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... and don't forget to wear protection!

Established Contributor

... and don't forget to wear protection!

Because it never hurts to be reminded about this sort of thing (but sometimes it will hurt if you don't).


Nice and early on New Years Day (okay, around mid-morning and I wasn't hung over, I swear) I thought it would be a good idea to get the yearly garage clean up underway.  So I arranged to borrow the neighbors trailer and set about grabbing making a pile of things in the driveway to throw out, when I spied that spade head whose handle I broke a few weeks back.  Now I'd had the replacement handle sitting there waiting for me so put on, so I set about removing the old broken stub from the head.


Stick it in the vice, try to unscrew the single screw holding it in, and it strips.  Of course it does.


I'll just grab the angle grinder... nah, that seems a little too over the top, I'll use this hacksaw here.


So there I am, spade head in vice by the only flat bit (the end of the blade) me trying to cut a screw at almost the opposite end of it, and naturally its moving around a bit, so I'll just grab this bit here to steady it with my free hand.


And THAT, my friends, was stupid.


Because, of course, once I cut through the screw the downward force I was putting on the saw made it continue down, right onto the first knuckle of my thumb.

Right, as I realised a little later on in the ER, where there's pretty much nothing but a small layer of skin before yuo start messing with nasty things like tendons.


All in all, I got off pretty lightly, with only some very small surface damage to the tendon, but still required a repair, at least only with a local anesthetic.


Here's the gory post-op piccy.  Note that my work was limited to the straight line horizontal on the knuckle, but the doc needed to extend the incision a bit to get to the tendon, which is the curved part towards the hand.



A month later and its all looking a lot better, though does give me a bit of pain when I do something that i clearly shouldn't, I have a fair bit more movement in my thumb, and a physio appointment this week to hopefully get it back to its original range of motion.



So at the very least wear gloves, or, as a blacksmith friend told me recently (after the fact),  If the piece is not held firm by equipment. Don't hold the piece, fix the equipment.


And man, am I itching to get back on the tools, as the projects still keep piling up!

Trusted Contributor

Re: ... and don't forget to wear protection!

I have a matching one to yours, avoided er by using the barman to patch it up.
Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: ... and don't forget to wear protection!

Thanks for the safety message @Mick0s. Be careful out there folks!


Glad to see the damage is healing. I can share some exercises with you courtesy of my hand therapist and two cricketing mishaps.



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Budding Contributor

Re: ... and don't forget to wear protection!

You can buy a product called screw grip from total tools, it is carborundum grit in an oil base, it works on pretty much every thing that has a slot, ph, torx bit,allen key,

Iv'e been there done that, and I'm still waiting for the Tee Shirt, lol.


Hope this helps, take care. 

Budding Contributor

Re: ... and don't forget to wear protection!

Sorry forgot to mention it's for stripped heads in fasteners of all kinds.

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