I see these stories from time to time, mostly posted by the Saw Stop brigade, about people whose fingers have met a nasty end because of their table saw and therefore, everyone should buy their holy grail.
Yeah, but if you look at these stories, they are always, without exception, people doing stupid things. Maybe if you don’t want to be injured, you shouldn’t be an idiot!And this story is no different. Supposedly, this guy was adjusting the settings on his table saw and his finger just “magically” found its way into the blade and he lost half a finger. Well there are three things wrong with this story.
First, he wasn’t paying attention. Woodworking, especially with big stationary power tools, is inherently risky. You have to be paying attention 100% of the time. If you can’t, then you have no business doing it in the first place. I have zero sympathy for anyone who does something stupid because they are working impaired, and an inability to pay attention is being impaired.
Second, he was adjusting the settings of the saw while the blade was running. That’s just dumb. Only a complete idiot would do such a thing, but then again, that’s why this guy is supposedly missing a finger because he’s a complete idiot. Again, no sympathy for the terminally idiotic.
And third, and most importantly, he was obviously working without the blade guard, which is terminal stupidity right there. It always amazes me that most of these people only got hurt because they purposely disabled the safety technology that came with their tools. Don’t do that! Don’t be a moron!
It is the job of the individual woodworker to work safely, period. If you can’t, then you have no business doing it at all. I don’t want to hear your excuses, I don’t want to hear your protestations, that’s how it works. Be responsible, be careful, or go find another hobby.
Addendum: I find it really funny that the guy who posted this story got really, really, really mad at everyone who pointed out how idiotic his “friend” was. He said that since people didn’t sympathize with his “friend”, that somehow made him look bad. Then he effectively posted that he hoped anyone who thought his friend was an idiot got hurt. At least I’m glad to see more people starting to acknowledge personal responsibility in injuries! But, right on queue, just a day or two later, someone else popped up with another story of woe, where he was injured and he wishes he had a SawStop! I’m honestly starting to wonder if SawStop isn’t paying people to go around and tell these stories on woodworking websites.