the finger of fate

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mikenixon
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the finger of fate

Post #1 by mikenixon » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:46 am

I was with the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute for nine years. In the early days we ran some really interesting elective courses, including business management, machine tool use, and high performance engine building. The students in the high performance class were ten months into their year-and-a-half school program. They weren't freshmen. We were finishing up three weeks' focus on two-stroke personal watercraft engines one morning when I noticed a student, Kevin, had reappeared after being absent two days. During roll call I asked him where he'd been. "At the doctor's," he says. Then, with the whole class listening on, Kevin related how he'd accidentally cut the tip of one of his fingers off in his garage at home. How? By lubing his bike's drive chain. With the engine running. "Oh my!", I thought. "What am I doing here?!"

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #2 by flyday58 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 1:22 pm

Years ago doing aircraft maintenance for Uncle Sam, it was a trespass to wear rings while working. I still look when I take the car to the shop or stop by the local cycle place, and just can't get over the number of folks covered in oil, dirt and grease with shiny gold bands showing through the grime from their ring fingers. Well, ortho surgeons gotta eat too, I guess. But then again, my table saw blade guard sat quietly in a corner for many years before a moment's inattention this summer nearly ended my riding forever. We all ignore the safety stuff from time to time, and most times we get away with it. Good story Mr. N. :crosso

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #3 by sgwilly » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:57 pm

Back in the 70's my brother was cutting the lawn with a typical walk behind power mower when the motor cut off because it was clogged with grass trimmings. He tipped the mower back and started to clear the trimmings out by hand. After about a minute he went to move the blade and WWWWHHRRRRINNNGGGGGGGG - that sucker started up like an airplane. Scared the be-jesus out of him. He likes to think his cat like reflexes saved his hand.

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #4 by mikenixon » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:14 pm

Yes, Richard. I too remember those days when rings and watches and shirtsleeves were high on the safety list. When with Kawasaki I had to add camera etiquette to safety as reasons to avoid those things. But I still forgot and still forget. :( And, Willy, ...wow! I have had scary moments of my own, like, as has been said, most of us have.

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #5 by JSBail » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:24 am

About 35 years ago or so I was working on a printing machine. My boss had just got the machine going but hadn't reinstalled a chain guard so in order to avoid any loss in production I decided I could put it back in place with the machine still running. I almost had it complete until "ZING" a chain and sprocket caught my left pinky finger and I was left with my finger hanging on only by a tendon. The hospital ER doctor kept saying how he was thinking of just removing the finger and I said "that finger has been on my hand for as long as I can remember, stitch it back up!" He cautioned that it would probably become arthritic and so on but I insisted the finger stayed put. I got lucky I guess because the finger eventually regain full mobility with no pain, the scar that it left behind though is a reminder to me to shut the machine down before sticking my hands inside. :oops:

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #6 by 77Gowing » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:57 am

Was out in my garage building my kitchen cabinets.
I was a complete novice but was slowly making good progress. I had low blood sugar issues and would take breaks to eat a little and hydrate. Well, at one point I noted that I was getting a little fuzzy brained and resolved to take a break after the next trip cut on my saw. I placed the piece to cut on the input table with a push stick and started that cut. As I'm cutting I realised I needed to reposition my push stick, so I repositioned it and proceeded to watch myself run my left thumb right into the radial saw blade.
How absolutely dumb. I was so upset with myself I jumped up & down throwing a tantrum squiting blood all around. I was lucky only four stitches. At the ER they did not counsel me on safety cause i was telling them that i just flat screwed up. The Doc says, "sometimes that's why they call them accidents."

Ah yes the fickle finger of fate award...know it well.
I used to worry bout being smart, but as I've matured I've realised that even the smartest people screw the pooch now and then.

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #7 by mikenixon » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:37 pm

JSBail wrote:About 35 years ago or so I was working on a printing machine. My boss had just got the machine going but hadn't reinstalled a chain guard so in order to avoid any loss in production I decided I could put it back in place with the machine still running. I almost had it complete until "ZING" a chain and sprocket caught my left pinky finger and I was left with my finger hanging on only by a tendon. The hospital ER doctor kept saying how he was thinking of just removing the finger and I said "that finger has been on my hand for as long as I can remember, stitch it back up!" He cautioned that it would probably become arthritic and so on but I insisted the finger stayed put. I got lucky I guess because the finger eventually regain full mobility with no pain, the scar that it left behind though is a reminder to me to shut the machine down before sticking my hands inside. :oops:


Whoa! Nasty!

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mikenixon
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Re: the finger of fate

Post #8 by mikenixon » Sun Nov 10, 2019 3:38 pm

77Gowing wrote:Was out in my garage building my kitchen cabinets.
I was a complete novice but was slowly making good progress. I had low blood sugar issues and would take breaks to eat a little and hydrate. Well, at one point I noted that I was getting a little fuzzy brained and resolved to take a break after the next trip cut on my saw. I placed the piece to cut on the input table with a push stick and started that cut. As I'm cutting I realised I needed to reposition my push stick, so I repositioned it and proceeded to watch myself run my left thumb right into the radial saw blade.
How absolutely dumb. I was so upset with myself I jumped up & down throwing a tantrum squiting blood all around. I was lucky only four stitches. At the ER they did not counsel me on safety cause i was telling them that i just flat screwed up. The Doc says, "sometimes that's why they call them accidents."

Ah yes the fickle finger of fate award...know it well.
I used to worry bout being smart, but as I've matured I've realised that even the smartest people screw the pooch now and then.


Hah! I once had a sobering lesson involving beer and a radial arm saw. I still shudder every time I think about it, and that was 30 years ago.

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #9 by Sidecar Bob » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:23 pm

I was about 19 and working in a corrugated box factory for the summer when a moment's inattention cost the tip of my left ring finger in a chain drive on a die cut machine. One of the best plastic surgeons in the province fixed it up but it was always lopsided and never quite felt right.

I was 62 and had been working in the rope factory for 26 years when a moment's inattention at a bobbin winding machine removed the end of a finger from the last knuckle. We took the end of the finger to the hospital but they said it wasn't worth sewing it back. This time the end was stitched up by a physician's assistant. Worker's Compensation required that I have it inspected by a plastic surgeon and she said she seldom saw such nice work.

Now the good part: It was the same finger both times so I still only have one finger that isn't complete & normal and it feels more normal now than it did during the 43 years between incidents.

It still gets cold sooner than any of the other fingers though, but I've had a long time to get used to that...

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #10 by mikenixon » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:54 pm

Hah! The same finger! Wow. Machines have no soul. They won't look out for you.

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Re: the finger of fate

Post #11 by Sidecar Bob » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:02 am

If it had to happen the second time it happened in the best way possible. No broken or damaged bones (in fact, the previously damaged one came off) and as I said, I still only have one short finger.

Someone on one of the forums told me that now I can do fractions when I count on my fingers :roll: :lol:


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