Ahhhh! It’s been too long! When I decided I wanted to start a blog, I promised myself I wouldn’t let it rust in the garden shed of my priorities. And here it is, rusting like a handplane left in the rain.
Time to refurbish this baby!
It all started on December 30th….before then, I was doing pretty good, eh? Then tragedy struck!
It all started when I bought this beauty:
Grizzly 6 inch jointer
6 inch capacity, 1 horse motor, with a cutterhead that spins at 4800 RPM (*insert Tim Allen-style bark*). With this baby, I get straight edges and flat faces, making it a whole lot easier to get square pieces.
But, she’s a dangerous beast, as you’ll come to find out.
So, I unpacked the thing, polished it, waxed it, sang lullabies to it, and prepared to tuck it into bed. As I was moving the thing from one place to another, the side wheel caught on something. B’fore I knew it, this beast was rocketing toward the concrete floor of my garage.
I couldn’t save her. She crashed.
Now, one thing about jointers–they’ve gotta be perfect, perfect! If the infeed and outfeed aren’t exactly parallel, it’s totally useless.
So….after my mishap, I had to figure out if I knocked it out of alignment. So, I pull a couple pieces of oak out of my pile and start surfacing the thing….
The more I pass the relatively straight boards through, the more they bow.
I knocked it out of alignment.
I began wondering whether I was holding it right. Maybe if I just press down harder, then I can straighten this thing out.
So I press harder.
But then the push sticks start getting in the way.
Oh, I’ve got an idea, I thought. I’ll stop using the push sticks.
Bad move, dude.
So, I remove the push sticks and put all my weight into the board, not even thinking about where my thumb was placed…
Then this happened:
And this….(warning! Graphic!):
Yup….chopped off the tip of my thumb. Grazed the tip of the bone and severed an artery.
The thing wouldn’t stop bleeding.
**** graphic description to follow ****
The most horrific thing about it was not the pain. It wasn’t the sight. Nor the metallic stench of blood. When the dude was stitching the artery, what I hated the most was feeling the paper towel rattle as the blood drip, drip, dripped onto its surface.
**** end graphic description ****
And I also learned that they’ve found a way to bottle hot lava. Before he performed the haphazard surgery, he injected me with it.
“This might hurt,” he says. “Only a little prickle and maybe a slight burning sensation,” he says.
Oh no. The dude injected the sun’s molten core into me.
Then came the surgery:
I begged the nurses to sprint down the halls screaming, “We need a doctor, stat!”
They were kind enough to grant my request 🙂
And of course, the obligatory cast and countless episodes of Thomas the Train with the lil’ one:
After a successful surgery and skin graft, my thumb looked only slightly better:
And here’s how it looks now:
Not bad, eh?
So…lesson learned. Always use push sticks when using a jointer. Otherwise, it may cost you a thumb.