boss of course.
So ...that was my short lesson, hope it helps someone to stay safe.

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Old 05-09-2010, 07:30 AM  
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Sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident.
For what it's worth, they do make table saws that will stop on a dime and prevent injury if you happen to get your finger close to the blade. I saw one demonstrated on a hot dog and it didn't even make a nick in the hot dog. Something to consider. Very expensive but, I never put a price on safety. Wish I could remember the manufacturer.

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Old 05-09-2010, 07:54 AM  
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and never try to push the back of the piece down when it starts to lift
That's exactly how mine happened. Just call me 'righty'.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:59 AM  
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Quick update: Looks like he lost his ring finger and some bits of three others, but here's what floors me. What he was worried about is whether or not I would still let him help me. I told him with one hand he would be a better helper than most I've found in this area and as long as I've got work he's got a job.

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Old 05-09-2010, 10:55 AM  
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Sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident.
For what it's worth, they do make table saws that will stop on a dime and prevent injury if you happen to get your finger close to the blade. I saw one demonstrated on a hot dog and it didn't even make a nick in the hot dog. Something to consider. Very expensive but, I never put a price on safety. Wish I could remember the manufacturer.
It's called "SawStop".
The World

Unfortunately, they don't make a brake package you can retrofit to your existing saw. You have to buy a "SawStop" saw before you get the brake package as a safety feature. They make 3 different table saws now, and they're planning to offer a full line of woodworking tools, all of which would include a similar safety feature.

(I spent a few minutes on the web site, and the way the brake package works is similar to the way a fuse works. There's a spring mounted aluminum block that is held out of the way of the saw's teeth by a thin wire. A voltage is applied to the saw blade and there's electronics that monitor that voltage. If anything that's conductive comes into contact with the blade, the current that flows into that conductive body will cause a voltage drop in the blade. If the system detects such a voltage drop, it sends a large current through the thin metal wire mentioned earlier. That wire burns out and the spring loaded aluminum block is pushed into the path of the blade teeth, stopping the blade almost immediately. It costs $70 to replace the brake package, and it can only be used once.
And, if you need to cut conductive materials, like wet wood, you can turn on the "bypass" feature, which basically just deactivates the large current that would otherwise burn out the thin metal wire to activate the brake. The monitoring system in the saw tells you if the brake would have been activated by cutting the conductive material so you know whether or not you need to turn off the safety feature or not.)
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:56 PM  
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It's called "SawStop".
The World
The major manuf's were not the least bit interested in this thing.


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