Adventures in Stick Building: Tales of Caution and Woe

I have had a few close calls. I was cutting a solid block of walnut on the table saw and I trimmed off a sharp little triangle from a corner. Like an idiot I was not using my zero clearance blade insert. I pulled the case away after a cut. The newly exposed grain pattern looked amazing! That triangle waste piece wobbled there on the table for a moment because I was focused on the case. Time froze as I watched the triangle creep toward the blade, get caught in the slot for the blade and WHACK it was sent hurtling passed my face.

I felt the wind as it whipped passed my head. I wear goggles and a dust mask but it was sharp enough that I’m sure it would have cut my face.

Then I took the same block over to my router table and I was not using the router table fence. I was trying to feed this curve into the bit and I tried to back the piece into the bit the wrong way (to avoid tear out) and the blade caught the case and sent it out into my driveway. Very scary and very damaging to the case. Anyway, that case is about a half inch smaller than it was supposed to be thanks to all my hasty mistakes.

Never hurts to be too cautious. At least with a table saw cut they can usually put the finger back on. A router will turn your hand into hamburger before you notice you made a mistake.

(Anyone else have some good ones, Ive got a few more) :confused:

Remember what Norm says … There is no more important protection to wear these! Eye protection saves you most of the major problems you’d face!

In an unrelated tidbit, there’s a new saw out now that will detect if your fingers are getting close to the blade and if they are, it sends a brake into the blade, stopping it before it can do too much damage. The show I saw it on tested it with a hotdog but it was crazy, it stopped the instant it neared something that wasn’t wood. Ruins the blade and the brake but saves your finger. I’ll see if I can find the video and post up. Congrats on surviving your close calls.

edit –

Yea I’ve seen the sawstop before but they are darn expensive. Defiantly out of the reach of your average hobbyist.

The lacewood box I am currently working on gave me a surprise the other night. When I glued up the sides I measured the diagonals for square. They both were the same so I thought it was all good. Until I went to cut the top. I neglected to check the parallel sides for equal length. Now I have a trapazoid instead of a square. :crybaby: I just finished putting on the final coat of tung oil too. I also made the corner blocks too tall. I am going to have to go through the whole process again.

  1. break the box down
  2. sand the corner blocks down 1/8"
  3. fix the sides so they measure the same
  4. reglue the entire box
  5. run it through the router to fix any minor issues
  6. resand
  7. refinish

Measure twice, cut once, remeasure, Measure twice, cut once, remeasure, Measure twice, cut once, remeasure, Measure twice, cut once remeasure.


I haven’t yet tried my hand at creating a stick. :stuck_out_tongue:

I used to work in a rubber mill, though, where I’d do things like sandblast and operate a lathe. We worked with big steel rolls that often exceeded several tons in weight. I’ve had quite a few close calls.

Just awhile back I was using a long handheld springblade to strip the rubber off of a roll. I was driving the lathe to the left, towards the jaws of the headstock which held one end of the roll. These jaws are spinning incredibly fast (I had it in the highest gear), and I wasn’t really paying attention-- I let my springblade (which is attached to a five-foot rod) wander right into them. The blade got ripped out of my hands and was shot straight up into the air. I watched it come back down, and when I realized it was going to land right by the jaws again I made a sprint for the dumpster, which is the only cover I had in the area. Sure enough, it landed and shot straight back out. The whole thing whizzed right by my face spear-style, it missed by less than a foot. :o

  • Make sure you buy the right parts before you place a part order. IE, if you need screw-in buttons, don’t buy snap-ins.

  • When you go to buy the screw-in buttons you should have bought in the first place, make sure you buy a 35mm ball top, not a 30mm ball top, to match the colors of your new buttons.

Not that I’ve done anything like that, of course. ^^