for the second time in a month, i managed to really cut
myself with a new exacto number 11. this time it was my
thumb and i could see bone. once again i missed a blood
vessel but it stoll bled profucely.
anyone else gone through a slasher cycle? any good war
glad i had some antibios left from 3 weeks ago.
Evidently you are using the tool as a weapon. I manage to nick myself
every once in a while, but nothing worse than a paper type cut. Did
slice and dice myself as a kid building models...learned how to
properly use the knife to avoid serious lacerations. First rule...use
a light touch...better to make several light passes than one deep "to
the bone" cut. The knife is for slicing...not cutting, not chopping.
I learned from a surgeon who built models...he was the one that
stitched me up after one such 'to the bone' incident.
Be sure your tetanus shot is current, too.
I once had an Xacto knife roll off the workbench right onto my thigh, pointy
end first of course! Too busy keeping parts in alignment as the glue set to
catch the knife.
I hardly EVER pick up an X-Acto any more - I usually use a single edged
razor blade, or just an X-Acto blade without the handle.
About the stupidest thing I ever did with an X-Acto was when I was in
3rd or 4th grade - I found one walking home from school...and as my
folks wouldn't let me have one at the time, I picked it up and put it in
my coat pocket.
As I continued walking, I became aware of "stabbing pains" in the right
side of my stomach. Opened my coat to find that I HAD litterally been
stabbing myself in the stomach with every step (after I wiped the blood
away)...about a half mile's worth. Took the thing out of my pocket and
returned it the ground. I don't think I picked one up again until I was
in my mid-teens.
I carried those scars on my belly into my early 20's...
I gave up counting the modeling wounds long ago. The worst offender has
been the X-Acto or Zona razor saw, they can do some real damage!
No modeling accident can compare with a deli meat slicer, though. I was
a butcher for a few years and there were many stitches during those
years. I also discovered at age twelve that a sliding glass door had to
be opened before one walks through. That was good for six weeks in the
hospital and six month learning how to walk again. My right foot still
cants outward about 20 degrees.
I can second the many-slices-for-one-cut theory. That seems to be
innefficient, but it makes all the difference in the world safety-wise
and there is more control of the results.
No bad Xacto stories I can remember, but I did have a run-in with a
chef's knife (the big ones you see in the horror films) last year. I
was doing something simple like chopping celery or onions. While I
always curl the three middle fingers of my left hand under and rest
the flat of the knife against the knuckles, I have the bad habit of
not doing the same with my pinkie (and it juts out just past the
knuckles). I caught it with the tip of the knife and sustained a deep
cut from the side of the finger right to the edge of the fingernail. I
put pressure on it for a good half hour but it still bled; only after
holding my arm up over my head for another half hour did it finally
Keep those knuckles bent under... ALL of them!
Ok...in keeping with the "I hate it when that happens" thread...
1) My Junior High shop class - one of the older kids was turning a
baseball bat on a lathe in the back of the class...was bearing down a
bit too hard, when the thing kicked out of the lathe, spun around and
clubbed him upside the head...dropped him like a sack of potatoes.
2) Same Junior High shop class - kid lost his fingertips in the
3) More horrors from the same Junior High shop class - another kid
managed to saw his finger half off on the band saw. Ran over to the
sink to wash out the wound...the water from the faucet flushed his
finger down the drain. Scratch one finger.
4) My dad - a shop teacher - lost the end of his middle finger reaching
under a Skill saw during a remodeling job. My mother and I came home to
the ringing phone, and a conversation that went something like this:
Me: "Where are you?"
Dad: "I'm in the hospital."
Me: "The hospital? (Ma nearly faints...) What happened?" (car wreck?)
Dad: "I sawed my damn finger off..."
Me: (laughing) "But you're a SHOP TEACHER!!!"
Dad: (laughing) "Yeah...ain't that some stuff?...better not mess up my
golf swing." (by this time, Ma is ready to kill the both of us.)
5) More observations of adult life stupidity: Some co-workers come into
work one day to find an officemate with a reputation for doing dumb
things missing a finger...what gives? "Well I was mowing the lawn, and
decided to trim the hedges"...the guy had picked up the running
lawnmover to "mow" the hedges - and the mower "trimmed" his dangling
finger. So now (trying REAL hard not to bust out laughing) comes the
question: so why didn't you pick it up and go to the hospital to have it
reattached? "Well...I leaned over to pick it up...and the dog got it.
By the time finished chasing him around the yard and I got it back from
him, it was too chewed up to do anything with." Laugh now.
Mostly just minor slices with the Xacto, you know, a drop of super glue
and back to work. But I've done other things like knocking an open
lockback knife off the desk and having it land point first on my bare
foot. Luckily no serious damage. The time I used a flat cheese slicer
to remove the top of my thumb knuckle taught me to wait for the cheese
to come to room temp and to not hold the cheese that way when trying to
slice it. For some reason nobody wanted any of that cheese after
that... Then there was the time my son went to look for the elusive
"small part" that dropped from his modeling bench and caught the
tweezers he had in his hand on the carpet and drove about an inch and a
half of the tweezer into his hand. Ah yes, that was a scream I'll never
forget. Lots of other stupid mistakes but those are some of the more
One day when I got to my favourite deli the place was closed because of
a medical emergency. Knowing the shopowner my first thought was heart
trouble. Not so, he'd sliced a finger in the slicer. I think he's been
in the business since I was in diapers. That was good for a couple
jokes about adding to the meat inventory cheaply during the next week's
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.