Friday, December 25, 2009

What Were the Redneck's Last Words?

"Hey, watch this!"
(As told to me by a West Virginian with a thick southern accent.)

You know when you're about to do something that you think might not be such a good idea and it turns out you were right?

That seems to be the way many workshop accidents happen. Too often we hear people say "I knew better than to do that" after they have a mishap at the table saw or band saw or other piece of equipment. Cuts, even severe ones, can happen with handtools as well as power tools. In fact the only times I've been hurt in the shop in all my 18 years of woodworking have been while using chisels and a screwdriver.

Until yesterday.

That's when I was planning to photograph the set-up for the "Merry Christmas" post. The layout was on the floor of my shop and I had to be far enough above it to shoot the entire image. That meant either going out to the garage to get the ladder or standing on a shop stool. Unfortunately, I chose the latter instead of the ladder.

At least I was smart enough to slide a tippy 5-board bench next to the stool to use as a step. So with camera in hand, I started my ascent. As one foot was planted on the low bench and one on the shop stool, I realized the stool needed to be moved further away from its current location in order to be centrally located above the Merry Christmas message. Rather than step down and reposition the stool, I decided to slide it with one foot while I balanced my other foot on the low bench.

Well, here's pretty much what happened:

video

The 5-board bench was crushed, but you can see in the video how happy I was that my camera was not. My only regret is that someone wasn't there to film the debacle. Such hilarity should always be shared with others.*

*Of course I'm only poking fun at myself. Everyone knows that safety's no joke.