Yesterday I had a minor accident while carving a bonsai. Even though I am aware of the risks and I give these tools the respect they deserve, it only took one momentary lapse of attention. I accidentally used my right hand to steady my pose bridging between my left hand holding the flexible shaft handpiece and the tree on a difficult spot. It then hit a snag that propelled it through the wood in the direction of rotation and it landed in my right hand. The doctor told me I was lucky as only flesh was chewed away, a millimeter more and a tendon would have been destroyed. I required 5 stitches. I will be ok in a week with no sequels. I was using a “low speed” (18K) Foredom and a refining bit called the flying saucer 1/8" shaft (on the left). A dremmel or Makita go to 25K. Had this accident happened with the middle bit, still 1/8" shaft but made to chew wood like butter, the story would have been very different and with the rightmost bit, 1/4" shank if I were lucky I would be writing this today from a hospital bed perhaps and be the end of my right hand and bonsai hobby. Please give your power carving tools all the respect they deserve and then some more. Only one momentary lapse of attention could be your last. I am grateful that this accident was only this minor. This certainly is a very big wake up call for me. The tree with which this happened will forever stay in my collection, I share a “deeper” connection with it now. The H44.T handpiece of my foredom is forever marked with my blood, I will not clean it to remember each time I hold it.
Ryan can make it look so easy - especially with no safety glasses.
A timely reminder. Hope you heal quickly!
thank you @cab_lad_70. In part me posting here is that Ryan also adds more personal protection to his own protection. The carbide bit to debark is pretty safe but other bits are not.
You are a good bonsai practitioner so this shows it can happen to the best of us. Get well quickly!
For sure, thank you.
Wow Rafi! Hats off to you for showing us, thank you. Lucky (or unlucky depending upon your view) escape for you…
Thanks @Keith-in-UK, yes, it was a lucky escape, the wound looks a lot better after the stitches, I debated if I should show or not the open wound to show how deep it went with such a tiny bit but decided to it was too gruesome to show.
Yes it would have put me off my lunch I was eating as I read your post!!
I see this stuff at work everyday, could have been a lot worse, everyone should be wearing goggles and cut resistant gloves when using carving tools. Hope you’re back wiring, pruning and carving soon Rafi.
Thank you! I definitely learned my lesson.
I’ve only used a small bit to carve deadwood so far but this definitely convinced me to order some shielded gloves for next time I try that, and not to get lazy about my goggles. I hope you have a quick recovery!
Thank you @Serentropic - I am glad this helps others too.
Glad you got away with only a few stitches. Hope they heal quickly. Thanks for the reminder to stay focused.
A bullet well dodged. Heal up well @rafi. Bonsai guy with scars?? Watch out…you are going to have to beat the ladies off with your foredom!