Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cutting bookmarks

Today we began cutting bookmarks. On a table saw James Adams ripped slivers from a redwood 2x6 that used to be part of Ken Kesey's water tank. The wood is clear heart, vertical grain with mineralization stains (of heaven knows what chemicals). I took some photos as he began.

After cutting the long slivers into 8" pieces, I sanded their edges and then commenced engraving "99 Jobs" into the individual bookmarks. James, meanwhile, began cutting slivers from other pieces of lumber. I was hunched over the trim router, engraving "99 Jobs" freehand over and over, when James suddenly cursed and put his thumb into his mouth. Guiding a piece of wood, he'd run the pad of his thumb over the saw blade. The blade was set to protrude about 1/4" above the top of the piece he was cutting, so he sliced a 1/4" gash into his thumb.

Immediately I helped wrap it in gauze and tape. His wife drove him to the Palo Alto Clinic, where he is right now as I write this (the accident happened about an hour ago).

James is one of the best woodworkers I know. He says this is the worst accident he's ever had in his shop. He's careful, and he has a lifetime of experience. Yet it happened.

There are spatters of blood on the table saw. Red stains in the partially sawed wood. No, I won't be including that lumber among the bookmarks—to which we will return in a few days, I hope.

Be careful out there.

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