Stupid

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I’ll say it right up front, nothing happened. It could’ve, though.

I needed to cut a couple quick tenons, and decided to use the router table rather than change out the blade on my table saw with a dado head.

Popped the router and plate out of the table, unlatched the motor, spun off the base/plate assembly, removed the bit that was still in there from the last time I used it, replaced it with a straight cutter and tightened the collet, spun the base/plate assembly back on and dropped it back into the table. Then it was just a few seconds more to adjust the bit height, lock down the motor and, finally, set the fence.

The last thing I did was reach to the side of the table where I keep the coiled cord on a hook, so I could plug it in. The cord wasn’t there. That’s because it was already plugged in.

I serious chill went through me. I hadn’t realized that it was still plugged in from the last time I had used the table just the day before, but had never checked to be sure. And the whole time I’m setting it up I never noticed the cord was plugged in. Stupid; very, very stupid.

But thank goodness, nothing happened.

But the thing of it is, is that something could have happened. I could have keyed the on/off switch for whatever reason or keyed the switch accidentally when remounting the router back into the table, or when I was rotating the motor to adjust the bit height, or any number of things. As I thought of what that might have been like if it had happened when I was swapping out those bits, the chill went through me again.

Yep, it was stupid. And I was stupid. And fortunately, nothing happened.

But I’ve found that in the woodworking environment, stupid can be a darned good teacher when something bad happens. And if the lesson is learned, stupid is just as good a teacher even when nothing happens.

Hopefully, I’m now a bit less stupid as a result.

Till next time,

A.J.

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