View Full Version : My Hands Hurt!

04-22-2005, 11:04 AM
I am pretty hard on my hands. There are constantly nicks, scrapes, burns, and every now and then some fairly deep ones that my wife says require a doctor's attention. It rarely comes to that, as I'm sorta stubborn about seeing a doctor that gets paid three times what they're worth, and the insurance companies get the rest! Anyway, I wear gloves while welding, but hate wearing them when turning wrenches. I absolutely refuse to wear them when running the lathe or mill. Last week, I ran a piece of red hot .035 solid wire through my elk hide gloves, and right through the tip of my left index finger before the pain receptors kicked in and I screamed bloody murder. I'm somewhat concerned that I may loose part of that finger...It is still swollen, and virtually numb. So, how do you keep your hands from becoming one gian mass of scar tissue. Suggestions would be very welcome at this point.

04-22-2005, 11:24 AM
Good question. No answer though. Right now I can only count half a dozen little scrapes or nicks, mostly on knuckles. Was doing some wrenching last weekend.

04-22-2005, 11:28 AM
Arbo,heres hoping for the best to ya!For whatever reason 20 or so years ago saw me doin a bunch of work for the doctor and lawyer crowd.One of these doctors just so happened to be a hand specialist.He was bloomin brilliant.We became pretty good friends,to the point that I could knock on his office's back door and get an occasional X-ray or a stitch or two and call it good.He was that cool.He'd always tell me though(think safety 101),"just don't do it"...meaning,give your work just a touch more thought ahead of time........Best of luck,BW

04-22-2005, 11:41 AM
it's good that you don't wear gloves operating machine tools, that's a recipe for disaster. The glove can easily get caught and the rest of the appendage follows.

I'm the last to go to the doctor, but faced with loosing the form, function or even the digit itself, it may be time to revisit your view on the doctor's value proposition http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Mcgyver (edited 04-22-2005).]

Your Old Dog
04-22-2005, 12:04 PM
I credit my Dad for keeping my hands scar free. He always told me to ask myself "what if".

What he meant was, I know what you want this scenario to do but what is the most likely thing to go wrong and what will happen if it does. The only injuries I've had along the way I've known I was pushing the envelope at the time and got burnt. Now, I ask "what if" on every setup and every situation and I don't think it's being "anal" to think that way. It takes less time to do that then hunt for bandaides! I get surprized and flinch when I get splinters so I do where loose fitting gloves to prevent even more serious injury than the splinter. I just keep them away from spinning machinery. A lot of folks can't keep their hands away from spinning equipment so I wouldn't reccomend anyone else try this at home. I have no fear of my tools but I have a healthy respect for them and always expect the worst.

[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 04-22-2005).]

04-22-2005, 12:05 PM
So this is what this board has turned in to.

A little too "OT" don't you think.

I certainly hope the next person to "break a nail" doesn't need to share the experience with everyone.



04-22-2005, 12:16 PM
Based on what you described I think it is time to http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif "bite the bullet" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif and go see a sawbonz. Finger are to valuable to risk losing. If the doctor says there is nothing wrong, chalk the money up to being well spent.


04-22-2005, 12:40 PM
scooter...who crapped in your cornflakes this morning? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

04-22-2005, 12:46 PM
i'm with YOD. i try to think things through before i get the injuries rolling. in fact, i've only had two really good injuries in my day that weren't total accidents. one was cutting small twigs from a piece of maple branch for toasting marshamallows (i was maybe 12 at the time). my dad told me never to pull the knife towards you, always push it AWAY from you. yup, ended up with a nice big slice in my thumb.
the second was even dumber. never go sleighriding on cafeteria serving trays in the middle of winter on ice-covered hills with trees at the bottom. it is a good way to break an ankle.

as for Arbo, if i were you i'd visit the doc. you may have seriously damaged something in there, or maybe even a piece is still lodged in your finger. i agree a lot of docs are over-priced, but it's probably worth the cost to keep your fingers intact. it sounds like what happened was an accident, and not you being foolish.

andy b.

Dave Opincarne
04-22-2005, 01:23 PM
Gee Scooter forgive us, we didn't relize shop safety was a taboo subject. Go get a fresh bowl of corn flakes and take a few deep breaths.

Good advive from YOD. As someone who used to be activly involved in back country activities aa well as current shop activities my variation was to ask myself not what was likey to go wrong, but what COULD go wrong. In other words what was the worst reasonably consievable scenario and how would it involve me.

It's my opinion that most accidents occur in the area between what people think is likey to happen and what could happen. Safety is cultivated from being aware of ones suroundings.


04-22-2005, 01:31 PM
Gee Scooter...Thanks for the kind words. Sounds like a good case of sore a$$ on your end. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Jim Caudill
04-22-2005, 01:49 PM
Well, I don't think this is OT at all. Working around rotating cutters and razor-sharp swarf is injury inducing, and preventing injuries and dealing with them is very topical.

That said, get to a doctor. Many years ago while working as a diesel truck mechanic, I saw a "Safety Poster" that showed the progression of a finger injury. There must have been 6 or so pictures and the last one was the hand with the finger amputated! It made quite an impression on me, and deep pucture wounds are some of the worst for infections.

04-22-2005, 01:58 PM
This is a former PA speaking to you. Go get that finger checked out ASAP. I'm as serious as a heart attack about this.

John B

04-22-2005, 02:01 PM
Arbo..I weld and fabricate steel for a living. Getting burned and bashing ones fingers etc, goes with the territory. Just remember a few simple things...
Any welding burn from red hot metal is usually a third degree burn and will get infected very quickly.
Don't use worn out welding gloves.
Don't touch ANY metal laying on a bench in a welding shop...some guys forget to mark "HOT" on it.
Do the above and you will still get burned...just not as often http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
I was an industrail first aider for 12 years and I've seen some really nasty (and sometimes career ending) hand injuries that didn't seem serious at first.
I used to get hurt a lot before I started to slow down and THINK!

04-22-2005, 02:29 PM
Since I pretty much never go to a doctor I figure that I probably need to when I think it might be necessary. That sounds circular, but really isn't. I usually go when there's a lot of blood or there's bone showing; if both I've been known to let my wife drive me directly to the hospital (like when I pushed the my right ulna out the back of my elbow). Little stuff, like having my thumb pulled along a 5/8 endmill (don't ever decide to do shop work when recovering from surgery - your judgment just isn't there) I don't bother with.

At this point I'd show up at my doctor's and ask the nurse what they think. They'll probably get you in right away just to keep you from waving it around and disturbing the soccer moms with little Biffy and his cold.

04-22-2005, 04:01 PM
Arbo... I had a similar thing happen while setting up my welder hurt like Hades. The difference was everything was new wire welder the works... like I said similar. The thing is I'd rather have a gapping cut then a puncture wound. You can clean out any bacteria that make cause a infection. With a puncture wound it seals it all in and can cause a nasty infection swelling. The truth is you may have a piece of the elk hide in the little poke and if your mig gloves look like mine at the very least I'd get a Tetanus (SP) short and some antibiotics. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif

04-22-2005, 05:18 PM
BEEN THERE DONE THAT. I would say it is festering up in there the infection is sealed in by the hot wire carterized(sp).I did thiss years ago kept swelling up till I went to the Dr. a week later, he lanced it and wow did the **** come out he irigated it and told me i was luckie, I didnt feel luckie just relieved to have the preasure off.
my 2 cents

04-22-2005, 07:42 PM
Oh I have experience with this one.My last was lathe swarf that curled around my middle finger on my right hand just as I grabbed the clutch handle to stop the machine.It caught and sucked tight on the finger and I had to yank in the opposite direction to stay out of the chuck/toolbit/shaft.It sliced a 1/4 x 3/8" slab of skin out about 3/16" or so deep.Would not quit bleeding,so off to the ER.$1125 later I had three stiches,I am still arguing the bill,they WILL wait a long time unless they agree to my price,$200.

As for tips,well I still(Thank God) have all mine.I actually hate blood welts and folded over fingernails worse than cuts/burns.I keep my nails trimmed real short at all times as a result.

If that finger is sore and numb I would go see the doctor.There are too may infections around these days that kill.

When was your last Tetnus shot? Your local health dept is cheaper than the doctor for shots.

04-22-2005, 08:49 PM
Amd don't think about giong to the vets.

They charge worse than the bloody doctors. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Live long and prosper.


Michael Az
04-22-2005, 11:52 PM
Arbo, get to the doctor, it isn't worth losing a finger.

3 Phase Lightbulb
04-23-2005, 12:10 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Arbo:
So, how do you keep your hands from becoming one gian mass of scar tissue.

Keep them always freshly cut and scars can't form.

Just pay attention to what you're about to do.. It only takes a few seconds to "think" before you "move".. Always think the wrench is going to slip, or the bolt will shear, or that steel might still be hot, etc.

I like to give wrenches, ratchets, torqe bars, and other tools "short stroke" grunts and I fully extend my arm if possible (no spring back in the joint) or try and lock your elbow so if something slips, your arm doesn't spring back into something.


04-23-2005, 01:08 AM
Hey Arbo, if you lose it see if they can save it for you. I hear there's good money in Wendy's chili. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

Seriously, get it worked on NOW!!!! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif

04-23-2005, 01:27 AM
Buy a woman or lotion.

04-23-2005, 05:14 AM
Dont be stupid about seeking proper medical attention. In the long run a good hand is worth more than you can give to a well trained doctor who can put you exactly with the people and gear to fix your hand.
At 73 Im pretty slow but I find that I have a lot less scars and nicks than I used to when I was trying to get a job done fast.
Just slow down a bit,get a really good first aid box and plan ahead.
you can of course come pruning grape vines with me, using air clippers.You learn pretty quick to keep one hand in your hip pocket. The electric boys have those metal mail gloves but the air clippers will still take a thumb clean off.

04-23-2005, 05:07 PM
Just quit working move to canada we got twist caps on our beers cheers.

04-23-2005, 07:10 PM
Gee! My hands (especially my right hand) have had so many cuts and breaks with surgeries and stitches and pins and wires holding them together it isn't even funny. But hell, they rarely hurt from all the damage I've done to them over the years.

What they do hurt from the last year or two is arthritis. I've got fingers that are bending sideways. I've got fingers that lock up. I've got joints that start throbbing out of the blue. I'm 50 years old. I can't wait until I'm 75. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

charlie coghill
04-23-2005, 09:26 PM
I just love it when I get through welding something and reach down and pick it up. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//redface.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//mad.gif I can see if I did a good job of welding pretty fast.

Mike Burdick
04-23-2005, 09:47 PM
Well…I guess the next turn for this thread is to talk about protective gloves. What are your thoughts on Kevlar gloves – any good?


04-24-2005, 01:11 AM
I have a friend with a vineyard. His best trick so far was to snip the end off a finger when doing the first pruning of the season. We gave him a set of kevlar gloves and he has kept the rest of his fingers since.

The kevlar is pretty good except when it gts wrapped up in something. It won't tear.

3 Phase Lightbulb
04-24-2005, 01:20 AM
These are great for protecting those knuckles. If your in your garage and all of a sudden you start running and fall on the ground at 100 MPH:


Or if you go down on a motorcycle, these are the ones you want http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif


04-24-2005, 07:48 AM
considering we work with the equivalent of thousands of razorblades on a daily basis consider yourself lucky to make it through your career without any serious injuries.

Your Old Dog
04-24-2005, 08:38 AM
Charley, I had to go to oversize welding gloves because of that problem. I always wanted snug fitting gloves for reel but by the time you grabbed something and realized it was hot the leather/steam started burning thru and I couldn't get'em off fast enough! Now, on the rare occasions that I grab something hot these days I can just fling my arm and the hot glove falls off.

04-24-2005, 01:44 PM
I just had carpel tunnel surgery on my right hand last Tuesday. The doctor took out about a tablespoon of scar tissue and had to do some thing to repair my cartilage. So I am on some really good pain pills and watching lots of movies. The incision hurts a lot, but the problem with my hand has pretty much gone away.

Jerry, better know as Lefty