If you're not okay with blood, do not scroll down and look at the pictures below!!!!!!
I'm posting this as a reminder to you guys not to do stupid things on the tablesaw. I know that probably goes without saying, but I hope the nasty pictures below remind you guys how important this is!!!!
Like I said, I was doing something incredibly stupid. I deserve any ridicule you guys throw my way, so don't worry about hurting my feelings!
I was cutting a small block (approx 3x3x2) of walnut on the tablesaw, trying to make a sanding block for a large cove molding I made (which I made using the diagonal cut method on the TS). I was making angled cuts to remove the bulk of the material before going over to my disk sander to refine the curves.
I have Sawstop PCS cabinet saw, which is a left tilt saw. Obviously I'm a believer in the SS technology, but also obvious is that it doesn't do anything to prevent kickback, especially an extreme situation like this... The first cut I made with the fence to the right of the tilted blade (good). Long story short, based on the shape of the workpiece, I had to make the second cut on the left side of the blade. Obviously this is idiotic and I knew it. You never want to cut with the blade tilted toward the fence, and even worse, you don't want to do that with small workpiece that you can't hold down adequately as it passes through the blade. So it should be no surprise to any of us here that the work piece kicked back.
And holy cow did it ever. It flew back and hit me square in the forehead. I literally did not see it coming. I saw a bright flash of white light and fell straight on my butt. It left a nasty, deep gash on my forehead, all the way down to the skull.
I grabbed my forehead and it was immediately swollen up. The amount of blood was actually shocking. All I felt was the impact paint, not the pain from cut flesh.
I used every bad word in the book, stumbled to my feet, turned off the saw and DC and began the 200 yard walk uphill to my parents' house (my shop is in an out-building on their property). Luckily my dad is a doctor and he was home. I was covered in blood and obviously his first thought was that something much worse happened. I'd take a shot to the forehead over amputation any day.
Anyway, long story longer, he took me to the ER and they stitched me up. Like I said, the cut was all the way down to the skull. They did a cat scan and luckily I didn't fracture my skull. But the cut his huge. I might have to see a plastic surgeon at some point, but we're goign to see how it heals up.
One of the nurse techs was "kind" enough to point out that it's in the shape of a large "L" ("L" for loser)... LOL, so now I'm really hoping it heals well.
I'm leaving a bunch of space before the pics so that some of you don't have to look at them if you don't want to. The second pic is my skull. I hope this is the only time I ever see my own skull! lol
Remember guys, if your instinct tells you that an operation isn't safe, that's because it isn't safe. Don't do it. Step back and think of a safer way to accomplish the operation. In my case, I would've just gone to the sander to remove the material. Slower, but much safer. I knew better but I was being impatient.