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Little Reels

I’ve been rather busy since yesterday working on a big run of the little one-yard warping reels I started making in March.  Sales have been remarkable and I want to keep up.  The 150 now in-progress will hold my “attention” for 2-3 weeks.  Handwoven Magazine is going to do a product feature for their November/December issue.  Their review of my little looms last year was terrific – and I still get inquiries about them as a result.

I am using a new lumber supplier in Albuquerque – Albuquerque Hardwood Lumber Company at 4100 2nd St NW – they are a real quality company.  They provide quality service – unlike my former supplier whose lumber manager was crude, rude, insulting, and juvenile to everyone.  When I’d complain to others in the store, they would just chuckle and say that _ _ _ _  is pretty difficult.  I am NOT the only one who’s left.  Guess that my $35,000 in the past several years wasn’t enough for them to have any sense about customer service.  None of us have to tolerate such behavior, do we?

I was tired late yesterday afternoon after a day of making huge amounts of sawdust.  My most wonderful wife, Cat, helped me handling all of the 16′ boards of 4/4 and 8/4 Sugar Pine planks.  Without her assistance, I’d be at that cut-to-length of 400 board feet of lumber about a week longer than what we did in two hours!    In the afternoon as I was cutting the bases square on the table saw, a moment of carelessness on the LAST ONE!  First was ripping to width then turning it to make it square when I did not clear the blade on the turn.  The 2″ thick 8-3/4″ block caught the running blade – and was kicked back into my stomach and left wrist.  After a few minutes I was able to stand and assess my condition.  My stomach had a tough abrasion as did my wrist.  The wrist was severely swollen and the muscles, tendons, and tissue were significantly painful.  There was some tissue and skin loss in both injury areas and lots of red stuff.  Today both areas are rather tender and I have limited use of the left hand as a result.  I am so very thankful that this injury was not more severe!

I caution any person using power equipment to think thoroughly every time BEFORE they turn the power on and engage the work.  Embarrassment is a part of this experience – as is a great lesson learned:  many injuries occur on the last piece of a long run when inattention sets in.  The best way is not to omit the last step………….  Please note that even very careful woodworkers with more than 50 years of experience sometimes have omissions of safety.  If someone claims to be a very long term woodworker and has never been injured, they do very little work.  Think it through.  Your next mistake could cost you an eye, a limb, or your life!  I will NOT have a similar incident ever again….

Jim

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