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  • Cuts and nicks

    Since trying to integrate more hand tool work into my hobby, I am burning through way more bandaids. As I am struggling to type this, I have cuts on both of my index finger tips. Not bad cuts, just nicks that are annoying as heck. One was nicked with a chisel, the other by my shoulder plane (be careful how you pick those up). I also have a small nick on the thumb from my marking knife that is almost healed. In 20 years of hobby woodworking I cut myself on power tools exactly twice. Once on a jointer when changing blades (it was unplugged at the time) and once on my SawStop when a lapse in concentration allowed the saw to pay for itself and save my hand. Both were minor cuts requiring only a bandaid.

    But if the present trend continues, I will be perpetually wearing a bandaid somewhere on my right hand (I'm left handed so my right hand receives most of the abuse from whatever I'm holding in my left).

    Stressing safety with hand tools is not something you hear much, but there are hazards there. I am striving to be more careful.

    Cheers
    Randy
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  • #2

    Re: Cuts and nicks

    I started keeping bandaids in my shop years ago. Chisels are dangerous objects in my hands.

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    • #3

      Re: Cuts and nicks

      I'm right there with you: my day job is in residential construction. I can't seem to get through a week without stabbing one of my hands with something. Sharp corners on ducts/steel studs, protruding nails/screws/staples, utility knives slip, last week I attempted to put a Phillips bit through my left hand with an electric drill when the self-tapping screw I was trying to drive slipped.

      What about cut-proof gloves? As they're being mandated on many commercial construction sites, the offerings from retailers have improved. You can now get a reasonably thin and comfortable pair of cut-proof gloves for under $10. Perhaps investigating the options, trying to find a pair that fits well without impeding your ability to work precisely. I should mention that "cut-proof" is more like "cut resistant", they won't save your hand from a swinging cleaver, but they will avoid bloodshed from the sticks and pricks we're talking about.

      I've unfortunately been blessed with beefy palms and short fingers which makes finding gloves of any kind that fit over my hand without leaving an inch of glove hanging off the end of my fingers a real challenge...

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      • #4

        Re: Cuts and nicks

        Another thought, as it pertains to minor cuts/scrapes/injuries in my home shop, a good portion of them are from tools not in use. I have found that though I'm religious about not leaving a metal object on the table saw (to protect the carbides on the blade from getting chipped) but I recently reached across my saw (while it was off and likely even unplugged) for a pencil and caught the back of my hand on the dado blade that was installed in the saw and raised to about 3/8". Same thing reaching into a drawer and nicking myself on the router bits in their holder, or the abandoned hand saw that got knocked off the bench and nicked my leg (through my jeans) on the way down.

        If I would get into a better habit of putting things away and ensuring that I have proper/excess space to work would go a long way to preventing myself from getting (as many of) these types of injury. Include care for my knuckles and fingers in my processes for keeping my tools in good working order. How many times have you bumped into something behind you and the sharp object in your hand contacts your body as a result? I've lost track how many times this has happened to me

        Note: That hand saw was laying on the bench because the bench is wooden and the teeth were safe, as opposed to on the cluttered pegboard where it should hang where it risks being banged into the clamps on one side and the squares/rulers on the other. Yeah, get a guard for it, yeah, find it a better home, yeah, build a bigger shop to make it happen... because we all have a golden goose or a money tree! ;)
        Last edited by ThePracticalPeasant; 04-06-2021, 10:53 AM. Reason: Added a couple missing words

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        • #5

          Re: Cuts and nicks

          As TPP says, I would also suggest gloves to reduce cuts. Unlike with power equipment, wearing gloves with hand tools is not dangerous.

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Cuts and nicks

            Originally posted by Randy in Calgary View Post
            Since trying to integrate more hand tool work into my hobby, I am burning through way more bandaids. As I am struggling to type this, I have cuts on both of my index finger tips. Not bad cuts, just nicks that are annoying as heck. One was nicked with a chisel, the other by my shoulder plane (be careful how you pick those up). I also have a small nick on the thumb from my marking knife that is almost healed. In 20 years of hobby woodworking I cut myself on power tools exactly twice. Once on a jointer when changing blades (it was unplugged at the time) and once on my SawStop when a lapse in concentration allowed the saw to pay for itself and save my hand. Both were minor cuts requiring only a bandaid.

            But if the present trend continues, I will be perpetually wearing a bandaid somewhere on my right hand (I'm left handed so my right hand receives most of the abuse from whatever I'm holding in my left).

            Stressing safety with hand tools is not something you hear much, but there are hazards there. I am striving to be more careful.
            I bleed almost everytime I'm in the shop. Lol.

            One of the worst culprits is when I cut veneer sheetgoods with a fresh blade in my Festool track saw. The edge left on the sheetgood afterwards leaves the deepest papercuts.

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            • #7

              Re: Cuts and nicks

              Randy, at work for many years I was famous for always cutting myself on stuff that had sharp edges, so much so that for Christmas one year the guys gave me a huge box of band aids.

              I find that having a tool tray on the bench has reduced the number of cuts from chisels hanging around.

              Right now I'm milling some old growth Douglas Fir so it's splinter time. I swear those slivers have barbs on them...............Regards, Rod.
              Randy in Calgary likes this.
              Work is the curse of the riding class.

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              • #8

                Re: Cuts and nicks

                Duct tape works well to protect a bandaid and stop bleeding.
                Egon
                from
                The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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                • #9

                  Re: Cuts and nicks

                  I'm pretty sure my hands are more scar tissue than skin. I often find myself wondering why my hands are sticky as I'm working only to find I've managed to cut or scrape my hand(s) somehow. Bandages of a variety of sizes and styles are a staple supply item in the workshop.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Cuts and nicks


                    It is good to see I am not alone, though I don't wish injury's on anybody! A funny story..........

                    Several years ago a work buddy was getting into woodworking. He had set of old hand me down chisels that looked like they had been mainly used as scrapers. He asked me if I would sharpen them for him. Sure. I spent a couple of hours flattening the back to a high polish. Established a new bevel. Sharpened and polished that to a mirror sheen. You could literally shave with them. I brought them into the office with the tips all taped up and he was thrilled. As I was handing them over, I stressed he " be careful. These chisels are F$%(& SHARP". He went home happy as a clam. The next day I go to his office and his left thumb has this huge bandage the size of a corn dog. He was very sheepish about having his thumb in the path of the chisel, but he didn't realize how effortlessly the chisel would pass through the piece of pine he was working on. Being used to blunt chisels, he attacked the cut with his usual vigor and ended up in the ER. He was amazed also that it didn't hurt much because it cut through his thumb like a scalpel. Sharp tools are safer than blunt ones, but you need an understanding of what sharp is.
                    Last edited by Randy in Calgary; 04-07-2021, 03:41 PM.
                    Cheers
                    Randy

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Cuts and nicks

                      Originally posted by Randy in Calgary View Post
                      It is good to see I am not alone, though I don't wish injury's on anybody! A funny story..........

                      Several years ago a work buddy was getting into woodworking. He had set of old hand me down chisels that looked like they had been mainly used as scrapers. He asked me if I would sharpen them for him. Sure. I spent a couple of hours flattening the back to a high polish. Established a new bevel. Sharpened and polished that to a mirror sheen. You could literally shave with them. I brought them into the office with the tips all taped up and he was thrilled. As I was handing them over, I stressed he " be careful. These chisels are F$%(& SHARP". He went home happy as a clam. The nest day I go to his office and his left thumb has this huge bandage the size of a corn dog. He was very sheepish about having his thumb in the path of the chisel, but he didn't realize how effortlessly the chisel would pass through the piece of pine he was working on. Being used to blunt chisels, he attacked the cut with his usual vigor and ended up in the ER. He was amazed also that it didn't hurt much because it cut through his thumb like a scalpel. "Sharp tools are safer than blunt ones, but you need an understanding of what sharp is."
                      As to the last statement, I couldn't agree more. Years ago, when I met my late wife, I was always amazed at how dull her kitchen knives, and most of the rest of her families' knives were. I used to cringe when I watched them trying to cut things with their own cutlery.
                      We liked to cook together and prepared a lot of meals for both of our families. If some of her sisters or her parents started to help with preparation of a meal, I would always warn them that the knives were not what they were used to. After they got over being afraid of the newly sharpened knives they started bringing knives along with them when they visited for me to sharpen.
                      Les Groeller likes this.
                      Previously Wallace's Dad

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                      • #12

                        Re: Cuts and nicks

                        for small cuts and nicks I use Crazy Glue to close it up .Works like Magic. Got onto this when one of the kids cut themselves and took them to Emerg and the Dr used it on the cut.
                        You can even put another layerover top to protect it a bit more
                        Mike

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                        • #13

                          Re: Cuts and nicks

                          I'm always getting nicks and cuts in the shop. VERY rarely do I cut myself on a tool. It's usually the wood or metal that I'm working on that gets me. That clean sharp arris left by a hand plane cuts like a knife. And I will never hear the end of the story about the time I cut myself on a milk crate. I have to be careful when using plans in the shop too (paper cuts).

                          There are bandaids scattered all around the shop.
                          Wood Hoarder, Blade Sharpener, and Occasional Tool User

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                          • #14

                            Re: Cuts and nicks

                            Originally posted by Stuart Jacobs View Post

                            As to the last statement, I couldn't agree more. Years ago, when I met my late wife, I was always amazed at how dull her kitchen knives, and most of the rest of her families' knives were. I used to cringe when I watched them trying to cut things with their own cutlery.
                            We liked to cook together and prepared a lot of meals for both of our families. If some of her sisters or her parents started to help with preparation of a meal, I would always warn them that the knives were not what they were used to. After they got over being afraid of the newly sharpened knives they started bringing knives along with them when they visited for me to sharpen.
                            Oh, I can identify with that very recently.

                            In just the last couple years I've slowly started getting into sharpening. Mostly I'm still machine dependent - I have a worksharp, and a few other gadgets. I bought some stones from LV though as well as their jig, and I am working through leonard's book. But I really love sharpening my drill bits or chisels right before use, it makes me feel a lot more confident and happy as I do the work.

                            But then one day around christmas I was in the kitchen trying to cut some chicken with one of our "good" knives, and it suddenly occurred to me - like noticing something that was right in front of your face that somehow you'd always missed - that all these knives were as dull as snot!! "I would never accept this in the shop" I thought to myself.

                            Now, by good co-incidence, that very night the couple who used to own the home hardware listed a still-in-the-box (i.e. old inventory) 4 level knife sharpener, inc a leather stropping wheel. They only wanted a few dollars for it, so I jumped on it. That night I eagerly sharpened all of our knives, and while I'm sure a real sharpener could do a better job with a stone, I have to say the difference was night and day! I was really happy, and they were much easier to use.

                            Just a couple days later some friends of ours came over. They're a good family and have kids the same age as ours, so we frequently team up and do things together. Back at thanksgiving her husband had to work, so she brought her kids and a turkey (careful not to mix them up) over and together we all made a joint thanksgiving dinner. She grew up in an italian home and is an excellent cook. We decided to do the same thing at christmas, so that's how it is that she pulled up into our driveway again with a turkey and baskets of other supplies. As I was helping her unload, I was surprised to find a set of kitchen knives amongst her supplies. "you brought your own knives?" I questioned. "Yes, ryan" she explained, "I didn't want to make you feel bad, but I remembered thanksgiving, and I'm sorry, but your knives are just not usable!" Well, of course, I couldn't blame her, but I did proudly show her my new sharpener!

                            Anyway, now when I cook I always start by sharpening my knifes again. Who am I kidding? I always start by pouring a glass of wine. Then I sharpen my knives!

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                            • #15

                              Re: Cuts and nicks

                              Originally posted by callee View Post
                              Anyway, now when I cook I always start by sharpening my knifes again.
                              This is the key !! It also applies to chainsaws etc. If you touch up your cutting edges regularly, you rarely have to actually "sharpen" them. I have been sharpening kitchen knives with soapy water on an oil stone for decades. It's how to stay safe in the kitchen.

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