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A Nasty Encounter with a Table Saw

All I am going to say is that this is being typed with one finger.....very slowly. Yes, you guessed it, I have a had a little bit of a mishap involving a table saw and a lump of wood and it was entirely my own fault.

You are probably thinking about sliced off fingers and hundreds of stitches, but thankfully it isn't quite that bad, but it could have been and that is why I am so annoyed at myself. I took a terrible risk and it very nearly did me some serious damage.

The story goes like this. I was doing some skirting for one of Chris's rentals and as the weather was nice I set up the table saw in the garden. The skirting I had was too wide so it had to be cut along the length to give it a narrower profile. The fact I had bought the wrong stuff wasn't going to put me off getting the job done...mistake number one.

So I had quite long lengths to cut and the table saw is shorter than the length of the wood. In this situation I would normally set up some sort of additional table to balance the end of the wood or at the very least I would get Katy to hold it steady as it feeds through. I didn't bother. Clearly this was mistake number two.

So the skirting is going through the table saw and I am feeding it through from the side and trying to catch it at the other end as it comes out in two pieces. This is harder than you might realise, as I have to lean over the blade to do it. I am concentrating so hard on not getting sliced by the blade that I didn't realise that the end which is coming out of the saw doesn't have enough room to come out all the way. So it hits the garden fence and ricochets up it the air, the end still on the saw catches the blade and is also forced upwards and hit me right on the forearm before hitting me right across the stomach.

Katy came running out as I must have yelled (I don't remember doing that though) and the wood was clattering all over the place. She turned off the saw and then noticed blood all over the place. It was seeping through my tee-shirt from a big gash on my stomach, but my arm was in worse shape.

To cut a long and gruesome story much shorter (no pun intended), I am sitting here with my left arm in a sling with 8 stitches up the front of the forearm. The sling is to aid healing apparently and to stop me from trying to do too much, as there is extensive bruising as well. Not broken, but it feels like it.

So there you have it – a warning to not take short cuts when using dangerous machinery. What a great example I set to my apprentice!

I now have a whole week to sit about doing next to nothing, but think about how I could have been left not being able to do my job at all. Perhaps I need to take another look at my insurance to see if I am covered for this sort of thing. What would have happened if I had really injured myself? It doesn't bear thinking about.

G L Smith and Sons