Author Topic: Amputated finger problem  (Read 3035 times)

rcortright

  • Forum Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Amputated finger problem
« on: August 02, 2010, 01:48:47 PM »
I recently amputated two fingers from my left hand (table saw). Doc reattached one, but we won't know whether or not it'll be much good for maybe a year. Does anyone have any knowledge of tool modifications, prostheses or whatever so that I can use tools like drawknives, spokeshaves, scorps, travishers, card scrapers, etc?

Many thanks for your input and don't assume that because you've been at it for a while that you know all about safety.

pearle

  • Guest
Re: Amputated finger problem
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2010, 03:44:50 PM »
Care to go into any detail about the accident? I find it helpful to learn from other folks accidents to perhaps keep from doing the same thing myself. We're all familiar with theoretical risks in the workshop, but sometimes we don't appreciate the real-world hazards enough, so it's good to be reminded of them.

Preston

rchampagne

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
Re: Amputated finger problem
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 03:32:20 PM »
I don't know anything about tool modification, etc, just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear about your accident.  Let us know how you make out. 
Rob

rcortright

  • Forum Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Amputated finger problem
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 04:33:49 PM »
I had a piece of cherry about 1.5" thick by 15" long by 4" wide. I was ripping off a 1.5" piece to make a turning blank. I was using a push stick on the piece between the blade and the fence. As the cut came close to completion, I reached down with my left had to pull the off-cut away from the blade, and WHAM! I wa next lookking at two bloody stumps.

R Bohn

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
Re: Amputated finger problem
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 04:58:39 PM »
Richard, sorry about the accident,in 30yrs of playing with the saw I've had I lot of close calls myself.It happens so fast.When I was teaching many years ago, I had a couple guys in the class with missing fingers and they did just fine with the hand tools.One of them was missing 3 fingers on his right hand,he modified a leather glove to help pull tools.I think once you get through the learning curve you will be able to use tools just as well as you did.let me know if I can help.      Good Luck      Randy
Restoration and Conservation of Fine Antiques Serving Museums, Dealers and Private Collectors Nation wide since 1979

Jeff Saylor

  • Forum Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
  • Retired H.S. Industiral Arts teacher
    • Jeff Saylor
Re: Amputated finger problem
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 08:01:21 PM »
I cringed after reading Richard's post.  After teaching H.S. woodshop for 35 years, and only having one serious student accident (partial finger amputation) with the table saw,  I still have to say it was by the GRACE OF GOD that I was that lucky.  All it takes is a microsecond of mental lapse or a slight distraction and it can happen to anyone of us.  And believe me- HIGH SCHOOL KIDS HAVE MENTAL LAPSES!

Richard, I'm glad you shared this with all of us.  Maybe it will help us all to refocus.
Jeff Saylor
SAPFM #211  Hobbies include hunting, fishing, making furniture, searching for old tools at flea markets.

chobbs66

  • Regional Chapter Coordinator
  • Forum Journeyman
  • ***
  • Posts: 77
Re: Amputated finger problem
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 07:49:33 AM »
Richard,

Very sorry to hear about your accident.  I admire your attitude on pushing forward with hand tools.  Many of us could be there right with you.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery and learning new ways to keep going in the shop.  Cal
Son of a period furnituremaker, serious hobbiest since 2003 or so.  Construction Manager by day.  2 children, ages 15 and 13.

hellmutt

  • Forum Apprentice
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Amputated finger problem
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2010, 08:23:17 AM »
After thirty years of using a table saw I have recently taken on the practice of using the blade guard with a riving knive. I also keep the blade no higher than needed for the cut.
About twelve years ago I was ripping a board and got bit by the blade; luckily it only cut my finger. I do however have a scar that is about an inch long on my left index finger. The doctor told me if it was across the finger rather than along the finger I would have a shorter finger.
As far as adapting to the loss goes; I think that most people adapt. I know a guy who lost his right arm in a motorcycle accident years ago. He is still able to ride with a very primitive replacement arm. He is also a very gifted mechanic and does some great work. How he rides with the throttle, clutch and front brake on the left is beyond me!

toolemera

  • Forum Journeyman
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Old books, Old paper, Old wood, Old tools
    • The Toolemera Press
Re: Amputated finger problem
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2010, 07:45:06 PM »
somewhat after the fact, try the AU woodworking forum sub-section on woodworking & disabilities:

http://www.woodworkforums.com/f142/

and, if you have the insurance to cover it, look for a good Occupational Therapist for advice and ideas.

Gary
Gary Roberts
The Toolemera Press