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ANOTHER TABLESAW KICKBACK-GRAPHIC

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epanzella

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#1
I was reluctant to post this but if it helps someone avoid a similar fate it's worth it. After being a building contractor for 30years with hardly a scratch I retire and chew up my hand doing a freebee for my daughter in law. I was cutting up a dresser to reclaim some nice maple to build doors for a cabinet. A long piece had a projection sticking out straight up and another one sticking out 90 degrees. I was ripping one projection off with the other one pointing straight up at the end of the board. The saw kicked back sending the piece past my hip and smashing it into the back wall of the shop. (I always stand to the side.) I was using a push stick in my right hand but my left was on the far side of the blade just resting on the rip fence. When the piece took off the projection at the end of the board slammed into my left hand dragging it forcibly into the blade. My index finger was cut right thru and dangling by only 1/4 inch of skin. My middle and ring fingers were shredded with multiple fractures. I was home alone so off I drove to the hospital. I had to leave the first hospital because they wanted to cut off the other two fingers leaving me with a thumb and a pinky but I was able to locate an excellent microsurgeon at Yale hospital who was able to save two of my fingers by taking the nerves, tendons and blood vessels out of my discarded index finger and transplanting them to the damaged ones. Three days of having my hand in a heat chamber was followed by three days of leeches (changed every 30 minutes around the clock) and finally blood flow was restored. After 8 days in the hospital (6 in ICU) I got to go home. It was six weeks before it was determined that my fingers would survive. The accident was on March 22, 2017. I'm still going to therapy to get the range of motion and then I go in for one more surgery to release the tendons that are imbedded in scar tissue. It's amazing the way one second can change your life.

aaaaaa pre op 2.jpg aaaaaa pre op 3.JPG aaaaaa pre op 5 (2).JPG apr 3 b.JPG APR 6.JPG june 29.JPG
 
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kvt

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#2
Sorry to here about this. But it could help someone else. Looks pretty good for what it started out looking like.
 

genec

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#3
good ad for saw stop , take care
 

woodchucker

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#4
Take care. Good luck on the recovery, it will take a long time for the nerves to heal.
 

epanzella

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#5
Sorry to here about this. But it could help someone else. Looks pretty good for what it started out looking like.
Thanks. The fingers don't work very well yet but at least I have them.
 

jocat54

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#6
Hope you recover (all that you can) fast. Take care.
I still get my stomach all in knots when I use the tablesaw now--which hasn't been much lately--that nano second can change perspectives.
 

mikey

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#7
Wow, that is some massive trauma! Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.
 

RJSakowski

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#8
Wow! If you guys are trying to gross out, it's working.

As I said in Jocat's thread, I had an experience with a table saw as a teenager but nothing even remotely close to yours.

Our elderly next door neighbor cut a finger off on a table saw making Christmas presents several years ago. He drove himself to the hospital too and they managed to reattach the finger. He eventually regained use of it. Here's hope that you will have similar results.

In my book, the table saw is the most dangerous piece of machinery that I have ever used, chain saws included.
 

markba633csi

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#9
Caramba! Thank goodness for automatic transmissions and microsurgery- glad they could save most of your hand
Mark S.
ps sell the table saw
 
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bfd

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#10
thanks for the graphic warning good luck and a good recovery is being prayed for, for you bill
 

core-oil

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#11
It goes to show how quickly and simply a serious accident can happen, We can all walk int a serious accident usually in a nano second of lack of attention, But here we have a craftsman with 30 years of experience getting badly hurt in spite of taking every precaution, Just pure bad luck, woodworking machinery is very unforgiving. I am most saddened to learn of your accident.
 

jim18655

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#12
Saw stop would help but has too many problems with wet lumber and the expense of replacement parts for a false trip.
Sorry to see what happened. Good luck with the re-hab.
 

darkzero

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#13
I never view view these types of threads. I'm glad you put the warning in the title though.

Very sorry to hear about this aweful injury. Hope you recover quickly & well.
 

epanzella

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#14
Thank you all for the kind words. I know a number of guys in various trades with missing index fingers. After training their middle finger to take it's place it doesn't seem to slow them down much. I've still got some work ahead of me but I think I'll get enough function from my remaining fingers to keep doing the things I love. (machining, RC planes, gunsmithing, hunting)
 

woodchucker

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#15
Saw stop would help but has too many problems with wet lumber and the expense of replacement parts for a false trip.
Sorry to see what happened. Good luck with the re-hab.
I does not have problems with wet lumber, you just turn off the sensor while cutting wet lumber. If you forget, well, you lose.
 

brino

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#16
Ouch!
Good call on switching hospitals......hard to understand why the first one couldn't just admit it was too much for them and recommend the second.

The skin on the others has healed nicely.
Best of luck with the nerves and muscles.

Thanks for sharing your misfortune.
Hopefully it's a cautionary tale for others.

-brino
 

epanzella

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#17
Ouch!
Good call on switching hospitals......hard to understand why the first one couldn't just admit it was too much for them and recommend the second.

The skin on the others has healed nicely.
Best of luck with the nerves and muscles.

Thanks for sharing your misfortune.
Hopefully it's a cautionary tale for others.

-brino
The first hospital was honest with me but their hand surgeon was not a micro surgeon. They assisted me in hooking up with the doc that eventually saved my fingers.
 

wawoodman

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#18
Good luck, and here's hoping for a speedy and complete recovery.
 

Silverbullet

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#19
No guards or fast stop will ever save from these kinds of accidents , I grew up working with every power tool associated with wood. From the first time I ever used a table saw, you can't be to careful , cutting boards without finger boards for pressure down and towards the fence. Push sticks are great but the foam pads work well also. I'm sorry your hands messed up and glad your on the mend. After I got to the point of not being able to stand I put my saw away , finally selling a prized machine, I built lots of furniture and special order church items. I enjoyed my years of cabinet building . I'll be praying for recovery and the therapy.
 

texanjohn

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Here's hoping for a speedy recovery, and a huge thank you for the posting, I know I for one can always use a "wake up" call.
 

Jonathans

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#21
Wow. Scary way to remind others to be safe, but thanks. Anyone can get complacent at times and not remember the damage one of these tools can dish out in a moment.
I have a Sawstop cabinet saw, and have tripped the mechanism a couple times. Once with the sliding table fence which was sticking out too far after returning it to 90 degrees,
and once due to forgetting to turn off the sensor when sawing damp wood. Both times cost me a cartridge and a Forest WWII blade. Still a small price to pay if it one day
prevents one of my hands from taking the damage as shown above. I hope you heal well.
 
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