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Terrible Jointer Accident

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Jazzdogg, Mar 9, 2008.


  1. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    A cautionary tale for my woodworking friends here on TalkBass: Please don't let this happen to you!

    A buddy experienced a nasty kick-back while face-jointing a few days ago. He was using only one push block instead of two (I know...:crying: )

    He lost the baby finger, half of the ring finger, and part of the middle finger on his left hand.

    These kinds of accidents happen faster than you can react. Please ALWAYS use extreme caution and TWO push/hold-down blocks when jointing.
     
  2. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    Well, thats enough to make me stop using just one block.....before this the router table has always been my biggest fear.
     
  3. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    Ugh........memories of jr hi woodshop.
    A kid in my class did the same thing.
    must pee now
     
  4. Jointers scare the crap out of me. I hope I NEVER get comfortable with mine.
     
  5. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    I know more people who have had jointer accidents than any other machine in a wood shop. The biggest mistake people make is that they try to join stuff that is too short.
     
  6. Jonsbasses

    Jonsbasses

    Oct 21, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Builder: Jon's Basses
    This.

    Read your jointer manual. Type out and print the MINIMUM DIMENSIONS your jointer recommends and tape them on your jointer somewhere. Never go under and you will eliminate a lot of risky variables. I hope your buddy is alright Jazzdogg, that's very sad to hear. :(
     
  7. Bett

    Bett

    Jan 27, 2008
    CT
    My high school construction class has a jointer (we call it a joiner for some reason), but it seems to be one of the safer machines. I feel much safer using the joiner than a router. All we use the joiner for is planing the edges of larger boards, and all the guards are in place, so it seems pretty safe. If I had to choose any power tools to use in a project it'd be the joiner and the band saw, and maybe the surface planer if I needed it once. I dislike routers, and the table saw's not my favorite, though it isn't that bad. I used a saber saw once on a project, but then I decided to use the band saw after that for any curves I needed to cut in my wood (the saber saw made annoying squeaking noises and I have better control on my cuts on the band saw). I don't really like the loud machines with spinning exposed blades. There haven't been any accidents in my class yet this year, and I hope there aren't any. I did almost get hit by a board that flew out of someone's hand while he was sanding the edge on a table belt sander. Then later a piece of wood touched the table saw blade after I turned the saw off and went around to get my wood. It flew off the table and almost hit somebody. That was the one time I didn't make sure to push my wood off the edge of the table before getting it too.
     
  8. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash

    This is very good advise.

    The most improtant safety feature on any machinery is you. Engage your brain when your working. Don't be stupid. I don't care how awesome you think you might be; you're aren't that great. It only takes a split second for anyone to loose a finger or a hand or worse. Unfortunately, the jointer does look very safe and most people do not give it the respect that it will take from you in the future, if you are not careful. I have over 30 routers, 9 shapers, 5 table saws, 3 planers, 4 radial arm saws, and tons more; but that jointer. That thing will get you when you least expect it to, guard or no guard.
     
  9. radii

    radii

    Feb 16, 2007
    Just remind me, what do you do for a living ? :eek:
     
  10. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    I own a cabinet shop, fifth generation. We also used to build cabinet doors for other shops. I also sell wood.
     
  11. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    Here are a few pics of my old shop. These two pics only show about 2/3 of the area.

    l_823cfa827dff88a4c55b05ed3801f648.

    l_505d71dc25d670805985963fee825add.
     
  12. Bett

    Bett

    Jan 27, 2008
    CT
    But how does one get their hand caught in a blade when your hand's on top of a board that's just being guided through? I guess if you're using it improperly it could happen. Then again, that's just the thing. If everyone followed the proper procedure for using all these tools, these accidents wouldn't happen. Of course there'll always be someone who doesn't follow the steps. That's why they should make more of these http://www.sawstop.com/ That's gotta be the coolest saw I've ever seen. They should make different versions of that for the other woodworking tools. Think of all the finger's that'd be saved.
     
  13. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash

    Usually, the way a jointer will cut you is by trying to join the small stock. You are pushing against the rotating blades. You are usually pressing down and against the fence. Therefore you have quite a bit of force on a small area. The rotating blades will grab the leading edge of the board and roll it forward, thus rolling your fingers into the blades. Thin stock is also dangerous. Whenever pushing this through you are concentrating on the piece not vibrating from the force of the blades, thus forgetting about your fingers dangling too close to the blades.
    I have several friends that own those sawstop table saws. Very nice machines. The man who invented the mechanism that stops the blade orginally tried to sell the idea to the major table saw manufactures, like Delta, Powermatic and Jet, but they all black balled him. He then decided to build his own machine and I guarentee insurance companies will try to make them a requirement for wood shops in the future.
     
  14. Bett

    Bett

    Jan 27, 2008
    CT
    Yeah, I guess it could be easy to have an accident like that. All we really use the the joiner for is for 3/4 inch thick wood and it's usually over 4 inches wide. Also, the blade is usually set pretty low, so it's not taking that much off the wood and isn't grabbing it that much. I can usually just run the board through quickly without pressing it down much. I always hold the board at the top too just to guide it, but I see how that wouldn't always work for what other people may do. I like to use the joiner to take little bits of my pieces for my projects. I'd rather run a side for my cabinet through the joiner a few times and measure after each cut than make one cut on the table saw and notice something went wrong afterwards when it's too late.

    How much does it cost to replace the brake mechanism on a saw stop table saw? I was telling my dad about it, but he thinks, though it is a good idea, people should just watch what they're doing. But if you have a lot of people working with one saw, it's gotta be cheaper to get a saw stop and replace the break one or two times than it is to pay the bills when an employee loses half their hand.
     
  15. Jonsbasses

    Jonsbasses

    Oct 21, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Builder: Jon's Basses
    Gotta be cheaper? I wouldn't but a price on one's life or lost digits. Also, one cannot avoid a freak accident. There are plenty of one in a million variables that can cause an accident.
     
  16. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    It usually cost around 70 to 100 dollars to replace the brake, plus a new blade. I can tell you that a finger cost about $1500 to have sewn up.
    I would never run something under 8 inches through a jointer. And it doesn't matter how low you have the blades set. Whenever you run soemthing through that doesn't adequately span the distance of the jointer head, you are just asking for trouble.
     
  17. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    And there in lies the problem. You don't need to fear the tool, but if you don't respect it then you won't take the proper precautions. Band saws are similarly somewhat benign in their presentation to me. Not a lot of noise and the blade seems well guarded, but it will still slice right through your finger without slowing down.

    Greg N
     
  18. Bett

    Bett

    Jan 27, 2008
    CT
    8 inches long or wide? Most of the boards we need to plane the edges of are at least a foot long. That's not even the final length, so the boards are longer than they'll be when finished. I wouldn't put any short pieces through. I'll use a hand plane if I have little pieces that need planing.
     
  19. Mr. Majestic

    Mr. Majestic Majestic Wood Supply Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    From Louisiana/In Arkansas
    Majestic Swamp Ash
    8 inches long, not 8 wide.

    Greg you are dead on. +1

    I only use my jointer for body blanks or panels. If you have one wide enough, they are good for pulling out bows and twists.
     
  20. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    The thing about a jointer is that if you are flattening a board and it shoots out from under your hand in an instant there is nothing but air between you and the blade, and you were just pushing down on that board weren't you? Larger pieces are not safer only because you can handle them further away from the blade, they also have more mass and are less prone to being tossed off the tool.

    I approach all tools with the thought in mind of what will happen when the kickback occurs, not if it happens. I also have to keep in mind that the wood can be replaced and not to make any special efforts to save it or the tool.

    Practice what to do in the event of a problem. I am not kidding. It seems stupid, but I find the old adage to be very true "In an emergency we do not rise to the best of our abilities. Rather we sink to our training." So train yourself. No one else will do it for you.

    Sorry about getting preachy here. I just know that "I have got to be the stupidest person who ever walked the earth" feeling you get right after an accident too well. So far I still have all 10. Hope you do too.

    Greg N
     

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