About 2 weeks ago I cut my thumb on my table saw. I was tapering some red oak legs for a small table. I have yet to finish this project, but this is a model of what it will look like soon.
I want to be clear; this injury was not an accident! Nor was it equipment malfunction, or bad luck. I cut myself due to stupid and reckless behavior in the shop. I plan to update and improve my safety systems in the shop, and I hope to post more about this later. For now, I wanted to take a second and share my experience of returning to the wood shop following my injury.
Honestly it has been a little scary to use my power tools with blades, especially my table saw. There was a tangible feeling of fear and anxiety as I powered up the saw for the first time yesterday. I felt like every cut was dangerous and had the potential to catch me again. Obviously this fear is exaggerated due to coming back from a fairly significant injury, and I expect it to diminish with time. However, I do not want it to disappear completely.
I believe this fear will morph into a deep respect for the real possibility of injuries due to my occupation. I think I possessed a typical stubborn “ten feet tall and bulletproof” mentality, and thankfully my saw carved that faulty thinking out of me! Yes I got hurt, but it could have been SO MUCH WORSE. Just Google Image “table saw accidents.” I am thankful for a serious lesson on shop safety!