Giving The Finger Like A Boss

So here we are once again, you finally reading, and me making excuses as to why I’m not writing.  I’ve got a doozy of an excuse this time, trust me.

First there was the planned shoulder fix of 2014… now complete… but let’s flash back to Memorial Day weekend, about two weeks ago, 25 May 2014 exactly, around 0130 that morning.  Yours truly, the dumbass, was tired, fatigued and had been messing around with woodworking for about eight straight hours.  I was lazy and cheap, too.  This concept is important, file that away.

I was making some decorative hardwood mounts for a collection of military swords and sabers I’ve accumulated over 22 years.  My goal was to take my nice, brand-new (sharp) 45° chamfer bit for my router and finish some components.  I decided to clamp the router down and jury-rig a fence.  You know, for safety, because power tool fences mean it’s safe and shit.

The first bit of wood went through like a dream.  The second had a hidden knot.  Needless to say, the clamps gave way to torque, and now I have nine fingernails vice ten.

The included photo shows I took off the tip of my distal phalanx of my left middle finger, to use the doctor words I heard.  Not shown, and no, I’m not posting that selfie, was the loss of the entire nail bed and half the total volume of the tip of my left middle finger.  I later found the two clean sections of nail, removed at 5000rpm in less than a second.  They’ll become a shadow-box feature in my future workshop, as a reminder of my asshattery.  No, I’m not joking.

Slide1Anyway, after attempting to stop the bleeding, I found that peroxide wasn’t working toward that end.  Ramming my finger stump in salt only woke me the fuck up more than I remembered I could possibly be awake.  Should have gone with sugar, but I was mentally stressed and forgot my battlefield medicine.  I drove myself to the ER with three triple-looped rubber bands stopping the dripping.  I’ve since seen five doctors, and all y’all know how much I treasure hospital visits.

Two weeks in, I’m debriding thrice daily and letting the finger close itself.  This is my choice so as to keep the last joint of my finger, less the nail and some regrown meat.  I need to type because I want to write.  My muse keeps pestering me.  During this time, I’ve come up with some high points of the experience:

* I bought a router table a week later, which I ought to have waited for to begin with.  Yes, it works like a charm.  Yes, I tried it out.  No, I’m not ascair’d.  Total win.

* The expensive, new router bit is undamaged and goes through wood (and fingers) like a hot knife through butter.  Total win.

* I now have the option of cool nicknames: Lefty, Stumpy or Nine Nails come to mind.

* For the rest of my life, every nail clipper I buy will last 11% longer than before.  Do the math.  I’m right.  I win.

* This is still not the most painful thing I’ve ever, ever done to myself, so yay.

* I now know I can easily lose a pint of blood and function quite rationally and well.

* Pro Tip (I did just go there): Don’t do dangerous shit alone, past midnight, on Memorial Day.

* Norm Abram is right: always wear safety glasses.  Somewhere in my basement is a piece of finger bone that might have taken out my eye.  I intend to put that in the shadow box too, dammit.

My challenge now is to finish the saber mounts before I move to Virginia… I just need to find a house now.

66 Responses to “Giving The Finger Like A Boss”

  1. Reblogged this on Do not break my style. com and commented:
    like a boss, ehh?

  2. I lost the tip to my left ring finger in second grade. I can vouch for the pain, though I don’t think I’ve experienced anything more painful.

  3. NotAPunkRocker Says:

    You’re moving to Virginia? Why??

    Kidding on the “why”… Hope everything goes smoothly going forward.

  4. My grandma used to use flour to stop the bleeding when she’d trim the dog’s toe nails too short. Just sayin’. (and I’m glad you’re alright)

  5. I had to come out of hiatus for this!
    Here’s the upside, you’ll be the coolest dude at the next BDSM circuit! Hell, they’ll probably promote you to Dungeon Master that very night. 😉
    Aside, if you’re heading to the Ft. Eustis/Newport News area, I know of a house available in a few weeks…
    Glad you’re okay.

  6. And how many beers did you have in you at the time? Smart thing to make a fence, but not if it doesn’t work. Thank goodness it wasn’t an important finger except for rude gestures!

  7. Holy crap.
    Glad it wasn’t worse. Glad you seem to be doing okay, Stumpy. I hope that continues. And, I hope the move goes smoothly. Best of luck on your house search, and on finishing the saber mounts.

  8. Way to go genius! And your middle finger too? How are you going to properly flip someone the bird when your other hand is occupied?

  9. Wow! Looks painful sending speedy recovery wishes.

  10. In the end, you had a winning “hand.”

  11. Melanie Says:


      • Melanie Says:

        I know. My dad did the same thing you did, and by the same tool, to the same finger, doing the same thing – working with wood and power tools too late into the night. He says it’s good you can’t remember pain, that you can’t remember the feel of the pain, though he will never forget how extremely painful it was.

  12. Jeez! I’m starting to think you like being injured.

  13. Fuck, if it isn’t one thing it’s another. Hospitals do suck. Stumpy has a nice ring. Rubbing salt in a wound really does make it worse, but I guess you know that now. Good that you are healing. Now your birdie will look like ..i.. or ..7.. instead of ..l.. Shadow box is an awesome idea. Good luck finding a house.

  14. Do you (or Uncle Sam) have to pay extra to get to take the X-ray home for blogger show-and-tell? You’ll never be able to talk to cab drivers again. Ow! Ow!

    • No cost at all, which is pretty cool. I’m thinking of asking for all of my x-rays now.

      • Now I’m even more (creepily) intrigued. No cost, and easy availability argues that your med-provider no longer plays with the old, acetate X-rays, and you got a copy of a new-and-improved digital one. How did you carry it home, smart phone, tablet, thumb drive, email? Just download and insert like a standard jpeg?
        Neither you, nor we, need to see any more X-rays. I know old age is creeping up, but try to stay safe, and in one large piece. 😉

  15. Only you would rip off the tip of your finger while making something to display sharp objects since leaving them out might lead you to, you know, cut yourself. 😛

  16. Oh man…this makes my finger jam look like child’s play. That is, however, the EXACT same position in which I had to have my hand x-rayed a few months ago after having my wedding ring cut off my finger in the ER. 😦

  17. Worked in amany woodshops and seen an equal amount of good fingers and such go to waste out the vacuum systems with the saw dust. As a matter of fact got my hand caught in the feed tracks to a 1929 industrial 4-41/2 foot blade rip saw. Luckily I weaseled out of it but it took my glove. Found it in the sawdust pile outside on my lunch break, it was missing both the middle and ring finger. Whew! Close one. And the salt, always been about the first thing I slap on a wound, but when it doesn’t work straight away I alternate scrubbing the wound with a cut lemon, the acid seems to burn close the various capillaries especially with the switching back and forth of the salt. Also, I don’t work in woodshops anymore. High Five, no? Four and nine-tenths? ‘eh’eh……yeah, BAM! NAILED IT!!!!! Aw, come on, you left the door wide open man.

  18. Ah, see, my injury happened in the morning when I was ill, and I shouldn’t have even been out of the house. I should’ve lost my thumb after closing it in the door of a 1989 Mercedes 300sl when I was 9. The lock went through my nail bed and fractured the tip of the bone, so on that level, I know aaall about that pain and can only wish you heavy medication and good thoughts, because I was only rarely allowed to have ibruprofen due to my age. The nail shouldn’t have grown back, but somehow the nail bed had hidden itself in a way that meant it could be reattached, and hey presto, 16 years later, I have a new nail 🙂 albeit, a mismatching one to my other thumb.

    I don’t actually think I have a finger left that hasn’t undergone drastic, um, customisation. I closed the finger next to my pinky in a cast iron fire place because I was 3 and an idiot, unable to understand that the stick holding the lid up was not available to play with because…it was holding the lid up. Shouldn’t have that finger, either…

    P.S. I like Nine Nails, sounds mysterious out of context. You should definitely make one of the names happen.

  19. I cringed through reading from paragraph three on. Yikes!

    “I do words” would be a great “About” page.

    StumpyRants could be your comical superhero alter-ego. Not that you’re not already a superhero. Why don’t I just be quiet now? Ok….

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