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As soon as I finished cutting the piece I figured I’d better go clean the cut and bandage it. It was then that it began to bleed so much that I couldn’t stop it without clutching it tightly with my other hand, so, Joyce drove me to the ER. I returned several hours later and, with my road-rage digit out straight and heavily bandaged, I installed that pesky little piece of wood. I had a deadline.

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Are you ready for number 3? Again with the table saw. Why I kept putting off getting a band saw I’ll never know, although it wouldn’t have helped here. I’ll keep it short.

A year later I was again fabricating, or should I say sculpting, a piece of teak to become the corner trim on the galley counter where it joins the new jump seat/stove. No fingers were at risk here; I learned my lesson. I was cutting the inside corner that would fit over the edges of the countertop and cabinet below.


Using pieces of wood as pushers (to keep my fingers clear) I was trying to make a partial cut before changing the fence setting to finish the cut to fit over mismatched corner pieces. I had to keep my head low in order to carefully see what the saw was doing. Suddenly there was a loud bang and simultaneously I felt the smack of what felt like a hard-swung baseball bat against my cheekbone, just below my right eye. The piece, about 6 inches long and roughly an inch and a quarter square, kicked back with unbelievable force and speed. I felt that my cheekbone must have been cracked; it certainly swelled up pretty quickly.

I was stunned and angry, but soon began to realize just how lucky I was. An inch or so in almost any direction would have meant an eye, nose, or teeth. As near as I can tell my cheekbone did not break.

I managed to survive the next couple of years without incident, perhaps from having matured a bit when it comes to using machinery. But some things will never change. If you take a close look at even the “finished” pictures you will often notice a film of dust or a spatter of dirt on the teak or fiberglass. The work never seems to stop, and I rarely stop to completely clean up. For that I need a maid.