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TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

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I've watched countless videos the past week on wood carving... and this is the first person to even mention wearing cut-resistant gloves and safety thumb tape! :eek:
I've been extra careful with the knife, but it never occurred to me just how horrific the results of a slip-up could be until listening to this guy

I happened to watch the video shortly after this happened
booboo.JPG
Just the tiniest of a knick, that bled like crazy, and not even sure how it happened.:surprised3:

Needless to say, I ordered a pair of the gloves and the tape, along with a few other things, and ain't gonna touch the knife again until they arrive. :cool:

Do any of you wood carvers wear hand protection when working?
 
Scott594

Scott594

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Joined
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Messages
5
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Elbridge NY
After a year or so, you learn to think a step or two ahead, and plan accordingly. "if the tool slips or the block (or tool) breaks, is the natural path into your hand, or away?" It's amazing how 2nd nature it becomes to work all that out without it ever REALLY becoming a concious action. Like riding a bike without thinking about balance. All the sudden you start seeing the predicted failures and clean misses (I love it when a plan comes together) where your precautions have just become part of the flow. I fear wearing a Kevlar glove may interfere with the process, where you end up relying on it to 'take care of you' and (no surprise here) only YOU can do that.
That being said, I recommend a glove for all new carvers (and anybody that prefers one) - at least until it drives the owner mad. The glove becomes part of (or NOT part of) your "system" which encompasses everything. Decisions like what tool to use, how to create a particular feature, wood type (does this block feel a bit different?), when to sharpen and your general attentiveness (too tired to do this right?). Don't blow the "easy stuff" - easy stuff will getcha every time if ignored.
You WILL decide glove or no glove, but don't keep switching, both times I was cut bad enough to remember it well were in my "remember to wear the glove - even if you are beginning to hate it" phase. A week or so after the 2nd (and last) cut, it had healed up enough that I was ready to have another go at it, and I knew something had to change or I was going to get hurt. Years of racing, climbing and working in hazardous locations has made my little voice LOUD.
Finally I had "The talk" with myself and decided that: #1 - I hate getting cut, and #2 - I am the only thing that can stop me from getting cut, and #3 - I could be injured in a life altering manner if I screw up - the last cut was a block that gave away under more pressure than I ever should been exerting. 100% ME! the list is long (it's almost never one error that gets you, it's an unholy alliance of them) Some examples of my arrogance here are - I should have backed off and made the cut in 2 or 3 stages, but I had all my gear on and a top shelf knife as sharp as a laserbeam, good basswood, and a couple of years carving under my belt (Not to mention 30+ years of industrial work with much more dangerous stuff). The master link in the chain was the glove, sure makes you feel safe, safety gear does, which isn't the safety gears fault, it's mine all the way. Somehow is just doesn't seem so obvious at the time.
I was lucky as the knife went through a mostly less important part of my hand. but it went THROUGH. Nothing stopped the blade but air. If it had taken even a slightly different path, I probably wouldn't be typing this fast. I easily could have cut through bone. THAT kind of knowledge lets YOU set the rules every time you sit down to carve. I pick up that knife with the same respect I pick up a chainsaw. NO fear, but respect. Tools carry inherent risks that must be be dealt with. So, while I'm getting my art mode on, I'm also getting my "plan your moves, don't get casual" mindset engaged. For me there is no mechanical safety "protector" that can keep you safe. In the end, it's all you, just like it's 100% you that is represented in your carvings, it's 100% you that there is no blood on the wood 5 hours later. You can and should be proud of both outcomes. Pros walk away clean, and make it look easy! So can you!
This is what works for me, I don't want to push my way on anyone that doesn't want to try it. Use what works for you, but don't be drawn into false realities. I'm sorry to ramble on here, but I feel this is an important subject. Get fully comfortable with your sharp stuff, and the process, if the process has a Kevlar glove in it or not, or any other safety devices, physical or mental, fully own and refine it until YOU are the safety device. Now go carve something cool!

PS. One safety device anyone carving should have with no questions asked (No negatives here) is a job specific FIRST AID KIT! Make your own or add to a good commercial kit. Things to add are electrical tape (stretches and holds pressure on a wound), 4 x 4" sponges (gauze), Styptic powder or "No Clot" compresses. Buy a small HF toolbag or equal and add whatever you think will help. Make it your own. Besides having NO downside to having this at arms reach wherever you carve, it may help someone else. Throw in a Narcan injector, these instantly strip narcotics from the nervous system, potentially saving the victims life from an overdose. They're free at drugstores and hospitals, Keep one in the car, one in the 1st aid kit and learn how to use (Put nozzle in victims nose and push button, call 911).
Be safe out there!
and
Happy Carving!
 
TNTreeHugger

TNTreeHugger

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
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Messages
8,157
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After a year or so, you learn to think a step or two ahead, and plan accordingly. "if the tool slips or the block (or tool) breaks, is the natural path into your hand, or away?" It's amazing how 2nd nature it becomes to work all that out without it ever REALLY coming a concious action. Like riding a bike without thinking about balance. All the sudden you start seeing the predicted failures and clean misses (I love it when a plan comes together) where your precautions just become part of the flow. I fear wearing a Kevlar glove may interfere with the process, where you end up relying on it to 'take care of you' and (no surprise here) only YOU can do that.
That being said, I recommend a glove for all new carvers (and anybody that prefers one) - at least until it drives the owner mad. The glove becomes part of (or NOT part of) your "system" which encompasses everything. Decisions like what tool to use, how to create a particular feature, wood type (does this block feel a bit different?), when to sharpen and your general attentiveness (too tired to do this right?). Don't blow the "easy stuff" - easy stuff will getcha every time if ignored.
You WILL decide glove or no glove, but don't keep switching, both times I was cut bad enough to remember it well were in my "remember to wear the glove - even if you are beginning to hate it" phase. A week or so after the 2nd (and last) cut, it had healed up enough I was ready to have another go at it, and I knew something had to change or I was going to get hurt. Years of racing, climbing and working in a hazardous locations has made my little voice LOUD.
Finally I had "The talk" with myself and decided that: #1 - I hate getting cut, and #2 - I am the only thing that can stop me from getting cut, and #3 - I could be injured in a life altering manner if I screw up - the last cut was a block that gave away under more pressure than I ever should been exerting. 100% ME! the list is long (it's almost never one error that gets you) Some examples of my arrogance a here are - I should have backed off and made the cut in 2 or 3 stages, but I had all my gear on and a top shelf knife as sharp as a laserbeam, good basswood, and a couple of years carving under my belt (Not to mention 30+ years of industrial work with much more dangerous stuff). The master link in the chain was the glove, sure makes you feel safe, safety gear does, which isn't the safety gears fault, it's mine all the way. Somehow is just doesn't seem so obvious at the time.
I was lucky as the knife went through a mostly less important part of my hand. but it went THROUGH. Nothing stopped the blade but air. If it had taken even a slightly different path, I probably wouldn't by typing this fast. I easily could have cut through bone. THAT kind of knowledge lets YOU set the rules every time you sit down to carve. I pick up that knife with the same respect I pick up a chainsaw. NO fear, but respect. Tools carry inherent risks that must be be dealt with. So, while I'm getting my art mode on, I'm also getting my "plan your moves, don't get casual" mindset engaged. For me there is no mechanical safety "protector" that can keep you safe. In the end, it's all you, just like it's 100% you that is represented in your carvings, it's 100% you that there is no blood on the wood 5 hours later. You can and should be proud of both outcomes. Pros walk away clean, and make it look easy!
This works for me, sorry to ramble on here, but I feel this is an important subject. Get fully comfortable with your sharp stuff, and the process, if the process has a Kevlar glove in it or not, or any other safety devices, physical or mental, fully own and refine it until YOU are the safety device. Now go carve something cool!

PS. One safety device anyone carving should have with no questions asked (No negatives here) is a job specific FIRST AID KIT! Make your own or add to a good commercial kit. Things to add are electrical tape (stretches and holds pressure on a wound), 4 x 4" sponges (gauze), Styptic powder or "No Clot" compresses. Buy a small HF toolbag or equal and add whatever you think will help. Make it your own. Besides having NO downside to having this at arms reach wherever you carve, it may help someone else. Throw in a Narcan injector, these instantly strip narcotics from the nervous system, potentially saving the victims life from an overdose. They're free at drugstores and hospitals, Keep one in the car, one in the 1st aid kit and learn how to use (Put nozzle in victims nose and push button, call 911).
Be safe out there!
and
Happy Carving!
Thank you so much for taking the time to post this!
I know what you mean about the glove, I've not used it for very long, but it's starting to bother me the way it snags on the wood. But, I'll keep using it until I get (a lot) more experience handling the knives.
Excellent suggestion on the first aid kit! Will put one together and keep it handy.

What kind of woodcarving do you do?
 
Scott594

Scott594

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
May 16, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Elbridge NY
Hey TNTTreeHugger,
I'm glad you liked my little essay. It's funny how the PPE/safety thing has evolved into a political issue as of late, and I've always thought your safety was your responsibility and safety gear shouldn't be mandated by another. One particular "safety" device comes to mind, but I don't want to take that turn here. Lately in industry, personal responsibility has been called "safety third". My son (22) just started as a final test/certification tech at Alstrom. After the hours of safety films etc, and after all the safety assurance guys left, his supervisor told him (with the rest of the group present) that "grownups work here, we believe in "Safety 3rd" - you and only you can make yourself safe. Anytime you enter an area or start a job, it's your responsibility to use the proper gear and procedures. If you aren't sure about something, ask your coworkers, and warn them if you see an unsafe situation.

Running a small industrial controls for 30+ years, I told my guys the same many times, and am glad to say we never had a serious accident. I was proud as hell when Brad told me "jeez dad, he sounded just like you do, I used to think all the stories you told me about 'how it's done' out there in the real world were "embellished" but now that I've been in a real industrial environment for a while, it sounds as if you actually worked at Alstrom"

My carving started out (as most people seem to) with a$20 3 piece spoon carving knife set from ebay. I am a tool junkie, so now have a 16pc set of Pfeil mid size carving chisels (saw the need for that right off), a dozen or so Dockyard micros, a Drake 1 3/4 roughing knife and a Drake Vtool, a Foredom tool (wanted one since I was 12, now after killing a small truckload of Dremels, I have a full 1/3hp in my hand!), 2 Harbor Freight copies and a bunch of cheap handpieces so I don't have to change bits so often), I also got the cable attachment for my Dremel. Lotsa sanders, painting stuff, 6 or 7 airbrushes (came in from my model plane disease). and a cheap ebay woodburner, modded with multiple handpieces and a lot more power (it comes in handy being an electrical engineer sometimes). recently caught a deal on a set of 4 Flexcut knives - mixed reviews on those so far...
I started out kind of following Doug Linker and the rest of the YouTube tutors, and fairly soon found my own style. Being an follower of Doug, I started learning on woodspirits and moved Wallhangers and fridge magnets. I also do things like table top cups and pencil holders, often woodburned with outdoors and pet related scenes. I did a few caricatures - Abe with a tall tall hat and Jay Leno who started as a "happy accident'" (thanks Bob) in nose placement cuts. I did a set of 4 KISS band jackolantern fridge magnets that I'm really proud of. Need to revisit that idea! I also do plaque style coat racks, with scenes carved and burned and a real tree branch mounted to hang your coat on. My son Greg and his girlfriend live in a log cabin in Colorado, and took the whole lot back with them after Christmas.

I have accumulated a few hundred fridge magnets, wondering how I could sell them since all the school gym craft expos are shut down. I watch my 90yr mom Shirley who has Altzhiemers pretty bad and can no longer be left alone, so I can't to get out alone and sell stuff or even get supplies. I recently had an offer to place my inventory in an antique shop in upstate NY (I currently have a fridge covered jackolanterns and one with Christmas trees.) Brad saw a dragonfly I had done for Jordy's (another carving guy) YouTube contest, but never had time to submit it, and asked if it was available, I said "Sure - take it" He gave it to his girlfriend Lexi, who, in turn gave it to her grandmother who loves Dragonflies as well, and owns the antique shop. I received a letter from her, and she has already started setting up a display with the carvings Brad was carrying around in his trunk - I recruited him as a "field sales rep" and I guess he did a fine job of it, despite getting my carvings in a store by accident. Anyway, been too busy to carve a lot for the last month or two, so I need to get back to it. The coat racks and dragonflies look like they may be good sellers.

Sorry to run on for so long. it's my nature once I get typing. Probably because, as of late, I don't get out much.
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