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  1. #21
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    OK, this didn't happen to me, but I was a witness!

    One day, at about three years of age, I was watching my Dad mow the lawn. He was using an old Toro. You know the type - a gas engine, pull start, side-bagging push mower. The grass was a bit damp and soon clogged the chute. Dad decided that it was a good idea to remove the bag and clear the blockage without turning off the mower. Even at that age, I told him not to do it, but he was never one to take good advice from anyone.

    Predictable results ensued (I'll never forget the sound it made), with him picking up a large piece of his thumb from the lawn (covered in bits of bright, green grass set in bright, red blood) and calmly telling me, "Kenny, get your mother". Which I did despite her being 8 months pregnant. Dad wrapped his hand and thumb in a towel and drove himself to the hospital. That's the only time I ever saw him voluntarily seek medical attention until his final illness a couple of years ago.

    Anyway, that's the day I became a safety nut. I always read the manual and/or MSDS, have the right gear, and never short-cut a procedure. I've seen the consequences of impatience up close.

    Food for thought…

    Ken

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    jere (03-13-2015)

  3. #22

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    About 21 years ago I got some casters for my table saw; I was tired of wrastling it around the garage. So one night after dinner, headed out to the garage, carrrrrefully laid the cabinet over on one side, always being conscious of how heavy it was. Nice & soft onto the floor, installed the set of straight casters on the one side, nice, nooooo trouble. Lifted it back upright, all OK.

    Oh, Goddess of Confidence, yes, I took you for granted. I tried to make you my bitch.

    Walked around to the other side to start the 2 swivel casters. Took a firm confident heft on the tabletop and started to tip it, pivoting, of course on the new casters. Yup, there is this concept of 'center of gravity;' It's not just a construct for Physics classes. As soon as the C.G. was to the outside of where the casters were, everything sped up. Bottom of the saw went away from me, I lost my grip on the edge of the table and one of the fence rail bars aimed itself PERFECTLY!! for my left big toe.

    I did not swear. That's one thing I remember as I headed to the door to the kitchen, don't swear, you have 2 daughters under the age of 6; they don't need to learn Daddy's special words yet. Wife, having heard the loud banging of table saw settling to the floor was already coming to meet me.

    Little trip to the doc in a box, she drilled thru (doctor's version of a Dremeltool) my toenail to relieve the hematoma that was blooming underneath, gave me an orthopedic shoe and scrip. for painkiller. Man, I was gonna need that, and yes I was glad of it later!

    Not done yet, after work the next day I had to drive 2 hours to meet someone for a job interview; it's a little embarrassing showing up for an interview sporting ortho-shoe & crutches.

    A) Got the job,
    B) Learned anew the concept of 'center of gravity'
    C) Confidence is a karma-loving little shit of a goddess.
    Last edited by kb4mdz; 03-12-2015 at 06:29 PM.

  4. #23
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    Must have been traumatic, Ken! Were they able to reattach the shorn off piece?

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIYer View Post
    Must have been traumatic, Ken! Were they able to reattach the shorn off piece?
    Yep, they put it back on there. It took nearly a year for any feeling to return. For the rest of his life, when asked about it, he'd make a show of looking at both thumbs as if he didn't remember which one had been traumatically lopped off…

    It always amazed me that they were able to perform such effective micro-surgery in 1969.

    Ken

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbalch View Post
    OK, this didn't happen to me, but I was a witness!

    One day, at about three years of age, I was watching my Dad mow the lawn. He was using an old Toro. You know the type - a gas engine, pull start, side-bagging push mower. The grass was a bit damp and soon clogged the chute. Dad decided that it was a good idea to remove the bag and clear the blockage without turning off the mower. Even at that age, I told him not to do it, but he was never one to take good advice from anyone.

    Predictable results ensued (I'll never forget the sound it made), with him picking up a large piece of his thumb from the lawn (covered in bits of bright, green grass set in bright, red blood) and calmly telling me, "Kenny, get your mother". Which I did despite her being 8 months pregnant. Dad wrapped his hand and thumb in a towel and drove himself to the hospital. That's the only time I ever saw him voluntarily seek medical attention until his final illness a couple of years ago.

    Anyway, that's the day I became a safety nut. I always read the manual and/or MSDS, have the right gear, and never short-cut a procedure. I've seen the consequences of impatience up close.

    Food for thought…

    Ken
    The thought of losing digits always keeps me second guessing safety around finger removing devices. Thanks for sharing that one, glad it turned out well.

  7. #26

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    Just to be a picky old cuss, if you're electrocuted, you're dead. If you
    survived, you got shocked.

    My contribution; router table, climb routing with fence, left index finger.
    14 sutures later very painful lesson learned. X-ray showed the contour of
    the bit in the bone of the fingertip.

    Bill

  8. #27
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    I have had a lot of close calls in the shop but nothing more than small cuts and smashed fingers for the most part.

    While putting new roof on the garage last summer I put leg through an old board that gave way. On that same roof the year before I got some my pants caught in a chainsaw while trimming tree limbs. This year I have launched a few hard wood bowls across the garage right past my head. Found out my oxy acetylene torch had a leaky valve after the leak ignited while welding. Stuff like that seems to happen a little too much but live and learn... If you are still alive

  9. #28
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    Worst I saw was a gentleman I worked with caught his arm in a conveyor belt and ripped it off all the way up to the neck took collar bone and all. He was a tough old coot managed to come back and work another thirty years or so one armed. Only battle he lost was to cancer which took him a few years ago.

  10. #29
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    On that note, crahar, I've got a cycling buddy who was involved in a similar accident. On his bike (which has a custom dual-pull brake system), he's really, really tough to beat.

  11. #30

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    I needed to grind a little piece of steel with a hand held grinder in my garage workshop. Whenever I use a torch or grind anything, I always remove the gas cans for the lawn equipment to the outside. Well one time I was in a hurry and a little 2 gal. gas can was a couple of feet away and was almost totally empty just 3 or 4 ozs in the bottom. The can was sealed except for the little vent hole in the top. I figured I just need to give a quick little grind and what the Hell. Sure enough all Hell broke loose. A spark from the grinder somehow found its way through the little vent hole and lit the fumes in the can. It sounded like a small jet engine with blue flame shooting out of the vent hole about 6 inches. I grabbed the can and through it out the garage door (which was open) in the yard, burning my hand. The can didn't blow up but it ran like a jet engine for a few minutes.

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