Friday, October 30, 2009

28 Days Later

My hand is coming along, slowly but surely. The stitches have all dissolved and the last of the dead tissue has finally been peeled away. It's going to take a long time for the tissue to grow back on the ring and middle fingers though, and there's a big oozy hole that might actually need plastic surgery to close up because of its location - right on top of the knuckle.

And so I bought a SawStop. There's a woodworking show going on in Edmonton this weekend, and this afternoon I stopped by. There were three retailers selling SawStop machines. I chatted with all three and learned that one of them had a machine in their shop that had been returned recently. A school had bought 2 machines this past summer, but after running them for a month they decided they needed a second bandsaw more than a second tablesaw. I went to their shop and looked at it, and of course you can't tell it isn't brand new. So a 3hp industrial saw with a 52" fence, regular $4300, was $2900. Still more than I can afford being a starving student, thank god for good credit!

I really need to do something with all these machines I'm gathering up! I believe a project is in order...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blood & Gore

Sometimes the simplest of things go very very wrong.

I was building a door frame this weekend and while I was cutting the rabbets in the jambs I had a hell of a wreck. I was pushing the wood against the fence with a push block, above and slightly behind the blade, and the jamb must have tipped away from the fence because suddenly it kicked back slightly, sending the push block into the blade. I guess I was caught off balance because I let go of the block as it was thrown back towards me, sending my left hand into the side of the blade.

At that point I decided that the best course of action was to run circles around my yard, top speed, screaming my head off.

After a few minutes I finally gathered my wits, wrapped up my hand, and phoned my folks. Then I commenced the circle running until they showed up and took me to the ER. After almost fainting and damn near puking I was laying in the trauma room, nurses and doctors running around saying incredibly reassuring things like 'yow, what a mess' and 'I don't know if we can even stitch that'. At one point, while the doctor was giving me one of eight 'blocking' needles in my hand (which hurt every bit as as bad as running my hand into the blade) a nurse ACTUALLY asked me 'on a scale of one to ten, how bad is the pain?'. And then I called her bad things...

Anyways, after the smoke had cleared it wasn't really that bad - considering how bad it COULD have been. It took 65 stitches to close it all up, and I lost a tiny piece off the top of my pinkie and at least two of my nails are long gone, but I didn't sever any tendons and I didn't lose any digits. Phew!

After I got back home I went into the shop, turned off my still-running saw, and surveyed the aftermath. The thing that I was left with was this: I wasn't doing anything precarious or unusual, I wasn't using the machine in a way it wasn't intended for, and I thought I was taking the necessary safety precautions. It all happened instantly, there was no time to counteract the inevitable. The last couple weeks have been rough, I've had a couple crappy things happen and have had a lot on my mind. I was working on the door frame at a dogged pace and my heart wasn't in it - I should've just walked away. Inattentiveness caused the accident. It would have been just as easy to lose a finger, or a whole hand, I got away lucky with 65 stitches.

The pictures below are pretty gruesome, pan down at your own risk.