This is nothing new, really, but if you look at woodworking videos on YouTube, invariably you find people who are demonstrating really bad techniques, dangerous practices and removing all of the safety features from their equipment. And sometimes, they have accidents. The one thing they don’t do is take any real responsibility for what went wrong. They don’t realize that, like it or not, they are presenting themselves as Role-Models for their audience and their lackadaisical behavior could get others seriously injured.
So recently, a video popped up in my suggested from a woodworker I don’t usually watch, saying he had an accident and here’s what he did wrong. I didn’t even have to click on the video to know what he did wrong and that it was completely avoidable because virtually all of the so-called “accidents” that I see from woodworkers are their own damn fault. Virtually all of these accidents could have been avoided if they hadn’t taken all of the factory safety equipment off of their saws. So anyhow, here’s the video in question if you want to see it.
Now I’m sorry that this guy got hurt and he does identify at least some of the mistakes he made, all of which were absurdly rookie mistakes that no one in any kind of professional setting would ever make or they’d be out looking for another job. And he didn’t get seriously injured, he’ll have some scars on his fingers and can’t do much for a month, but considering what could have happened, he got off ridiculously lucky. And to his credit, he does admit that some of the things he did wrong, the really, really stupid things he did wrong, were his own damn fault. But the one thing he refuses to acknowledge is that just keeping the damn blade guard on his saw would have saved his fingers no matter what other stupidity he might have done. And that’s where we have issues. See, he says he’s been doing this for 20 years and knows how to be “safe”. Apparently not. He knows how to be lucky. He knows how to beat the odds for a while, but reality is a bitch and sooner or later, it’s going to call in all of the markers. The house always wins in the end.
I don’t get what it is about American woodworkers and their blade guards. This very video came up on a woodworking forum where someone else said, really stupidly, that not long ago, he had an “accident” where he lost 1/4″ of his thumb because he didn’t have his blade guard on, he acknowledges that his lack of a guard was the cause of his accident, yet he says he will never have a saw with a blade guard. That guy is a complete idiot.
This is all made worse by the fact that the first guy is on YouTube. People look to him as a role model. People who are inexperienced with woodworking look to YouTube woodworkers for instruction and technique on their own woodworking. So when you have all of these woodworkers doing stupid stuff on YouTube, they’re just teaching ignorant people how to do the same stupid stuff. I wonder how many lost fingers YouTube has caused by people taking these unsafe morons seriously and doing things the way they’re showing.
Of course, this guy didn’t care. And I have no doubt that once his month of woodworking restriction is up, he’ll go right back to running the same old saw without a blade guard, without a riving knife, because he refuses to learn his lesson. He’s stubborn and doesn’t like people telling him that he’s wrong. I wonder if someone who is harmed by listening to these self-important idiots can sue, both YouTube and the channel itself, for damages, pain and suffering, etc.
And it’s not just him. Other well-known woodworkers have had “accidents” recently, such as Matthias Wandel, have gotten themselves hurt as well, and guess what they were working without? You got it, no blade guard. And after the accident, what are they still working without? You do the math. Stupid people, no matter how experienced, tend to remain stupid, even when their stupidity is pointed out to them. I have no idea what will stop them because it’s just downright laziness that eventually comes to bite them in the end. Hopefully they don’t make others have accidents too, or maybe, just maybe, there’s going to be a well-publicized lawsuit that just might convince them to act intelligently, for their own financial good.