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Thread: Todays miracle

  1. #1
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    Todays miracle

    I have spent the last few days cutting up my Ash lumber into useable pieces, and checking for insect infestation. Getting rid of bad parts and putting a straight edge and one jointed surface on the keepers.

    I took the guard off my Mini Max CU300 combo's jointer because much of the wood is about 12" wide and it would just be in the way. On one board that was 11" wide 2" thick and 4' long, I had just finished jointing the 11 inch width, and flipped it on edge to do one straight edge. After a couple passes, I felt my middle finger vibrate violently. Jumped and pulled my hand back thinking I just lost a finger. I was wearing those thin mechanics gloves to avoid splinters, and there was absolutely no damage to see, glove or finger. My first words were a blurted "THANK YOU LORD", Then I shut down the machine and calmed down.

    Turns out the gloves had stretched past my fingertips about 1/2" or so, and the finger of the glove hit the cutter and vibrated, but did not catch in the cutter and pull my hand in, like it seems it should have. I have the Tersa cutter, and I wonder if a helix would have grabbed the glove.

    You may have a differing opinion, but I am calling this one another miracle. I have been blessed all my life, don't know why, but this is one of at least a dozen times in various ways. Just one example...I was a fireman for 35 years. Way back in 1965 at Ontario International Airport, a DC 8 (?) was warming up it's four engines and hooked to a tug. They didn't chock the wheels and the plane crept forward while they were running up the engines. It moved till it struck the tug with a propeller, which bent the prop which then proceeded to cut open the wing which is also a gas tank, and a fire ensued. When my rig arrived one other guy and I were pulling a fire hose over to the now burning plane, and a large O2 tank used to pressurize the cabin blew it's top and went through the side of the plane. We were 6' apart, pulling the hose and the tank went between us and ended up a quarter mile away. Neither of us even saw it, but others did.

    Like I said, blessed. Sorry for the length.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I am glad that you escaped uninjured. I have 9.95 fingers left, although gloves weren’t involved.

    Not that it matters, but a four propeller Douglas with an O2 tank would have been a DC-6 or DC-7

  3. #3
    I'm glad you are ok Rick. I agree - a miracle - both times.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Potter View Post
    ….
    Like I said, blessed. Sorry for the length.
    The length was perfect.

    Many (most of us?) have much to be thankful for, the longer we live the more, especially those who are active. Some call it luck. I think the words “miracle” and “blessed” are not inappropriate.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 09-29-2022 at 2:29 PM. Reason: fixed quote tagging

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Close call. Glad you are okay Rick.

    This is why I don’t wear gloves or jewelry in the shop. Too many stories I’ve heard over the years of people getting their hands caught due to those items getting pulled in. Lots of hand and finger cut threads on here lately have me thankful that I’ve been lucky as well. It is hard enough to stay safe so I’ll brave the splinters when using my machines.

  6. #6
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    Phew, that is an eye-opening experience. The end of a cut at the jointer is where 99% of accidents seem to happen. I take it your vibration was in the right hand as it was finishing the cut? I prefer a pork chop guard to a bridge guard, but that is because i prefer pushblocks over feeding by hand. You dont get splinters when the pushblock is between your skin and the lumber. However, i have a bridge guard now, and that is one advantage when hand feeding lumber. Its pretty hard to not make your hand go over the guard and therefore over the cutterhead.

    The jointer and planer are operations i sometimes wear gloves. Depending on wood species, rough lumber can really do a number on your office worker hands. I dont find gloves to be an issue so long as you are taking the necessary precautions with hand placement. My left hand is almost always 12-18" from the cutterhead on the infeed table as the board enters the initial cut. For the finishing cut, my hands are well onto the outfeed table once i establish a flat 18"+/- surface. Remember, you really should be referencing the outfeed table once you have enough flattened/surfaced board. This will give you better jointed results AND it is safer. If your knives are dull or you are taking a deep cut on wide material, then you should have a push block with a shoe to finish the cut on the jointer.

  7. #7
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    Glad that happened the way it did. I cringe every time I hear "gloves" and "machines" in the same sentence. I know a lot of folks use them. I'm lucky to live where there is almost no weather and don't have to wear them for temperature reasons. I'll take a blister or a splinter over a missing digit any day .
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." - George Carlin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Glad that happened the way it did. I cringe every time I hear "gloves" and "machines" in the same sentence. I know a lot of folks use them. I'm lucky to live where there is almost no weather and don't have to wear them for temperature reasons. I'll take a blister or a splinter over a missing digit any day .
    I wear gloves occasionally, so we are on opposite sides of this discussion; however, an accident begins with an F up and not by wearing gloves. I absolutely agree that gloves can make things worse-- i.e. lose your whole finger versus an inch of a finger--but there was a lot that happened beforehand that didnt involve a glove. Rick's example is unique in that his gloves dont fit him too well, and that 1/2" difference could be the first case of a glove causing an accident that wouldnt have otherwise happened.

  9. #9
    not really the glove got caught as it was past his finger, no glove no get caught. Tons of been hurt because a glove got caught and thats before it pulled them in.

    Once caught its what it will be from there. We were taught no gloves and I stick to that. ive tried the tight fitting super sticky when new face ones and as much as i got traction on smooth material it didnt feel right.

    I damp my fingers as I go. No guard pay attention. If you joint a lot of material you wont need gloves after a bit as your skin gets so hard you get very few slivers. I had a habit of heal of hand on end of board and done that likely too many years when the push block thing was close around. I see people joint material with fingers pointed down. Never done that mostly using the heal fingers still rest mostly heal.
    Last edited by Warren Lake; 09-29-2022 at 3:40 PM.

  10. #10
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    Glad to hear you are OK Rick.

    I agree with John. I have been blessed with a few miracles in my lifetime.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
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    Use proper safety equipment / procedures and make your own luck. No divine intervention required.

    These work great at the jointer - Grr-rip Block. The little tabs drop down and hook the material being jointed, no matter how slippery.

    They are expensive, but i use them at the jointer, resawing at the bandsaw, and at the router table.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    SOUTHWEST OH
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    Glove or not, 1/2" from the cutter is way too close.

  13. #13
    good logical statement Russel.

    My hand heal is likely not much more than that and why I should use the block. Depends on the material. Past i worked a ton of 5/4 and lesser 4/4 so likely I was mostly 1" or more from the cutter less whatever of my hand heel compressed over the edge. Once one side was flat it was all planer after that.

  14. #14
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    Maybe I should clarify a bit. When jointing the 11" wide face I used my left hand on top of the wood, with my right hand at the rear edge, using a sticky push block with tabs. When I flipped it onto the 2" thick side to get one straight line, that is when the close call happened. My left hand was pushing the flat face against the fence and the right hand was on the back corner 11" up from the cutter pushing the board through.

    It was the left hand pushing the piece against the fence that almost got caught. The fence is maybe 6" high and I was trying to push the 11" high piece somewhere near the middle of the fence height. The left hand was trying to keep the tall piece from tilting, and finger walking along the board as it cut. The gloves were as tight as I could get them, but would loosen just a bit with each pass. I always take light passes, and the wood was very rough sawn where I was handling it. I have splinters in my arms from handling it.

    As mentioned the pork chop was removed because I had several of this size to do, and they took up the whole table. Looking back, I should have done all the face jointing first, then put the pork chop back on. I thought I was doing it with safety in mind, but I was obviously mistaken, and never dreamed the left hand would drift that low.

    Hope this mia culpa helps someone someday.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 09-30-2022 at 3:31 AM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  15. #15
    Wearing gloves is simply begging for it.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

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