I’ve officially broken my finger. Hopefully this post will prevent someone else from making the same mistakes I did.
First mistake: I left the chuck in the lathe accidentally and turned it on, Monday night. It whacked my pinky. Thankfully, I was wearing gloves, or it could have been much worse.
Second Mistake: working alone. Ok, this injury wasn’t very serious, but I was alone, and had it done worse, I wouldn’t have been able to drive myself home (I was already shaky and sick feeling with just this). Fabricators tend to underplay just how dangerous the job is, and think, “Oh, I’ll be okay, its just working on the ______.” No more using heavy tools alone in the shop for me. Nothing that spins, no grinders, drill presses, lathes, or mills. I am ok with using a punch, shear, torch or welder alone, as these are far less dangerous tasks.
Third mistake: I didn’t see the doctor until 2 days later. I figured it was just a smashed finger, no reason to worry, the only thing a doctor would do was maybe stitch it up and splint it. I decided to go when it still hadn’t stopped bleeding 2 days later, and there appeared to be either “meat” or something growing at the corner of my nail. That chunk had gotten about 2x bigger since the injury. You can see it in the photo. Turns out that meat was a chunk of my bone and I had a compound fracture in my finger. Now I’m at a pretty high risk for infection, as the bone has been exposed for 2 days.
This shouldn’t slow progress too much, although I will lose a large part of today, as I need to go to an Orthopedic doctor to check it out.
Yesterday, I basically ran errands. I ordered materials for the linkages, and frame. I also delivered the bushings to be hardened, and picked up the special type of ink necessary for our panograph torch. Before I left the shop, I set the panograph up to cut the table piece for the punch. I’ll do this either later today or tomorrow.