Unkindest cut

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If you’re a woodworker, minor cuts are just part of the deal. But this tiny cut is simply the worst.

I cut myself constantly in the shop – tiny, annoying little cuts from poking this, grazing that or bumping into something else. But it goes with the territory and like most of you I take these in stride, meaning that I just ignore them.

The most evil of these cuts often doesn’t even happen in the shop, but boy howdy do they affect everything you do. Does this look familiar?

Yeah, you know this little guy. He’s the little split you get in the tip of your thumb almost every winter. Dry weather, dry hands, rough work, whatever the cause they just seem to appear spontaneously. And once there, the fact that you’re always using your hands means they just never seem to heal.

The kicker is that they’re in absolutely the worst possible place: right on the most-used surface of the most-used digit on your most-used hand. (Yes, if you’re right-handed, it’s always on your right thumb. Lefties; left thumb.) These cuts affect everything you do.

Using a pencil or marking knife, feeding stock through a blade, squeezing a glue bottle, trying to push the release button on a cordless tool battery, heck, even just buttoning a shirt becomes a painful, fumbling chore. You should have seen me trying to pick up some spilled screws yesterday. Hilarious.

I thought I’d made it through the winter without one of these. But as terrible as this past winter was, I now see it was saving its biggest insult for last.

A.J.

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