All thumbs

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Physically speaking, what’s the most important and most-used part of your body in the woodshop – Arms? Legs? Hands? Nope – although that last was close – it’s our thumbs.

Some recent blogs discussing back injuries took a look at how we use our bodies while woodworking. Obviously, every part of our bodies is important, especially those related to our senses, but on a day-to-day basis it’s nearly impossible to work without our thumbs being at 100%, and in fact I’ve talked about thumb issues before. It’s for that exact reason that when it comes to hurting something, your thumbs always seem to be the likely victim.

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That little boo-boo happened two weeks ago while adjusting the fence on my band saw – I lifted it off the table, it slipped, my thumb was under it. Result: ouch. Unlike other minor injuries that heal up and disappear in a few days, this one sticks out like a sore thumb. (See what I did there?) It’ll be around for at least the next month or so till my thumbnail grows out.

On the downside, I’ll certainly have to delay my lifelong desire to be a hand model for a while longer.

On the plus side, it’s a small reminder to be more careful even with simple, typically non-dangerous tasks in the shop.

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