If you work with tools and wood then you probably know what I mean by “a near miss.”
For a brief moment some of my deeply ingrained shop safety rules went out the window. I was very, very lucky and was not injured, not even a scratch.
I was resawing at the bandsaw. The blade was getting a little dull but I only had a few more boards to resaw. I had already resawn walnut, maple and cherry and all that was left to resaw were a few pieces of butternut.
I didn’t want to change the blade and recalibrate the fence, make test cuts and spend all that time to make a few cuts in a relatively soft wood when I was so close to being finished.
This was not a good idea but so far so good.
The butternut sawed well, maybe too well. I was able to feed the wood into the saw at a quick pace.
On the very last cut the waste was about 1/16th” thick. For a moment, a very brief moment, I was distracted. In that same moment I felt something touch a finger and I instinctively pulled my hand away.
The blade had wandered (probably due to being dull and/or worn) and broken through the waste. What had gently kissed my finger was the saw blade.
In my momentary lack of attention I had let the hand holding the wood to the fence follow the board up to the blade. This is something I usually never do. I know better but I had briefly been distracted and that was all it took to momentarily break a very good habit.
It didn’t leave a scratch. Talk about lucky!
I felt that payback for my luck would be to share the experience and use it as a warning to all the other folks who do this kind of work.
There are many articles about shop safety and using tools properly. The X-factor is you and your willingness to follow the rules of safety.
I’d also like to remind you that hand tools are dangerous too. My most serious woodworking accident happened with a hand tool many, many years ago. Once again it was due to my lack of following my own rules. I was working when I probably should have been sleeping.
So be careful and have fun, have fun and be careful!