Sheath Your Blades!

Trigger warning: gore.

A week ago I milled a stack of cursor blanks, then engraved a test hairline on a scrap cursor to make sure everything was ready:

Cursor V-bit setup
Cursor V-bit setup

After raising the spindle a few inches, I reached across the table, peeled the tape, and, as I pulled my hand back with the finished cursor, snagged the back of my left index finger on the V bit.

So. Much. Blood.

Urgent Care PA: “You may have nicked the tendon. Get thee hence to the Hospital Trauma Center.”

Trauma Center MD: “See that white fiber down in there? That’s the extensor ligament. Looks OK and should heal fine.”

Me: “Urp.”

Trauma Center MD: “Unless you’re one of the 20% who get an infection.”

Me: “Unless I’m one of the few who contract an MRSA infection, then just up and die.”

Trauma Center MD: “Well, yes, there’s that. If the wound swells or smells bad, come back here quickly.”

Dutchess County is now on the trailing edge of the Omicron wave, but the Trauma Center is attached to the Emergency Room and had a steady stream of customers arriving by ambulance. While being entirely content to not be their most urgent case, I had plenty of time to examine the wide variety of instruments parked in the room with me:

Nameless Hospital Cart
Nameless Hospital Cart

I’m on a ten-day regimen of surprisingly inexpensive Amoxicillin + Clavulanate Potassium capsules, which is apparently what it takes to knock down a potential infection these days.

Five days later, it looks like I should pull through:

Lacerated Left Index Finger
Lacerated Left Index Finger

So I hereby swear a mighty oath on the bones of my ancestors to always sheath my blades. You should, too.

But we all knew that last week, didn’t we?

5 thoughts on “Sheath Your Blades!

  1. that was a close call. you could have been reduced to right-handed finger wagging …

      1. at least you have alternative tools for that job (finger #3 would be my considered recommendation)

        1. Just to be clear, that was a rotating or standstill tool incident?
          I nicked myself often enough on a stopped endmill but never with such “deep” consequences

          1. The tool is a needle-point D bit and the spindle stopped with the flat parallel to the Y axis. When I pulled my hand back across the platform, the stationary point punched into my finger and, because the flatted section is only 1.5 mm thick at the shank, it cut like a scalpel.

            I think there used to be a vein running along that part of the finger, which might account for all the bloodshed. As with all clean cuts, though, it didn’t hurt very much.

            I thought about taking some pictures, but …

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